Liar's Poker: Rising through the Wreckage on Wall Street

Liar's Poker: Rising through the Wreckage on Wall Street

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by Michael Lewis
     
 

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The time was the 1980s. The place was Wall Street. The game was called Liar’s Poker.

Michael Lewis was fresh out of Princeton and the London School of Economics when he landed a job at Salomon Brothers, one of Wall Street’s premier investment firms. During the next three years, Lewis rose from callow trainee to bond salesman, raking in millions for

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Overview

The time was the 1980s. The place was Wall Street. The game was called Liar’s Poker.

Michael Lewis was fresh out of Princeton and the London School of Economics when he landed a job at Salomon Brothers, one of Wall Street’s premier investment firms. During the next three years, Lewis rose from callow trainee to bond salesman, raking in millions for the firm and cashing in on a modern-day gold rush. Liar’s Poker is the culmination of those heady, frenzied years—a behind-the-scenes look at a unique and turbulent time in American business. From the frat-boy camaraderie of the forty-first-floor trading room to the killer instinct that made ambitious young men gamble everything on a high-stakes game of bluffing and deception, here is Michael Lewis’s knowing and hilarious insider’s account of an unprecedented era of greed, gluttony, and outrageous fortune.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
As described by Lewis, liar's poker is a game played in idle moments by workers on Wall Street, the objective of which is to reward trickery and deceit. With this as a metaphor, Lewis describes his four years with the Wall Street firm Salomon Brothers, from his bizarre hiring through the training program to his years as a successful bond trader. Lewis illustrates how economic decisions made at the national level changed securities markets and made bonds the most lucrative game on the Street. His description of the firm's personalities and of the events from 1984 through the crash of October 1987 are vivid and memorable. Readers of Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities ( LJ 11/15/87) are likely to enjoy this personal memoir. BOMC and Fortune Book Club selection.-- Joseph Barth, U.S. Military Acad . Lib., West Point, N.Y.
Tom Wolfe
“The funniest book on Wall Street I’ve ever read.”
People Magazine
“Often profane, always hilarious, right on the mark.”
Victor Mallet - London Review of Books
“Lewis has a gift for the rapid portrait. Unless you find his flippant one-liners irritating, it is a pleasure to be guided around the jungle of bond markets by his reminiscences and trenchant asides. . . . Apart from the belly-laughs, one of the triumphs of Liar's Poker is that it makes the financial complexities of investment banking and the markets accessible to the layman. . . . Everything from yields to selling short is painlessly clarified in the course of the narrative.”
People
“Often profane, always hilarious, right on the mark.”
National Review
“Lewis takes the reader through his schoolboy's progress as trainee and geek in the trading room, to high-powered swashbuckler. The author has a puckish appreciation for the comic. Yet he also has the knack of explaining precisely how complex deals really work. He provides the most readable explanation I've seen anywhere of the origin within Salomon Brothers of the mortgage-backed securities market....It is good history, and a good story.”
Fortune
“So memorable and alive . . . one of those rare works that encapsulate and define an era.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393066258
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
03/15/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
25,426
File size:
343 KB

What People are saying about this

Tom Wolfe
The funniest book on Wall Street I’ve ever read.

Meet the Author

Michael Lewis, the best-selling author of Liar’s Poker, The Money Culture, The New New Thing, Moneyball, The Blind Side, Panic, Home Game, The Big Short, and Boomerang, among other works, lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and three children.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
October 15, 1960
Place of Birth:
New Orleans, LA
Education:
Princeton University, B.A. in Art History, 1982; London School of Economics, 1985

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Liar's Poker 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 193 reviews.
LidlessEyesWatchingDoor More than 1 year ago
The Bang for your Buck is in the last 60 pages; the rest is vanity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Michael Lewis does a great job the bring the experience of a Bond Trader in wall street to its reader. The book goes into good detail about the events that unfolded at Salomon Brothers during his time there, and gives you a whole new perspective on the industry. Definitely worth reading
DrAndy More than 1 year ago
I've read this book twice; once when it came out about twenty years ago, and again a few weeks ago. The difference twenty years of living makes is immense. As a young man, this writer's voice did not bother me, but at 43, I found him irritating in the extreme. The book is a decent insider's look at a time in America when stockbrokers were flying high, and for that, this book remains interesting, though I much prefer the excellent "Den of thieves".
FairfieldU2011Grad More than 1 year ago
as a finance major this provides a wonderful jump back into the 1980s at Salomon Bros...i read this after reading The Big Short but I will definitely go back and reread it again with a better understanding of Lewis' style and the mortgage bond market...a must read for any student in business...will be looking to purchase more books by Lewis...he has a unique style to put you into the atmosphere of the story
SubwayReader More than 1 year ago
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading his other offerings. Looking back now it is absolutely stunning to see how the junk/mortgage bond market was basically being created.
ktrock More than 1 year ago
A classic! Lewis takes the reader through all the ironic twists of being on Wall Street in the '80s.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for extra credit for my history class in college. To be honest, I didn't want to, but I had to and I'm glad I did. This was an enjoyable read, although the chapters were a bit long in my opinion. I recommend it!
Mark Kuczora More than 1 year ago
great read even for beginners. hard to quantify greed in this world but this comes close. great intro for novices. i wish i read it sooner
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is well written and keeps you gripped well into the night. Liar's Poker was so good that I have decided to become an investment banker, so help me God.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Caveat Emptor', 'Eat or be eaten',were the rules of the bond trading world at Salomon Brothers as well as Wall Street at the pinnacle of 1980s- the greed decade. After reading this for the first time as a 16 year old high school student, Lewis' masterpiece didn't turn me away from Wall Street, it made me more interested. While reading the book, I found myself clued in as I was glued to it's pages. Lewis is not only a brilliant storyteller and salesman, he explains to the layman and young student how the rigged game of trading really works. An absolute eye opening must-read for those pursuing Wall Street careers. I've read it a at least a dozen times.
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This book is so hilarious and gives a birds eye view of investment banking. A potentionally snoozer of a subject had me laughing at how audacious the powers that be eere in the book. Great read
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