Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline Liar’s Poker:

This has aged hilariously badly.

Quick synopsis:

The short career of author Michael Lewis as a bond salesman for the Salomon Brothers in the 1980s.

Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like:

Most of the people in this book either went bankrupt, got fired, or went to jail. Good luck guessing who! Wikipedia is your friend!

Fun Fact for History Nerds:

Liar’s Poker is an actual game. You stand in a circle and everyone holds a one-dollar bill. Each person then makes a “bet”, such as there are a total of nine 7s in the serial numbers of everyone’s cash. You call them out or move to the next person.

My Take on Liar’s Poker:

The stock market and things of that are ilk are just a dressed-up casino. Michael Lewis would agree!

Lewis (he wrote Moneyball which you may know better) takes you through the fall of the Salomon Brothers on Wall Street in the 80s. I’ll give him credit; I hate finance stuff and he still keeps it interesting. It is very clear he could see the excess and bad management from his place in the pecking order and he articulates how things went horribly wrong for the company.

Lewis is a funny writer, but this book will not be for everyone. He does explain the markets and how they came to be as well as how they work. However, if you don’t care at all about the stock market then there isn’t enough of everything else to keep your attention unless stuffy stockbrokers are your bag.


This book is fun for the nostalgia and Lewis is a good writer. Buy it here!

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Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis