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Critiquing Lewis from Liar's Poker to Flashboys

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message 1: by Tim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tim O'Hearn What do you think of Michael Lewis? Recently, I wrote reviews for each of his books and packaged them together in a blog post:

Let me know what you think!

Rahul That's a cool summary of Michael Lewis.

You might want to check out my review of Liar's Poker here -

Do you agree?

message 3: by Tim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tim O'Hearn I wouldn't put the Salomon Brothers chronicled in this book into the same category as other firms that come to mind when someone says "financial disaster". The firm was stunted by the Treasury Bond scandal in 1991, but that happened two years after the book was published.

The culture tended toward greedy and hubristic, but I don't think size had much to do with Salomon Brothers' failure. Sure, there was increased pressure to make profits as a result of higher fixed costs as the firm grew, but I never got the impression that growth was its undoing. The mantra of "Too Big to Fail," as it is commonly used, doesn't quite fit here.

Rahul I feel that WallStreet firms as they grow huge - it gets hard to make sure that everyone does the due-diligence and on top of it is the pressure to beat the targets to get that "bonus".

Somewhere along the line, the line between safe and risky gets muddled and they start venturing into risky plays an ploys. Yes, greed (to sustain profits) is an important factor behind it. We saw that during The SubPrime Mortgage Crisis and Salomon Brothers also is more of the same (Michael Miliken and junk bonds).

See where I'm coming from?

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