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July 05 , 2010

My Side of the Street

Why Wolves, Flash Boys, Quants, and Masters of the Universe Don't Represent the Real Wall Street


On a sticky summer morning at the end of the Eighties, 19-year-old Jason DeSena Trennert—a bright, unconnected Georgetown undergrad with big dreams and an even bigger power tie—set out for Wall Street. Mustering the perceived panache of the bigwigs, he burst through the doors of America's oldest financial firms.

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He was roundly rejected. And entirely undeterred.

Trennert accepted a position as a cold-caller and charged ahead with the blind zeal of inexperience, finding in the process a genuine affinity for the customs and history of his work. Clinging to his dream from humble beginnings in financial sector Siberia—Morgan Stanley's Brooklyn outpost—and enduring the villainization of a respectable profession across two boom-bust cycles, he opened his own boutique company, now one of the world's leading research firms.

Part memoir, part love letter to an institution popularly viewed as a necessary (or as just plain) evil, My Side of the Street delivers the long-overdue defense of the investment banking industry critiqued by Michael Lewis and others, illuminating the ethical and decent majority who take the subway, worry about mortgages, and keep the entire enterprise on its feet. Introducing the general reader to captains of finance, famous on The Street but invisible to outsiders, Trennert lays on display the absurdity and unbridled joy of big business—a comic tale of unlikely success in America's most notorious industry.

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