The Zeroes

The Zeroes

My Misadventures in the Decade Wall Street Went Insane

Book - 2010
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Penguin Putnam
What Liar's Poker was to the 1980s, The Zeroes is to the first decade of the new century: an insider's memoir of a gilded era when Wall Street went insane-and took the rest of us down with it.

Randall Lane never set out to become a Wall Street power broker. But during the decade he calls the Zeroes, he started a small magazine company that put him near the white-hot center of the biggest boom in history. Almost by accident, a man who drove a beat-up Subaru and lived in a rented walk-up became the go-to guy for big shots with nine-figure incomes.

Lane's saga began with a simple idea: a glossy magazine exclusively for and about traders, which would treat them like rock stars and entice them to splurge on luxury goods. Trader Monthly was an instant hit around the world. Wall Streeters loved the spotlight, and advertisers like Gulfstream, Maybach, and Bulgari loved the marketing opportunity.

To accelerate the buzz, Lane's staff threw parties featuring celebrities, premium steaks, cigars, and top-shelf vodka. Nothing was too expensive or too outrageous. Private jets in Napa Valley. Casino nights in London. And $1,000-a- seat boxing matches in New York, where traders from Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns pounded each other in front of tuxedoed throngs.

Before long, Wall Street's rich and powerful trusted Lane as a fellow insider- the guy who could turn an anonymous trader into a cover model and media darling. And the rest of the world sought him out as a way to tap into Wall Street's riches. As he emptied his bank account to help keep his little company afloat, he became a nexus for the absurd. Traders who turned 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina into multimillion-dollar windfalls. John McCain closing out the craps tables during an all-night gambling binge. Pop artist Peter Max hustling hundreds of thousands of dollars by selling traders paint-by-numbers portraits. Al Gore, John Travolta, Moby. Corrupt Caribbean rulers, the mobsters from Goodfellas, the pope. And a retired baseball star turned market guru named Lenny Dykstra, whose rise and fall was a great metaphor for the decade. All played roles in Lane's increasingly surreal world.

When the crash of 2008 hit, Lane's company and life savings were destroyed along with the high-flying traders and dealmakers his magazines exalted. But Lane walked away with something more lasting: an incredible true story, told by a skilled writer and reporter who sat squarely in the middle of one of the critical periods in modern financial and cultural history. People will turn to The Zeroes for many years to come, to find out what the era was really like.



Baker & Taylor
Offers observations of lucrative excesses within the hedge fund and trader lifestyles, sharing true accounts of the individual who made $4 billion from the housing market collapse, and the experiences of celebrities during the economic crash.

Blackwell Publishing
"As eight sets of boxers slugged through the night, traders and bankers streamed toward Hammerstein, unfurling rolls of hundreds in hopes of charming the check-in girls and buying their way into the capacity event. Via text messages and cell phone calls, The Word had gone out: Wall Street was celebrating tonight.

"The past month had seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average surge past 14,000 points for the first time. These guys were making fortunes by creating securities more complicated than the Rosetta stone and also far more valuable. For these guys---my guys, for better or worse---all was right and just with the world.

"No one had yet developed a name for this era, this decade with the once-a-millennium calendar quirk of two zeroes perched in the middle. As I gazed across the room in front of me, `the Zeroes' seemed fairly spot-on. Wall Street's breathless pursuit of zeroes, that easy-money mentality, had permeated every aspect of our culture. In my role as Wall Street's scorekeeper, I too had fallen prey to the mind warp.

"But I had no inkling that, when the figures were tallied at the end of 2009, there would be zero median income growth. Zero stock market appreciation. Or that the global economy, imperiled by a group of collective zeroes, faced an imminent meltdown that would wipe out millions of people financially---myself included. Given my unique perch, perhaps I should have. But wealth and excess have a blinding effect, especially amid the kind of greedfest that comes along only once every thousand years."

Randall Lane never set out to become a Wall Street power broker. But during the decade he calls the Zeroes. he started a small magazine company that put him near the white-hot center of the biggest boom in history. Almost by accident. A man who drove a beat-up Subaru and lived in a rented walk-up became the go-to guy for big shots with nine-figure incomes.

Lane's saga began with a simple idea: a glossy magazine exclusively for and about traders. which would treat them like rock stars and entice them to splurge on luxury goods. Trader Monthly was an instant hit around the world. Wall Streeters loved the spotlight. and advertisers like Gulfstream. Maybach, and Bulgari loved the marketing opportunity.

To accelerate the buzz, Lane's staff threw parties featuring celebrities, premium steaks, cigars, and top-shelf vodka. Nothing was too expensive or too outrageous. Private jets in Napa Valley. Casino nights in London. And $1,000-a-seat boxing matches in New York, where traders from Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns pounded each other in front of tuxedoed throngs.

Before long, Wall Street's rich and powerful trusted Lane as a fellow insider---the guy who could turn an anonymous trader into a cover model and media darling. And the rest of the world sought him out as a way to tap into Wall Street's riches. As he emptied his bank account to help keep his little company afloat, he became a nexus for the absurd. Traders who turned 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina into multimillion-dollar wind-falls. John McCain closing out the craps tables during an all-night gambling binge. Pop artist Peter Max hustling hundreds of thousands of dollars by selling traders almost paint-by-numbers portraits. Al Gore, John Travolta, Moby. Corrupt Caribbean rulers, the mobsters from Goodfellas, the pope. And a retired baseball star turned market guru---Lenny Dykstra---whose rise and fall was a great metaphor for the decade. All played roles in Lane's increasingly surreal world.

When the crash of 2008 hit, lane's company and life savings were destroyed along with the high-flying traders and dealmakers his magazines exalted. But Lane walked away with something more lasting; an incredible true story.

People will turn to The Zeroes for many years to come to find out what the era was really like.

Baker
& Taylor

Traces the author's observations of lucrative excesses within the hedge fund and trader lifestyles, sharing true accounts of the million-dollar investment made between the tower collapses on September 11, the individual who made $4 billion from the housing market collapse and the experiences of celebrities during the economic crash.

Publisher: New York : Portfolio, c2010
ISBN: 9781591843290
1591843294
Branch Call Number: 330.97309 L244z 2010
Characteristics: 359 p. ; 24 cm

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fdb045
Aug 20, 2015

I can't recommend this book. It has positives but the cons outweigh them. (The author admits this book helped pay off the debts he incurred.)

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