March 1, 2012
When the history books make their judgments about pre-crisis Wall Street, they’ll come down hard on those salaries for twenty-somethings — at least according to Michael Lewis.
Asked what people will think of when they look back at the mid-2000s financial industry, Lewis answered with a question. “How did you not notice that 24 year-olds were being paid $2 million a year who clearly didn’t know anything really?” Lewis, the author famous for The Big Short, asks during a Slate interview.
Lewis chronicled his own time as a green, well-paid bond salesman in his book Liar’s Poker, including an anecdote where the famous author got his job at the now-defunct Salomon Brothers in the 1980s essentially by sitting next to the right person at a fancy dinner. But Lewis is far from the only person raking in big bucks with little experience.