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The Partnership

The Making of Goldman Sachs
Written by: Charles D. Ellis
Narrated by: Norman Dietz
Length: 32 hrs and 58 mins
Categories: Business & Careers

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Publisher's Summary

Goldman Sachs is the most profitable and powerful investment bank in the world today. Fifty years ago, it was a marginal family firm with limited prospects. How did it ascend to leadership in Europe, Asia, North and South America; make many, many partners fabulous fortunes; and become the leader in IPOs, M&A, FX, bond dealing, stock brokerage, derivatives, hedge funds, private equity, and real estate?

As a strategy consultant to Goldman Sachs for more than 30 years, Charles D. Ellis developed close relationships with many of the firm's past and present leaders around the world. In The Partnership he probes deeply into the most important chapters in the firm's history, revealing the key events and decisions that tell the colorful, character-driven story of how Goldman Sachs became what it is today.

Starting as a sole proprietorship dealing in commercial paper in the mid-nineteenth century, Goldman Sachs became an innovative underwriter, struggled to survive the crash and Depression, and came out of World War II to complete what was then the single most important transaction in Wall Street's history: Ford Motor Company's IPO. Goldman Sachs overcame a full set of dramatic perils: Penn Central's bankruptcy, Robert Maxwell's abusive frauds, and insider trading scandals. Ellis demonstrates how the firm's core values, intensive recruiting, entrepreneurial creativity, and disciplined risk taking - incorporating technology and hard work - laid the foundations, multiplied the firm's resources and profits, and magnified its power until it became today's Goldman Sachs: one of the most successful business organizations in the world.

©2008 Charles D. Ellis (P)2008 Tantor

What the critics say

"Lively and engaging" ( Publishers Weekly)
"Rich with insider lore, as well as the closed-door dramas of partnership clashes." ( The New York Times)

What listeners say about The Partnership

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • dd
  • 2010-11-24

All The glory and pageantry of one of those

glossy investment junk mail brochures you get and immediately recycle as soon as you sign up for business week. The only difference, is how can one ever recycle 44 hours of their lives??
Some of the history was interesting, but it rapidly degenerated into a meaningless gloss job over a history that is surely so much more interesting. Where are the details of the deals that this bank made. Where is the insight into the vision that directed this bank for ~80? years ?? Where was the crucial background history of what was happening on wall street during this time?? Why did they succeed, when so many others failed? This book reads like a book-length brochure of why you should be investing your valuable bank with all these 'brilliant' 'gifted' investment bankers. Boring and useless! Compare and contrast this awful book with anything by Ian B Stewart, who wrote classics like Den of Thieves (also available on Audible), or Michael Lewis or Roger Lowenstien or Ron Chernow (all available on Audible). These authors certainly have their occasional duds (avoid Disney War, new new thing); nonetheless, they at least demonstrate that at some point they actually took an interview or two.
Is it so hard to interview people, to understand what they actually thought, what their fears were, why and how they made the decisions they made. None of these stories appear here. A sad waste of paper (and glossy paper to boot!!). I felt sorry for the poor narrator, probably the only person who had to actually read the whole thing. I just gave up about half-way through.
Note to future finance journalists, when making mas market books about bankers: Give us details!! Compare and contrast strategies, this is our only chance to understand how these events take place!
Your book should not be a big @ss-kissing bullet point in your resume!!!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Roman Greenberg
  • 2020-06-05

A True Monolith

This book is a masterpiece telling the grand rise of Goldman Sachs of what it is Today.
This book tells the story of the greatest banking- commercial strategists of USA era.
This book expounds the analogies of worldwide markets and Goldman Sachs that rises the bar.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dawn Furlo
  • 2013-09-07

Thoroughly Enjoyed the read

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed listening to the history aspect of Goldman and that of the stock market. I was amazed at the billions of dollars that were being made in the 50's and 60's. I can see how one could get hooked on all the activity and money to be made on Wall Street, even today. It was a long read, but kept my interest on many car rides.