When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management

Published 03 May 2017

Roger Lowenstein is a well-known business enthusiast and writer of different business-oriented books that are primarily a self-help orientation for early business entrepreneurs who are still new to the field. The expressive manner of the author in terms of presenting his ideas has made it certain that capitalism and its management is one of the key elements that are presented through the fields of business development and improvement in the said industry. Furthermore, it could be observed that the approach of the author has been focused on the particulars of the business primarily the finances and the management that the administrations are placing on the said assets of the organizations.

Content and Summary

The primary content of the book is focused on the finances of the business and the way that they are being managed by the administration. Financial resources are one of the most important resources for a business entity. This is mainly because this resource can actually be used in the acquisition and mobilization of most of the other valuable supplies for the business namely the work force and the land and building. In addition, the financial aspect of the business entity can also be used for expansion purposes, increasing of production and development of the business itself.

Some of the primary sources of the financial aspect of the business entity are its investments or capital and its profit. Capitals sources are mainly for long-term usage because these are equity in nature however, financial profits are very useful due to the main fact that most of it are liquid assets thus they are easily convertible and used. Nevertheless, for expansion purposes, more capital is very much needed thus the business entity must resort to other sources such as debt and equity instruments.

Debt instruments are mainly financial sources that are borrowed from other sources such as other enterprises or financial institutions with specific agreements enticed with it. Debt instruments can also vary from its market nature such as either liquefied money or physical assets, which are both invested into the business entity to increase its financial resources. In addition, debt instruments can vary from either with a long-term or short-term agreement with regards to its payment and maturity. Most long-term debt instruments are corporate bonds or loans while for short-term there are the commercial papers and certificates of deposit. In this financial instruments, the debtor has the options to either utilize the debt or can also sell it to others to gain profits thus making the debtor entity to also be creditor.

On the other hand, equity instrument is another financial instrument where the business entity will resort to selling or crediting their assets or business equity to gain profit with the accumulated interest. In this option, one of the most valuably used items are the stock securities and/or stock options. However, this method is continuously monitored and controlled by the business entity because unrestrained selling of equity stocks can result to seizure of the equity of the business with regards to the owned percentage of claim by the buyer or buyers.

Both of these instruments are done with considerable and valuable agreements concerning their payment methods and interest. For the equity instrument, the business can draw additional financial resources from the agreed interest in the transaction and in the debt instrument, the business entity can use the loaned asset to fund development projects which are beyond the present financial capacity of the business entity. Because of which, using debt instrument is a more reliable option for a business entity that is expanding its operation because the resources are easily acquired in this transaction.

Business process is obviously and evidently cyclical in nature where the assets or the business entity is invested to undergo production and then produce profits which will be then added again to the business equity to be reinvested again to generate more profits. For purposes of expansion and business developments, more assets must be invested to fund the increase in the resource demand of the production process thus the business entity must resort to other financial instrument to cope up with the necessity which is either using debt instruments or equity instruments.

Businesses, whether small-scale or large scale, need to face the challenges of becoming successful in the future. Indeed, through the implementation of the different elements of success in the business operations, it could be expected that the business group could attain the best possible results for its system and its people within the years of its operation. It could be noted that taking care of the concerns of the people force affects most of the organizational operations that brings success to the entire business.

A Reflection on the Reading

The main reason behind aiming for a larger market is to primarily gain a higher rate of revenue from the target clients of the company. To be able to do so, the importance of putting effort in creating possibilities by which the company could increase the value of the quality of their end-products and at the same time increase the value of the said produced items is indeed necessary. What are the examples of the said values? One is quality, another is practicality and third [as of tailoring jobs] the presentation of the end-products. The fact that the organization aims to serve their clients at the best way possible for them to do so, the administrations should see to it that the company members understand of this stress on the quality production that is aimed by the organization. Once the quality control of the end-products is heightened, it could be expected that the employees would be more careful of what they are primarily producing for their clients. In turn, a better reputation could be earned by the organization thus giving them the chance to demand for larger value of monetary returns from the clients that they serve. The demand that they are to place upon the shoulders should be reasonable enough for paying, if not, the effective distribution of the products or even inviting of the clients would not be truthfully applied at all.

Administrational Learning

Upon understanding of the suggestion written herein, it could be expected that the administration would put further appreciation of the employee’s efforts thus motivating them to create more productive and effective changes of dealing with the business operations of the organization. By doing so, they are not only increasing the possibilities of increasing the quality of their products but also increasing the capability of the organization to build up a reputation that is considerably inviting to a new expanded market that the organization shall serve.

(C) Identifying the opportunities for reduced cost

The “cost” being referred to in this section of the discussion certainly entails the organization in finding ways by which the production expenses that they spend on every fulfillment of client order that the complete be reduced in such a reasonable way that the company’s organization would be made possible of taking more orders and sending them in high quality results without actually spending too much on the projects. Through this, the company is sure to gain a higher rate of revenue from the business operations that they pursue. Doing so shall also increase the capabilities of the organization in producing more items that are appointed to them because of being resourceful enough in using their materials the best way that they could. Doing so would really challenge the capabilities of the employees in retaining the quality of the products while using a little bit lesser than the usual amount of the resources that they used to utilize in finishing their projects. However, as challenging as it may seem, this particular requirement shall also then be a guide for the administration to follow which in many ways would help them discover better potentials of their employees in making the said procedure possible.

Administrational Learning

As leaders of the company, the administrative sectors should use this particular situation and requirement of business success in finding great alternatives to the materials that they are currently using. Not compromising the quality of the products completed by the company while lowering the costs of the resources used for business completion is certainly not an easy task to deal with. Certainly, the administration then should find a way by which to train their employees in becoming more innovative as well as resourceful in their job so that no material is being used in an unreasonable procedure.


  • Roger Lowenstein. (2001). When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management. Random House Trade Paperbacks.
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