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The Accidental Investment Banker: Inside the Decade That Transformed Wall Street


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The Accidental Investment Banker: Inside the Decade That Transformed Wall Street

Jonathan Knee

ISBN: 978-0-470-51734-5 September 2007 288 Pages


"Entertainingly indiscreet . . . Knee's talent for wicked pen portraits is put to good use."--Financial Times

Investment bankers used to be known as respectful of their clients, loyal to their firms, and chary of the financial system that allowed them to prosper. What happened? From his prestigious Wall Street perches at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, Jonathan A. Knee witnessed firsthand the lavish deal-making of the freewheeling nineties, when bankers rode the wave of the Internet economy, often by devil-may-care means. By the turn of the twenty-first century, the bubble burst and the industry was in free fall. Told with biting humor and unflinching honesty, populated with power players, back-stabbers, and gazillionaires, The Accidental Investment Banker is Knee's exhilarating insider's account of this boom-and-bust anything-goes era, when fortunes were made and reputations were lost.

"Not since Michael Lewis's Liar's Poker has there been as good, as accessible or as pithy a look at the world of investment banking."--The Washington Post

"For anyone who remembers the crazy boom times, and the even crazier bust, Jonathan A. Knee's The Accidental Investment Banker is a must. This tell-all chronicles Knee's time at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, revealing a world that rivals 24 in intrigue and drama."--Fortune

"[Knee] captures the glories and agonies of his profession . . . Readers will marvel."--The Wall Street Journal

"Finally we have someone willing to lift the curtain. . . . With refreshing candor and engaging prose, [this book] takes us inside the world of investment banking."--James B. Stewart, author of Den of Thieves and DisneyWar
  1. A Chicken in Every Pot.
  2. The Accidental Investment Banker.
  3. An Empire on It’s Own.
  4. “Let’s Ask Sidney Weinberg”.
  5. What Investment Bankers Really Do.
  6. The Culture of M&A.
  7. The Rise of John Thornton.
  8. The House of Morgan.
  9. Cracks in the Façade.
  10. Drama of the Gifted Banker.
  11. Take a Walk on the Buy-Side.
  12. “Save the Red Carpet for the talent”.
  13. View from the Top.
  14. The Myth of Meritocracy.
  15. King of the SLC’s.
  16. The Long Goodbye.
"…"warts and all" account of the boom and bust of the late 1990s up until the start of this century." (The Wharf, Thursday 16th August 2007)

"...a Wall Street soap opera in the vein of Michael Lewis's Liar's Poker about Knee's time at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs."  (Financial Times, Saturday 25th August 2007)

“an unusually candid view” (Reuters, Wednesday 5th September 2007)

"…this is a compelling read for both navel-gazing corporate financiers and voyeurs of the City and Wall Street." (CPO Agenda, Autumn 2007)

"really a great read...will go down as one of the great books on investment banking, just like Liar's Poker"  (City AM Podcast, Wednesday 19th December 2007)

"Easy enough to understand for even someone outside the industry" (Gulf Business, March 2008)

“…candid view of some of the big Wall Street firms, especially Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.” ( , Wednesday 16th April 2008)