Rising through the WreckageIt was two years before the main character set foot on the trading floor, he met the managing directors of the Salomon Brothers and as luck would put it – having the chance to be seated between their wives table on one rare dining occasion made him able to get an entrance to a very lucrative high earning but not much a noble job since he mentioned in his writings that it is a job where deceit and treachery is being rewarded.  After that meeting as his destiny dictates, he soon finally finds himself working as a Trader for the Salomon firm at the beginning of its decline when the CEO is Mr. John Gutfreund a man of class as vividly described by the author.  The man he is about to work for is someone who has the leisure to spend for the most expensive cigars and provides for an overspending wife.Interestingly as the name connotes, John Meriwether was the trainer of the Salomon Brothers Brokerage who knew the game so well.   Meriwether depicted by his name is a person of age forty with the inner qualities of someone whose minds cannot be predicted on the way he looks, not to mention that he possesses the money, the trainer with many disciples at an earnest ages of 25 is the one who posses the inner qualities who is qualified in playing the game called Liars Poker.

The job calls for a cunning shrewdness and the Salomon Brothers employs the best fit in town.Very candidly the author separated the working horses from the managerial arm when he said that “John Gutfreund is always an outsider of their game (Lewis, 1989).” Thus was able to make a distinction between the two, the two Johns being of the same feather occupied a specific role – the boss being the king of Wall Street and Meriwether the king and champion of their favorite game –Liar’s Poker, who honed many disciples that are supposed to be learned men of distinction and not just someone who plays a cunning game for an easy money?Liar’s Poker is a famous game played by executives or the high income earners, a culture of extreme risk that nowadays people in this generation are afraid to take.  Salomon culture warns men that risks have immediate payoffs and that is to show who are the clear winners and the losers who are instantly trashed aside in poverty.  It is a game for intellectuals and professionals, a way of increasing their wealth and pride.Lewis upon describing the major character in the story explored in an easy manner what someone would expect in the job of a bond trader and at the same time what a candidate must ask in order to win the trade.

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  In the first chapters the life of the bondsmen are already well described.  In fact it is memoir that is worth remembering today, when people has to do more with less, unlike the last generation that had passed when wealth can just be dealt with generous past time bets.The work of the author is an examination of the trend at Wall Street during the early 90’s and on how to make millions on the war of the minds.  After all, life is not just bent on making money but more so on how a person should elevate himself in whatever human endeavor his destiny assigned him to do.

  The author now being a business journalist finds him more to be honorable but at the same time can not forget that half of his destiny was spent playing the liars poker game.  Lewis work was able to capture the culture of Wall Street trading desks during the 80’s.  His present destiny affirms that from the wreckage he roused.With the first and second chapters alone the reader is able to view the world only known to a few at the heights of its glory on Wall Street.  The preceding chapters made the reader becomes aware that it was then a very lucrative business but anything that is a fad usually never last, the crash of the 1987 when recession began was an account of the authors glorious days in the bonds business which would help anyone who would try to learn and live the financial investment side of it.

  Here, Lewis was able to guide his reader what stuff he went through from the recruitment, through meeting orders, the inside and out, and how to get paid.  The story is adept when it comes to describing real people and their true to life situation despite that it is a non-fiction business book.  His style was able to win his readers attention.The plot of the story was divided into three big plays.  First the corporate culture and the money making machine.  It was a brotherhood of making piles of money that is making gains from scratch.  Lewis was trained to do the job but was ordained to go.  He was courageous enough to say the dos and don’ts of the profession.

The next was to introduce how a junk bonds work which is created to finance corporate takeovers.  Here, the image of self sufficiency was blurred by conceit unable to focus on the strategy of a changing world.  When man rested in his laurels, ordinarily that is the beginning of his fall.  The corporate culture which only serves its belly is always doomed to end.

The third, discusses conflicts of interest of the banker and the customers which is the part in the story that the examination of conscience is portrayed.  The book as a whole is a must reading for those who would like to move his investment at the Wall Street.  It is also a good find to traders and salespersons.  Lewis profoundly explored the gimmicks that are never taught in the actual side of this world.  One would feel and enjoy the corporate life of working in a big bank because it shows the fascinating aspects of a life of a trader not to mention the liveliness of the enlightening humorous weave of the story.

The well written book was a memoir of the authors three year stint with the Salomon Brothers Bonds Brokerage, recounting the rise of the company to bond dominance to its fall due to poor management and excesses and inability to compete with the junk bond market due to the rapidly changing market without being digressive.  The funny tone embellished the almost true story ever written in the finance business and the author’s portrayal made it easy for even the inexperienced to tread the paths of this seemingly gaming business atmosphere.  It can be regarded as a mandatory reading for who have disbelief on the working professional of the Wall Street financial advisory and bankers and investors.He was able to recount that this infamous business moved him to his present calling that is to be a business journalist.

  Upon surviving the training program to be a member of the true top dogs for the Salomon league, his experiences taught him to be a high producer and how the turn of events made a white knight on the seemingly aborted take-over scheme.  In his memory he will never forget the go-go crash days on the Wall Street, the humor when cunning is defrauded by greed and the toughness of the mind over the heart.  It was the game of the rich and the proud.

Upon reading, raising a question like why is it that common sense do not flow with the logic of the simple law of supply and demand and why should someone would want to share his bonds if he knew it will go up?  If he has the money why doesn’t he hoard all the bonds he could carry instead of sharing or alluring investors to bet their money on trade?  Lewis extraordinary reveals that some professional can be unethical when driven with greed for money when financial analyst should give good service for their client’s money.  The revelations are loaded with truths since references and events were described in the real names and places.  It gave the inside and out of the workings of prestigious and powerful Wall Street banks and unveil that there is a dark side to the trading business something is undeniably corrupt in those prestigious corporate facade.The history on the emergence of the collateralized mortgages and the junk bond is well written in financial or business chapters of the book, it reveals the rampant political machinations that lead the firm to ignore the junk bond market, so it is by greed that they too loose the game.  The book was an illustration of how a flourishing firm can fall because of lack of governance and conflicts.  The mean-but risk taker management finds itself hopeless during the market crash despite of the rigidness of its well trained workforce.

The author  concluded that cunning is often misused when it is done to sidetrack another and even if gambling are fun to play with, the work of a so called investment banker has implications on those who are allured on the vice of greed.  For this reason, the author may have thought of the sub-title rising through the wreckage which mean how will someone addicted to the game of the liar’s poker stand up without any qualms in conscience and the reality of being under the influence of unquenchable want.The author although half jokingly was able to convey that success begins only when someone has already defined the mark of being contented. Michael Lewis seems to agree that although a million bucks is insatiable, man likewise is very limited.

  His ingenuity leads his reader to the unknown of the business without totally putting down those who are allured in the trade.  Boys just love to play and gentlemen win the game.              ReferencesLewis, M. (1989). Liars Poker: Rising through the Wreckage [Electronic Version].

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