#Books – Wolfe Street
This will be the last post on this Blog before a short summer break. This week is about Wall Street. It has inspired so many brilliant books, movies, and web television series, that it was hard to make a short list. Thus, I decided to focus on the “Golden Boys” era of the late 1980’s.
The Bonfire of the Vanities – Tom Wolfe
Tom Wolfe is one of my favorite authors, and you should regard him as the equivalent of Balzac or Zola. If you want a deep dive into every aspect of US society during the 20th society, then Wolfe is your man. The Bonfire of the Vanities is not only about Wall Street, and it is not only the story of Sherman McCoy, a successful bond trader at Pierce & Pierce who accidentally stroke a black man in the Bronx with his car after making a wrong turn. It is a fierce portrait of New York City in the 1980’s, a place full of violence, power struggle, wealth and racial inequalities, and corruption.
American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
This novel displays an explosion of violence and madness that was pre-announced in Less Than Zero. Either you love him or hate him, but in my opinion, Easton Ellis is a talented writer when it comes to talk about postmodern societies and the great disillusion of Generation X. Like Sherman McCoy in The Bonfire of the Vanities, Patrick Bateman works for Pierce & Pierce as an investment banker. More interestingly, he is also a serial killer who likes to rape, torture, and even eat people, especially young women. American Psycho is a critique of material gains and superficial apparencies, as well as a satire of Western consumerist society. One last thing that you should know about Patrick Bateman: he is an admirer of Donald Trump.
Liar’s Poker – Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis has become one of the best-selling authors covering the financial industry. Many of his books are worth it, such as The Big Short or Flash Boys. But it is interesting to mention his first piece, Liar’s Poker, a semi-autobiographical text describing his experience as a bond salesman at Salomon Brothers during the late 1980’s. At that time, bond traders were regarded as the kings of Wall Street. “If he could make millions of dollars come out of those phones, he became that most revered of all species: a Big Swinging Dick”.