I accidentally stumbled upon a Don Delillo reading last night and heard an excerpt from his new novel, Cosmopolis, in which the main character is a Wall Street currency trader and asset manager. Delillo's Wall Street sounds interesting, but nothing like the real thing:
· The protagonist, Eric Packer, cruises around Manhattan in a white stretch limo. (The NYT/GQ's Walter Kirn: "White stretch limousines...conjure up prom nights in Omaha for me, not mornings on Wall Street.")
· Packer manages billions of dollars and has a Manhattan apartment with 48 rooms. He's 28.
· He does what sounds like currency arbitragemaking money off of disparities in exchange ratesbut made much of his money plugging stocks on a website and then trading them, which is usually illegal.
· A typical statement from a Delillo Wall Streeter: "Doubt. What is doubt? You don't believe in doubt. You've told me this. Computer power eliminates doubt. All doubt rises from past experience. But the past is disappearing. We used to know the past but not the future. This is changing. We need a new theory of time.''
Cosmopolis: long day's journey into haircut [NYT]