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am 9. Juli 2017
I am only giving this book 4 stars because it wasn't as suspenseful as the author's other book, "The Big Short". However this is largely because of the subject (the financial crisis s of 2007-2008 is a more exciting subject!) and not because of the author's ability. Indeed he keeps the reader's interest alive on a subject that many might find obscure or tedious. Very well written!
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am 26. April 2014
He makes all of his books, which are based on true stories, sound like made up. Unbelievable! But super exciting and riveting. If you like to read about finance, banking and that sort of business, you will LOVE Michael Lewis' books!
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am 4. Februar 2018
Well documented and good insight in Wall Street short termistic view. Rising through the ranks at an investment bank is not what you may have been lead to believe
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am 9. Dezember 2015
Sehr unterhaltsames Buch. Technisch ist es nicht ansrpuchsvoll, sodass jeder es lesen kann, auch ohne besonderen Kenntnisse. Alle sollen wahre Geschehnisse sein. Hervorragend
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am 19. August 2013
If you like to know the Wall Street event 1986- read that book: funny, entertaining and real :)
If you buy a second hand book- it will look like a brand new one- folks reads it over one night!
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am 17. April 2012
Liefert gute Einsichten in die Welt des Bondhandels in den 80-er Jahren. Einiges davon ist heute noch existent, manches schon überholt. Sprache teilweise fachspezifisch, aber gut verständlich.
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am 6. März 2016
I am writing this recommendation after having read maybe 40% of the book and having decided to not read any further. I bought the book because of its good recommendations and I just came back to read them again in order to see if I maybe accidently picked the wrong book... I cannot recommend this book, as it is not really about wall street and bond trading, but more about a not sophisticated way of describing peoples behaviour over and over again in a wall street firm.
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am 9. Februar 2000
Michael Lewis makes a substantial contribution to our efforts to understand what is happening now in today's business world...and what is likely to occur next. His is "a Silicon Valley story." As such, it has the obligatory plot and characters as well as a number of themes which he carefully develops. The net result is both informative and entertaining.
Exactly what is "the new new thing"? This moment's answer may be wrong by the time you finish reading this sentence. Really? Yes. Especially in the Silicon Valley, the next "new new thing" is the 21st century's equivalent of the Holy Grail. The problem is, as Lewis carefully explains, it is often an illusion..and even when manifest, it can so quickly become obsolete. "Silicon Valley to the United States what the United States is to the rest of the world." What is that? Briefly, "the capital of innovation, of material prosperity, of a certain kind of energy, of certain kinds of freedom, and of transience." As I soon discovered when reading the first few chapters, Lewis has written a literary hybrid: it combines the dominant features of the picaresque novel (featuring a central character who seeks and experiences a series of adventures) with the sequential essay (separate but interdependent discussions of a common subject). Lewis introduces his concept of "the searcher" who seeks the "new new thing" and "conforms to no well-established idea of what people should do for a living. He gropes. Finding the new new thing is as much a matter of timing as of technical or financial aptitude, though both of those qualities help." Lewis employs the searcher inorder to examine -- and understand -- a process which creates "fantastic wealth" in the Silicon Valley. The searcher is a "disruptive force" as he gropes his way along, constantly on the move...his mind moving much more quickly than his feet, preferring to live perpetually "with that sweet tingling discomfort of not quite knowing what what it is he wants to say. It is one of the little ironies of economic progress that, while it often results in greater levels of comfort, it depends on people who prefer not to get too comfortable." The searcher, for example.
Are we to believe that people who grope their way through life, wandering through the Silicon Valley, are playing a major role (a wholly new role) in wealth creation? Exactly. (This is a mentality and a behavior which Guy Claxton discusses so well in Hair Brain Tortoise Mind.) The main character of this story "had a structure to his life. He might not care to acknowledge it, but it was there all the same. It was the structure of an old-fashioned adventure story. His mere presence on a scene inspired the question that propels every adventure story forward: What will happen next? I had no idea. And neither, really, did he."
Throughout this book, as Lewis casually but precisely tells his "story", we are introduced to some of one of the most successful residents of the Silicon Valley, Jim Clark, who proves to be the "story's" central character. For Lewis, Clark embodies "a vast paradigm shift in American culture" from conventional models and visions of success toward an entirely new way of thinking about the world and control of it. Central to Lewis' discussion of Clark is Clark's sailboat Hyperion, the world's tallest single-mast vessel. There seems to be a progressive pattern of symbiotic relationships: United States < > Silicon Valley < > the searcher < > Jim Clark < > Netscape < > Healtheon < > Hyperion < > ? Revealingly, in Lewis' Epilogue, we are told that Clark has already begun work on the design of a new sailboat. "Hyperion was nice, but this...this was the perfect boat." At least for now.
What Lewis reveals is a restless mentality in constant search of the next "new new thing." His focal point may be Clark but, in my opinion, he is really examining the global economy in the 21st century which will continue to be driven by that mentality. There will always be a newer, better browser...a newer, better sailboat...a newer, better whatever. Men and women unknown to us now are "groping" to find them. And eventually they will...but will not then be satisfied. "Searchers" never are.
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am 31. Januar 2000
Due to lack of time, I purchased the unabridged tapes to listen to during my commute, and I plan on listening to it again and again. Bruce Reizen does a masterful job of narration, and if he actually did all the voices of the different characters, he's the most talented reader I've ever heard. Buy the tapes. You won't regret it.
As for the content of the book, I found it very informative. Although I work in high tech, I am not someone who keeps up with the who's who of Silicon Valley. It was very interesting to learn about Jim Clark and his role at SGI, Netscape, and Healtheon, as well as his passion for discovery and his disdain for traditional corporate organizations. He's one of the few engineers to 'make it over the fence', and get the financial reward he deserved without selling out and becoming 'managerial'. If you are an engineer or other technical specialist who's watched executives rake in the big salaries, bonuses, and stock options while you're worried if your annual raise will keep up with inflation, you'll cheer him on.
His yacht, Hyperion, was an important foil to Jim Clark's character. It seems superfluous at first, but it gives insight into his need to find new ways to conquer and control through technical wizardry. Michael Lewis brings this adventure to life, even if you, like me, could care less about sailing.
I thoroughly enjoyed both the story and the narration, and have been recommending this book to all my friends.
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am 27. Januar 2000
Unlike (nearly all, or all) academic economics books, which 'explain' that arbitrage does not and cannot exist, Lewis explains to us how the big bond houses live from arbitrage (buying low from the government or somewhere else and selling a bit higher to you and me). The book is a rare, a highly entertaining and very informative jewel: Lewis rightfully and poetically calls brokerage houses 'full servive casinos', far better than Monte Carlo or Las Vegas. Not only will they accept and place your bets, they'll also lend you (a large fraction of) the money needed to place your bets (margin)! A very good book to read now (1/27/00) during the 'wild ride' before the present big market bubble goes: POP!
Unfortunately, Lewis tells us too litlte about Meriwether, who later seduced two of the top finance academics (they were willing) and, with their aid, constructed the huge, uncontrolled experiment in 'equilibrium theory' called 'Long Term Capital Management' (LTCM). Their philosophy, also believed uncritically by most working economists, was and likely still is: Equilibrium will prevail (even in the absence of restoring forces!). For the continuation of the story where Liar's poker leaves off ('portfolio insurance', arbitrage and more arbitrage, and the formation and collapse of the bubble called LTCM), see the new book "Inventing Money".
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