Michael Lewis’ Prescription for Wall Street

Interviews with people who shape our culture.
Feb. 27 2012 5:52 PM

Don’t Let Big Banks Hold Us Hostage

The Big Short author Michael Lewis on how to avoid another financial meltdown.

Wall Street sign.

Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images.

Ever since his days as a bond trader at Salomon Brothers in the 1980s, author Michael Lewis has been tracking and chronicling the culture of Wall Street and the dysfunction of the financial industry, most recently in his books The Big Short and Boomerang.

Lewis sat down recently with Jacob Weisberg to talk about how history may look back on the period from the go-go ’80s to the crash of 2008 and its aftermath. He predicts future generations will wonder, “How did you not notice 24-year-olds were being paid $2 million a year who clearly didn’t know anything?” He also gives interesting advice on how to avoid another meltdown: Have financial firms declare themselves either in the advisory business or in the gambling business.

Here’s Part 1 of Lewis’ interview, in which he discusses the challenges of turning his baseball book Moneyball into a movie. Look for more from the interview in the days ahead, including a segment where Lewis answers Slate reader questions.

Advertisement

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.