New book takes an inside look at BofA and Wachovia's tumultuous recent past
Hearing about a new book on the banking crisis didn’t sell us at first. (We’ve heard enough already, it seemed.) But once we were wrapped up in the behind-closed-doors drama of Banktown: The Rise and Struggle of Charlotte’s Big Banks (John F. Blair, September 2010), we realized that sitting down with this tale of two banks is an investment worth making. Author Rick Rothacker, a business reporter for the Observer since 1998, recently released this coming-of-age tragedy about Bank of America and Wachovia. His journalistic style lets readers be flies on the wall during the handshake that sealed the merger of First Union and Wachovia, and takes us to the cathartic press conference at which Ken Lewis revealed his sudden retirement. While the insider’s glimpse into the sky-rocket success and collapse of the illustrious banks reminds us of the Queen City’s deflated financial dynasty, it’s clear that Rothacker’s insight and story-spinning prowess really are too big to fail.