- File Size: 695 KB
- Print Length: 313 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (March 15, 2010)
- Publication Date: March 15, 2010
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003E20ZRY
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,988 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Liar's Poker (Norton Paperback) Reprint Edition, Kindle Edition
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"Lewie would say he thought the market was going up, and buy a hundred million [dollars’ worth of] bonds. The market would start to go down. So Lewie would buy two billion more bonds, and of course, the market would then go up."
Accounts like these make this story--the story of the U.S. Housing market far more interesting than one may assume a finance book might be. In addition to the mortgage department, Lewis discusses the incentive compensation system at Salomon (where Traders and managers could make millions per year) and some of the events that caused Salomon to lose its competitive advantage to the likes of Michael Milken (Drexel Junk Bonds) and other investment banks.
This book is a great inside look into Wall Street and for anyone in the finance industry, a must read.
Yes, Liar's Poker was the game back in the day. I remember a "going away" party for one of our guys who was transferring from our offices at 60 Broad Street to mid-town - we were at Michael's 2, near the Battery and had about 15-20 of us there all seated at a long table on the left side of the restaurant. A couple of us at my end of the table started playing Liar's Poker, and soon at least a dozen of us were in the game. Yes, we were somewhat obvious and probably somewhat loud - the game started to attract attention - guys from other companies siting at other tables started wandering over and tried to get in the game - at that point the management came over and asked that we stop the game for the sake of their liquor license. Everybody loved Liar's Poker.
This book catches the atmosphere of that period and points out some of the flaws in the financial system that was in place back then. Many of those same flaws still exist today.
A good read for the historical perspective, and a warning for all customers of financial services.
On more than one occasion, I had to stop reading because I was laughing so hard, wondering, "Did he really say that?! Wow! Are there really people like that?!" My early life in Manhattan, right after college was an adventure, but a mild one compared to the stories in this book.
Top international reviews
The anecdotes of misvalued bonds, the aggressive culture of Salomons, the short-termism and the dumping of unwanted bonds onto unsuspecting clients indicate that our capital markets are not as they should be. However, the stories are presented in such an amusing style that the reader can at least laugh about the problem. Read it and laugh, even if you should be crying.
It will affirm the belief that the traders are as bad as crooks and astound you at the amazing stupidity of human nature of the customer as they come back for more.
In an accessible way and with a sense of humor, Michael Lewis describes the culture and the mentality of Salomon Brothers at the time, as well as some major events (the creation and the early years of the mortgage bond and the junk bond markets) that went on to shape the financial sector in the following two decades.
It's educational and fun to read and I would recommend it to anyone interested in understanding what led to the 1987 market crash as well as the foundation of what ultimately led to the 2007-2008 financial crisis.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Big Short which was fabulous: both intellectually stimulating and emotionally compelling as a dramatic read.
However this one simply read as a very dry history with only brief moments of interest occurring only as and when the author turned his attention to an autobiographical perspective.
I can see this being a useful research summary for somebody interested in a cultural history of finance but you'd have to be super motivated to plough through it.
Money makes the world go round however morally,immorally and here amorally it is created
The problem is that in this world money is the bottom line and in it people don’t matter
Unfortunately the only alternative tried up to now doesn’t work.
A must read for everyone