Tom Bernard is the author of Wall and Mean (W.W. Norton 2007), a financial crime novel published in 2007. In his thirty years on Wall Street, he ran numerous trading businesses for Salomon Brothers (where Michael Lewis named him the “Human Piranha” in his bestseller Liar’s Poker), Kidder Peabody, and Lehman Brothers. His writing captures the insider’s view of the high stakes at the financial center of the world.
In this “lively tale” (Portfolio), Wall Street phenom George Wilhelm is poised to become one of the most successful young bond traders in the business. But when the Brooklyn mafia sends two hitmen to collect on a ruinous gambling debt, George must risk everything on an all-or-nothing trade.
Praise for Wall Mean
– Michael Lewis, best selling author of Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, and The Big Short
– John C. Boland, Wall Street Journal
– Publishers Weekly
– Kirkus Reviews
–Michael Ridpath, best selling author of Where the Shadows Lie and eight other financial thrillers.
From Publishers Weekly – George Wilhelm gets his kicks from sex, bond trading and gambling in this promising debut, which mixes those volatile elements with Tarantino-style violence. In 1993, George, a rookie Wall Street trader, is trying to make his mark in the cutthroat emerging markets funds. If the financial jargon Bernard uses is arcane, the frenetic pace and high-stakes maneuvers still emerge clearly. When paper success (low salary but prospects for high bonuses) goes to George’s head, he ups his bets on sporting events to levels that leave him facing financial disaster. Suddenly, he’s in over his head with a pair of sadistic debt collectors, who get their best ideas from movies like Reservoir Dogs. George is forced to concoct a scheme that will keep his bosses from learning about his problems and earn enough money to get him out of the jam. Bernard, himself a former bond trader, keeps upping the ante as his hero’s choices get more and more desperate. George’s transformation from brash risk-taking gambler and lover of the high life to gritty survivor is well done, but the rather saccharine ending isn’t terribly convincing.