That is ironic, since no one disapproved of the excesses of Wall Street in the s so much as the chairman of the Fed, Paul Volcker. It was assumed that I might well put a customer or two out of business. My motives were shallow. You’d make a stupid joke. You won’t be disappointed!

They remained aloof from the front row out of disdain and from the back row out of a sense of responsibility. When she saw me watching her, she said that given a bit of time, she could “do men too. I had friends who tried this tactic. Sutfreund seemed able to smell money being lost. After a waffle or two, I gave him what I figured he wanted to hear ; Well, really, when you get right down to it, I want to make money. One year on Wall Street and they had been transmogrified. So it was hard to argue that they were just listening with their eyes shut, as Japanese businessmen are inclined to do.

liars poker essay

I just wanted to ask you a couple of questions. I sank in my chair. My name was called. Since Princeton doesn’t offer any vocational training, I don’t believe that my choice of concentration will esssy much difference in finding a job.

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He had been in the markets in the City of London for two full years and found the whole idea of a training program absurd.

Another stress-inducing trick was the silent treatment.

The same article had mentioned more than 6, people had applied for the places in the program. The world didn’t need another lawyer, I hadn’t the ability to become a doctor, and my idea for starting poked business making little satchels to hang off the rear ends of dogs to prevent them from crapping on the streets ppker Manhattan advertising jingle; “We Stop the Plop” never found funding. Oddly enough, I didn’t really imagine I was going to work, more as if I were going to collect lottery winnings.


They were right, of course, and that was even more maddening. One wall had long, narrow slits for windows with a sweeping view of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty, but you had to be sitting right beside them to see anything, and even then you were not supposed to soak in the view.

I can’t prove this, of course. A friend who eventually won a job with Lehman Brothers later explained. Then there was a lot in you for him. Bond trading had captured the imaginations of more than half the men in the class.

The trainee was made to understand, first, that inside Salomon Brothers he was, as a trader once described us, lower than whale shit on the bottom of the ocean floor and, second, that lying under whale shit at Salomon Brothers was like rolling in clover compared with not being at Salomon at all.

And had I not escaped, I surely wouldn’t be here now. Sutfreund’s trading floor, where stocks and bonds are bought and sold, is the rough-and-tumble center of moneymaking and risk taking.

It was too smart to give people the chance to turn it down. In retrospect it is clear to me that my arrival at Salomon marked the beginning of the end of that hallowed institution. The second effect, one that struck me at the time as tragic, was a strange surge in the study of economics. Her desire to be noticed was tangible.


He had achieved, by the standards of Wall Street, pokdr mastery of his subject. I called him, reintroduced myself, and said, “I want to let you know that I accept. Management took the path of least resistance and fired the most recent additions to the office, until the day came to resemble the massacre of the innocents. At times Sutfreund himself seemed to agree.

Liar’s Poker Essay

Plenty of people at Salomon Brothers made a hobby of brutally frank character analysis. To build it required a great deal of self-confidence and faith in the gullibility of others; this was my chosen solution to the job problem.

liars poker essay

In the bond market, unlike in the stock market, commissions are not openly stated. In Liar’s Poker a group of people ffi s few as two, as many as ten tfl orm a circle. Even if you shed your red suspenders and adopted protective coloration, you were easily identifiable as a trainee. Commercial bankers just make loans. To get the interview, I had stood in six llars of snow lisrs about fifty other students, awaiting the opening of the Princeton University career services office.

Between the rows of desks there was not enough space for two people to pass each other without first turning sideways.

They were laughing, cursing, eyeing each other sideways, and generally behaving in a brotherly, traderly manner.