Having Fun Out Here on Panic Beach

Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity
Michael Lewis (ed.)

When is a story not a story? And when should an author, like children of yore, be seen and not heard? And when is modern insanity not terribly different from historical insanity?

I might answer those questions and I might not because I’m not entirely certain what to think about this book, which I selected to distract myself from this year’s Continue reading

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Put Me In Coach

The Entitled
Frank Deford

EntitledSome people celebrate Opening Day by going out to the ballpark. On those rare occasions when the bug bites me, I reach for something written about the national pastime. This year that was Frank Deford‘s near-roman-à-clef about the travails of an A-Rod-like superstar, his improbable manager and their team, the Cleveland Indians.

But before I get to the book allow me a little latitude. Not-as-widely-read-as-I-think-I-ought-to-be, I risk a big misstatement here Continue reading

The Financial Crisis Exhibit at the Human Zoo

Boomerang: Travels in the New World
Michael Lewis

boomerang_lewisWhat’s in a name? Or,  for that matter, a title?

Evidently not a whole lot judging from the present volume. Readers may recognize Mr Lewis’ name from my post earlier this year. That book looked at the financial crisis from the perspective of a few, clear-eyed individuals who saw it coming.

Well,  an enterprising agent and/or editor saw an opportunity in the bits of that book that Continue reading

In the Land of the Blind

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
Michael Lewis

Welcome home, laddie.

The Big ShortThose of a certain age might remember that seemingly hot on the heels of  Bonfire of the Vanities came Liar’s Poker, a first-hand view of life inside one of the then-dominant Wall Street firms, Salomon Brothers. That fly on the wall look at the shenanigans within the firm that invented mortgage-backed securities was penned by a 20-something Princeton grad turned bond salesman. And for those of us casting a jaundiced eye upon Yuppiedom it had particular resonance.

Michael Lewis went on to become a best-selling author tilling the fields of Continue reading