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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read for a finance novice too!
I picked up this book as it is highly popular among investment bankers. I am not an investment banker and do not intend to be one but I was keen to find out what makes Wall Street special. The book not only satisfied my curiosity but also was pleasantly amusing.
The author traces the glorious and gloomy times of Salomon Brothers, a big financial enterprise in which...
Published on June 21 2004 by Joan Valentine

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sheds light on traders, but not Wall Street in general
My expectations of this book were perhaps mislead. I thought that this would deal with more the generalized view of Wall Street. However, it really concentrates on the lives of traders.
Lewis does shed some light on Wall Street trading in general, including a good description of mortgage trading and junk bond trading. However, this book sort of throws it into the...
Published on Aug. 16 2003 by sporkdude


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read for a finance novice too!, June 21 2004
This review is from: Liar's Poker (Paperback)
I picked up this book as it is highly popular among investment bankers. I am not an investment banker and do not intend to be one but I was keen to find out what makes Wall Street special. The book not only satisfied my curiosity but also was pleasantly amusing.
The author traces the glorious and gloomy times of Salomon Brothers, a big financial enterprise in which he worked long enough to be able to tell this tale and become a rich man. He explains some financial innovations of Salomon brother's in lay man's terms, which makes this book very readable for all.
The author's self-deprecating humor and his vivid analysis of the people he came across in his organization make the account entertaining.
Whether or not the author's opinions on technical matters in this book are meritorious-I am not qualified to say. If you are a finance novice and curious to find out about life in that universe, you will find this book worthwhile.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remember the Savings & Loans debacle?, May 26 2004
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This review is from: Liar's Poker (Paperback)
This is the author's coming of age story, set in the world of investment banking in the 1980s. As a growth and wisdom book, it's pretty good, but it's really a non-fiction version of Tom Wolf's Bonfire of the Vanities. Of course what makes it interesting is that Michael Lewis came of age by successfully trading bonds for Solomon Brothers.
Among other aspects of the firm, LP describes Solomon's Mortgage Bonds department, its influence over the savings and loans, and the effect of Fed Chairman Paul Volker's 1981 decision to let interest rates float. Lewis does a brilliant job of explaining how this lead to S&L's selling their mortgages in order to fund investments in higher yield securities.
Here's the catch: Liar's Poker appeared before the S&L debacle but it laid out all the signs needed to predict the disaster to come.
Much of the hand wringing over S&Ls in the early 90's could maybe have been avoided if the warnings given in this book had been acted upon. To be fair, the warnings are clear but they are implicit. Lewis never actually projects the current state of the S&L industry into the future, even if he does mention that the basic problem with mortgages (short term funding of long term loans) is not solved.
Good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sheds light on traders, but not Wall Street in general, Aug. 16 2003
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sporkdude "sporkdude" (San Jose, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Liar's Poker (Paperback)
My expectations of this book were perhaps mislead. I thought that this would deal with more the generalized view of Wall Street. However, it really concentrates on the lives of traders.
Lewis does shed some light on Wall Street trading in general, including a good description of mortgage trading and junk bond trading. However, this book sort of throws it into the mix. I wasn't sure what Lewis was trying to do. Sometimes it felt like a history book, sometimes a biography, sometimes an economics lesson, sometimes a comedy. It felt haphazard and lacked direction, and with the writing style presented, it lacked a certain amount of fluidity.
It was fun to learn the different people in Wall Street. From the obese, abusive traders, the short sighted and greedy executives, the brown nosers, to the "back row" trainees. It's basically a fun little description of office life at Solomon Brothers in the eighties, not an exciting expose on the finance industry as the cover would like you to believe.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little melodramatic, but still a classic, Dec 8 2003
This review is from: Liar's Poker (Paperback)
Michael Lewis's ten-year-old account of his two-year stint as a bond salesman at Salomon Brothers has become a literary classic in the world of finance, and has probably stroked aspirations in more Wall Street-bound MBAs than any other book. I know many an individual who, after reading the book, become so enamored with the culture described therein that they take it upon themselves to act like the "human piranha" or any of the other clownish characters from the book.
Having worked on Wall Street in various client-facing capacities over the years, especially as a trader with a volatile fund, I feel the book is a bit over melodramatic and over-sensational. Are there such personas on Wall Street? Absolutley. In fact the real people on Wall Street -- the traders, the whiteshoe i-bankers, the jewish deal-makers and deal-breakers -- can be even meaner, nastier than Lewis describes. But the clownish characters he creates are probably more fiction than real. Still, his observation that most traders have huge egos and are among the most despicable human beings (despite their MBAs, Ph.D.s, or MDs) to ever walk on earth, is deadly accurate. The constant politicking is captured vividly by the author, although, again, his writing seems to border on fiction quite often.
Don't take me wrong; I think this is a must-read for anyone interested in how Wall Street breathes and works. Lewis does a fine job at exposing the disgusting nature of greed, the only thing that feeds Wall Street's daily existence.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing read for any market enthusiast, July 13 2013
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Lewis shows the ins and outs of a company at its peak and at its demise... Amazing read and turned out to be a real page turner. Would defiantly recommend this to anyone who has interest in the markets. Very easy read as well!
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5.0 out of 5 stars for sure a great read, June 22 2013
Really great book a must read for all traders or wanna be traders.....you'll know if u still wanna be.....or is it just the money
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4.0 out of 5 stars Looking under the covers at a Wall Street firm., April 5 2013
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This review is from: Liars Poker (Hardcover)
Michael gives the reader an inside look at one firm on Wall St. The story is not new: greed, power, money. It never changes. This look from the 1980's does lay some of the ground work for what happened in 2008. Of course Michael would not have realized it when he wrote this book. You may have your opinions of how the Street opporates, this just confirms how one firm went about their daily activities from the view point of a rookie working his way into and up the success ladder at a major Wall Street Firm.
Easy read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and Wicked, March 31 2013
This review is from: Liar's Poker (Paperback)
I highly recommend the audio version read by Michael Lewis.

This is the funniest book ever written about trading. It is autobiographical, yet captures the atmosphere and the personalities of the era. The 1980's and 1990's were crazy years and Michael Lewis manages to take a snapshot in time.

An absolute classic...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Different story about the financial street, March 19 2013
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This review is from: Liar's Poker (Paperback)
I love Michael Lewis books. Well researched, well written with a touch of humor. All his books are a must
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite Book About Wall Street, June 22 2011
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S. Ghavami (Vancouver, BC CANADA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Liar's Poker (Paperback)
Care for an insight into the world of greedy Wall Street Investment Bankers of the 1980s? If the answer is yes, then this is definitely the book for you.
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Liar's Poker
Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis (Paperback - March 2 2010)
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