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The Zeroes: My Misadventures in the Decade Wall Street Went Insane Hardcover – June 29, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover; First Edition, 1st Printing edition (June 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591843294
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591843290
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,360,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Captivating...the perfect prism to view the larger picture of what was happening across the financial canvas during those sky's-the-limit years."
-USA Today

"An extremely well-written book, a hard-to-put-down cocktail of small business mishaps and gigantic Wall Street egos."
-Forbes

"A circle of characters that could have come straight out of a potboiler...vivid."
-Bloomberg

"Great book!"
-Joe Scarborough, "Morning Joe"

"If a hustling Candide had told the story of the Great Wall Street Meltdown, it might read something like this book."
-The Wall Street Journal

"Anyone who wants to understand Wall Street's insanity should read this book."
-MarketWatch

"A delicious, salacious recounting of Wall Street's bloated decade ...marvelously readable."
-BusinessWeek

"Lane makes no excuses for the era. But the color he extracts makes for lively beach reading."
-Fortune

"A remarkable story."
-Forbes.com

"Entertaining."
-The Financial Times

"What Michael Lewis did for '80s traders in Liar's Poker, Randall Lane has now done for trader rock stars of The Zeroes. You will be stunned by the craziness and cautioned by the consequences."
-Jack Covert, 800-CEO-Read

"The stuff of sublime farce that could happen only in a time and place "when the obscene becomes normal," as Lane observes.
-Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair

"Absolutely brilliant."
-Tina Brown

About the Author

Randall Lane is a journalist and entrepreneur. As CEO and editor in chief of Doubledown Media, he founded or relaunched six magazines, including Trader Monthly, Dealmaker, and Private Air. Before that, he cofounded P.O.V. magazine, which was Adweek's "Startup of the Year." A National Magazine Award finalist, he has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Daily Beast and is a former Washington bureau chief for Forbes. He lives in New York City with his wife and daughters.


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Customer Reviews

I had to listen again to make sure I heard it right.
Joanne M. Friedman
Usually a book of this scope is not well written, but Lane is an exceptionally colorful writer.
Judy
I bought this book yesterday afternoon and spent the entire night until 4 am reading it.
Melvile

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By d&p on July 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this book--it is a fun read, and you'll learn a lot too about the nexus of entrepreneurialism and Wall Street. And, if you don't like non-fiction, just read it as if it is a novel...it is that well-written and easy to read! Randall Lane has done a marvelous job of capturing the phenomenon of financial and business bubbles, not only on Wall Street but in entrepreneurialism as well. The Zeroes is a thriller of a book, it reads like a novel, its story--though true--feels like fiction, with well-drawn characters, extreme in personality, risk-taking aggressiveness and ambition. Anyone who has or hopes to start a business - selling your business idea, attracting trustable partners, enticing paying customers, finding reliable and continuous funding--will find Lane's tale an excellent and easily-read primer on how to do so, and how difficult, disruptive and crazy it can be. What Lane does so well is to tie together Wall Street's latest over-investment bubble (ie, over-investing in real estate via packages of securitized mortgages) with the celebritized magazine business that he was attempting to build on the coattails of the Wall Street high-rollers and high-spenders who created--and benefitted from--that bubble. Highly recommended!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Melvile on July 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book yesterday afternoon and spent the entire night until 4 am reading it. This book manages to put the entire horrific decade in perspective. It is a really great read by a journalist/publisher who was in the middle of it all, but not rich himself. But he got caught up in the greed, and the desire to make a fortune and was destroyed financially along with so many of us. And he admits it. But man can Lane write. It's like being a fly on the wall in the homes of financial wizards, movie stars, athletes and artists. I was appalled but fascinated. And disgusted that it keeps going even after the decade of the Zeroes. Maybe there's a morality tale to be learned.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Judy on July 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Zeroes has an incredible number of anecdotes and stories of people in and out of the financial world. John Travolta, Al Gore, John McCain, Diana Ross, Peter Max for starters. Usually a book of this scope is not well written, but Lane is an exceptionally colorful writer. I couldn't put the book down!
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Brian Dawson on July 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As the title says, highly entertaining -- on the other hand, I worked at Doubledown for its entire existence, so I'm biased. Then again, everyone's biased about Randall Lane these days, in one direction or another. I started the book not knowing what to expect; I stayed up late for a week to finish it. It's extremely readable, often quite funny and very illuminating both about the perils of running a small business you're rapidly trying to make bigger and about a extremely peculiar period in the financial history of the U.S. Take my sentiments with the requisite skepticism. But if you want an insightful potted history of a very bizarre economic decade whose excesses we will be dealing with for a long, long time, "The Zeroes" would not be a bad place to start. Doubledown Media as metaphor for Wall Street idiocy in the 2000s: Hey, I was there. Works for me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Spell VINE VOICE on December 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just an exceptional, professionally written book! This is a take on the recession from the person in a unique position to observe the investment bankers who he believes were the primary cause. Yes, I say this as 25 year investment banker. The author runs magazines specializing in selecting the Top Traders in the world and later Top Dealmakers. The book also covers his foray into Private Air of which I had read a few times. Of course with clients like this, sellers of luxury items were his biggest advertisers. Quite a few opulent parties are described where it becomes clear that he has hit an exceptional idea but the question is whether he can build the volume quickly enough to achieve an 8 figure valuation or whether the negative cash flow will eventually kill the business.

And this is really the secret of the book. As he describes his struggle to keep the company afloat and take on more leverage just as his subjects have taken on massive debt, the outcome becomes the same in the massive recession. But it isn't just companies that go out of business. The overtly confident/cocky traders are also overleveraged with many suffering humiliating fates due to their high spending habits.

Names are named and unique stories are told. Of interest is the famous artist who agrees to paint the top traders and hopefully sell the painting to them for $140,000. It quickly becomes clear that these gentlemen are either cheap or true to their "trader" title, feel they must always negotiate a lower price. Pure comedy!

I must also comment on the diversity of reviews. Since so many people were hurt in this company there are quite a few with comments on what a terrible person the author is and how his story is self serving.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Steve on July 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have worked on Wall Street and in Publishing so I have crossed many a path with Randall as well as the players in the book. This is a highly enjoyable and very accurate read. If you want a glimpse into the silliness of Wall street and the challenges of publishing, then there is no better book.
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