The Zeroes: My Misadventures in the Decade Wall Street Went Insane

( 11 )

Overview

"As eight sets of boxers slugged through the night, traders and bankers streamed toward Hammerstein, unfurling rolls of hundreds in hopes of charming the check-in girls and buying their way into the capacity event. Via text messages and cell phone calls, The Word had gone out: Wall Street was celebrating tonight.

"The past month had seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average surge past 14,000 points for the first time. These guys were making fortunes by creating securities more complicated than the Rosetta stone and also far more valuable. For these

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The Zeroes: My Misadventures in the Decade Wall Street Went Insane

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Overview

"As eight sets of boxers slugged through the night, traders and bankers streamed toward Hammerstein, unfurling rolls of hundreds in hopes of charming the check-in girls and buying their way into the capacity event. Via text messages and cell phone calls, The Word had gone out: Wall Street was celebrating tonight.

"The past month had seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average surge past 14,000 points for the first time. These guys were making fortunes by creating securities more complicated than the Rosetta stone and also far more valuable. For these guys-my guys, for better or worse-all was right and just with the world.

"No one had yet developed a name for this era, this decade with the once-a-millennium calendar quirk of two zeroes perched in the middle. As I gazed across the room in front of me, 'the Zeroes' seemed fairly spot-on. Wall Street's breathless pursuit of zeroes, that easy-money mentality, had permeated every aspect of our culture. In my role as Wall Street's scorekeeper, I too had fallen prey to the mind warp.

"But I had no inkling that, when the figures were tallied at the end of 2009, there would be zero increase in household net worth for the decade. Zero net job creation. Zero median income growth. Zero stock market appreciation. Or that the global economy, imperiled by a group of collective zeroes, faced an imminent meltdown that would wipe out millions of people financially-myself included. Given my unique perch, perhaps I should have. But wealth and excess have a blinding effect, especially amid the kind of greedfest that comes along only once every thousand years."

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Captivating...the perfect prism to view the larger picture of what was happening across the financial canvas during those sky's-the-limit years."
-USA Today

"An extremely well-written book, a hard-to-put-down cocktail of small business mishaps and gigantic Wall Street egos."
-Forbes

"A circle of characters that could have come straight out of a potboiler...vivid."
-Bloomberg

"Great book!"
-Joe Scarborough, "Morning Joe"

"If a hustling Candide had told the story of the Great Wall Street Meltdown, it might read something like this book."
-The Wall Street Journal

"Anyone who wants to understand Wall Street's insanity should read this book."
-MarketWatch

"A delicious, salacious recounting of Wall Street's bloated decade ...marvelously readable."
-BusinessWeek

"Lane makes no excuses for the era. But the color he extracts makes for lively beach reading."
-Fortune

"A remarkable story."
-Forbes.com

"Entertaining."
-The Financial Times

"What Michael Lewis did for '80s traders in Liar's Poker, Randall Lane has now done for trader rock stars of The Zeroes. You will be stunned by the craziness and cautioned by the consequences."
-Jack Covert, 800-CEO-Read

"The stuff of sublime farce that could happen only in a time and place "when the obscene becomes normal," as Lane observes.
-Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair

"Absolutely brilliant."
-Tina Brown

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400197262
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/15/2010
  • Format: Library Binding

Meet the Author

Randall Lane is a journalist and entrepreneur. As CEO and editor in chief of Doubledown Media, he founded or relaunched six magazines, including Trader Monthly, Dealmaker, and Private Air. A National Magazine Award finalist, he has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Slate. He is currently editor at large at The Daily Beast. He lives in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Part I Fever : 2001-2006

1 See It,Make It,Spend It (2001-2004) 9

2 Starmakers (2005) 37

3 The Jealousy Machine (2005) 59

4 Doubling Down (2005) 83

5 Dealmaker (2006) 106

Part 2 Mania: 2006-2008

6 We Want Your Money (Lace 2006-Mid-2007) 137

7 The Blank Check (2007) 161

8 Fight Night (Mid-2007-Late 2007) 186

9 Nails (Late 2007-Early 2008) 211

10 Maxed Out (Early 2008) 239

Part 3 Reckoning: 2008-2009

11 Leverage (Mid-2008) 265

12 The Party's Over (Late 2008-Early 2009) 296

13 See It, Spend It, End It (2009) 329

Afterword 343

Acknowledgments 347

Index 350

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Customer Reviews

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