Liar's Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage on Wall Street
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In fiction there was Bonfire of the Vanities; in reality, there is Liar's Poker--the fascinating insider's account of what really happens on Wall Street. This irreverent and hilarious birds-eye view of Wall Street's heyday will appeal to anyone intrigued by the allure of million dollar deals. Now in trade paper. First serial to Manhattan Inc.
1985 were one of a series of human waves to wash over what was then the world's most profitable trading floor. At the time we were by far the largest training class in Salomon's history, and the class after us was nearly twice as large again. The ratio of support staff to professional (we were, believe it or not, the "professionals") was 5:1; so 127 of us meant 635 more support staff. The increase in numbers was dramatic in a firm of slightly more than 3,000 people. The hypergrowth would
behaved. It had been smart to do so because O'Grady became not only an excellent bond salesman but also a rare and much needed example of goodness on the trading floor (I think I once even saw him give spare change to a beggar). The surprise was not that Salomon called him, but that O'Grady had agreed to listen. The only thing history teaches us, a wise man once said, is that history doesn't teach us anything. O'Grady took a job with Salomon Brothers. And now he was about to tell us what we
Belt homeowners by buying the mortgage bonds of Sun Belt thrifts. At the request of the Salomon Brothers executive committee Dall produced a three-page memo summarizing his belief in the market, which convinced John Gutfreund to remove the trading of Ginnie Macs from the government bond trading department and establish a mortgage department. It was the spring of 1978, and Gutfreund had just been appointed chairman of the firm by his predecessor, William Salomon, the son of one of the firm's three
corporate department," he says. "I didn't understand." The move plucked him from the fray. Utility bonds were making big money. And while it was true a person didn't get paid on commission, one nevertheless climbed through the ranks at Salomon Brothers by pointing to a chunk of money at the end of each year and saying, "That's mine, I did that." Revenues meant power. In Lewie's view, there would be no chunk of money at the end of the year in the mortgage department. There would be no more
quite to the stage of building new wings onto the Metropolitan Museum. The firm had always been run by Jews. It came to be controlled by a contingent of WASPs, wannabe WASPs, and social climbers. The face-lift coincided with the sale of the firm to the commodities dealer Phillips Brothers in 1981. Salomon ceased to be a partnership and became a corporation. The average partner received a lump sum of $7.8 million from the sale. It was as if they said, all at once, "We have our money now, what