Quotes : Liars Poker (Michael Lewis)

Books

Douglas Caraballo Mahairas

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Liar’s Poker is a non-fiction, semi-autobiographical book by Michael Lewis describing the author’s experiences as a bond salesman on Wall Street during the late 1980s.

Things I underlined as I read. I won’t berate you with my opinion. Just a list of things that stood out! Enjoy! Bold = Favorites!

Most Traders Divulge whether they are making or losing money by the way they speak or move. They are either overly easy or overly tense.

  1. I recall that I couldn’t imagine myself wearing a suit. Also, I’d never met a banker with blond hair. All the moneymen I’d ever seen were either dark or bald. I was neither. So, you see, I had problems of my own.
  2. A few of the very best analysts months into their new jobs, lost their will to live normal lives.
  3. The first thing you learn on the trading floor is that when large numbers of people are after the same commodity, be it a stock, a bond, or a job, the commodity quickly becomes overvalued
  4. *The idea that art history might be self improving or that self improvement, as distinct from career building, was a legitimate goal of education was widely regarded as naive and reckless. […] some of my classmates were visibly sympathetic towards me as if I were cripple or had unwittingly taken a vow of poverty. Being the class Franciscan had its benefits, but a ticket onto Wall Street wasn't one.
  5. Knowing about markets is knowing about other people’s weaknesses.
  6. The astute investor Warren Buffet is fond of saying that any player unaware of the fool in the market probably is the fool in the market.
  7. Overnight the bond market was transformed from a backwater into a casino.
  8. Ask any astute trader and he’ll tell you that his best work cuts against the conventional wisdom.
  9. there was something refreshing about any attempt to explain the money we were about to be paid. I thought it admirable that my colleague had given it the old business school try. No one else ever did. The money was just there. Why did investment banking pay so many people with so little experience so much money?

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