You know, a lot of people think that because of the way he delighted in the collapse of the housing market—not to mention made $100 million in a single week on credit default swaps — that former Deutsche Bank bond trader Greg Lippman is kind of a jerk. While he acknowledges that his actions as described in the books The Big Short and The Greatest Trade Ever were "based in fact," Lippman disputes this characterization. "I don't think I'm a jerk, " he tells the Observer this week. "I'm a nice guy." He goes on to demonstrate this.
"What happened is that in '08 — " he said, and stopped. Someone was standing over the table. "I'm sorry," said a pleasant middle-aged woman in cuffed yellow pants, who'd been sitting nearby with her two teenage girls. "What are you being interviewed for?" The two men were silent. They barely looked up. "I just finished reading The Big Short a little while ago; it sounds like a similar topic," she said. Still, silence. A second person approached, but he was only offering small free samples of a Starbucks drink. "Thank you so much," the middle-aged woman said politely to the table, and went away.
What can he say? Sometimes innocent, friendly, middle-aged women have to suffer to ensure the efficiency of the markets.