Read: April 2020

Inspiration: Why does everyone in finance seem to mention this book? What was old Wall Street like?


Written with the help of ChatGPT, below is a brief summary to understand what is covered in the book.

“Liar’s Poker”, published in 1989 by author, financial journalist, and former bond salesman Michael Lewis, tells the story of author Michael Lewis’ experiences as a bond salesman at Salomon Brothers, a Wall Street investment bank, in the 1980s. The book begins with a brief history of the bond market and the rise of Salomon Brothers in the 1970s and 1980s. It then follows Lewis as he begins his career at the firm, starting as a trainee in the bond department and eventually rising through the ranks.

Lewis provides a firsthand account of the high-stakes, high-pressure world of Wall Street, including the cutthroat competition and risky financial deals that characterized the era. He also offers a behind-the-scenes look at the culture and behavior of the traders and executives at Salomon Brothers, including their penchant for pranks, gambling, and excess. In addition to telling his own story, Lewis uses his experiences at Salomon Brothers to explore the broader issues of greed, risk, and the role of finance in society.

Unedited Notes

Direct from my original book log, below are my unedited notes (abbreviations and misspellings included) to show how I take notes as I read.

***Disclaimer: notes taken before realizing I needed better notes

About greed at Salomon Brothers as introduce MBS 1980s (Lewis Ranieri head MBS dept), no one understand product but lucrative, cuthroat culture – just want to prove can make money even at expense of clients, cult culture within Salomon between teams (no unity) Gutfreund CEO, Salomon first into bonds but beat by Milken junk bonds

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Welcome to JeffReads, where I share summaries of the best books I’ve read on business, politics, science, technology and more.




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