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Jared Dillian is the founder of the subscription-based, daily financial market report The Daily Dirtnap. He worked on the Pacific Options Exchange from 1999 to 2000, and was a trader for Lehman Brothers from 2001 to 2008, specializing in index arbitrage and ETF trading. Dillian is a graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy and earned a Masters in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco. He lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Visit JaredDillian.com.
Writing in a kind of gonzo journalism style, Dillian recounts his years as an exchange-traded funds (ETF) trader at Lehman Brothers, beginning just before 9/11 and ending with the firm's implosion in September 2008. While his book adds nothing to the literature of excess that documents the testosterone-driven, juvenile, and frequently grotesque corporate culture of Wall Street, two angles serve to differentiate this from similar titles. One is the author's detailed descriptions of his work; the multimillion-dollar fluctuations in his profit and loss statements offer readers vicarious thrills, and the intricacies of big-league trading will fascinate financial voyeurs. The other is Dillian's personal story, interwoven through his chronicle of victories on the trading floor, of his downward spiral into alcoholism and mental illness. He is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and spends a short time in a psychiatric ward before returning to work. VERDICT Dillian's book will appeal the most to hard-core trading junkies or those who seek a comprehensive view of the post-9/11, pre-crisis Wall Street.-Steve Wilson, Dayton Metro Lib., OH (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"Thank God for the 3rd element, because if it wasn't for lithium Jared Dillian might still be in the psych ward looking for his shoelaces. Instead, we get "Street Freak", the best Wall Street memoir in a bunch of years. This guy can really f***ing "write. Street Freak "is more than just a great read, though. For anybody who's ever gone off the rails, or thought they might, it's a comforting reminder that there's always a way back." --John Rolfe, coauthor of "Monkey Business: Swinging Through the Wall Street Jungle" "This revealing, personal memoir of a volatile period in the dual lives of a big-time trader and the fallen American giant Lehman Brothers is depicted in the fueled words of Dillian, a major figure at the company. . . .Writ[ing] in a style that veers from gonzo lucidity to precise trader chatter . . . Dillian offers a candid look at the demise of a corporate behemoth." --"Publishers Weekly" "[A] disturbingly candid memoir . . . the highly personal journal of a poor kid who quit the U.S. Coast Guard to chase his dream of becoming a trader. . . . His narrative crackles with authenticity . . . the dominant tone is unsparingly confessional and even modest. Dillian's snail's-eye view is what makes his book a valuable companion to previous volumes on Lehman. . . . From hair-trigger decisions to trashy banter, Dillian captures how the market feels from inside the belly of a trading room. . . . [A] blunt and sometimes hilarious account." "--Bloomberg " "A bipolar math whiz [and] amusingly caustic writer whose new memoir pulls no punches about a financial career that nearly cost him both his sanity and his life." --Fortune.com "A scathing critique of selfish, scrambling men so driven to earn a buck that they lose all sight of the world beyond the tickers. . . . Dillian hardly fit the mold of the rich, Northeastern prep-schooler, and his outsider status served as a great attribute, offering him a clearer view of an industry both morally and economically bankrupt." --"Kirkus""Reviews" "Always vivid, by turns hilarious and sad, this is an electrifying memoir about not only money and madness, but the madness of money. It left me wondering yet again about the shifting boundaries between sanity and insanity." --Siri Hustvedt, author of "The Summer Without Men"