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Goldman Sachs : The Culture of Success September 15, 2008

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Goldman Sachs brings you inside the rarefied boardrooms of one of the most secretive Wall Street banking giants. Begun by a German immigrant in the late 1800s as a small family-run business, Goldman Sachs rose to become the world’s top investment bank in the 1990s, even without selling stock to the public. It attracted some of the best talent in the business and cultivated an image of superiority and exclusivity. “The Goldman Sachs mystique was born of secrecy and success. Nothing like it exists on Wall Street,” writes the author, Lisa Endlich, a former vice president at the firm. But behind that mystique lie tales of being swindled by British media tycoon Robert Maxwell, multimillion-dollar losses on bad trades, and the on-again, off-again attempts to go public. The book begins and ends with the firm’s efforts to go public and get greater access to capital. Most other brokerages are already publicly traded, but internecine conflict and financial turmoil always seem to prevent Goldman from joining the action. In September 1998, for instance, Goldman stunned investors when it dropped plans for a stock offering amid a plunge in the market. A management shakeup soon followed. Goldman Sachs is an intriguing history of the company that invented such financial tools as block trading, commercial paper, and risk arbitrage. The book can sometimes be critical, but is largely a favorable portrait by a former employee. –Dan Ring

Goldman Sachs, the nation’s leading investment firm, with a solid-gold reputation and a first-class list of clients, began as a family business in a lower Manhattan basement in 1869. The secrets behind the remarkable success of Goldman Sachs since then are revealed in unprecedented depth in this fascinating and authoritative narrative history of the firm.

Former Goldman Sachs vice president Lisa Endlich draws on her insider’s knowledge and access to all levels of management to bring to life a unique company that has long held its mystique intact. The most stunning accomplishments in modern American finance are explored through the story of how Goldman Sachs reached its summit.

Goldman Sachs: The Culture of Success provides a rare and revealing look inside an institution — until recently the last private partnership on Wall Street — and inside the financial world at its highest levels. Included here, in a new chapter, is a first look at the history behind the firm’s landmark initial public offering.

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