Perhaps the greatest of them all in the modern era.
The New York Times repots that Alan C. Greenberg, a risk-chasing Wall Street titan who built Bear Stearns into a global investment banking powerhouse and presided over its collapse as America slid toward a calamitous recession in 2008, died on Friday in Manhattan. He was 86.
The cause was complications of cancer, his son, Ted, said.
Greenberg’s nickname was 'Ace', and he kept a deck of cards on his desk, ready to deal. He was a champion bridge player, a magician who conjured coins with sleight of hand, a show-off who could whiz-bang a yo-yo, an adventurer who played pool with sharks and stalked game in Africa.
He was a cigar-chomping capitalist in shirt sleeves: balding, muscular, poker-faced — some said icy — and he enforced strict regimens among employees: no loafing or small talk, no big salaries but commissions based on performance, and no long meetings.
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