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1,355 of 1,420 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who knew?
Based on reading Michael Lewis' Liar's Poker and Moneyball, I wondered whether The Big Short would prove to be entertaining and informative. If you've read some of Lewis' books, you might agree that the "entertaining" part would seem to be a reasonably safe bet. It turns out, it is. The Big Short is fast-paced, straightforward, conversational and salty--very much like...
Published on March 15, 2010 by AdamSmythe

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1,427 of 1,627 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Big Short Falls a Bit Short
Let me get the easy part of this out of the way first. Michael Lewis is a remarkably gifted writer, and I have often found his books impossible to put down. When I first read his debut at book authorship, Liar's Poker, I literally read it straight through. I was not alone in this, as Liar's Poker rightfully made Michael a very well-respected author and a very wealthy man...
Published on March 15, 2010 by David Bahnsen


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Big Short provides a great explanation, April 25, 2010
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Author Lewis has fashioned a pithy, fast-paced description of the events, people, and financial instruments leading up to and causing the financial collapse of several venerable Wall Street firms and contributing to a nationwide financial recession.

In a readable rendition that is both informative and entertaining, Lewis explains credit default swaps, CMO's, CDO's, tranches, and bond rating systems in a way that clarifies these arcane securities in the context of their human creators and traders.

To understand recent economic history and comprehend and comment on currently proposed Wall Street and banking regulation, reading this book is a must.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I had a hard time putting this book down. ..., October 6, 2014
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I had a hard time putting this book down. I think it was Ford Maddox Ford who said a writer must produce a book that compels the reader to turn the page. Well, I was compelled alright. It is one of those books that one hopes will last a long time. But those books never last a long time.
The characters, being real, were much more interesting than fictional ones, the grumpy guy who said just what was on his mind, the ADHD guy, the snotnose from Duetshe Bank.
Don't read this book to understand what happened. It's very confusing. If it weren't for Robert Krulwich I wouldn't have a clue. The book is interesting for the characters - and the astronomical amounts of money being handled and controlled by numbskulls.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Get Rich While Failing!, September 15, 2014
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Scott Shorey (Moscow, Russia) - See all my reviews
A fascinating look at the subprime mortgage crisis from a completely different perspective. This is mostly about equity fund managers who got rich from betting against the whole industry. What is even more strange are the bond brokers who got rich from the failure. This is because they got paid for the trades they made and not for the performance of the crappy bonds they sold. One bond trader lost $9 billion on one trade and still walked away a multi-millionaire and then the one percenters wonder why everyone hates them so much. This is the second Michael Lewis book I have read and I will read more. He writes from the perspective of someone who understands the market and is cynical about it which is refreshing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Informative, September 18, 2014
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Farm Boy (Glendale, WI United States) - See all my reviews
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Michael Lewis on the recent financial crisis. As is his style, the story is told largely from the point if view of several people that saw what was happening from the inside. I learned a tremendous amount about what happened and why. It is also a great case study in how perverse incentives can lead to undesirable actions, the importance of efficient markets where all have complete information, and why some level of regulation in the financial markets is imperative. The book is written in an entertaining style, and if you are willing to do a little thinking will leave you with a much better understanding of the bond market and other derivative financial markets.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story exceptionally well told..., March 16, 2010
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You don't have to be an investment professional to follow Michael Lewis's outstanding narrative as he takes the reader through the details of the sub-prime debacle that was at the origin of the financial crisis. Lewis is a truly gifted storyteller, and the quirky personalities that populate this book make it that much easier to follow along as the crisis reaches its inevitable conclusion.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sad but true, November 24, 2010
This is a very well written book and certainly chronicles how the mortgage mess began and why it should have been controlled sooner. I find Michael Lewis' books always very compelling reading and was surprised that the end was as disappointing as it was. He sets us up to like and root for these smart people but the profits that they made being on the right side of this trade come at the enormous expense of the vast majority of the people who suffered as a result of the financial meltdown. So it ends up being a sad story instead of a success story which I wasn't really expecting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You can't make this stuff up, September 17, 2014
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laksmi (SF Bay Area) - See all my reviews
A few brilliant oddballs foresee the subprime mortgage implosion and make the bets of a lifetime. In the 3-4 years leading up to the crisis, these individual's drill down further and further into the mortgage backed bonds and CDO's. Are they misreading the data? Why don't the Wall Street insiders also see the impending meltdown? The folly they discover is mind boggling. The events described would be completely unbelievable - except for the fact they actually happened, and we're still experiencing the fallout. Not only was this a very educational read, it was hugely entertaining and sometimes laugh out loud funny. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, engrossing, and fairly short book on 2008, September 13, 2014
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Tea (New Hampshire & Tokyo) - See all my reviews
Excellent and fairly short book on what happened to cause 2008. If you read just one book on the financial crisis, this should be it.

It doesn't cover everything (did I mention it's fairly short?), but the picture it gives of how extremely out-of-hand things got on Wall Street is that part that we don't see directly around us. This is the piece that the people-simply-took-mortgages-they-couldn't-afford explainers completely miss, and it's huge.

Lewis tells the tale through the stories of several people who saw early on what was going on, so it's far from dry or boring. I absolutely recommend this book.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up to Michael Lewis's high standards, April 12, 2010
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I'm always impressed with Michael Lewis's ability to take a relatively dry subject (i.e. mortgage-backed "securities"), and make it almost impossible to turn from. As usual, I couldn't put this book down. I always wondered how Wall Street was able to get the ratings agencies (S&P and Moody's, et al) to play ball with these ridiculous subprime mortgages, and Lewis does a great job of shedding light on it. This book will really make you question reality...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Even I could understand the economic crisis, September 21, 2010
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Michael Lewis is a great artist with words. But more than that, he is a great artist with explanations of a dense, complex subject that do not patronize or overly simplify what happened. Even a layman like me could understand the main features of the mortgage crisis and the economic meltdown that ensued. Who cannot be amazed at the stupidity of supposedly brilliant bankers and stock market analysts? Gordon Gecko explained it all 23 years ago when he said, "Greed...works." That was their mantra. I like this book so much I bought additional copies for my daughters and a friend. A MUST read.
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The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis (Audio CD - March 15, 2010)
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