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Bibliography about Michael Lewis’ latest book ‘Forever’


There was a time when I would have told you that there was no writer I trusted more than Michael Lewis; He is the author of too many best-selling non-fiction books to count, including “Moneyball”, “The Blind Side”, “Flash Boys” and “Flash Boys”. “Big Short.”

Lewis was particularly insightful on financial matters. “The Big Short” manages to uncover the roots of the 2008 crash in a way that both brings the characters who saw the disaster to life and makes the financial inflows and outflows explainable.

One of the distinctive features of Lewis’s method is to build the narrative around a central figure, an iconoclast who sees the world differently and derives special advantage from these differences. In “Moneyball,” the Oakland A’s general manager was Billy Beane. In “The Big Short,” it was Michael Burry, a neurodivergent genius, who shorted the entire U.S. housing market before the mortgage-backed securities market crashed.

Lewis returns to the world of finance with “Back to Forever: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon,” which tells the inside story of FTX cryptocurrency exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried, who is now allegedly on trial for one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges. frauds in financial history.

In Lewis’ telling, Bankman-Fried is another eccentric with little emotion who thinks every question can be reduced to rational analysis, including whether Shakespeare is one of the greatest writers of all time. (Bankman-Fried thinks not.)

Lewis had been working with Bankman-Fried before a transaction on the stock market led to a significant bankruptcy and a strange relationship between FTX and Alameda, a hedge fund controlled by FTX that allegedly used customer deposits at FTX to invest in it itself. fraud case

I went into the book hoping to get Lewis’ insight into how Bankman-Fried’s machinations went so wrong, but the deeper the story goes, the more the reader realizes that Lewis intended the book to be some kind of exoneration, nothing more. One of Lewis’s stories about a misunderstood genius.

Now, it’s important to remember that as of this writing, Bankman-Fried has yet to be convicted of any crimes, but it’s also notable that some of his former FTX/Alameda colleagues have already admitted to various illegal acts and the early days of testimony are notable. At the hearing, at least paint a picture of someone who, if not a fraud, then looks nothing like a “businessman”. In fact, it seems that whatever success FTX has had (celebrity endorsements, Super Bowl Commercials) has been entirely illusory; It wasn’t a good idea that went bad, it wasn’t an idea doomed to collapse.

The story sounds less like one of Lewis’s typical underdog/iconoclast tales and more like Theranos, which John Carreyrou memorably exposed in his book “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in Silicon Valley.”

I wish I knew what went wrong when Lewis got too close to his subject, or perhaps hubris got the best of him over the years, but “Going Forever” is extremely strange compared to the public records of the trial.

Of course, it’s possible that Lewis was right and that Bankman-Fried’s own colleagues, government prosecutors, and the rest of the financial world’s watchdogs were wrong, that he was simply a maverick who invented something new that might run afoul of the old ways. It is a form of fraud updated for the digital age.

But the more likely conclusion is that Bankman-Fried is exactly what he seems, and Lewis has written a story that is a poor reflection of reality.

John Warner is the author of “Why They Can’t Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Requirements.”

Twitter @biblioracle

Book recommendations from Biblioracle

John Warner tells you what you should read, based on the last five books you’ve read.

1. “Bee Sting” by Paul Murray

2. “Time Shelter” By Georgi Gospodinov

3. “The Time of the Old God” By Sebastian Barry

4. “Happiness Falls” By Angie Kim

5. “Bird Hotel” By Joyce Maynard

— Sari K., Riverwoods, IL

I think “The Caller” by Tana French offers the story and atmosphere Sari is looking for in a good reading.

1. “Annals of the Ancient World” by John McPhee

2. “The Leo Follower’s Guide to Life” By Boyd Varty

3. “Vivian Maier Developed: The Untold Story of the Photographer Nanny” By Ann Marks

4. “This Tender Land” by William Kent Krueger

5. “Music of the Bees” By Eileen Garvin

—Dave L., Chicago

For Dave, I recommend a novel with great warmth and mischievous humor at its core, including great recipes: “The Search” by Michelle Huneven.

1. “The Wager: A Story of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder” By David Grann

2. “Border Trilogy” By Cormac McCarthy

3. “America’s Poverty” by Matthew Desmond

4. “South of the Border, West of the Sun” by Haruki Murakami

5. “Heaven and Earth Market” by James McBride

—Bill F., Chicago

For Bill, I recommend “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki, which I think is both heartfelt and epic.

Get a reading from Bibliocle

Send a list of the last five books you read and your hometown to: biblioracle@gmail.com.


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