Street Freak by Jared Dillian

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Street Freak by Jared DillianStreet Freak by Jared Dillian is a memoir about Dillian’s life as a trader at Lehman Brothers, the famed financial services firm that went belly up in 2008. At the time, Lehman was the 4th largest investment bank in the US and its collapse was one of the most memorable moments of the financial crisis.

As regular readers will know, I really enjoy books that give us an “inside look” at an interesting industry (I’m afraid a book about librarians, as much as I love libraries, just wouldn’t cut it). It’s why I enjoyed On The Brink by Hank Paulson and The Weekend That Changed Wall-Street by Maria Bartiromo. In those cases, the books were behind the scenes look at the crisis itself. Dillian’s memoir takes place during the crisis (it starts with the start of his career, which goes all the way back to right before 9/11), and it includes the crisis itself and Lehman’s final years.

I’m still making my way through the book, which comes out this week, but it’s been a fun read. I’m surprised at how the clichés, which you always assume can’t possibly be true, are actually true, at least in Dillian’s experience. The single minded nature of the financial services industry – “make money and survive, lose money and die” – seems so callous that it can’t be real. But it seems to be.

I’m also surprised at how pedigree makes all the difference in that world and that Dillian, who wasn’t from a top notch school and didn’t play lacrosse at a prep school on Long Island, made it in on hard work and smarts.

It’s first and foremost a memoir and a bit of a guilty pleasure look at the financial industry from the inside.

{ 3 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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3 Responses to “Street Freak by Jared Dillian”

  1. Wilma says:

    I just bought 4 books on line from B&N last night. Guess I can mosey on back there for this one. Thanks.

  2. a says:

    I dont believe there is a single prep school on Long Island.

  3. g says:

    Not a top notch school? He went to the Coast Guard Academy – it’s rated number 1 in the North by USNews and its a federal service academy.

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