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The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine Paperback – February 1, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
In a sense, this book is similar to Moneyball in that Lewis tells his story by following a host of characters that most of us have never heard of--people like Steve Eisman (the closest thing to a main character in the book), Vincent Daniel, Michael Burry, Greg Lippmann, Gene Park, Howie Hubler and others.
How informative is the book? Well, it may seem that Lewis has his work cut out for himself, since the events of the recent financial crisis are already well known. More than that, lots of people have their minds made up concerning who the perps of the last few years are--banks and their aggressive managers, "shadow banks" and their even more aggressive managers, hedge funds, credit default swaps, mortgage brokers, the ratings agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Fed's monetary policy, various federal regulators, short sellers, politicians who over-pushed home ownership, a sensationalist media, the American public that overextending itself with excessive borrowing (or that lied in order to get home loans), housing speculators, etc. The list goes on--and on. Okay, so you already know this.Read more ›
The cast of characters in Lewis's highly readable chronicle of the collapse (and what led to it) includes a misanthropic former medical resident, a money manager who saw himself as Spider-Man, and a pair of men in their thirties who started with $110,00 in a Schwab account they managed from a backyard shed in Berkeley, California. "Each filled a hole," Lewis writes. "Each supplied a missing insight, an attitude to risk which, if more prevalent, might have prevented the catastrophe."
Ever since he left Salomon Brothers to write Liar's Poker, the classic 1989 account of his years as a bond salesman, Lewis has been waiting for a day of reckoning. Little did he realize that the Wall Street he once knew now seems quaint. By 2007, it had morphed into a financial Frankenstein, a "black box" filled with hidden risks on complicated bets that could destroy its creators, but only if the government allowed it to do so.Read more ›
So what did I really think of the book? Well, Lewis should be commended for writing a book on the 2008 financial crisis from the most unique perspective thus far. Rather than focus on the major characters that a plethora of other books have focused on (Paulson, Bernanke, Geithner, etc.), Lewis tells his story using some extremely obscure characters as his lead actors: A handful of hedge fund managers who made massive bets against the subprime industry (and by hedge fund managers, I am not referring to high profile, well-known hedgies; I am talking about very, very minor players).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author did not clearly explain how some of the terms he used work.It would have helped if he put explainations of some of the terms.For example:
CDO's and CDS's. Read more
Because I am fascinated by this industry, I have read most of Mr. Lewis's books. IHe deals more with personalities Understand the people, which really make the market move the... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Lisbeth
Vocabulary is hard to understand in some places. Watching the movie helped. I learned some things about circumstances leading up to the 2008 recession. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Teacher in Indiana
Very good explanation of the "melt-down". Was somewhat confusing at times.Published 9 days ago by JOSEPH C COUSINS
At first thought about writing a review, I was going to say that 'The Big Short' is not an easy read. This is an extraordinary book written about an exceedingly complex issue. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Chief of Toys