July 15, 2010

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - The Zeroes

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 8:42 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

The Zeroes: My Misadventures in the Decade Wall Street Went Insane by Randall Lanes, Portfolio, 353 Pages, $27.95, Hardcover, July 2010, ISBN 9781591843290 Every decade seems to have a nickname: The Roaring Twenties and The Swinging Sixties, for example. Randall Lane makes a strong case for the past decade to be christened The Zeroes. In his new memoir of the same name, Lane—cofounder and editor of Trader Monthly and Dealmaker magazines—tells the story of his own experiences during that decade of financial excess that we all are now paying for. Too Big to Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin is still the definitive book about the actual banking crisis that changed our world so radically. The Zeroes offers more of a People magazine (or possibly TMZ) look at how we got here. And that is not an insult. The entertainment rag aspect comes from the author’s willingness to name names and pull no punches when describing, with an insider’s eye, the excesses of the decade. The people gracing these pages include Sen. John McCain gambling at a craps table and ex-Major League Baseball player Lenny Dykstra behaving as an authority on the stock market. As a magazine publisher—the traders loved the PR he could provide—Lane was smack dab in the middle of the lunacy. This unique view—a bit like Alice in Wonderland—is presented with the use of a self-deprecating humor that pervades the book and creates sympathy for a man misled by opportunity. What Michael Lewis did for ‘80s traders in Liar’s Poker, Randall Lane has now done for trader rock stars of The Zeroes. You will be stunned by the craziness and cautioned by the consequences.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.