Mike Offit wanted to be a writer like his father, but he was side-tracked to Wall Street as a mortgage trader at First Boston and Prudential.
“‘Wolf’ is entertaining, but it’s a story about a financial flea,” Mike told me. “Jordan Belfort and his boiler room weren’t anywhere near Wall Street. They were out on Long Island.”
Mike’s dad, Sidney Offit — the author of “Friends, Writers, and Other Countrymen” and “Memoir of the Bookie’s Son” — was close to Kurt Vonnegut. Mike grew up knowing Vonnegut, Norman Mailer and Betty Friedan.
When he started on Wall Street, “I was a naïf. But I got a very rapid education.”
He predicted the 2008 subprime mortgage collapse — and he’s worried another meltdown is on the way. “Nothing has changed on Wall Street. There is nothing to prevent it happening again,” he said.
Donald Trump, who did business and played golf with Mike, gave a blurb for the book: “Michael Offit offers a colorful insight into how the big money is made — and/or taken — on Wall Street.”
Mike returns the favor by telling me that Trump was “completely honorable” in all their dealings and once “actually honored a handshake deal that cost him several million dollars.” Offit said, “Donald’s not as ruthless as his reputation would lead you to believe.” And Trump doesn’t cheat at golf. “He respects the game.”
Reprinted from Page Six By Richard Johnson on January 22, 2014.