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My name is Michael Taylor.  I founded Bankers Anonymous because, as a recovering banker, I believe that the gap between the financial world as I know it and the public discourse about finance is more than just a problem for a family trying to balance their checkbook, or politicians trying ... more

Bankers Anonymous: About Me

Date: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 12:17 PM EST

I’ve worked as a Wall Street bond salesman, hedge fund investor, small business owner, distressed debt investor, and financial consultant for the past 15 years.  Throughout, I listened to friends, colleagues, and the media discuss the financial world around me.  Too often I see a gap larger than the Balrog’s Abyss in the Mines of Moria between what I know to be true and the way we speak about finance.

Whether you blame financial illiteracy, willful ignorance, or savvy financial professionals ensuring job security by making the markets seem un-interpretable to people without advanced degrees – whatever it is, our civic lack of understanding of finance allowed a global financial crisis to happen with minimal public knowledge of the root causes of that crisis.  Financial illiteracy allows politicians and pundits to toss out terms like credit default swaps without ever explaining what they are, and without knowing whether they are deadly weapons in the hands of Godfather-like bankstas, or as healthful and scrumptious as Nutella on freshly baked bread.

My goal here is to be that guy, the one you wish you knew who worked inside Wall Street, left the business, and is willing to talk about it.  On B$A, I post first-name-only podcasts interviewing insiders who are, like me, willing to speak truthfully.  I write blog postings about whatever I feel needs explaining or demystifying from the headlines or from your questions.  I review financial books partly to save you the brain damage of having to read them, but also mostly because they often serve as a way to explain something that’s been on my mind.  The book reviews are really worth reading.  As are the footnotes.  I post links to purchase the books I review on because that seems like a sensible way to use the interwebs, and theoretically, referral fees would be a neat way to fund my reading habit.

I think everyone should understand what Too Big To Fail actually means, why taking stock tips from a guy who rings buzzers and makes flushing sound effects might not be the best choice and why, collectively, we as Americans are in debt up to our ears, in houses that are underwater, in a country that is mostly in hock to China.

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