These last few months, I’ve written thousands of words about the deceptive practices of the big banks. But all that writing amounts to a raindrop in an ocean compared to the output of the author Michael Lewis, the Michael Jordan of Chronicling Shady Financial Practices.
Lewis made his name with his tell-all bestseller Liar’s Poker, which gave readers a window into the corrupt world of Wall Street in the 1980s. He’s since gone on to write The Money Culture, The Big Short, and Flash Boys, which each detailed different unseen slices of the financial world.
In Season 1 of his podcast Against the Rules, Lewis looked at the lost status of referees across society and what happens when fairness can’t be enforced. In the first episode of Season 2, Lewis dives into the ways banks and credit card companies trick consumers into paying billions of dollars by creating obscured rules. One of his guests explains, “I’ve tried unsuccessfully to get somebody to create what I call ‘The Good Bank.’” He and Lewis laugh, because of how far fetched the idea of “The Good Bank” still feels.
Next, venture capitalist Angela Strange tells Lewis that there were $34 billion in overdraft fees paid last year. “You just don’t have a sense of what is your real-time cash position,” she says.
The episode is a fascinating window into the sorry state of banking. Give it a listen!