The Money Culture

( 2 )


The classic warts-and-all portrait of the 1980s financial scene.
The 1980s was the most outrageous and turbulent era in the financial market since the crash of '29, not only on Wall Street but around the world. Michael Lewis, as a trainee at Salomon Brothers in New York and as an investment banker and later financial journalist, was uniquely positioned to chronicle the ambition and folly that fueled the ...

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The Money Culture

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The classic warts-and-all portrait of the 1980s financial scene.
The 1980s was the most outrageous and turbulent era in the financial market since the crash of '29, not only on Wall Street but around the world. Michael Lewis, as a trainee at Salomon Brothers in New York and as an investment banker and later financial journalist, was uniquely positioned to chronicle the ambition and folly that fueled the decade.

An intrepid and mercilessly sharp-sighted safari through the financial jungles of the 1980s--from the author of the New York Times bestseller Liar's Poker. With devastating wit and a flair for unveiling the smoke and mirrors of high finance, Lewis takes a new look at many of the most influential and devastating episodes of the get-rich-quick decade.

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Editorial Reviews

“Journalism of a high order…Lewis's insouciance is one of his great charms as a writer, along with a graceful prose style, a mordant wit, and a thorough grounding in the world of finance…One of those rare works that encapsulate and define an era.”
USA Today
“The funniest and most trenchant commentator on the money-mad moguls reshaping our world today.”
“One of our most entertaining writers…The Money Culture rivals Liar's Poker in giggle-inspiring quality.”
Library Journal
Lewis wrote a very funny and trenchant book about life as a junior bond trader on Wall Street in the mid-1980s and called it Liar's Poker LJ 9/1/89. In this new book, he revisits familiar ground. In essays and pieces that originally appeared in magazines and newspapers, he strolls down Wall Street and takes aim at such targets as Michael Milken, the RJR Nabisco takeover, Louis Rukeyser, the Savings & Loan crisis, the Japanese, etc., and dissects them. There is not much in the way of true revelation here, but, with Lewis's puckish humor and inimitable writing style, the stories are entertaining and thought-provoking. And he proves that ``the raw itch for money is still with us as surely as ever . . . and the money on Wall Street is better than elsewhere.'' This should be a big hit with the readers of his previous book. For all popular nonfiction collections.-- Richard Drezen, Merrill Lynch Lib., New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393338652
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/14/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 274,482
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael  Lewis

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.


Twenty-four year-old Princeton graduate Michael Lewis had recently received his master's degree from the London School of Economics when Salomon Brothers hired him as a bond salesman in 1985. He moved to New York for training and witnessed firsthand the cutthroat, scruple-free culture that was Wall Street in the 1980s. Several months later, armed only with what he'd learned in training, Lewis returned to London and spent the next three years dispensing investment advice to Salomon's well-heeled clientele. He earned hundreds of thousands of dollars and survived a 1987 hostile takeover attempt at the firm. Nonetheless, he grew disillusioned with his job and left Salomon to write an account of his experiences in the industry. Published in 1989, Liar's Poker remains one of the best written and most perceptive chronicles of investment banking and the appalling excesses of an era.

Since then, Lewis has found great success as a financial journalist and bestselling author. His nonfiction ranges over a variety of topics, including U.S./Japanese business relations (Pacific Rift), the 1996 presidential campaign (Trail Fever), Silicon Valley (The New New Thing), and the Internet boom (Next: The Future Just Happened). He investigated the economics of professional sports in Moneyball (2003) and The Blind Side (2006); and, in 2008, he edited Panic, an anthology of essays about the major financial crises of 1990s and early "oughts."

Good To Know

Michael Lewis attended Isidore Newman School in his native New Orleans, LA -- a private college prep school that counts among its more distinguished alumni historian Walter Isaacson, children's book author Mo Willems, singer Harry Connick, Jr., and famous pro-football siblings Peyton and Eli Manning.
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    1. Date of Birth:
      October 15, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Orleans, LA
    1. Education:
      Princeton University, B.A. in Art History, 1982; London School of Economics, 1985

Table of Contents

Introduction xiii

Part I New World 1

Christmas on Wall Street 5

Leave Home Without It: The Absurdity of the American Express Card 11

Eddie the Chop House Boy 21

Bulldog Bull 39

Mary Cunningham, Meet Ward Cleaver 47

Franky's Longest Mile 55

Leveraged Rip-Off 63

Ski Lift Tiff 73

Barbarians at the Trough 79

The Mystery of the Disappearing Employees 87

Mr. Wall Street Goes to Washington 95

How Wall Street Took the S & Ls for a Ride 103

When Bad Things Happen to Rich People 111

People in Glass Penthouses... 119

Milken's Morals and Ours 127

Horatio Alger Trumped 133

Taken for a Ride on the Customer's Yacht 141

Part II Old World 163

"Do You Have a Fire in Your Belly?" 167

Les Golden Boys 173

Don't Cry for Me Guacamole 181

Portrait of the American as a Bond Salesman 187

What the British Can Learn from American History 193

Slicing Up Europe for Fun and Profit 199

Part III Other World 207

How a Tokyo Earthquake Could Devastate Wall Street 211

The New York Investment Banker Abroad 233

Japanese Takeout 243

Pickens' Lickin' 249

Kamikaze Capitalism 255

The Japanese Art Bubble 263

A Wall Street Yankee in the Imperial Court 271

Acknowledgments 279

Where and When They First Appeared 281

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Customer Reviews

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