There are humans behind the big, bad vilified banks, there are humans behind the calculations of Wall Street, there are humans behind all the legal and illegal financial machinations in the news--they are not always the best humans, and they are not always the worst humans, but All The Evil Of This World tells their stories with abundant curiosity, sympathy, and honesty.
On March 2nd, 2000, the technology company 3Com spun off its insanely profitable hand-held computer subsidiary, Palm. It was one of the most fascinatingly high profile and complex and bungled trades in history, but All The Evil Of This World isn’t about the millions and millions of dollars that instantly came into play, it’s about seven separate voices from seven separate individuals (an ambitious low-level clerk fresh out of school, a drug-addicted, party-throwing broker with bad taste and gross amounts of money, a seemingly infallible hedge fund manager tortured by his own good luck, to name a few) and the 3Com/Palm trade is what weaves their stories together. They all collide into it and out of it, and it sometimes unites them, implodes them, saves them, or destroys them.
This book is not for the faint of heart—these characters are just as troubled and intense and volatile as their surroundings, and the writing pulls not a single punch—but it’s an unrelenting examination into a cast of characters that I think we rarely examine fairly or patiently, and who we often find it easy to dehumanize. The people who inhabit this world aren't cartoon heroes or villains--as it turns out, people who happen to handle large amounts of money for a living--are just people, with shortcomings, just like you and I.