Michael Lewis quotes

  • The pleasure of rooting for Goliath is that you can expect to win. The pleasure of rooting for David is that, while you don’t know what to expect, you stand at least a chance of being inspired.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Winning #Chance #Inspired

  • I didn't think one day something would happen that would bring me back to Wall Street to write what is essentially a sequel.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Wall #Writing #Thinking

  • When you're trying to create a career as a writer, a little delusional thinking goes a long way.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Writing #Thinking #Careers

  • We have the Google family calendar. Before a week starts, my wife and I sit down to decide who's driving who to school or when can we go out on a date.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #School #Wife #Google

  • The men on the trading floor may not have been to school, but they have Ph.D.’s in man’s ignorance.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Ignorance #School #Men

  • Baseball has so much history and tradition. You can respect it, or you can exploit it for profit, but it's still being made all over the place, all the time.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Baseball #Tradition #Profit

  • There's something bad in everything good and something good in everything bad.
    -- Michael Lewis

  • My client loved risk. Risk, I had learned, was a commodity in itself. Risk could be canned and sold like tomatoes.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Risk #Clients #Tomatoes

  • He's a machine for competitive balance, ... Yes, the money is in New York. Yes, the money is in his hands. But he squanders money. Thank God for it.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #God #New York #Hands

  • I thought instead of a good rule for survival on Wall Street: Never agree to anything proposed on someone else's boat or you'll regret in in the morning.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Morning #Regret #Wall

  • In Japan, mothers insist on achievement and accomplishment as a sign of love and respect. Thus to fail places children in a highly shamed situation.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Mother #Children #Japan

  • Every form of strength is also a form of weakness,
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Weakness #Form

  • If you’ve got a dozen pitchers, you need to speak 12 different languages.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Dozen #Different #Needs

  • People in both fields operate with beliefs and biases. To the extent you can eliminate both and replace them with data, you gain a clear advantage.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Data #People #Fields

  • Looking into it a bit, Jamie found that the model used by Wall Street to price LEAPs, the Black-Scholes option pricing model, made some strange assumptions.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Wall #Black #Strange

  • A credit default swap was confusing mainly because it wasn't really a swap at all. It was an insurance policy, typically on a corporate bond, with semiannual premium payments and a fixed term.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Confusing #Credit #Premium

  • Incredibly, at this critical juncture in financial history, after which so much changed so quickly, the only constraint in the subprime mortgage market was a shortage of people willing to bet against it.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #People #Financial #Mortgage

  • Here was a strange but true fact: The closer you were to the market, the harder it was to perceive its folly.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Facts #Strange #True Fact

  • Even as late as the summer of 2006, as home prices began to fall, it took a certain kind of person to see the ugly facts and react to them-to discern, in the profile of the beautiful young lady, the face of an old witch.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Beautiful #Summer #Fall

  • Girls tend to attribute their failures to factors such as lack of ability, while boys tend to attribute failure to specific factors, including teachers' attitudes. Moreover, girls avoid situations in which failure is likely, whereas boys approach such situations as a challenge, indicating that failure differentially affects self-esteem.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Girl #Teacher #Attitude

  • Some coaches believed they could judge a player's performance simply by watching it. In this they were deeply mistaken. The naked eye was an inadequate tool for learning what you needed to know to evaluate baseball players and baseball games. Think about it. One absolutely cannot tell, by watching, the difference between a .300 hitter and a .275 hitter. The difference is one hit every two weeks. The difference between a good hitter and an average hitter is simply not visible-it is a matter of record
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Baseball #Volleyball #Eye

  • Thirdly-but not lastly-there was the bias toward what people saw with their own eyes, or thought they had seen. The human mind played tricks on itself when it relied exclusively on what it saw. There was a lot you couldn't see when you watched a game
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Volleyball #Eye #Games

  • He was ignorant, but a lot of people mistook ignorance for stupidity, and knowingness for intelligence.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Ignorance #People #Stupidity

  • Everything, in retrospect, is obvious. But if everything were obvious, authors of histories of financial folly would be rich . . .
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Retrospect #Would Be #Financial

  • In Bakersfield, California, a Mexican strawberry picker with an income of $14,000 and no English was lent every penny he needed to buy a house for $724,000.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #California #Mexican #House

  • Those who know don't tell and those who tell don't know.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Knowledge

  • the lesson of Buffett was: To succeed in a spectacular fashion you had to be spectacularly unusual.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Fashion #Lessons #Succeed

  • The CDO was, in effect, a credit laundering service for the residents of Lower Middle Class America. For Wall Street it was a machine that turned lead into gold.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Wall #Class #America

  • I was gonna put him on the bus...I got tired of him talking, it was time for him to go home.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Home #Tired #Talking

  • He was blessed with an unconventional mind, which overcame his conventional middle-class upbringing.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Blessed #Class #Mind

  • What are the odds that people will make smart decisions about money if they don't need to make smart decisions--if they can get rich making dumb decisions? The incentives on Wall Street were all wrong; they're still all wrong.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Wall #Smart #Odds

  • The sheer quantity of brain power that hurled itself voluntarily and quixotically into the search for new baseball knowledge was either exhilarating or depressing, depending on how you felt about baseball. The same intellectual resources might have cured the common cold, or put a man on Pluto.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Baseball #Depressing #Men

  • That's what happens when you're thirty-seven years old: you do the things you always did but the result is somehow different.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Years #Different #Seven

  • Every form of strength is also a form of weakness,” he once wrote. “Pretty girls tend to become insufferable because, being pretty, their faults are too much tolerated. Possessions entrap men, and wealth paralyzes them. I learned to write because I am one of those people who somehow cannot manage the common communications of smiles and gestures, but must use words to get across things that other people would never need to say.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Girl #Communication #Writing

  • Managers tend to pick a strategy that is the least likely to fail, rather then to pick a strategy that is most efficient," Said Palmer. " The pain of looking bad is worse than the gain of making the best move.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Pain #Moving #Gains

  • What happens when we acknowledge the sovereignty and power of God without trusting in His goodness and faithfulness? A pitcher who saw God's power behind his extremely unlikely rise to the big leagues wondered if, at any difficulty he encountered there, God might be taking his ability away.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #League #Might #Saws

  • The inability to envision a certain kind of person doing a certain kind of thing because you've never seen someone who looks like him do it before is not just a vice. It's a luxury. What begins as a failure of the imagination ends as a market inefficiency: when you rule out an entire class of people from doing a job simply by their appearance, you are less likely to find the best person for the job.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Jobs #Class #Luxury

  • There was but one question he left unasked, and it vibrated between his lines: if gross miscalculations of a person's value could occur on a baseball field, before a live audience of thirty thousand, and a television audience of millions more, what did that say about the measurement of performance in other lines of work? If professional baseball players could be over- or under valued, who couldn't?
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Baseball #Player #Television

  • Everywhere you turn you see Americans sacrifice their long-term interests for a short-term reward.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Sacrifice #Long #Rewards

  • A thought crossed his mind: How do you make poor people feel wealthy when wages are stagnant? You give them cheap loans.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Giving #People #Mind

  • I confess some part of me thought, If only I'd stuck around, this is the sort of catastrophe I might have created.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Might #Stuck #Catastrophe

  • I'd stumbled into a job at Salomon Brothers in 1985, and stumbled out, richer, in 1988, and even though I wrote a book about the experience, the whole thing still strikes me me as totally preposterous-which is one reason the money was so easy to walk away from.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Brother #Jobs #Book

  • Like Adam, formed from clay, children are formed from the biological material of which they are made or by the hands of their parents.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Children #Hands #Parent

  • We change for the good so long as good exists around us.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Long

  • The United States stock market, the most iconic market in global capitalism, is rigged,
    -- Michael Lewis

    #United States #Capitalism #Iconic

  • There are several insights at the heart of the A's system that I think are wonderful for baseball. One, that it's a team game. That no one player is going to make that much of a difference to your team, so for god's sake don't go blow a quarter of your budget on one guy.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Baseball #Team #Heart

  • You want the book to be special, and they are not always going to be special, but at least you want that to be the ambition. So the only way that happens is if you are not pressing to write a book.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Book #Ambition #Writing

  • Why isn't someone smarter than us doing this?
    -- Michael Lewis

  • Time and space are absolute. Diseases are evil spirits that inhabit the body. Parallel lines never meet. The earth is the center of the universe. Children are miniature adults. At one time in history each of these beliefs was generally held to be true. Each, however, gave way to different ideas and even different world views.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Children #Views #Ideas

  • Why pay $20 million to Harrison Ford? I dont even understand that. They think they have to do it... If someone puts a price on himself, that suggests he is irreplaceable, then he better find somewhere else to work.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Thinking #Pay #Irreplaceable

  • When the last history of high-frequency trading is written, Hunsader, like Joe Saluzzi and Sal Arnuk of Themis Trading, deserves a prominent place in it.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Lasts #Trading #Deserve

  • All that was clear that the profits to be had from smart people making complicated bets overwhelmed anything that could be had from servicing customers, or allocating capital to productive enterprise.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Smart #People #Overwhelmed

  • The big Wall Street firms, seemingly so shrewd and self-interested, had somehow become the dumb money. The people who ran them did not understand their own businesses, and their regulators obviously knew even less.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Wall #Self #People

  • The fuses had been lit and could not be extinguished. All that remained was to observe the speed of the spark, and the size of the explosions.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Size #Sparks #Speed

  • Each firm held its rope; one by one, they realized that no matter how strongly they pulled, the balloon would eventually lift them off their feet.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Feet #Matter #Balloons

  • The longer-term the option, the sillier the results generated by the Black-Scholes option pricing model, and the greater the opportunity for people who didn't use it.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Opportunity #People #Black

  • The model used by Wall Street to price trillions of dollar's worth of derivatives thought of the financial world as an orderly, continuous process. But the world was not continuous; it changed discontinuously, and often by accident.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Wall #Dollars #World

  • People who think they know what they are talking about when they talk about baseball include the announcers and all of the sports press - no matter how much evidence you present them to the contrary they will continue to think that what they think is right.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Sports #Baseball #Thinking

  • The arrangement bore the same relation to actual finance as fantasy football bears to the NFL.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Football #Business #Nfl

  • Yet another hedge fund manager explained Icelandic banking to me this way: you have a dog, and I have a cat. We agree that each is worth a billion dollars. You sell me the dog for a billion, and I sell you the cat for a billion. Now we are no longer pet owners but Icelandic banks, with a billion dollars in new assets.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Dog #Cat #Pet

  • The sports world is an echo chamber. All it takes is one quote from a general manager and a thousand sports columns bloom.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Sports #Echoes #World

  • My judgement is not good when I am on a book tour. I am not thinking about it that much. What happens is I will go back home. I have a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old and a wife who is now taking care of them who is wondering where her husband is.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Husband #Book #Home

  • If you had to point to one thing that made it less likely that the Red Sox would win the World Series, I would say it was those people that go to Fenway Park to watch the games. And then the media around it.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Winning #Media #Games

  • I think that fans are always looking for someone to blame. Wouldn't it be nice if they looked in the mirror?
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Nice #Thinking #Mirrors

  • I don't think there is a national pasttime. Watching TV is a national pasttime. Really. If there is a national pasttime, it is watching TV.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Thinking #Tvs #Watching Tv

  • Book tours are almost designed to beat out of an author any affection he has for his book.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Book #Affection #Beats

  • Baseball is this intense subculture that actually doesn't speak very much for the larger culture.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Baseball #Culture #Speak

  • Above all, recognize that if you have had success, you have also had luck — and with luck comes obligation. You owe a debt, and not just to your Gods. You owe a debt to the unlucky.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Luck #Debt #Unlucky

  • One absolutely cannot tell, by watching, the difference between a .300 hitter and a .275 hitter. The difference is one hit every two weeks.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Differences #Two #Week

  • It is the nature of being the general manager of a baseball team that you have to remain on familiar terms with people you are continually trying to screw.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Baseball #Team #People

  • The only thing history teaches us, a wise man once said, is that history doesn’t teach us anything.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Wise #Men #Said

  • That was how a Salomon bond trader thought: He forgot whatever it was that he wanted to do for a minute and put his finger on the pulse of the market. If the market felt fidgety, if people were scared or desperate, he herded them like sheep into a corner, then made them pay for their uncertainty. He sat on the market until it puked gold coins. Then he worried about what he wanted to do.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Sheep #People #Gold

  • The Red Sox are a curious thing because so much here is media driven. You can't go fire half your scouts here because they are all friends with the local reporters. Your life is going to hell in the papers.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Media #Fire #Half

  • The Red Sox are the local scapegoats. It's hard enough to play baseball without being the local scapegoat too.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Baseball #Play #Red

  • A tourist can't help but have a distorted opinion of a place: he meets unrepresentative people, has unrepresentative experiences, and runs around imposing upon the place the fantastic mental pictures he had in his head when he got there.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Running #Travel #People

  • Commitment, by its nature, frees us from ourselves and, while it stands us in opposition to some, it joins us with others similarly committed. Commitment moves us from the mirror trap of the self absorbed with the self to the freedom of a community of shared values.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Moving #Commitment #Self

  • As idiotic as optimism can sometimes seem, it has a weird habit of paying off.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Optimism #Sometimes #Habit

  • At SGI board meetings... Jim Clark's face would get red and he'd start shouting that an investor and board member had cheated him and his engineers.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Entrepreneur #Boards #Red

  • There has been this - and it's reflected in the broadcasts - this moronic use of statistics. Which has suggested to everyone who is intelligent the use of statistics is moronic.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Intelligent #Statistics #Use

  • Don't be deceived by life's outcomes. Life's outcomes, while not entirely random, have a huge amount of luck baked into them.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Inspirational #Graduation #Luck

  • The world clings to its old mental picture of the stock market because it’s comforting; because it’s so hard to draw a picture of what has replaced it; and because the few people able to draw it for you have no interest in doing so.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #People #Comforting #World

  • People really don't like to hear success explained away as luck, especially successful people. As they age and succeed, people feel their success was somehow inevitable. They don't want to acknowledge the role played by accident in their lives. There's a reason for this. The world doesn't want to acknowledge it either. Don't be deceived by life's outcomes. Life's outcomes, while not entirely random, have a huge amount of luck baked into them. Above all, recognize that you have had success, you have also had luck. And with luck comes obligation.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Successful #People #Luck

  • A banking system is an act of faith: it survives only for as long as people believe it will.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Believe #Long #People

  • There used to be this guy called Vinny who worked on the floor of the stock exchange, said one big investor who had observed the market for a long time. After the markets closed Vinny would get into his Cadillac and drive out to his big house in Long Island. Now there is the guy called Vladimir who gets into his jet and flies to his estate in Aspen for the weekend. I used to worry a little about Vinny. Now I worry a lot about Vladimir
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Weekend #Islands #Worry

  • The sentimentality of baseball is very deeply rooted in the American baseball fan. It is the one sport that is transmitted from fathers to sons.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Sports #Baseball #Father

  • Warren Buffett is fond of saying that any player unaware of the fool in the market probably is the fool in the market.
    -- Michael Lewis

    #Player #Fool #Warren Buffet