Steve Friedman’s decision to quit as chairman of Goldman Sachs, in 1994, during one of its darkest hours, stunned and angered his partners. And despite Friedman’s maneuverings, it created a leadership crisis as the mismatched team of Jon Corzine (future New Jersey governor) and Henry Paulson (future Treasury secretary) took the helm. In an adaptation from his book on Goldman, William D. Cohan reveals how secret merger discussions put the expansive trader and the hardheaded banker on a collision course, setting the stage for the firm it would soon become.