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

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.