Sep 14, 2012

Street Freak: A Memoir of Money and Madness at Lehman Brothers

Title: Street Freak: Money and Madness at Lehman Brothers
Author: Jared Dillian
Paperback, September 11, 2012
Genre: memoir
Opening sentences:"The market has its own intelligence. It has a sort of malignant omniscience that dictates that the market will do whatever fucks over the most people at any given moment in time. It knows your positions, and it knows your fears. You are a sinner in the hands of an angry God, and your positions are going to pay."
I am looking up words and acronyms while reading this memoir by Jared Dillian on his life as a trader for Lehman Brothers on Wall Street during the financial crisis starting 2001 through 2007. I have to find the true meaning of "hedge fund," "EFT trader," "volatility," "leverage," "asset classes," "binomial tree," "SPY," "predatory trading techniques," "program trader," and so on.

In the first chapter, Dillian lost $80,000 in a few minutes, but I haven't yet figured out how, though he described it in some detail. I think it will get easier as I read on. Sentences like "I might have been able to save $80,000, but I wasn't going to be able to save Lehman" keep me reading. So does the jacket book description:
"More than $1 trillion in wealth passed through his hands, yet the extreme highs and lows of the trading floor masked and exacerbated the symptoms of Dillian's undiagnosed bipolar and obsessive-compulsive disorders, leading to a downward spiral that nearly ended his life."
The paperback of Street Freak was published by Touchstone. A review copy was sent to me by the publisher.

3 comments:

  1. Hmm. My husband is a porfilio manager (probably a term in the book somewhere) so I'm familiar with this world (whether I want to be or not). Interesting how he's tying it to his bipolar. I can't think the trading floor (which I got to visit years ago :)) would be a good place for that condition!

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  2. My husband may like this one. Me and financial stuff just don't mix well!!

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  3. I think I'd be looking up plenty of the terms used in this one. I'm not one for books that focus on finance myself.

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