Barbarians At The Gate

Barbarians At The Gate This is the eye popping truth about greed on a JCB scale Mouthwatering stuff Griff Rhys Jones The Top Ten Best Non Fiction Books for Men The Independent October This is the story of the larges

This is the eye popping truth about greed on a JCB scale Mouthwatering stuff Griff Rhys Jones, The Top Ten Best Non Fiction Books for Men, The Independent, October 2003 This is the story of the largest corporate take over in American history With a stake of 25 billion, the battle for the control of RJR Nabisco during October and November 1988 became a symbol of the gre This is the eye popping truth about greed on a JCB scale Mouthwatering stuff Griff Rhys Jones, The Top Ten Best Non Fiction Books for Men, The Independent, October 2003 This is the story of the largest corporate take over in American history With a stake of 25 billion, the battle for the control of RJR Nabisco during October and November 1988 became a symbol of the greed and power mongering of the eighties This gripping narrative reveals the truth behind a Wall Street gamble that sent shock waves through the international business world The rules were simple NEVER PAY IN CASH NEVER TELL THE TRUTH NEVER PLAY BY THE RULES.

  • [PDF] Unlimited ↠ Barbarians At The Gate : by Bryan Burrough
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Barbarians At The Gate

  1. Bryan Burrough joined Vanity Fair in August 1992 and has been a special correspondent for the magazine since January 1995 He has reported on a wide range of topics, including the events that led to the war in Iraq, the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, and the Anthony Pellicano case His profile subjects have included Sumner Redstone, Larry Ellison, Mike Ovitz, and Ivan Boesky Prior to joining Vanity Fair, Burrough was an investigative reporter at The Wall Street Journal In 1990, with Journal colleague John Heylar, he co authored Barbarians at the Gate HarperCollins , which was No 1 on the New York Times nonfiction best seller list for 39 weeks Burrough s oth er books include Vendetta American Express and the Smearing of Edmund Safra HarperCollins, 1992 , Dragonfly NASA and the Crisis Aboard Mir HarperCollins, 1998 and Public Enemies America s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933 34 Penguin Press, 2004.Burrough is a three time winner of the John Hancock Award for excellence in financial journalism He lives in Summit, New Jersey with his wife Marla and their two sons.

365 Reply to “Barbarians At The Gate”

  1. Read this in 1991 just after it first came out I couldn t put it down If you don t understand the financial pages of newspapers and the terms they use, this is an easy way to learn about acquisitions, hostile takeovers, liquidity, assets, etc Perhaps a bit dated now, but the author a financial journalist describes what happened here in the States in the 80 s, a time when small businesses and huge ones like RJR Reynolds were bought out, sometimes just for the land they were built upon The busines [...]


  2. I try to rate books based on how well they achieve their own objectives, and I think this one nails its goals perfectly Corporate finance is labyrinthian by nature to understand what actually happened in any given deal requires being able to track the money, the legal manuverings, and the easily ignored but incredibly critical personal relationships When I was a child, I thought that business deals were made based off of what was most profitable for the company It turns out in real life, far im [...]


  3. Barbarians at the Gates is a fascinating tale about the rise and fall of food giant Nabisco Ross Johnson was head of Nabisco s rival Standard Brands They show how he used his affable personality and his ability to befriend coworkers, bosses and over seeing boards to propel himself to Standard s CEO while winning a battle against his superior and getting his superior ousted Nabisco had gained competition from Frito Lay and Proctor Gamble so it looked to expand, buy merging with Standard Brands Jo [...]


  4. 11 07 08This tsunami of details in this story of the leveraged buy out of RJR Nabisco would be mind numbing if it were not for the sharp anger at the incessant and insatiable greed it highlights.One feels an eerie sense of d j vu reading this book The RJR Nabisco takeover battle was fought in 1988, but the unmitigated and unregulated greed on the part of Wall Street seems to only have changed in form, not in magnitude It borders then and now on the obscene.This book is not for the faint of heart [...]


  5. went up to the parents house over christmas, and found this in the garage, and was like what the parents don t read books and, worried it might be mistaken for a delicious meal, grabbed it there s some purple fucking prose in this book Here s how not to write compelling narrative, kids The atmosphere at Tuesday morning s breakfast between Cohen and Kravis was no worse than that inside any commercial meat locker.It s about as bad as All the President s Men, but the material kinda saves the effort [...]


  6. If you haven t noticed, I am a connoisseur of the business bestseller I read em all, and this one is among the best This, Den of Thieves and the Informant are as good as these books get Here we got conniving and scheming on a massive scale Extremely unlikable rich assholes brought low by equally unsavory, but way smarter rich people.It s the story of an attempt to take RJR Nabisco private, and then a series of take over attempts that were instigated by the original privatization plan Johnson, th [...]


  7. Detailed and downright shocking display of the egos and attitudes of hundreds of real people involved in the biggest private equity buyout of its day and until relatively recent days Describes far too many people to follow and too much detail, but the sheer magnitude of greed, excess and penis envy is amazing.The DVD of the same title gives the abridged version of the story It s quite hard to follow the story without knowing the background from the book DVD also emphasizes Linda Robinson s chara [...]


  8. The tale of Ross Johnson, the CEO of RJR Nabisco who sets the book s plot into motion, and the frenzied time leading up to the final decision on who ll win the leveraged buy out LBO bid and take ownership of RJR Nabisco is fascinating The authors do an excellent job of providing background for the many people involved in the final bids, much of which is crucial for understanding their motivations and decisions For example, the rise of Johnson through the ranks of Standard Brands, the late night [...]


  9. This book was recommended to me by a business school professor who referred to it as the best business book on private equity As someone who studied finance at NYU and a lifelong student of history, I was intrigued The book turned out to be a wonderful read I learned a tremendous deal about private equity, the mid to late century evolution of finance on Wall Street, and the important role of corporate governance in business Some of these points were not discussed on an academic level e.g evoluti [...]



  10. Corporations back in the day were established to create products and provide services and have certain laws and rights applied to the organization and its employees Not so starting in the late eighties.This book chronicles a selling off of a major corporation in the late nineties RJR Nabisco As the role of CEO has become prominent the greed and ego of those in positions have risen At some point a CEO wanted a bigger fiefdom so they thought it would be smart to combine a food company with a toba [...]


  11. Knowing something of corporate finance, I loved this The book presumes some familiarity with that topic Amazing picture of greed and venality Very eye opening.


  12. Read this one again It s worth reading than once Still five stars Even better after reading Benjamin Barber s Consumed It s probably because I don t get around much, but I ve only seen one depiction of greed that I thought was funny, and that s the one from The Addams Family, in which Gomez Addams shows the impostor Fester how to get to the money vault by pulling on the book titled Greed on the bookshelf.Then there s the other kind of greed, the greed that is just nasty, heartless, shameful and [...]


  13. This book paints a grim picture of high finance and corporate excess Although I m fairly certain most of this wouldn t fly today because of how hard it is to keep secrets, and the media s scrutiny of corporate missteps a la Volkswagen, Exxon, to name a few recent cases Essentially, Ross Johnson rises to CEO of RJR Nabisco through playing politics, scheming with his band of merry men, and schmoozing board members He constantly shakes up the company because he gets bored easily, and goes sniffing [...]


  14. When you run out of Eichenwald books to read, most algorithms point you here For much of this book, that s an apt recommendation It s a large, well sourced, tomb that is a dense tick tock of a specific corporate situation The difference, is that Eichenwald tends to exam corporate malfeasance and the ne er do wells getting their comeuppance Here, well, Ross Johnson crew to some degree are rewarded though their malfeasance is not great as Eichenwald s subjects maybe just their greed In the epilogu [...]


  15. This book displays and describes the nature of the NJR Nabisco management in one of the biggest LBO s ever Sometimes you have to check, am I reading a kindergarten manifest with grown up words or do these people exist for real The tactics, backstabbing, gossiping and most of all the foul mouthing is bizarre and thus intriguing, it s a huge read but well worth it if you re interested in leveraged buyouts, upper management, conglomerate companies and Chief Exec s who have lost contact with us eart [...]


  16. This book is weird It s written like a taut spy thriller, and superficially it s a page turner everything on the page seemed very exciting and I kept wanting to read it But the stuff being written about the tale of some investment bankers fighting over who gets to buy RJR Nabisco is boring beyond belief Lots of arcana about leveraged buy outs, endless paragraph long sketches of interchangeable middle aged white guys engaged in a financial dick swinging contest, pages upon pages devoted to what t [...]


  17. I have not read such an exciting business book for a while Barbarians is an outstanding account on the insights of the LBO world, written by two reporters with an appetite for refined ridiculousness I was amazed at the relevance of the reported absurdities with contemporary criticism on Big Finance, though nowadays the spotlight was set on proprietary and algorithmic trading.If you are into business case studies or just historical accounts of grand corporate events, this book is for you.


  18. I started reading this book because it was on the must read business book list I kept reading all 500 pages because it was really, really interesting Yes, much of that is because I am currently a business nerd, but the way businesses operated at that time, especially with such a large amount of money on the line, is fascinating.Not for every reader, which is why it is only at 4 stars here, but really a 4.5 5 in my book


  19. You can t make this stuff up An absolutely riveting read, chronicling the RJR LBO story from the 80s The authors have done a really good job at making this eminently readable and accessible, and one doesn t need beyond a basic knowledge of financial instruments to understand most of the things And the volume of the book only speaks to the sheer journalistic effort they have put into this, while at the same time not allowing it to become boring at any point It took me a while to get through the f [...]


  20. Interesting.Get some insight into how LBO s are done and the frenzy some create Now called private equity companies Sadly the debt incurred by the companies that are bought, also causes them to be destroyed whilst the banking and private equity firms make a killing in fees.I guess the difference is if management buys it over or is retained but in this instance it wasn t great for the company but the shareholders benefited in this instance many of which were employees or ex employees , who were o [...]


  21. Phew, this book was a challenging one to read Since the starting 5 chapters is an introduction to a hell lot of people and I got confused with the characters a lot But once you get familiarized with the character you see how tough the world is, you can t trust people, you got to work hard and also make sure others know you work hard This is a top level book which gives an idea about the lives of people at the top have Do give a read if you want to know the different characters that may be encoun [...]


  22. Takes a while to get going but once it does, the action is so gripping that you really can t take a break A fantastic re creation of the events that led to THE business deal of the 80 s It really does display the greed,money,corruption and ego that ruled Wall Street back in the day in an eloquent manner A brilliant read, even for someone who isn t interested in the business aspects of the story


  23. A fascinating tale of Ross Johnson, a Canadian businessman, orchestrating one of the largest landmark cases in LBO history for 25 billion While depicting a storm of complications in corporate negotiation, Barbarians of the Gate provides a snapshot of the pursuit of greed and glory, the brazen display of egos and the fixation of bumping up EPS from a person who originally did not measure success by a company s stock price On the other hand, the rise of KKR is well documented as the pioneers of LB [...]



  24. This is an amazing roller coaster of greed, selfishness, arrogance, lies, backstabbing, unlimited riches, dodgy schemes, abuse of power, and then, impossible though it seems, even greed In this world where only greed matters, you hope to find some heroes There aren t any Next you hope to at least find some decent people, not driven by greed There are very few in this story I found myself bewildered by all that happens and couldn t put the book down Barbarians at the gate tells the true story of [...]


  25. Zany account of the fall of an empire, and a good overview of the LBO Leveraged Buy Outs fad as it culminated in the largest sale in Wall Street history ooncerning RJR Nabisco stock in October and November of 1988, before fading into the next phase of financial restructuring My brain is still reeling while attempting to understand why intelligent people would trade PIK pay in kind junk bonds for other bonds, not involving cash or securities, that made these kind of private buyouts highly lucrati [...]


  26. Barbarians at the Gate is one of the eponymous books you have to read to get a sense of American capitalism in the 80s The book itself is a very daunting 541 page read which could scare off some.The version I read is a 20th Anniversary edition with a new afterword which puts things in perspective 20 years after the events that inspired it.The book is written in the form of a novel with vivid characterizations of the players of the drama.Some might find that disconcerting as these are real people [...]


  27. I re lived the the high drama that surrounded the Leveraged Buyout LBO of RJR Nabisco 25 years ago The authors have done a phenomenal job in researching all of the characters involved and lay it out in excruciating detail Whenever they introduced a new company or major character they went back several generations to lay the foundation for the story This made the book rather long 500 pages and towards the end, I was eager to see it through The cast of characters is like a Who s Who of Wall Street [...]


  28. This book appealed to my morbid curiosity It was like watching a train wreck I just couldn t tear my eyes away I was totally facinated by the raunchiness and greed of Ross Johnson I was blown away by the unfolding of the events in the last quarter of the book I think that it makes an interesting commentary on the social pcychology of bankers I loved it and I think that it is something that everyone going into business should read.It was in my husbands distribution box at school He was supposed t [...]


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