By 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 ground of the recent York inventory trade as CEO of the 12 months, the tv monitors above the ground have been flashing chance: A congressional panel used to be tearing into Jack Grubman, the $20-million-a-year telecommunications analyst who labored for Sandy. Had Grubman and Citigroup favourite company consumers on the cost of regular traders? was once Citigroup recommending shares of bothered businesses to get their enterprise? The worst scandal of Sandy Weill's lengthy profession used to be breaking round him.
Here, from its very starting, is the riveting within tale of ways a rough-edged child from Brooklyn overcame terrific odds and deep-seated prejudice to place jointly Citigroup, the world's greatest monetary empire, and to remodel monetary prone in the USA — for higher or worse.
Tearing Down the Walls offers an remarkable examine how enterprise and finance are carried out on the optimum degrees, with remarkable perception into the nature and motivations of robust women and men. And it's the mesmerizing account of the interaction among energy and character. Sandy Weill, the son of an immigrant designer, is a larger-than-life personality, a mythical Wall highway CEO whose innovativeness, opportunism, or even worry drove him from the lowliest activity on Wall road to its so much commanding heights. Over a span of 5 a long time he has tangled with — and customarily bested — probably the most fashionable and strong titans of finance, together with the elitist financier John Loeb, the mutual-fund gunslinger and conglomerateur Gerald Tsai, the patrician American convey chairman Jim Robinson, and the cerebral banking visionary John Reed. A consummate deal maker, Sandy Weill accumulated after which misplaced an marvelous assemblage of securities companies, in simple terms to plunge forward to rebuild his empire and eventually create the trendy American financial-services grocery store. on the middle of Citigroup's contemporary crises, he's the multi-millionaire 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 existence and occupation — together with Weill himself — The Wall road Journal's Monica Langley brilliantly chronicles not just his public personality, yet his hidden part: blunt and infrequently crude, but unpretentious and occasionally disarmingly captivating. Tearing Down the Walls unearths Weill's tyrannical rages in addition to his tearful regrets, the crass stinginess and the unheard of generosity, the fierce experience of loyalty and the ruthless removing of capability competitors — even these he loves. Langley illuminates a climb to the head jam-packed with classification clash — Jew opposed to WASP, immigrant opposed to Mayflower descendant, entrepreneur opposed to institution — and explores the risky character that evokes slavish devotion or utter disdain. through highlighting in new and startling element one man's existence in a story as richly textured and compelling as a unique, Tearing Down the Walls presents the historic context of the dramatic alterations not just in enterprise but additionally in American society within the final part century. Compulsively readable, it's also crucial for knowing the forces which are reshaping the yank economy this present day.
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Additional info for Tearing Down the Walls: How Sandy Weill Fought His Way to the Top of the Financial World. . .and Then Nearly Lost It All
If seafood platters have been adequate as appetizers for the boys, he might order 5. If a twelve-ounce steak was once at the menu, Sandy ordered a twenty-ounce steak. Irwin Ettinger, recruited via Sandy from his place because the head of Arthur younger & Co. ’s tax division, enjoyed consuming every piece up to his new boss yet was once unsettled by means of the gluttony. The forty-nine-year-old accountant had gone through angioplasty systems in fresh months to open clogged arteries. yet for the reason that he had not anything else to do in Baltimore at evening, he went alongside to the dinners and attempted to not overindulge. better of all, he came across the group’s discussions—always approximately company, by no means approximately activities or families—lively and informative as they attempted to solve advertisement credits. because the alcohol and camaraderie reduced their guards, the lads additionally discovered approximately each other. quickly Sandy knew every one man’s characteristics, strengths, weaknesses, and spirit. the industrial credits CEO, for whom enterprise and private lives have been thoroughly interrelated, used the dinners as a device to meld his center crew jointly in instruction for taking their dinky consumer-loan corporation to a different point. Sandy essentially desired to paintings with those that have been his acquaintances and who considered their paintings as even more than a role. “Let’s cross round the room,” Sandy introduced at the group’s first evening out, after the dishes have been cleared. “What’s on everybody’s brain? How are you feeling approximately issues? ” He introduced out his trademark cigar and ordered a bottle of his favourite after-dinner drink, Calvados, an apple brandy, for the desk. Cradling a snifter in his hand to hot the pricy brandy, Sandy inspired his cronies to affix him in lights up and consuming. “What’s in your brain? ” he requested, calling on Lipp to start the dialogue. anxious that Sandy may well nonetheless be “feeding,” as Dimon had defined it, the ex–Chemical financial institution president begun blandly recounting many of the conferences he had that day. “No, no, no,” Sandy interrupted. “This isn’t a enterprise record. i would like to listen to how you’re feeling approximately issues. the place do you think that we're? ” The dialog went round the desk. while it was once eventually Chuck Prince’s flip, he began to consider one in all his new colleagues. Sandy stopped him. “You can’t simply agree or disagree,” the CEO acknowledged, as he used to be atmosphere the principles for the desk talks. “You need to get a hold of whatever new. ” Prince, who used to be the final this night within the round-robin, prayed that subsequent time he will be first so all of the noticeable subject matters wouldn’t have already been taken. apart from interruptions to make the principles, Sandy simply sat, ingesting his apple brandy and smoking his Te-Amo cigar, sometimes chuckling at his affiliates’ reviews. regardless of an important quantity of alcohol, Sandy was once taking all of it in, having fun with placing his humans prompt, spurring the crowd interplay, and development camaraderie. Sandy was once so thrilled by way of the knowledge that flowed that evening, he selected the spot to make it a part of a nightly ritual. however the night nonetheless wasn’t over.