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We unpack all the forces that led to this crisis and our host will ask whether we are at risk of a repetition we're joined by william cohen he's a former investment banker and author of the book house of cards that's a conical at the bear stearns collapse in joining him is david wessel former economics editor at the wall street journal and now a senior fellow at the brookings institution moderating this program is my co host ray suarez this program is made possible each week by the generous support of chevron and the draper richards kaplan foundation and now to race juarez and gentlemen great to have you with us this hour william cohen for people who were maybe collateral damage people who were passive witnesses people who were experiencing this through newspaper and tv coverage let's go back ten years what was their sterns well they're stearns was one of the five premier investment banks in this country founded in the nineteen twenties was basically almost ninety years old had never had a losing quarter in its history it had been public since one thousand nine hundred eighty six and was one of the leading a underwriters of mortgage backed securities had huge fixed income division and was sort of known as a swashbuckling kind of irreverent wall street firm not quite as blue chip as goldman sachs or morgan stanley and therefore always looking to get an advantage be scrappy earlier and had a habit of making a lot of money who were its customers i mean had had many of the same customers that all firms had it didn't have quite as many corporate blue chip customers that had a lot of hedge fund customers had a lot of trading counterparts did a lot of work with a media and technology and real estate companies i think even occasionally dabbled with donald trump so i mean i it was part of the second tier i would say of wall street investment banks but you know very successful made a lot of money i made a lot of people very wealthy and played an important role on wall street david wessel so much has happened since then so i feel like we have to sort of feel in the picture before we turn our gaze forward.