The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
The Big Short Inside the Doomsday Machine Author:Michael Lewis The #1 New York Times bestseller: "It is the work of our greatest financial journalist, at the top of his game. And it's essential reading."?Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair The real story of the crash began in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn't shine and the SEC doesn't dare, or bother, to tread: the bon... more »d and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower- and middle-class Americans who can't pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren't talking.
Michael Lewis creates a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his #1 bestseller Liar's Poker. Out of a handful of unlikely-really unlikely-heroes, Lewis fashions a story as compelling and unusual as any of his earlier bestsellers, proving yet again that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our time.« less
I agree that he's a very good story teller. But, somehow, it's the same story Moneyball. Smart misanthrope (in this book, several, I lost count at 3) performs circles around his conformist-and-stupid colleagues.
The Big Short is about the real estate bubble and it's subsequent meltdown. It's focus is what was happening on Wall Street. It's an excellent insight into what was going on behind the scenes and how blinded the people who should have seen it coming were. While this sounds very dry, it's really not because it follow several investors who did see it coming. Like most contrarians, these are interesting people. The book does not go into heavy analysis or charts and graphs--it's not that kind of book--but there is some technical talk that might go over some readers heads. You can get by with just pick up the general gist of that stuff, so you don't overtax your brain, and still find the book fascinating. I do wish the author had made it clear what caused the bankers to start making these loans (pressure from the Federal government via Freddy Mac and Fannie May) but the story he's telling doesn't really start until later.
I just finished this and also couldn't put it down. This book is incredible. It explains the financial underpinnings of Wall Street and, in part, how the financial meltdown was able to happen. The fact that no one has been held accountable for it is all the more astounding. Nothing has changed. Michael Lewis is my new hero.