Tearing Down the Walls: How Sandy Weill Fought His Way to the Top of the Financial World. . .and Then Nearly Lost It All

Monica Langley

Publish 12 months note: First released in 2003

The very evening that Sanford "Sandy" Weill, the chairman and leader govt officer of Citigroup, used to be being feted at the flooring of the hot York inventory alternate as CEO of the 12 months, the tv monitors above the ground have been flashing chance: A congressional panel was once tearing into Jack Grubman, the $20-million-a-year telecommunications analyst who labored for Sandy. Had Grubman and Citigroup preferred company consumers on the price of standard traders? used to be Citigroup recommending shares of stricken businesses to get their company? The worst scandal of Sandy Weill's lengthy occupation used to be breaking round him.

Here, from its very starting, is the riveting inside of tale of ways a rough-edged child from Brooklyn overcame great odds and deep-seated prejudice to place jointly Citigroup, the world's biggest monetary empire, and to rework monetary prone in the United States — for larger or worse.

Tearing Down the Walls presents an remarkable examine how enterprise and finance are performed on the maximum degrees, with impressive perception into the nature and motivations of strong women and men. And it's the spell binding account of the interaction among strength and character. Sandy Weill, the son of an immigrant clothier, is a larger-than-life personality, a mythical Wall road CEO whose innovativeness, opportunism, or even worry drove him from the lowliest task on Wall road to its such a lot commanding heights. Over a span of 5 many years he has tangled with — and typically bested — probably the most well-liked and strong titans of finance, together with the elitist financier John Loeb, the mutual-fund gunslinger and conglomerateur Gerald Tsai, the patrician American show chairman Jim Robinson, and the cerebral banking visionary John Reed. A consummate deal maker, Sandy Weill accumulated after which misplaced an unbelievable assemblage of securities organisations, in basic terms to plunge forward to rebuild his empire and finally create the fashionable American financial-services grocery store. on the heart of Citigroup's fresh crises, he's the tycoon many are ready to work out topple, whereas many extra are attempting to determine how he succeeded.

Using approximately firsthand interviews with key gamers in his lifestyles and occupation — together with Weill himself — The Wall highway Journal's Monica Langley brilliantly chronicles not just his public character, yet his hidden aspect: blunt and sometimes crude, but unpretentious and occasionally disarmingly captivating. Tearing Down the Walls finds Weill's tyrannical rages in addition to his tearful regrets, the crass stinginess and the remarkable generosity, the fierce experience of loyalty and the ruthless removing of capability competitors — even these he loves. Langley illuminates a climb to the pinnacle choked with type clash — Jew opposed to WASP, immigrant opposed to Mayflower descendant, entrepreneur opposed to institution — and explores the unstable character that conjures up slavish devotion or utter disdain. by way of highlighting in new and startling aspect one man's lifestyles in a story as richly textured and compelling as a singular, Tearing Down the Walls offers the ancient context of the dramatic alterations not just in company but in addition in American society within the final part century. Compulsively readable, it's also crucial for realizing the forces which are reshaping the yankee economy this day.

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