Princeton Baccalaureate 2012: Michael Lewis

  • Published on Jun 5, 2012
  • Michael Lewis, a member of Princeton's Class of 1982 and author of such books as "Liar's Poker" and "Moneyball," speaks at the 2012 Baccalaureate in a speech called "Don't Eat Fortune's Cookie." Read more here:

Comments • 103

  • Golden Screen Warriors
    Golden Screen Warriors 2 months ago +2

    12th grade English

  • Draglann
    Draglann 6 months ago

    english class amirite

  • punkleruckus
    punkleruckus 7 months ago

    Great speech. Too bad the truth doesn't kill stupid.
    Here we are, years later.
    And the schools are still handing out diplomas to
    complete idiots who continue to give themselves huge payouts for
    being the biggest douchebag.
    How many are here for English, but didn't learn shit?
    Congratulations! You're who he was talking about.

  • Nate
    Nate 9 months ago

    Wtf is this gay bullshit

  • Carson Barthel
    Carson Barthel 10 months ago +1

    Senior year English 4 paper

  • Destin Fletcher
    Destin Fletcher 11 months ago +11

    I’m here because of 12th grade English

  • Nitika Raj
    Nitika Raj Year ago +1

    I wish to develop such a mindset. In nation's service, in Service of all nation's. Well said.

  • Feng Brant
    Feng Brant Year ago


  • Dan Motyl
    Dan Motyl Year ago

    Fuck school

  • HaoYu Wang
    HaoYu Wang Year ago

    so.. that's why im not lucky huh

  • Emmanuel Amofah
    Emmanuel Amofah Year ago +3

    English class

  • Emmanuel Amofah
    Emmanuel Amofah Year ago +33

    12th grade paper

  • Ricky Chavez
    Ricky Chavez Year ago +1

    South Lake High English teacher made me watch this 🙄

  • MisterSir
    MisterSir 2 years ago +4

    morons who think luck and inheritance have nothing to do with wealth need to check into their local college. I would also point them to mark suckerberg and the useless Onassis lady

  • 영원히사랑안해
    영원히사랑안해 2 years ago

    he is so briliant and innovation.i love very very my princeton university.i'm graduate 2015so this video isn't gradate studen?i'm so confused....actually i'm right to gradate2015

  • Homeless Losers
    Homeless Losers 2 years ago +5

    Brilliant story telling, so much inspiration

  • Ed Saylor
    Ed Saylor 2 years ago +3

    The best argument for this rebuttal comes from Aristotle who came up with the following pure logic:
    Statement 1: X will occur
    Statement 2: X will not occur
    One of these statements must be true and the other one must be false. For the sake of argument, let us say that 1 is true and 2 is false. That means that the statement “X will occur” is true. More precisely, statement 1 was ALWAYS true, even before X actually occurred.
    A curious thing happens then. If statement 1 was always true, then X was always going to occur. But if X was always going to occur then it is impossible for X not to have occurred. This means that X could not have not occurred. That which cannot not occur must necessarily occur. And so we see that X occurred out of necessity and not because of chance, luck, or human decision.
    Now let's put this in context of Michael Lewis' speech. Using the above logic, Michael Lewis would sit next to the wife of a big shot at Salomon Brothers which was true even before it took place. And if that statement was true before the event took place, then Michael Lewis was always going to sit next to the wife of the big shot at Salomon Brothers. And that which cannot not happen happens out of necessity. And so it would seem that it was predetermined that Michael Lewis would always sit next to her.
    This takes luck completely out of the picture and leaves only fate.

  • Jenifer Vargas
    Jenifer Vargas 2 years ago +3

    what's the claim for the video lol

  • Mario 6125
    Mario 6125 2 years ago +1

    When Ms. Diaz makes you watch this video 😑😤

  • linking _dime
    linking _dime 2 years ago +3

    who's here because of Ms.Diaz?

  • Taryn Lambert
    Taryn Lambert 2 years ago

    +javi hd lol same

  • 蓝川
    蓝川 3 years ago

    Hey, I want to say that don't thank the ones who lose the chance because of you, thank those developing countries.Your company, your country earn too much money from them. Your choice is right, or you are one of the devils.

  • Frillazeus Herla
    Frillazeus Herla 3 years ago +13

    an honest speech :)

  • Jennifer Pelayo
    Jennifer Pelayo 3 years ago

    so boring

  • Faith Marion
    Faith Marion 3 years ago +1

    Wow ! He is amazing , success is luck , and with luck their comes obligation (claps) I love it !

  • The 13th
    The 13th 3 years ago +231

    who is here for twelfth grade english

  • Steve Lively
    Steve Lively 3 years ago

    This is in a series of texts from the textbook I use with my English 12 students. It's a wonderful (and relatively brief) addition to the theme of "Chasing Success." While I've not read any of Mr. Lewis's books, I now must add them to my to-read list!

    • Fatma Kocman
      Fatma Kocman 8 months ago

      wish me luck teacher cuz i have a quiz tomorrow from exactly that book named collection.

  • cupjay
    cupjay 4 years ago

    outstanding narrative, thank you Mr Lewis.
    # go bears!

  • 黃丙喜
    黃丙喜 4 years ago +2

    Money has four angles, there are money and market, money and moral, money and minute, and money and honey, each angle should be balanced in harmony; otherwise, you life will be artificial poverty, even you have a lot money. .

  • Stark Talks
    Stark Talks 4 years ago

    24 people don't do humility.

  • William Blair
    William Blair 5 years ago +13

    Michael Lewis' perspective is refreshing and much needed at Princeton. I have been at services in that chapel for almost 50 years now, and it does my heart good to see it continue to be vibrant!

  • downeybill
    downeybill 5 years ago +6

    the mason's really bailed out on finishing those columns

  • Proloco47chev
    Proloco47chev 5 years ago +8

    cut the last cookie into 3 pieces.

  • Jakub Mosur
    Jakub Mosur 6 years ago

    Great speech!

  • Jakub Mosur
    Jakub Mosur 6 years ago

    If you're going to quote from that book of myths, I will as well:
    "When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her." (Deuteronomy 25:11-12)

  • deborah
    deborah 6 years ago +1

    Incredibly honest and powerful speech.

  • mzenji
    mzenji 6 years ago +1

    I don't know what the original comment was but this is an epic quote! LOL

  • mzenji
    mzenji 6 years ago +4

    Hard work doesnt always pay off. and laziness doesnt always result in failure. It's just that that's the generally smart way to bet.

  • Robert Snider
    Robert Snider 6 years ago +1
    Beat the market.

  • Nicene325ad
    Nicene325ad 6 years ago

    This is what I understood from your comment: Humans really like cookies.

  • Nicene325ad
    Nicene325ad 6 years ago +4

    Judging by your comment, I cannot help but feel as though you are offering an either/or fallacy argument. While there are individuals who choose not to work and expect to find fortune, there are, likewise, many individuals who work hard throughout their entire lives, only for misfortune to befall them at every turn. There is no doubt an increased chance of success for those who put in the work, nonetheless, one should not confuse "hard work pay-offs" with assurances of success.

  • brennan
    brennan 6 years ago +2

    Good video. I agree that luck is a huge factor in determining someone's success, but it is not the only factor. There are those who choose to work hard, try their best, and act on opportunities (like the presenter here). On the other hand, there are those who choose to do the opposite. Obviously the first group is going to find more luck than the second group. I do believe that those who try their best and fail deserve support from the people who achieve success through luck

  • Dmitry M
    Dmitry M 6 years ago

    Love it!

  • NattyGainzFitness
    NattyGainzFitness 6 years ago +1

    I want that god damn extra cookie

  • TheCareertalk
    TheCareertalk 6 years ago

    Much like you've failed to write anything worth reading.

  • JP23456
    JP23456 6 years ago +5

    This is not at all what successful people want to hear. Only a successful person can get away with saying something like this. I appreciate the discomfort he is creating among successful people.

  • hardassteel
    hardassteel 6 years ago

    lucky bastards

  • IADaveMark
    IADaveMark 7 years ago +4

    The one thing missing here about the luck issue is that "opportunities" appear around us all the time. The main difference is in whether or not people recognize those opportunities and then do something with them. There's a saying along the lines of "luck is where opportunity meets preparedness." I would add, "... and is acted upon."
    If you think you should sit on your ass waiting for the end of the rainbow to whack you in the head with a pot of gold, you WILL fail.

  • Mardah
    Mardah 7 years ago

    Same here. The decision to eat the fourth cookie is so strange to me.

  • Steven Samra
    Steven Samra 7 years ago

    Remember this the next time you see a homeless person....

  • plsstopwhining
    plsstopwhining 7 years ago +1

    Not according to Michael Lewis...the wealthy NEVER acknowledge the role luck has played because the EGO takes over the moment the $ starts pouring in...can't see clearly through those green goggles...nope.

  • Deductively Speaking
    Deductively Speaking 7 years ago

    I would have shared the cookie on my life I would have

  • Lawrence E.
    Lawrence E. 7 years ago +1

    You are all a bunch of socialists. Passion, ambition, and sleepless nights are the only determinants of success.

  • Maureen Anne Hartnett
    Maureen Anne Hartnett 7 years ago +1

    I love Michael Lewis' humility. Wouldn't it be amazing if people who really had a lot of luck play into their success, admit it? This of course does not apply to people like Michael Jordan, or well he's just may most favorite hero who's success is all his own. But even major actresses like Merrill Streep, I read, once, say "those of us blessed with the luck fairy..." Merrill?? No, she deserves ever alcolode she gets, she's that amazing.

  • Silvina Agustín
    Silvina Agustín 7 years ago +1

    Quisiera poder apreciarlo en castellano. Suponmgo que a nadie le interesó traducirlo.

  • efishman
    efishman 7 years ago +2

    Humans being what they are, they'll eat the extra cookie, chastise those around them for being "entitled" for daring to eat their cookie. Conspire with the other extra-cookie-eaters to make sure that, next time, more cookies are delivered to them directly, bypassing those pesky ants. Eventually, making it so that cookies are so rare, their image is but a faint whisp in our collective memory. Then, they'll make us feel grateful just to be among the living. End result? Feudalism all over again.

  • Peter W
    Peter W 7 years ago +5

    Malcolm Forbes of the FORBES publishing empire said later in life that he hadn't accomplished anything more than any other slightly above-normal person who had a good education, worked hard, and had a father who left him a hundred million dollars could accomplish.

    • Marlon  Moncrieffe
      Marlon Moncrieffe Year ago

      Peter W
      Forbes could have easily squandered it too as so many bluebloods have.
      Give credit where credit is due.

  • Pat Rocchi
    Pat Rocchi 7 years ago +2

    What I like most about Michael Lewis's speech is his humility. He is a very good writer, but he understands that there are other good writers out there who did not hit the jackpot as he did.

  • Anthony Batt
    Anthony Batt 7 years ago +1

    Hard work always pays off, but luck really pays off! I can't guarantee luck so I work hard and look for luck. To all the extra cookie eaters chill out and share a little

  • gwydno
    gwydno 7 years ago

    It's your free will who will move you to follow that path or not. And it's your decision and strength of character who will pay you out.

  • ArisOthos
    ArisOthos 7 years ago

    luck and hard work both contribute. You may fancy yourself a hard worker, and if so you should give thanks you were lucky enough to have someone instill that work ethic in you.

  • nonchalantd
    nonchalantd 7 years ago

    He said an awful lot in a very short amount of time by commencement speech standards.

  • cupjay
    cupjay 7 years ago

    PBS NewHour featured Michael Lewis' presentation on the show tonight.. Cool!

  • adelphiamd
    adelphiamd 7 years ago

    Oh we did.

  • latelylime
    latelylime 7 years ago

    haha they didn't get the wall street sarcasm.

  • Chris Beale
    Chris Beale 7 years ago

    "Would you risk it for a chocolate biscuit?"

  • hu yue
    hu yue 7 years ago


  • Wx Song
    Wx Song 7 years ago


  • K Covey
    K Covey 7 years ago +1

    “I have been very lucky. I was born in the United States in 1930 and won the lottery the day that I was born. I had terrific parents, a good education, and I was wired in a way that paid off disproportionally in this particular society. If I had been born long ago or in some other country, my particular wiring would not have paid off the way that it has. But in a market system, where capital-allocation wiring is important, it pays off like no other place.” source: Warren Buffett

  • K Covey
    K Covey 7 years ago

    Much like the quote from Warren Buffett saying he's a member of the lucky sperm club, having won the lottery the day he was born and that his wealth was just a bunch of claim checks owed back to society.
    As he said:
    “All along, I’ve felt that money was just claim checks that should go back to society. I am not an enthusiast for dynastic wealth, particularly when the alternative is six billion people who’ve got much poorer hands in life than we have, getting a chance to benefit from the money.”

  • BoxRadishScissors
    BoxRadishScissors 7 years ago

    "It's about vampires, ostensibly, but it's really about the reunification of Germany."

  • JSnoopy93
    JSnoopy93 7 years ago +1

    Great video.

  • Balaji M
    Balaji M 7 years ago +1

    Awesome ceo explanation

  • MLKstudios
    MLKstudios 7 years ago +1

    Glad to see someone with a Fine Art degree succeed. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a ticket to poverty (or bar tending). Art and culture make us civil, and civility leads to a more just society.
    Nice speech Michael. Thank you.

  • gwydno
    gwydno 7 years ago +1

    Well, I guess that Princeton will refund all the money these students have paid for their careers, because after all, it's not because of all the good teachers an education provided by the University, or because of the students' effort that they were there at that very moment, but exclusively because of luck.
    Harvard will now have the best argument to go for the best students: "Only luck matters in Princeton; not in Harvard"

  • jrm
    jrm 7 years ago +2

    This needs to go viral.

  • Asp Lupa
    Asp Lupa 7 years ago +1

    He makes a very good point and a strong case for humility and giving back. Nice!

  • John Smith
    John Smith 7 years ago +2

    seems like a really nice guy.

  • radbcc
    radbcc 7 years ago +2


  • Karthik Iyer
    Karthik Iyer 7 years ago +1


  • cupjay
    cupjay 7 years ago