I picked up Liar’s Poker from a colleague’s desk drawn to its WallStreet setting but also a bit skeptical about its 1980s timeline and also its old edition.
However, it turned out to be a different kind of reading experience as it was laced with witty humor and traced the author’s journey into the job world out from college. Unlike him I never started in an Investment bank but I could recognize the feelings he had while undergoing training.
The book provided me with a much needed insight into one of the key financial crisis preceding my arrival on Earth. I’ve to admit I had never heard of Salomon Brothers before and here I was reading about their rise and eventual fall. Although I have watched critically acclaimed documentaries on subprime mortgage crisis like The Inside Job, Too Big To Fail and also put my hands on Fault Lines – this was different as I had no clue about financial disasters in the 1980s.
The book reminded me that behind every financial disaster lies lack of due diligence on the parts of key players, greed and every big firm eventually fails when it becomes too big to manage.
Also, I really liked that I got introduced to a lot of new words during the course of reading it – many words which I simply don’t find so freely used these days.
It’s a very well written book. Even though you don’t know much about finance it shouldn’t stop you from reading it. Michael Lewis has done his best in breaking down the jargons in simple terms. To top it all, you will end up learning a thing or two about bonds as well on finishing the book.
P.S - Only on finishing it I realized that Michael Lewis is the same man who has also written Moneyball – remember Brad Pitt’s Oscar winning movie with the same name.