Book Review: Going Infinite by Michael Lewis

It is so good to see Michael Lewis back to writing books that don’t have an agenda. I have read every book Lewis ever wrote and, while I am generally politically aligned, wasn’t excited when he turned to writing about climate change, the disfunction of the Trump administration, and Covid. Going Infinite is a triumphant return to his typical style of telling the story of moment in time that’s difficult for most of us to understand through the lens of an individual who’s emblematic of that time.

In this case the story is of Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF). The story is as entertaining as it is insightful; both giving us amusing anecdotes about the antics of the world’s youngest self-made billionaire and helping shed light on the moment that made his rise and fall possible. It’s a breezy day-long read and I recommend it to everyone.

The thing that struck me most about it is how naive it’s possible to be when you’ve been right so often early in your life. SBF made some brilliant (and notably lucky) moves early in his career and then rose to a point where he must of thought he could never be wrong. Imagine sitting down at a blackjack table, betting $100, winning 20 times in a row, and betting everything you had each time. Now you have over $100M and more than likely a belief that you could never be wrong. You’re no more likely to make good decisions than you were 20 minutes ago, but you’re climbing life’s scoreboard and it appears you’re a genius.

Anyway, that’s what I kept thinking about as I read the book.