I had expected to be disappointed by Michael Lewis’s latest book on the madness, deceptions and absurdities of Wall Street. This was partly because I’m close to the limits of my appetite for credit crunch books. There are now literally hundreds to choose from, of all genres. We already get the general picture: bankers take advantage of complexity in the financial system to go on the greatest unrestrained lending binge of all time, and in the process end up busting their organisations and the world economy so comprehensively that it’s going to take decades for taxpayers to pay for the damage. Frankly, I’ve had my fill. How much more can be said about it?
The other reason is that Lewis has already written one of the definitive books about the greed-fuelled carnage of Wall Street, Liar’s Poker, and it was hard to see how he could improve on it. Sequels rarely work as well. What’s more, Liar’s Poker was based on Lewis’s