Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on May 31, 2010
This is a fascinating recount of how several groups of investors anticipated the crash of the housing market and their strategies for profiting from the inevitable (as we now know) "bubble" burst.

First, and a key point in any non-fiction book, the Author makes this book extremely enjoyable to read. A key part of the book is understanding the parties involved, their experiences, their motivations. Mr. Zuckerman accomplishes this an easy to read style that always keeps your interest.

Secondly, I am not a financial expert who understands the complex world of hedge funds and financial transactions. Yet this book manages to capture the essence of the bubble and the trades with enough detail to allow us "non-financial" people to understand, but does not overly simplify the topic. The Author does an excellent job of describing the financial transactions in an easy to understand style that most people should be able to follow.

And finally, the lessons in this book is why I will have my 17 year old son read it. It is a true story how common sense can get lost in a herd mentality, how what appears to be a great thing now may have disastrous repercussions later, and how difficult it can be to remain strong in your views despite withering pressure to change. It is also a story on how sometimes "older" is "wiser" -- hope he learns that lesson, lol!

A few items I would change in the book: Although not a short book, I found myself really wanting to know even more about the various parties. Also, when describing the financial transactions, I think a few nice diagrams would be helpful for us non-finance people.

However, those are just minor issues in an overall outstanding book. The Author manages to take a complex topic and make it understandable. Not only understandable, but thoroughly enjoyable to read. And, perhaps most importantly, a imparts some valuable lessons regarding standing firm to your principles in the face of overwhelming pressure to conform.
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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
463 global ratings