Weekend Reading

I just finished listening to the audio books of Liar’s Poker and When Genius Failed. Fascinating stories if you ask me. I don’t know why it took me so long to read/ listen to both of these books.

Per Wikipedia:
When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management tells the story of Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM), an American hedge fund which commanded more than $100 billion in assets at its height. Among LTCM’s principals were several former university professors, including two Nobel Prize-winning economists.

Between 1994 and 1998 the fund showed a return on investment of more than 40% per annum. However, its enormously leveraged gamble with various forms of arbitrage involving more than $1 trillion dollars went bad, and in one month, LTCM lost $1.9 billion.

Per Wikipedia:
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. First published in 1989, it is considered one of the books that define Wall Street during the 1980s, along with Barbarians at the Gate and the fictional The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe.

Many of the same characters that show up in When Genius Failed were first mentioned in Liar’s Poker while working for Salomon Brothers in the 1970’s and 1980’s (John Meriwether being the prime character in both books).

I highly recommend both books for the exciting stories they tell rather than any trading knowledge that you would gather.

For a fictional look at this era on Wall Street, I highly recommend The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe.


  1. chris, did you read the books before? i’ve read them both, but i’m curious how the audiobooks compare to the real thing. it would actually make an ipod well worth the money…

  2. David,
    I did not physically read either book – just audio.
    Liar’s Poker was abridged but When Genius Failed was not.

    I always listen to audio books on the iPod – great for the train when heading into the city from Jersey.


  1. […] off of listening to When Genius Failed and Liar’s Poker, those stories of quick and great fortunes from the 1980’s and 1990’s now seem like pocket […]

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