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Liar's Poker (Hodder Great Reads) Paperback – 5 Jun 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (5 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340839961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340839966
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

An amazing book, readable, funny and mind-boggling ... one of the great business books of all time (Punch)

Read all about it: headlong greed, inarticulate obscenity, Animal House horseplay . . . (The Sunday Times)

Immense verve and wit (20/20 Magazine)

A highly immoral book (Daily Mail)

Wickedly funny (Daily Express)

As traders would say, this book is a buy (Financial Times)

Book Description

The original classic that revealed the truth about ambition, greed and excess in London and Wall Street, by the author of #1 bestsellers The Big Short and Flash Boys

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Lewis' 'Liar's Poker' was an instant classic upon publication. Yet it had an adverse effect: instead of being read as the critical account it was intended to be, an entire genereation of investment banker's used this book as a 'how to' guide and a prime resource of information on how to survive on Wall Street or in the City of London.

At present it attains a new relevance: the book can be read as am account of the culture that lead to the problems in the financial system.
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By A Customer on 9 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
I have been meaning to read Liar's Poker since I was offered the opportunity to sell my soul to the international money markets ten years ago. Well I finally got round to it. Michael Lewis writes an enthralling fast paced account of life on Wall Street in the hedonistic '80s. I could associate with many of the characters he describes, although a little of the largese is not quite as apparent in today's world. Nevertheless, the desire to get on, the "win at all costs" mentality, and the beating up of the new boy is all alive and well.
If you are searching for a justification for the existence of people who make a huge amount of money out of a bit of financial alchemy, you won't find it here (or, truth be told, in any book written by anyone who still has the faintest grip on reality). But as a guide to the sort of people that inhabit Wall Street and The City there is none better. A page turner if ever there was one.
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By A Customer on 23 Aug. 1998
Format: Hardcover
Anybody looking for a sober review of the financial markets in the 1980's and/or Salomon Brothers' role in it will be disappointed. However, as a review of one man's experience on Wall Street, it is suoerb. Michael Lewis is a wonderful storyteller, and he writes this book so that you don't need a deep knowledge of finance to enjoy it.
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Format: Paperback
Liar's Poker offers you a journey into the world of a sophisticated money-making machine: a global investment bank.

As an ex- Bankers Trust employee, I can claim I have met many people similar to the characters in the book, and I can say the characters, events, their habits appear very well pictured. Even though it is technical at times, this book is light years away from many boring books like "see how smart I was making my fortune".

This book explains a lot about how money was made and lost during these times. It gives examples of strategies and market context. More importantly it also shows you of people's greed, fear and the consequences of that. It illustrates relations within junior and senior staff in a bank like this in a very honest way.

The most exciting thing about it is that the author keeps a distance to events, millions of profit, important people and institutions mentioned in the book. Few of people working inside such an institution can say that.
I have recommended Liar's Poker to some people, and it seems it has changed the way they see their jobs and careers. Finally, this book makes you think - that is what good books are about.
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Format: Paperback
Just finished it: My second Michael Lewis read (my first being The Big Short) and another highly enjoyable, amusing and insightful take on how Wall Street and, in particular, the bond markets operate. While possibly a bit slight on the technicalities and a bit heavy on the gossip (hence the four star rating), it nevertheless achieves what I believe was its primary aim; to open up up Wall Street to a wider public viewing. Despite the fact that it was published circa 1988, it includes some very portentuous observations, that are absolutely relevant to the US and Europe's current economic standing. Pity I didn't read it all those years ago; I could have made a small fortune working off its predictions. Roll on to Lewis' next tome. I'm now a total convert
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Format: Audio Download
Don’t know why this is considered a ‘Wall Street classic.’ It’s fairly tame stuff and doesn’t really note much of interest. It also covers a fairly short career (2 or 3 years from what I gathered) and *SPOILER ALERT* he just quits in the end before having made any real big bucks.

The Audio version is narrated by Lewis, which is a mistake. His tone is a bit dull and hard to listen to. For some reason they also add in a totally unnecessary, 30 second, Seinfeld-type groovy tune at the start of the chapters over the narrator’s voice.

I’m a big fan of Lewis’ newer stuff, but I wasn’t convinced by this. Maybe I’m missing something, but anyone who works in an office could probably write a similar book.
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By Marand TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At times it is hard to remember that this book was written in the late 1980's. For all that, it still has relevance today inasmuch as the impact of some of the attitudes and behaviours described in the book were implicated in the most recent financial crisis. He succinctly conveys the problems of short-termism, conflicts of interest and the duping of investors (although I have limited sympathy with the investors who should really have known better and questioned more), issues which are still being discussed twenty five years on. Lewis is also pretty scathing about those at the top who appeared to have little knowledge or understanding of the activities of their traders and salesmen. He notes the speed with which raw, inexperienced trainees became 'experts' trading vast sums. Lewis's own rise up the organisation was fuelled in large part by one transaction.

One of the things that Lewis examines is the creation and development of the mortgage bond market, and the slicing and dicing of mortgages to be sold on to investors and which of course were implicated in the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Although there is a fair bit of detail, I didn't find it to be too technical nor overwhelming. Lewis writes well and provides enough detail for the lay man, but not too much.

On the whole I found this to be a very readable account and have been spurred to order Lewis's later books. His aim was to open up the activities of Wall Street & the Square Mile to the wider public and I think he achieved that objective.
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