Michael Lewis: Tsunami Hysteria 'Much Higher If It Happened Anyplace Else,' Especially California

Photo: YouTube

The tsunami threw Michael Lewis back into the spotlight.In 1988, the Liars Poker author wrote an article called “How a Tokyo Earthquake Could Devastate Wall Street and the World Economy.”

He forgot about the story, but former colleague reminded him of it after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck the city.

Apparently, traders saw Lewis as something of a prophet, a view he didn’t share.

“But about 24 hours after the tsunami, I woke up to an e-mail from an old friend from my Wall Street days, who still sells bonds for a living, in which he expressed vast amusement that my piece was being passed around Wall Street trading desks and being taken seriously – and that I was being viewed as having somehow foreseen this disaster,” he told Vanity Fair.

“This was, of course, absurd.”

VF also asked their contributor what would happen if the same wave struck the United States.

His response was classic.

“The sheer level of hysteria would be much higher if this happened anyplace else, but especially if it happened in California,” he said. “The shrieks from my neighbourhood in Berkeley alone would drown out the sound of any tsunami.”

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