It's just amazing that Dreiser (1871-1945) wrote this gritty novel in 1912, before anyone even thought of derivatives, credit default swaps, sub-prime "liar loan" mortgages and no-fault (for bankers and brokers, that is) national financial meltdowns. Frank Cowperwood is the ethically-challenged "financier" whose star and fortunes rise so marvelously and then collapse with equal flare. He seems so absolutely convincingly contemporary that I had recurring transient episodes of reverse déjà vu as I followed his desperate ambition and burnout.
I say "deliciously unrepentant" because, unlike his contemporary villainous free spirits of Wall Street, Frank promptly goes to jail for his crimes.
"The Financier" so obviously is the kind of novel that might be written by a baroque clone of Michael Lewis. If you'd like to work out a bit of the residual rage you feel about the man-made financial cesspool we've been wallowing in for the last few years, try this American classic.
"Greed is good" a la Gekko
Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2012 All rights reserved.