Street Fighters (Hardcover)

The Last 72 Hours of Bear Stearns, the Toughest Firm on Wall Street

By Kate Kelly

Portfolio Hardcover, 9781591842736, 256pp.

Publication Date: May 12, 2009

List Price: 25.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The shocking fall of Bear Stearns in March 2008 set off a wave of global financial turmoil that continues to ripple. How could one of the oldest, most resilient firms on Wall Street go so far astray that it had to be sold at a fire sale price? How could the guys who ran Bear so aggressively miscalculate so completely?

In this vivid and dramatic narrative, Kate Kelly takes us inside Bear's walls during its final, frenzied 72 hours as an independent firm. Expanding with fresh detail from her acclaimed front- page series in The Wall Street Journal, she captures every sight, sound, and smell of those three unbelievable days.

For decades, Bear had proudly recruited "P.S.Ds"- employees who were poor, smart, and had a deep desire to become rich. An elite family or Ivy League diploma didn't matter. Were you willing to do almost anything to make money for the firm? Were you tough enough to be a street fighter?

Bear's leaders were arrogant and didn't play nice. But their style had made them a fortune, and had helped Bear survive every crisis from the Great Depression to the dotcom bubble.

Yet as the subprime mortgage crisis began to brew, the firm's key executives descended into civil war. Kelly reveals fresh, never-before-told details about the moves that led to that brutal final weekend.

With a style as riveting as it is enlightening, Street Fighters is the definitive account of a once-great firm's demise, and the human folly that led to the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.

About the Author

Kate Kelly is a staff reporter for "The Wall Street Journal" and a former reporter for "Time" magazine and the "New York Observer." She attracted international attention for her three-part series of articles on Bear Stearns, which ran on the front pages of "The Wall Street Journal" in May 2008. This is her first book. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.