In it, he shows how greed, cunning and sloppy regulation came together to fleece the U.S. taxpayer of around $600 billion to bail out S&Ls that had clearly acted imprudently.
Bankers and banking are Mr. Mayer's specialties, kicking off with 1974's "The Bankers" and updating that with 1997's "The Bankers: The Next Generation." In it, he shows how technology, a mere undercurrent in his earlier book, has revolutionized banking, forever altering how banks get money to lend and find customers to borrow it. The book also explains how the trend pushes technical people such as Citicorp CEO John Reed (a graduate of MIT) to the top ranks of U.S. banking. Mr. Mayer also shows how banking has been influenced by megamergers and business globalization.
Mr. Mayer has churned out 29 books and novels. His prolific efforts extend beyond banking to books about Madison Avenue, schools, lawyers, television, Wall Street, even the Metropolitan Opera and Luciano Pavarotti.