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Former Wall Street Banker, Award-Winning Author to Speak

Published: November 16, 2009

William D. Cohan, a former Wall Street senior banker and award-winning investigative reporter with knowledge and insight into the world’s current financial crisis, will be the featured speaker at the third annual CSULB Distinguished Speaker Series on Wednesday, Nov. 18, in the campus’ Carpenter Performing Arts Center.

Past speakers have included Michael Josephson, founder and president of the Joseph and Edna Josephson Institute of Ethics and one of the nation’s foremost ethics consultants to educational institutions, major corporations and government officials; and Seymour Hersh, widely acknowledged as the most influential and acclaimed investigative reporter of our time.

Cohan will speak on his most recent book, House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street, which was released in March. Doors to the event will open at 6 p.m. with the feature address beginning at 7:30 p.m. and a panel discussion to follow. There will be a book-signing opportunity at 9:30 p.m.

House of Cards talks about the collapse of Bear Stearns & Co., describing the last days of the company and its ensuing sale to JPMorgan Chase. The sale, at an outrageously low price, initiated the nation’s financial crisis in 2008. How and why the financial meltdown happened is the primary focus of the book.

Cohan worked on Wall Street for 17 years, including time at JPMorgan Chase. He served as an associate and then vice president at Lazard Fréres, was a director in mergers and acquisitions at Merrill Lynch and later a managing director at Chase. Before working on Wall Street, Cohan was an award-winning investigative newspaper reporter in Raleigh, N.C.

“With 17 years of experience as a banker on Wall Street, William Cohan offers audiences an insider’s point of view of this nation’s greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression,” said Art Levine, a professor of legal studies in business at CSULB and founder/director of the Distinguished Speaker Series. “His unique and close-up perspective combines his knowledge of the investment banking industry with his skills as a story-teller and investigative journalist.”

William D. Cohan
Photo Courtesy of William D. Cohan
William D. Cohan

Reserved tickets to the CSULB Speaker Series event are $45 ($40 with advanced purchase). Preferred seating is $60. A limited number of sponsor tickets are available at $100, which includes a sponsor reception and dinner with the speaker preceding the event.

For ticket or other information, visit the Web site at