Liar’s Poker, by Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis said that he wrote Liar’s Poker so that fewer idealistic college kids would dream of working on Wall Street. That is not to be believed. He makes Wall Street seem far too glamourous.

He could have filled the book with the miseries of working at your desk for 16 hours a week. Instead he made it about working in London, about making fun of trainees in hilarious ways, and about making piles and piles of cash. You get amazing stories here. Who can forget the amazing put-down: “Equities in Dallas!”

There are so many vivid characters. You feel that they’re clever, and mean, but not necessarily evil. Most of them seem superbly intelligent.

Lewis is a dazzling writer. Here are my favorite lines.

To succeed on the Salomon Brothers trading floor a person had to wake up each morning “ready to bite the ass off a bear.”

Continue reading