Booked Up with Jen Taub
MICHAEL LEWIS on Going Infinite
October 8, 2023
In This Episode:
Author Michael Lewis joins Jen Taub to talk about “Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon,” his new book that focuses on Sam Bankman-Fried, the crypto-wunderkind who is now on trial on federal criminal charges including wire fraud, securities fraud, commodities fraud, and money laundering.
Though Michael needs no introduction, here’s one anyway. You know Michael from his numerous bestselling works of narrative nonfiction. You may in fact be someone like John Williams of the New York Times book review who wrote: “I would read an 800-page history of the stapler if he wrote it.” I’m certain that I would as well, and not just because my preliminary research of the stapler shows that there is some controversy as to its origins. But, I digress.
Michael Lewis may be best known for his follow-the-money books. These include his debut work Liar’s Poker about binge-eating bond traders on Wall Street in the 1980s, as well as The Big Short published in 2010, about a scrappy selection of investors who saw that the toxic-mortgage-linked securities bubble was about to burst and made billions on their related trades. Several of Michael’s books have been made into feature films including the Big Short, directed by Adam McKay; Moneyball, and The Blind Side.
Beyond his story-telling excellence, what makes Michael’s work so compellihg are the unexpected discoveries about the fragility of our government infrastructure such as with the Fifth Risk and his ability to make us think in a more nuanced way about high-profile topics, including his already controversial take on SBF. Jen and Michael Lewis talk about indicted crypto-wunderkind Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF).
In their discussion they contemplated whether SBF ran his businesses like an absent-minded parent setting up an Easter Egg hunt without making note of how many and where the eggs were. As an alternative, he might have deliberately siphoned off customer and investor assets and hide them in accounts to use later for himself or his charitable causes.
Let’s dive in.
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