At the height of the 2008 financial crisis, Mr. Lawrence McDonald wrote a book on the fall of Lehman Brothers, A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers. In his book, Larry details his experience working as Vice President at Lehman Brothers and provides a behind-the-scenes look on why one of the most prominent investment banks failed. The book is a risk manager’s guide to all the right and wrong moves, and explains why investors must stay ahead of policy moves coming out of Washington and Europe. Published in 2009 by Random House, Colossal Failure hit the New York Times Best Seller’s list in its first five days on the bookshelves, and is now considered one of the bestselling business books in the world. Colossal Failure is now translated into 12 different languages.
As one of the leading risk managers and bond traders today, Larry is a frequent guest contributor on Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox Business and the Huffington Post.
Larry is a highly regarded political policy risk consultant to hedge funds, family offices, asset managers and high net worth investors. His 17 Lehman risk indicators help investors get in front of painful risk off trades in the global markets.
Larry’s skill set is unique. He has taken billion risks on a trading floor, and is a world-class European & Washington policy risk analyzer. At Lehman Brothers, he was consistently one of the most profitable traders at the firm.
Notably is Larry’s involvement as special advisor to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC), created by Congress in 2009 to investigate the causes, domestic and global, of the economic and financial crisis in the United States.
Additionally, Mr. McDonald has participated in three major financial crisis documentaries: Sony Pictures Academy Award winning documentary the Inside Job, BBC‘s The Love of Money and CBC‘s House of Cards.
Global Lecture Tour
Since publishing Colossal Failure, Larry has delivered over 44 keynote speeches in 17 different countries, speaking at Banks, Investment Firms, Conferences, Law Firms, Insurance Companies and Universities. In his speech, Larry details the complexities of Lehman Brothers, why it was allowed to fail, and the aftershocks that have rocked the global economy that continue today. He provides an insightful look into the future of the global economy and assesses the current situation of the European debt crisis. With nearly 25 years of experience working on Wall Street, Larry explains the early market warning signs of the 2008 financial crisis and priceless risk management lessons learned from both Lehman Brothers and MF Global. Larry’s speaking topics include Risk Management, MF Global, Lehman Brothers, European Debt Crisis, Repo Markets, Corporate Governance, Sustainability, & Financial Reform. From 2004- 2008, Larry was Vice President of Distressed Debt and Convertible Securities Trading at Lehman Brothers. He ran an extremely successful joint venture between the firm’s fixed income and equity division. Larry was considered one of the most profitable traders, leading his team into betting against the subprime mortgage crisis. Larry was an integral part within Lehman Brothers who tried in vain to prevent the firm from collapsing.
“Larry is one of the best traders I ever had the priviledge of working with on Wall Street. His integrity, honesty and insight into equity and debt markets make him a rare breed. Not only was Larry a great person, but he had common sense which is surprisingly uncommon! If Larry McDonald was running Lehman, the firm would still be around today. I strongly recommend his book to anyone who’d like to learn how corporate culture destroyed a 150 year old firm, and how to safeguard against inadequate controls.” – Larry McCarthy, Former Global Head of High Yield and Distressed Trading at
Prior to Lehman Brothers
Mr. McDonald was Co-Founder and COO of ConvertBond.com, a website coined by Forbes Magazine as “Best of the Web” from 2000-2003 as the World Wide Web’s premier source for convertible securities information with news, valuation, terms, and analysis tools for convertible securities. In October 1999, the website was successfully sold to Morgan Stanley where it remains property of the firm.
Larry began his career working as a successful retail financial adviser helping individual investors build wealth, starting with Merrill Lynch in 1990 and then moving to Citigroup’s Smith Barney division.
Currently, Mr. McDonald has been focused on consulting, and writing his second book.