If ""investment banking"" gives you visions of stodgy New York geezers harumphing and gufawwing in a black-suited gaggle, Knee's look at high finance in the '90s will change that. A thumping ride across deep waters, Knee evokes the precarious, risky thrills courted by businesspeople great and small. Smart, clever and unfailingly articulate, Knee made, in the nineties, a seemingly sensible career choice: to become a startlingly well-paid investment banker among prestigious big boys (names are named) at Goldman Sachs, and later Morgan Stanley. Clear-eyed enough never to give his whole life over to banking-as did many of his colleagues-Knee maintains a reporter's sense of detachment, observing how the decade in question turned into an economic house of mirrors as money-guzzling dotcoms bloomed and withered, playing havoc with long-established rules and mores, nurturing an era of incompetence and brawling, veiled in the traditional pseudo-gentility of a privileged profession: ""The goal was to do deals, generate revenue, and be noticed. ... whatever the cost, particularly when someone else bore that cost."" Are bankers the ""greediest people in the world?"" Is an MBA one of the ""poorest educational choices?"" As the book progresses, these questions take on the quality of a whodunnit mystery, in which not only is everyone a suspect-almost everyone is guilty. Funny and knowing, this business memoir debut should appeal to a wide swath of business veterans.
Reviewed on: 07/31/2006 Release date: 08/01/2006 Genre: Nonfiction