Liar’s Poker is one of those books one of your friends strongly urges you to read.. A short little book, the recommendation I got from Bill Howe, my Canadian Intel colleague in Europe, was that it was a hilarious read. And so it was. It reads like Animal House. It is all, well mostly, a true autobiographical story of Lewis’ time at Solomon Brothers in London in the mid 1980’s, at the very beginning of the mortgage securities trading business… As you may also know, Solomon Brothers went out of business long before 2008. I was running my own computer systems integration business in London at the time, exploiting Maggie Thatcher‘s deregulation of the financial markets (where have we heard that before?), selling into the City of London, and to the BBC, British Telecom, ICI and a host of other corporate customers. So I had a bit of an insider’s grasp of what was going on in The City. It made reading the book all the more interesting.
Looking back, Liar’s Poker is now seen as something of a harbinger of things to come, a foreshadowing of darker clouds, a “canary in the coal mine.”
Lewis also recently wrote The Big Short, his analysis of the 2008 financial meltdown. Liar’s Poker has been described as a comedy, and The Big Short as a tragedy, which seems very apt to me, if you heard Michael discuss both books. Many may know Michael best for his recent success with Moneyball.
With all that has happened, Liar’s Poker finally appears to be near getting the nod from Hollywood to be made into a film. It is long overdue.
2 Replies to “Michael Lewis And Liar's Poker”
It would be interesting to have a group of people who read the book back then to discuss, “What were you doing then? What was your opinion of the financial situation at the time?” You are right about the book. It is a sensational read.
What did we think of Liar’s Poker back then?.. I certainly was naive, dumb and happy working in the midst of the buzz in London, with no inkling of the catastrophe to come. Today, I am like Russell Crowe’s character, Max Skinner, in A Good Year, giving it all up, and finding his roots in Provence.