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Michael Lewis Makes Boring Stuff Interesting - WSJ
May 17, 2019 | THE WALL STREET JOURNAL | By Richard Turner.

The writer’s new podcast ‘Against the Rules’ asks what has happened to fairness in the U.S.......Michael Lewis doesn’t really need this gig. His new podcast, “Against the Rules,” doesn’t pay anything close to his book-writing day job. It’s unlikely to turn into a movie. Plus, the podcast’s subject is pretty abstract: Who are the referees in our society? Who determines what is fair and even what is true? Is our whole system rigged from stem to stern, as everyone from President Donald Trump to sports fans to the Black Lives Matter movement insists?.....The idea to examine “what’s happened to fairness” in an age when America’s arbiters are no longer trusted. The Walter Cronkites of the world are gone, and those assigned to make the tough calls are reviled, threatened and assumed (sometimes correctly) to be corrupt.....“It’s a big problem for democracy if people don’t have a shared reality,” Mr. Lewis says. “It’s difficult to establish a referee in an increasingly unequal environment” like today’s U.S., “when there are powerful parties and not-so powerful ones. .......Mr. Lewis’s skills turn out to be well-suited to the podcast medium. His calling card, echoed by untold critics and readers, is this: He makes boring stuff interesting. He collects disparate ingredients, whips them up with character and narrative, and distills human stories into engrossing big-picture explainers........Lewis keeps seeing failures of refereeing. “There was no referee at the interface between Wall Street and the consumers—consumer finance. I saw the birth of that, when Wall Street hit segments of society it had never touched, through subprime mortgages, for car loans, through asset-backed securities. There was no one saying, ‘That’s fair and that’s not.’”.......Among his topics: correct English usage, judges, used cars, identity theft, credit-card companies, student-loan abuses, Cambridge Analytica, King Solomon and the famed mediator Kenneth Feinberg, who handled victim compensation for 9/11 families and those affected by the 2010 BP oil spill. Listeners can imagine myriad future topics related to fairness: expanding the Supreme Court, machines calling balls and strikes, cable-news coverage of the Trump presidency and so on.
boring  consumer_finance  credit-ratings  democracy  failure  fairness  gaming_the_system  Michael_Lewis  NBA  podcasting  podcasts  refereeing  rules_of_the_game  shared_experiences  unglamorous  Wall_Street  writers 
may 2019 by jerryking
Why boring government matters
November 1, 2018 | | Financial Times | Brooke Masters.

The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy, by Michael Lewis, Allen Lane, RRP£20, 219 pages.

John MacWilliams is a former Goldman Sachs investment banker who becomes the risk manager for the department of energy. He regales Lewis with a horrific catalogue of all the things that can go wrong if a government takes its eye off the ball, and provides the book with its title. Asked to name the five things that worry him the most, he lists the usual risks that one would expect — accidents, the North Koreans, Iran — but adds that the “fifth risk” is “project management”.

Lewis explains that “this is the risk society runs when it falls into the habit of responding to long-term risks with short-term solutions.” In other words, America will suffer if it stops caring about the unsung but vital programmes that decontaminate billions of tonnes of nuclear waste, fund basic scientific research and gather weather data.

That trap, he makes clear with instance after instance of the Trump administration failing to heed or even meet with his heroic bureaucrats, is what America is falling into now.

We should all be frightened.
books  book_reviews  boring  bureaucracy  bureaucrats  cynicism  Department_of_Energy  government  Michael_Lewis  public_servants  risks  technocrats  unglamorous  writers  short-term_thinking  competence  sovereign-risk  civics  risk-management 
november 2018 by jerryking
From Michael Lewis, a Portrait of the Men Who Shaped ‘Moneyball’ - The New York Times
Lewis decided to explore how it started.

The inquiry led him to the work of two Israeli psychologists, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, whose discoveries challenged long-held beliefs about human nature and the way the mind works.

Mr. Lewis chronicles their unusual partnership in his new book, “The Undoing Project,” a story about two unconventional thinkers who saw the world differently from everyone around them. Their peculiar area of research — how humans make decisions, often irrationally — has had profound implications for an array of fields, like professional sports, the military, medicine, politics, finance and public health.....Tversky and Kahneman's research demonstrating how people behave in fundamentally irrational ways when making decisions, relying on their gut rather than available data, gave rise to the field of behavioral economics. That discipline attracted Paul DePodesta, a Harvard student, who later went into sports management and helped upend professional baseball when he went to work for Mr. Beane.....Unlike many nonfiction writers, Mr. Lewis declines to take advances, which he calls “corrupting,” even though he could easily earn seven figures. Instead, he splits the profits from the books, as well as the advertising and production costs, with Norton. The setup spurs him to work harder and to make more money if the books are successful, he says.

“You should have the risk and you should enjoy the reward,” he said. “It’s not healthy for an author not to have the risk.”
Amos_Tversky  Michael_Lewis  Moneyball  books  book_reviews  unconventional_thinking  biases  cognitive_skills  unknowns  information_gaps  humility  pretense_of_knowledge  overconfidence  conventional_wisdom  overestimation  metacognition  behavioural_economics  irrationality  decision_making  nonfiction  writers  self-awareness  self-analysis  self-reflective  proclivities  Daniel_Kahneman  psychologists  delusions  self-delusions  skin_in_the_game  gut_feelings  risk-taking  partnerships 
december 2016 by jerryking
When speed is greed - The Globe and Mail

LOS ANGELES — The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Apr. 11 2014,
Omar_el_Akkad  Michael_Lewis  Wall_Street  traders 
april 2014 by jerryking
Michael Lewis’s Crusade -
APRIL 4, 2014

Continue reading the main story
[Joe Nocera]

Joe Nocera
Michael_Lewis  Wall_Street  traders 
april 2014 by jerryking
Former RBC banker is hero of new Michael Lewis book - The Globe and Mail
Former RBC banker is hero of new Michael Lewis book Add to ...
Subscribers Only

NEW YORK — The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Mar. 27 2014
Michael_Lewis  RBC  writers 
march 2014 by jerryking
Obama’s Way
October 2012 | Vanity Fair | Michael Lewis:
politics  Michael_Lewis 
september 2012 by jerryking
Rescued By The Gridiron
OCTOBER 30, 2006 | Business Week | By Mark Hyman
Michael_Lewis  NFL 
may 2012 by jerryking
Where Business Thinkers Learn Their Lessons -

Where Business Thinkers Learn Their Lessons
book_reviews  booklists  books  Warren_Bennis  Michael_Lewis  Roger_Martin  Melissa_Korn 
january 2012 by jerryking
Instant messengers -
September 30, 2011 5:35 pm
Instant messengers

By John Gapper

In principle, the two types of history – an instant account and the long view – are complementary. The journalist digs up the ground and tries to uncover facts immediately, and the historian assembles all the available data and adds perspective. Rival versions of history may agree on the basic facts but shape them differently to produce varying conclusions.
journalists  historians  Andrew_Sorkin  Michael_Lewis  Frank_Partnoy 
october 2011 by jerryking
Michael Lewis’s ‘The Big Short’? Read the Harvard Thesis Instead! - Deal Journal - WSJ
March 15, 2010 | WSJ | By Peter Lattman.

Back at Harvard, against the backdrop of the financial system’s near-total collapse, Barnett-Hart approached professors with an idea of writing a thesis about CDOs and their role in the crisis. “Everyone discouraged me because they said I’d never be able to find the data,” she said. “I was urged to do something more narrow, more focused, more knowable. That made me more determined.”

She emailed scores of Harvard alumni. One pointed her toward LehmanLive, a comprehensive database on CDOs. She received scores of other data leads. She began putting together charts and visuals, holding off on analysis until she began to see patterns–how Merrill Lynch and Citigroup were the top originators, how collateral became heavily concentrated in subprime mortgages and other CDOs, how the credit ratings procedures were flawed, etc.

“If you just randomly start regressing everything, you can end up doing an unlimited amount of regressions,” she said, rolling her eyes. She says nearly all the work was in the research; once completed, she jammed out the paper in a couple of weeks.
financial_system  Michael_Lewis  economics  Harvard  Colleges_&_Universities  students  thesis  CDOs  data  patterns  Wall_Street  investment_banking  women  Philip_Mudd  economic_downturn  linear_regression  finance  crisis 
march 2011 by jerryking
The Sidney Awards (2010)
December 23, 2010 | | By DAVID BROOKS
David_Brooks  Sidney_Awards  reading  Michael_Lewis  best_of 
december 2010 by jerryking
Chronicling Wall Street’s collapse: three gripping and useful takes
Jun. 11, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | HARVEY SCHACHTER. Reviews
13 Bankers, By Simon Johnson and James Kwak,
Pantheon, 304 pages, $32.; The End Of Wall Street, By Roger Lowenstein,
The Penguin Press, 339 pages, $35; The Big Short, By Michael Lewis,,
Norton, 266 pages, $35.
books  book_reviews  economic_downturn  Harvey_Schachter  Roger_Lowenstein  Michael_Lewis  Wall_Street  investment_banking 
june 2010 by jerryking
The Short Game
March 16, 2010 | | The American Prospect | Tim Fernholz
Michael_Lewis  short_selling 
may 2010 by jerryking
A Message to Wall Street's Fabulous Fabs
April 22, 2010 | BusinessWeek | By Michael Lewis. Goldman
will survive, but the expectations have changed. "Here, for a start, is
what the world beyond Wall Street is entitled to:

Full knowledge of the inner workings of your proprietary trading desk.
In particular, the moment-to-moment dealings of your correlations
traders from late 2004, when they first exploited AIG's (AIG) idiotic
willingness to sell cheap insurance on pools of subprime mortgage loans,
until the end of 2007, when they would have taken most of their profits
from the total collapse of the subprime bond markets "
Goldman_Sachs  Michael_Lewis  transparency 
april 2010 by jerryking
Review: The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machines, by Michael Lewis
Apr. 03, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | by Boyd Erman. The Big
Short: Inside the Doomsday Machines, by Michael Lewis, Norton, 264
pages, $35
Boyd_Erman  Michael_Lewis  book_reviews  Wall_Street  short_selling  hedge_funds 
april 2010 by jerryking
Books of The Times - Michael Lewis’s ‘Big Short’ - Investors Foresaw Meltdown - Review -
March 14, 2010 | New York Times | By MICHIKO KAKUTANI. Reviews THE BIG SHORT

Inside the Doomsday Machine

By Michael Lewis

266 pages. W. W. Norton & Company. $27.95.
Michael_Lewis  book_reviews  economic_downturn 
march 2010 by jerryking
Going beyond 'Moneyball'
October 24 2006 | FORTUNE Magazine | By Brian O'Keefe, Fortune
senior editor. 'QA with Moneyball author and sports economist Michael
Lewis who explains how iconoclasts in business and sports find new ways
to succeed, and discusses his new book. "This is painful for most
people to do, because they face ridicule and ostracism. I think
intelligence is overrated as a quality central to this kind of
innovation. It's a kind of nerve. It's the ability to take a risk."
"People are put in natural underdog situations where if they do things
the way that everybody else does, they are certain to lose."
Michael_Lewis  innovation  silicon_valley  Moneyball  overrated  iconoclasts  underdogs  books  risk-taking  ridicule  ostracism 
november 2009 by jerryking
The End of Wall Street's Boom - National Business News -
December 2008 article by Michael Lewis on the
machinations that led to the implosion on sub prime lending and the
current financial crisis.
Michael_Lewis  economic_downturn 
january 2009 by jerryking

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