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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remember the Savings & Loans debacle?, May 26 2004
By 
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
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, March 20 2011
By 
B.H (BC, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Liars Poker (Hardcover)
It is an enjoyable read. It should be no surprise to people who have read other books by Michael Lewis, that he tells a story with humor and is just a great storyteller in general. Poker's Liar is another one of those books. Though sometimes I get the impression that he goes over the top or exaggerates in the language he uses in this book. All in all I would still recommend it, though I enjoyed "The Big Short" more, this one is still pretty good. The book takes you inside the organizational culture of an Investment Bank "Salomon Brothers", which Michael Lewis had worked, as a Bond Salesmen. The book is quite descriptive, interesting and really gives you a feel of what it is like to be a Bond trader or salesmen at that firm during the 1980s, however it is not very informative if you are looking to learn some Finance from reading this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Inside View Of Wallstreet, June 8 2009
By 
Patrick Sullivan (Kingston, Ont. Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Liar's Poker (Paperback)
I read this book back when it was a best seller. Lewis gives us a great insight into the world of Salomon Brothers. In the 1980s Salomon Brothers and their bond traders were at the top Wall Street. The head of Salomon, John Gutfreund was considered the King of Wall Street. John Meriwether the chief bond trader, was the master of the universe. Early in the book Gutfreund challenges Meriwether to a million dollar game of liar`s poker.You become instantly gripped, by what is happening at Salomon Brothers. The message that Lewis is trying to relay, is that Wall Street was growing into a monster. Years later, Meriwether was involved with a multi billion dollar failure at Long Term Capital Management.
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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
By 
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An amusing memoir, no more, Sept. 28 2002
By 
Charents (Paris, France) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Liar's Poker (Paperback)
While Lewis does a fine job as he writes a personal memoir of his time at Solomon Brothers in the mid-1980's, he soon loses focus of his main storyline. Lewis wanders off for three chapters to describe the creation of a home mortgage market and the personalities involved. It is as if Lewis or his editor suddenly decided that the amusing anecdotes of life on Wall Street were fine pulp, but needed to be framed in the context of historical substence in order for the book to be seen as respectable. (Ironically, Lewis's account of the rise to power of Michael Milken is more gripping, perhaps because Lewis was more directly affected by Milken's ambitions.) The evolution of equities as an investment is ignored almost completely, leaving the reader to wonder how, in the span of two years or so, the equities department of Solomon Brothers could go from "powerless" to surviving the layoffs started days before the crash of '87 to being the reason Solomon Brothers had its worst year in history. The author is inconsistent in his granting of pseudonyms or anonymity, naming a great many employees by name while protecting a chosen few. All in all, Liar's Poker is a quick, sometimes amusing account of Lewis's time at Solomon Brothers, but little more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I was working at Salomon Brothers at the time..., Feb. 24 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Liars Poker (Hardcover)
... that Mr. Lewis describes, and worked for the fixed income trading desk, so I know for a fact most of his descriptions are pure fiction. As for the rest, he has taken three years of events, embellished and exaggerated them, and presented them as if they occurred in a single day, creating an image of out-of-control mayhem in the company.
Mr. Lewis is a mediocre writer at best, lacking in financial expertise, and interested solely in pulp gossips and self-promotion. If you wish to read an actually well-written book on Wall Street, read "Barbarians at the Gate", "Market Wizards" or "Money Machine" - skip this trash.
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4 of 5 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 things we all should know, May 31 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
we should all be aware of what went on, and what goes on in the financial markets, but who knew that it could be a page turner?
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Liar's Poker
Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis (Paperback - March 2 2010)
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