A book by Michael Lewis< read all 4 reviews
Liar's Poker is Michael Lewis's account of his brief time spent working at Salomon Brothers, one of the premier trading firms of the 1980s. The book follows the author's quick ascent in the company at a time of unprecedented profit and excess. Throughout the book, Lewis serves as the only real "constant" in the environment as we experience the unnaturally quick growth and evolution of the Salomon money-making machine. His tale of immense wealth and undeserved gain is a bit unsettling, but Lewis's tone and subtle wit are hilarious throughout.
Thanks to his status as a relative outsider of the financial world, Lewis has a viewpoint that few others in the industry would be able to provide. The book begins with a description of the game "Liar's Poker" in which well-paid executives wager high sums of money as they bet and bluff on the serial numbers of bills in front of them. The basic skills needed in the game - bluffing, lying, and greed - serve as common themes throughout the book.
As relevant as it was at the time of publication, right now may be a better time than ever to pick up Liar's Poker. Amidst our nation's current disgust and outcry against the hyper-salaries of CEOs and decision makers, the book shows that Wall Street's greed and fortune are not new developments by any means.
I would recommend this book to anyone with a financial interest or background, or any readers just interested in the outrageous fortunes generated on Wall Street at the time. A deep understanding of bond valuation or financial methodology is not needed; the author makes sure to explain any topics necessary for the comprehension of the material. Lewis's sarcastic analysis manages to stay entertaining and highly thoughtful at the same time.
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