When Jared Dillian joined Lehman Brothers in 2001, he fulfilled a life-long dream to make it on Wall Street - but he had no idea how close to the edge the job would take him. Like Michael Lewis' classic Liar's Poker, Jared Dillian's Street Freak takes listeners behind the scenes of the legendary Lehman Brothers, exposing its outrageous and often hilarious corporate culture. In this ultracompetitive Ivy League world where men would flip over each other’s ties to check out the labels, Dillian was an outsider as an ex-military, working-class guy in a Men's Wearhouse suit. But he was scrappy and determined; in interviews he told potential managers that, "Nobody can work harder than me. Nobody is willing to put in the hours I will put in. I am insane." As it turned out, on Wall Street insanity is not an undesirable quality. Dillian rose from green associate, checking IDs at the entrance to the trading floor in the paranoid days following 9/11, to become an integral part of Lehman's culture in its final years as the firm's head Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) trader. More than $1 trillion in wealth passed through his hands, but at the cost of an untold number of smashed telephones and tape dispensers. Over time, the exhilarating and explosively stressful job took its toll on him. 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 eventually landed him in a psychiatric ward. Dillian put his life back together, returning to work healthier than ever before, but Lehman itself had seemingly gone mad, having made outrageous bets on commercial real estate, and was quickly headed for self-destruction. A raucous account of the final years of Lehman Brothers, from 9/11 at its World Financial Center offices through the firm's bankruptcy, including vivid portraits of trading-floor culture, the financial meltdown, and the company's ultimate collapse.
©2011 Jared Dillian (P)2014 Audible Inc.
I may have read the reviews and summary wrong but I thought this would be more about one person and the crash of a company and there tale of being involved with that crash. This book is about Wall Street traders cracking up.
I enjoyed reading the print version some years back. Maybe it's me; as I grow older, and more wide and deep in understanding, things like action movies get boring in a hurry: little individuals chisel out little head-bashes, stalemates and advantages on tiny canvasses. Rinse and repeat. Yet another third down hoves into view and haven't I seen this thousands of times? Pull back a few feet and perceive hamsters on little wheels in the guts of a factory cursing and swearing and breaking small office implements in their by-now-tedious rehash of the stereotype old-fashioned trading floor arena. Mr Ganser is a pretty good narrator usually, but narrating is not usually dramatization: the words of the book already convey the drama, and overlaying loud strained voice tones is redundant, and even distracting, subtracting from the experience with an extra layer of noise: needless sound and fury. "I'm gonna get his balls in a jar" conveys things, but with a jarring loud delivery, makes me think, especially is this is merely the Nth iteration of another hyped trade moment, another third down, get me outta here, now. The locker room atmosphere is thick enough already. But those yearning to press their face against the glass to see a sweaty buddy culture and a rehash of "Wall Street" will be pleased.
I don't usually write reviews, but this might be my favorite Wall Street book ever (and I've read many). It's also one of the best audiobook performances I've ever heard. The combination of Dillian's unflinching account of his Wall Street escapades and the reader's expressive and energetic performance made this an audiobook I'll likely replay a time or two.
Yes and no. For me it was too real. I was a debt markets a trader in Australia from 2004-2009 and I can relate to a lot of experiences in his book.
I really enjoyed his writing.
He did a great job.
Too long for one sitting, but I found myself listening at 4am in the morning when I couldn't sleep.
If you didn't work in these type of markets you wouldn't realise how realistic this book is - very few people will and so a lot of people will not be able to relate to its honesty. I lived this world, and I rate this book. I found myself laughing out and wanting to cry at various times. I came across him via his free weekly email via john mauldin economics.
One of the best audible books I've ever listened to. Gasner brings Dillian to life and puts you on the trading floor. A great story of triumph over adversity. Personal, professional trails overcome by not giving up, being lucky and working hard. a motivational story.
I thoroughly enjoyed Street Freak. Great story, well written, informative and entertaining. Dillian does a great job bringing you into his world as he advances his trading career at Lehman. Excellent narration, especially the trading sequences.
I work for a Wall Street firm and have listened to many similar books. There is nothing special or insightful about this book. The funny thing is the writer talks a lot about wanting to be a writer. After listening to the book, he should have remained a trader.
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