MiB: Michael Lewis on Coaches and Risk

Be sure to check out our bonus Memorial Day weekend podcast, with Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball, The Big Short, and so many others. The second season of his podcast Against the Rules, just dropped, focusing on Coaches.

He describes how telling narrative stories via podcasting allows him to exercise a different set of muscles. He works with an ensemble to help tell very different stories in a different way. Season 1 was about Referees — in sports and life; Season 2 is about coaches (also in sports and life).

Lewis calls President Trump a “risk distorting machine;” he describes what we calls the “existential danger” about mis-pricing sports, finance, politics, and life. He describes the transition as a unique failing in presidential history, a refusal to discharge legal obligations in an intelligent, coherent way.

He notes that former NJ Governor Chris Christie, head of the Trump Transition team, had set up the president to succeed. Once he one, President Trump fired the entire transition team. Even today, there are 1000s of appointed positions that remain unfilled — including key positions in the National Institute of Health, and the Center for Disease Control. Lewis wrote in 2016 that the failure of the transition team was going to result in a huge avoidable disaster. He believes that the government’s fumbled response to Covid-19 is just that sort of error.

His favorite books are here; A transcript of our conversation is available here.

You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras, on Apple iTunes, Spotify, Overcast, Google, Bloomberg, and Stitcher.  All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.




Michael Lewis 2008 book on the coach who changed his life

Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life by Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis 2017 book on POTUS Transition team

The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy by Michael Lewis


Michael Lewis Favorite Books

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford


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