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Street Freak

Money and Madness at Lehman Brothers
Narrated by: LJ Ganser
Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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. Like Michael Lewis' classic Liar's Poker, Jared Dillian's Street Freak takes listeners behind the scenes of the legendary Lehman Brothers, exposing its outrageous and often hilarious corporate culture. In this ultracompetitive Ivy League world where men would flip over each other’s ties to check out the labels, 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, on Wall Street insanity is 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, but at the cost of an untold number of smashed telephones and tape dispensers. Over time, the exhilarating and explosively stressful job took its toll on him. 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 eventually landed him in a psychiatric ward. Dillian put his life back together, returning to work healthier than ever before, but Lehman itself had seemingly gone mad, having made outrageous bets on commercial real estate, and was quickly headed for self-destruction. A raucous account of the final years of Lehman Brothers, from 9/11 at its World Financial Center offices through the firm's bankruptcy, including vivid portraits of trading-floor culture, the financial meltdown, and the company's ultimate collapse.

©2011 Jared Dillian (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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Profile Image for T.Tech
  • T.Tech
  • 10-02-2015

Loved it!

I thoroughly enjoyed Street Freak. Great story, well written, informative and entertaining. Dillian does a great job bringing you into his world as he advances his trading career at Lehman. Excellent narration, especially the trading sequences.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Philo
  • Philo
  • 10-02-2017

Performance overwrought, drama swamps meaning

I enjoyed reading the print version some years back. Maybe it's me; as I grow older, and more wide and deep in understanding, things like action movies get boring in a hurry: little individuals chisel out little head-bashes, stalemates and advantages on tiny canvasses. Rinse and repeat. Yet another third down hoves into view and haven't I seen this thousands of times? Pull back a few feet and perceive hamsters on little wheels in the guts of a factory cursing and swearing and breaking small office implements in their by-now-tedious rehash of the stereotype old-fashioned trading floor arena. Mr Ganser is a pretty good narrator usually, but narrating is not usually dramatization: the words of the book already convey the drama, and overlaying loud strained voice tones is redundant, and even distracting, subtracting from the experience with an extra layer of noise: needless sound and fury. "I'm gonna get his balls in a jar" conveys things, but with a jarring loud delivery, makes me think, especially is this is merely the Nth iteration of another hyped trade moment, another third down, get me outta here, now. The locker room atmosphere is thick enough already. But those yearning to press their face against the glass to see a sweaty buddy culture and a rehash of "Wall Street" will be pleased.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • sam
  • 08-11-2015

As a former bond trader

Would you listen to Street Freak again? Why?

Yes and no. For me it was too real. I was a debt markets a trader in Australia from 2004-2009 and I can relate to a lot of experiences in his book.

What did you like best about this story?

I really enjoyed his writing.

Have you listened to any of LJ Ganser’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

He did a great job.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Too long for one sitting, but I found myself listening at 4am in the morning when I couldn't sleep.

Any additional comments?

If you didn't work in these type of markets you wouldn't realise how realistic this book is - very few people will and so a lot of people will not be able to relate to its honesty. I lived this world, and I rate this book. I found myself laughing out and wanting to cry at various times. I came across him via his free weekly email via john mauldin economics.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • smallbutmighty
  • 12-12-2015

Riveting narrative and performance

I don't usually write reviews, but this might be my favorite Wall Street book ever (and I've read many). It's also one of the best audiobook performances I've ever heard. The combination of Dillian's unflinching account of his Wall Street escapades and the reader's expressive and energetic performance made this an audiobook I'll likely replay a time or two.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Jamie Lunde
  • Jamie Lunde
  • 16-09-2015

Not what I thought

I may have read the reviews and summary wrong but I thought this would be more about one person and the crash of a company and there tale of being involved with that crash. This book is about Wall Street traders cracking up.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Justin
  • 22-07-2019

Not what you might expect...

I bought this book expecting it to be the standard "Street" memoir. High Finance and debauchery all wrapped up in several hours of well read audio. What I got was a story that hit close to home and left me equally amazed at both Mr. Dillian's triumphs and struggles. Street Freak is a Wall Street memoir but it is also an amazingly deep, personal look into mental illness and the steps that must be taken to overcome it. Lehman Brothers fell but Jared Dillian continues to rise. I would highly recommend this book and I am thankful to now have it in my permanent library.

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Profile Image for Derek
  • Derek
  • 30-12-2018

Great listen

I love thr narrator and have several of his books. His tone and ability to bring to life whit and irony is great. With the right storyline it makes for a title I will listen to several times over

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  • Luke Reiner
  • 18-10-2018

Deeper/Personal Insights to Wall St. Life

I enjoyed this story. shows the negative aspects of his life and how people within wall st. firms behaved. very insightful for someone who wants to hear more about wall st life. The real deal. No glamorous new/media stories.

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  • Michael Reilley
  • 17-09-2018

Loved it!

Such a well told story from an interesting perspective. Great explanation of possibly complex topics as well.

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Profile Image for Jeff Vahue
  • Jeff Vahue
  • 14-09-2016

fast and furious

One of the best audible books I've ever listened to. Gasner brings Dillian to life and puts you on the trading floor. A great story of triumph over adversity. Personal, professional trails overcome by not giving up, being lucky and working hard. a motivational story.