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addabook - Liar's Poker
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Liar's Poker
Michael Lewis
read on February 21, 2010

This book is full of some really fantastic quotes. It's a hilarious look into a bond salesman's world in the late 80's, and also provides great insight on how mismanaged Salomon Brothers was at that time. More than anything the book just describes the firm's downfall from this rookie salesman's perspective, and it's tough to watch.. but also, like I said, hilarious.

I could probably write on for a ways about the book, but I'll just put in my favorite quote from it and let that speak for itself.

"Uuuuuhhhhhhhhh," he continued, in a slightly different key. He began to hyperventilate into the phone.

And you want to know how I felt? I should have felt guilty, of course, but guilt was not the first identifiable sensation to emerge from my exploding brain. Relief was. I had told him the news. He was shouting and moaning. And that was it. That was all he could do. Shout and moan. That was the beauty of being a middleman, which I did not appreciate until that moment. The customer suffered. I didn't. He wasn't going to kill me. He wasn't even going to sue me. I wasn't going to lose my job. On the contrary, I was a minor hero at Salomon for dumping a sixty-thousand-dollar loss in someone else's pocket.


Lastly, I'll just say that Michael Lewis has another book coming out very soon called The Big Short, (which I'm very much looking forward to- it's about the recent calamity), and I'm not sure if it's because of the press for that book or what but all of a sudden Lewis is everywhere. And I don't mean on TV- in the few weeks since I've finished this book I've come across references to it all over the place (eg, "big swinging dicks" in Boiler Room). Anyway, I've just realized that it's an extremely influential book- so I'm disappointed it took me this long to figure that out and read it.

Author Bio:

Michael Monroe Lewis (born October 15, 1960) is an American non-fiction author and financial journalist. His bestselling books include Liar's Poker (1989), The New New Thing (2000), Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (2003), The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game (2006), Panic (2008), Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood (2009), The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (2010), Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World (2011) and Flash Boys (2014). He has also been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 2009. His most recent book is called The Undoing Project. Lewis was born in New Orleans to corporate lawyer J. Thomas Lewis and community activist Diana Monroe Lewis. He attended the college preparatory Isidore Newman School in New Orleans. He then attended Princeton University where he received a BA degree (cum laude)[1] in Art History in 1982 and was a member of the Ivy Club. He went on to work with New York art dealer Daniel Wildenstein. He enrolled in the London School of Economics, and received his MA degree in Economics in 1985. Lewis was hired by Salomon Brothers and moved to New York for their training program. He worked at its London office as a bond salesman. He resigned to write Liar's Poker and became a financial journalist.