Michael E. Tennenbaum

Book cover image

Narrated By: Adam Grupper

Duration: 13 hours and 8 minutes

What to expect

Risk-taker Michael E. Tennenbaum has contributed mightily to American financial institutions, business, and society. A financier, adventurer, and philanthropist, in his debut book, Risk: Living on the Edge, he delivers intriguing insider details on how “impossible” deals are completed, along with an inspiring guide to applying risk-taking successfully to your business and personal life.

Tennenbaum takes us behind the scenes at Bear Stearns, illuminating the end of that great American success story as never before disclosed. He imparts insights from investment banking, risk arbitrage, and options; how he employed risk to achieve competitive advantage after leaving Bear Stearns and starting his own firms; the inner machinations of his high-stakes deals; and the backstory to innovations he created.

A daredevil who feeds sharks and swims with humpback whales, who has lifted off from an aircraft carrier, descended in a nuclear submarine, trained with the US Navy SEALs, taken the Olympic bobsled run in Innsbruck, and driven an elephant in the Mekong River, Tennenbaum describes his theory of risk as the compelling force of some people’s lives and the trait that drives visionary pioneers toward their unending accomplishments.

He shares strategies on applying boldness and challenging the status quo to seize opportunities, face struggles that pay off, manage mistakes, and give back to one’s community. Listening to Risk, you get to walk in the shoes of an unpredictable, very successful self-made man who follows his own path. Applying personal tales of pushing limits and his experiences with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Smithsonian Institution, Harvard Business School, and the Joffrey Ballet, among other firms and cultural institutions, he demonstrates how to reach greater heights of performance, achievement, and contentment.

Risk is a fascinating look at financial industry management, non-profits and how to help them grow, civic projects and how to combat inertia, and one man’s craving to move the needle of social progress.


Advice on careers and achieving success, Finance, Personal finance, Management accounting and bookkeeping

Listen to a sample

“Innovators see opportunity in doing things differently. But to be successful, they have to understand risk. Michael Tennenbaum’s Risk is chock full of examples of new ways to look at the world. It’s a helpful reminder that the key to living on the edge is about asking the right questions and forcing yourself out of your comfort zone.”

Steve Case, chairman, the Case Foundation; co-founder, AOL; and author of The Third Wave, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller

“You will have so much fun and learn so much about how creative finance and securities markets really work in this candid, action-packed book that you will wish it were much longer.”

Charles D. Ellis, founder of Greenwich Associates, former Yale University investment committee chair, director of the Vanguard Group, and author of Winning the Loser's Game

“If you don’t live on the edge, you are using up too much space. Michael Tennenbaum is the epitome of this approach and shows us all how to live a full, successfully productive life by always going to the edge.”

Franz Weber, six-time consecutive world speed skiing champion

“An exciting, interesting, and important book…a towering positive example of what one good person can accomplish in this life. This special book presents an outstanding learning experience for all of us.”