EVENT: A Conversation with Michael Lewis, (Author of The Fifth Risk, The Big Short, Flash boys and Liar’s Poker)

  • Chaired by Lord McFall and Lord Sharkey
  • Wednesday 7th November, 2.15pm-3.15pm, Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House
  • This event is now at capacity.

Best selling author Michael Lewis will discuss US politics and his new book The Fifth Risk. This book takes us inside the transition after Donald Trump was elected and asks: What are the consequences if the people given control over our government have no idea how it works?

Michael Lewis’s narrative takes us into the engine rooms of a government under attack by its own leaders. In Agriculture the funding of vital programs like food stamps and school lunches is being slashed. The Commerce Department may not have enough staff to conduct the 2020 Census properly. Over at Energy, where international nuclear risk is managed, it’s not clear there will be enough inspectors to track and locate black market uranium before terrorists do.

Turning to his attention to government data collection, he examines how smart government scientists and techs have been mining this data to protect Americans. But he reports that a lot of government data is now disappearing from government websites, data on climate change at the EPA, on animal abuse at the Department of Agriculture, or on violent crime at the Department of Justice.

He also discusses what are the linchpins of the system—those public servants whose knowledge, dedication, and proactivity keep the machinery running. Michael Lewis finds them, and he asks them what keeps them up at night.

Michael Lewis is the author of numerous bestselling books including The Big Short, discussing how hedge fund managers made billions betting on a housing crash; Flash Boys, an expose of high frequency traders and the market practices which enabled them to take advantage of investors; The Undoing Project, which told the story of the psychologists whose partnership produced the foundations of what we now call behavioural economics and Liar’s Poker; describing his experience on Wall Street in the 1980s.