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.
“[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