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Street Freak

Street Freak

Money and Madness at Lehman Brothers

In the ultracompetitive Ivy League world of Wall Street, Jared Dillian was an outsider as an ex-military, working-class guy in a Men’s Wearhouse suit. But he was scrappy and determined; in interviews he told potential managers that “Nobody can work harder than me. Nobody is willing to put in the hours I will put in. I am insane.” As it turned out, at Lehman Brothers insanity was not an undesirable quality.

Dillian rose from green associate, checking IDs at the entrance to the trading floor in the paranoid days following 9/11, to become an integral part of Lehman’s culture in its final years as the firm’s head Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) trader. More than $1 trillion in wealth passed through his hands, yet the extreme highs and lows of the trading floor masked and exacerbated the symptoms of Dillian’s undiagnosed bipolar and obsessive-compulsive disorders, leading to a downward spiral that nearly ended his life.

In his electrifying and fresh voice, Dillian takes readers on a wild ride through madness and back.
Choose a format:
  • Touchstone | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439181270 | 
  • September 2012
List Price $15.99
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Jared Dillian: STREET FREAK

When Jared Dillian joined Lehman Brothers in 2001, he fulfilled a life-long dream to make it on Wall Street—but he had no idea how close to the edge the job would take him.

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Read an Excerpt

PROLOGUE
Portrait of a Trader | October 2, 2007


Back in 1999, when the world was brimming with optimism, when there were purple Yahoo! taxicabs patrolling the streets of San Francisco, I was a clerk on the options trading floor of the Pacific Coast Options Exchange. It was there that I learned how the financial markets worked. I spent much of my time standing in the back of the Intel-Oracle pit with the other clerks and stock jockeys; that is, the area where traders in Intel and Oracle options congregated.

There was a trader in the pit named Jack Taylor. Jack was six four, 240 pounds, with no concept of... see more
1
Spartacus | October 2, 2007


The market has its own intelligence. It has a sort of malignant omniscience that dictates that the market will do whatever fucks over the most people at any given moment in time. It knows your positions, and it knows your fears. You are a sinner in the hands of an angry God, and your positions are going to pay. Like Santa Claus, sort of, except that the market doesn’t care who’s been naughty or nice; more often than not, naughty wins. The market cares who is the most exposed, who is the most out over his skis, and who has taken the most risk at any given moment. And once the... see more

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