Michael Lewis’ book Liar’s Poker is a piece that gets mentioned pretty often in discussions about literary and participatory journalism. Written in 1989, the book is about Lewis’ experiences right out of college as a bond salesman on Wall Street during the 1980s. The book was supposed to be a cautionary tale about excess greed and the irresponsibility of the financial world; instead, it became a how-to manual for people interesting in getting into finance.
I’ve never read this book, but I was intrigued when I found a post at The Millions about how Michael Lewis is becoming a more prominent expert about the current financial crisis, since so much of what happened to the economy had its start during the 1980s. Lewis recently published a piece in Portfolio called “The End” that chronicles the current financial crisis and profiles some people who predicted some of these problems early on.
I don’t know nearly as much about the financial crisis as I should, although I suspect not many people do. That said, I think “The End” is an interesting article to read. A lot of the financial terminology was still over my head, but I think that’s probably because the article was written for a business magazine. Most of the article, especially the narrative about how much even the people working on Wall Street don’t seem to know what they are talking about, was compelling. If you’ve got a little time, check out the article.
Have you read any interesting or understandable articles about the financial crisis?