Both Ira Glass and Malcolm Gladwell say today’s guest is their favorite storyteller. In his books and magazine articles, Lewis writes about sports, business, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, political campaigns, fatherhood. Stuff that matters to a lot of people. He’s smart and he has a sense of humor.
Lewis was a trader at Salomon Brothers before he wrote his first best-seller, LIAR’S POKER about the excesses of Wall Street during the 1980s. He continues to write about that world with his last two books, a column for Bloomberg, and articles in Vanity Fair.
His newest book BOOMERANG: Travels in the New Third World is made up of articles originally published in Vanity Fair and picks up where 2010’s THE BIG SHORT left off. What happens after the meltdown of 07-08? Governments are the focus of this book. Mostly because they have taken on the bad debts of the too big to fail banks, so now they are themselves at risk. Now politics and culture become much more important as to how they will deal with that risk. Then there’s the story of California which as a state ran up unsustainable debts during a series of bubbles and can’t raise the taxes to pay for them.
We’ll also talk about the twisted path taken to get MONEYBALL into theatres. The film based on his 2003 book is now a popular and critical success.
MICHAEL LEWIS received a BA in art history from Princeton University and a Masters in economics from the London School of Economics. He contributes to bloomberg.com and Vanity Fair. His other books include The Blind Side, Panic, The New New Thing, and Home Game.
MICHAEL LEWIS is one of my favorite popular writers. He writes about sports, business, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, political campaigns, now fatherhood - in bestselling books and for the New York Times Magazine and Vanity Fair, among others. He's smart and he has a sense of humor. Malcolm Gladwell says he's one of our best storytellers.
LEWIS was a trader at Salomon Brothers before he wrote his first best-seller, LIAR'S POKER about the excesses of Wall Street in the 1980s. He continues to write about that world with a couple of books in 2008 -- Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity and The Real Price of Everything (editor) -- and a column for Bloomberg. His newest book, Home Game, is about fatherhood, so we'll talk about that, but even more we'll talk about Wall Street, madness, greed, the crash, and how we're dealing with it.
MICHAEL LEWIS received a BA in art history from Princeton University and an MSc in economics from the London School of Economics. He worked as an investment banker for Salomon Brothers before leaving to write LIAR'S POKER. Other books include MONEYBALL, on the Oakland A's, Billy Beane, and baseball's new wave of Ivy League general managers; PANIC: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity; and his newest, HOME GAME: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood.
JANE MAYER, one of our nation's foremost investigative journalists will join us for at least the last half hour, maybe a bit more. Her best-selling 2008 book, THE DARK SIDE, was chosen by the New New York Times, The Economist, Salon, Slate, and Bloomberg as one of the best books of the year.
In THE DARK SIDE, MAYER reported (to quote a review by Andrew Basevich), "Since embarking upon its global war on terror, the United States has blatantly disregarded the Geneva Conventions. It has imprisoned suspects, including U.S. citizens, without charge, holding them indefinitely and denying them due process. It has created an American gulag in which thousands of detainees, including many innocent of any wrongdoing, have been subjected to ritual abuse and humiliation. It has delivered suspected terrorists into the hands of foreign torturers. Under the guise of 'enhanced interrogation techniques,' it has succeeded, in Mayer's words, in 'making torture the official law of the land in all but name.' Further, it has done all these things as a direct result of policy decisions made at the highest levels of government."
The country learned about all this and rejected Bush's Republican successor, John McCain, in favor of former constitutional law professor, Barack Obama. So has everything changed for the good?
I'd say not nearly enough.
Just in the two months since President Obama released the torture memos, a former FBI interrogator testified to the failures of the CIA's so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, a former aide to Colin Powell said the interrogations were aimed at building the case for the Iraq war, a coalition of advocacy groups has launched a campaign to disbar twelve former Bush administration attorneys.
The Obama response? While continuing to preach "move forward, don't look back" when it comes to investigating or prosecuting possible crimes committed in pursuit of the above listed policies, the Obama administration has withheld photos of detainee abuse, defended the military tribunal system, and floated plans for a system of "preventive detention" for accused Terrorists.
We will talk with JANE MAYER about the past, the present, and the future of actions and crimes committed by the US government to defend us from terror.