The long-awaited follow-up to the global best-seller Liar's Poker, The Big Short tells a story of spectacular, epic folly.
It has taken the world's greatest financial meltdown to bring Michael Lewis back to the subject that made him famous. His international best seller Liar's Poker exposed the greed and carnage of the City and Wall Street in the 1980s; he wrote it as a cautionary tale, but people seem to have read it as a how-to guide. Now, he wants to settle accounts. In this visceral tour to the heart of the money-making machine, Michael Lewis traces the origins of the crisis and introduces us to a new cast of compulsively fascinating characters. We meet the people who saw it coming, the people who were asleep at the wheel, and others who were actively driving us all off the cliff. Where did it all start? How could we have all been so deluded for quite so long? Did it really have to be this way? And who the hell can we blame? Michael Lewis has the answers.
No one is better qualified to reveal the dark truths about how our world really works. No one else could make it such an enjoyable ride along the way.
This edition includes a prologue read by the author, plus an exclusive author interview.
©2010 Michael Lewis (P)2010 Penguin Books Ltd
"Lewis is the finest storyteller of our generation." (Malcolm Gladwell)
"The funniest book about Wall Street I have ever read" (Tom Wolfe)
Really enjoyed this book, eclectic characters embellished the factual components and provide a background context and atmosphere.
Found the narration clear, could even Double speed it clearly.
I learnt something from this book and it was very topical. It was also a great workout for the synapses trying to follow the complex list of characters, transactions and jargon
A really well written them off corruption ignorance and deceit which unfortunately we tried and still resonates thought the world. This book also describes for a corrupt seem was asked from change after the GFC and how you're responsible for away with it.
Fantastic account of what actually went down in 2008 financial crisis. It provides with tell tale signs that we need has to be looked out for even today. I am sure that financial crisis in the future would bet riggers by financial institutions rather than ordinary people not knowing how to manage finances.
"Fascinating and boring"
This story is incredible. I watched the film and thoroughly enjoyed the story, and so I wanted to get into more of the detail. However, it's a seriously detailed read and not so easy to follow the technical aspects. But enjoyable none the less -- especially having the characters from the film in my imagination.
"Awesome book, bugs in the app"
This is a great book. however, the app did not show the chapters correctly. I found the app a bit annoying.
"Enjoyable story of disaster"
A fascinating true story of the subprime crisis and Wall Street malfeasance. Leaves you with a distaste for what the US government did in bailing out the banks. They should have been allowed to fail with the cash and guarantees going to the savers instead of the speculators.
"Sub-Primes for Dummies"
Anyone who wants to understand the roots of the sub-prime crisis, which has plunged the world in recession for the past 5 years, should definitely get this book. Michael Lewis explains in easily comprehensible terms the concepts and reasons behind the splitting of mortgage loans into various floors and how this dissociation of the loans from the assets led to ever more abstract constructions which finally sent the world into chaos in the summer of 2008. A must read if you want to know why, and how, we got into the mess we are in nowadays.
Good story overall, but highly complex, full of jargon and hard to follow in places.
"A thriller that is still evolving into a nigthmare"
What happens when you add complexity to an equation, then add more complexity and more and more and more, not knowing what the answer will be?
What happens when your long term is three month but your construct is measured in years?
What happens when men plan only for a myopic self serving individualistic benefit, not thinking for a moment about the larger society?
What happens when you stop thinking of other human beings as real but just streams of future income, expendable, usable, inconsequential?
What happens when you have so much money; you no longer understand the reality of others, when thirty million dollars is not enough to enter a game. when a hundred million only lets you pick at the table; when a billion is just a start?
What happens when the regulators all want to be the regulated because that is where the real money is?
What happens when you and your children pay for the insanity this questions propose?
I have picked behind the curtain, and what I saw was madness, mountains of madness.
The failures of our economies are the failures of our morality and the rot is so deep in our humanity, we need to have a radical removal of it virulence; or it will metastasise in all our values, and institutions.
Must read a thriller that is still evolving into a nightmare.
"Complex but enjoyable"
If you can get your head around complex wall street 'financial speak' such as synthetic CDO's and credit default swaps then this book is a revelation. Or at least it was for me; I thought the banks had been irresponsible now I know they are downright corrupt. The great irony is that they made these complex financial models to hide the risk but the models became so complex that they didn't understand them themselves.
"essential history lesson"
you know all the jargon and remember the headlines, but this tells the story of financial collapse from the points of view of people who worked out what was happening before September 2008. a great story, very easy to listen to. densely packed with information, so be prepared to concentrate on this listen!
"Exceptionally interesting listen."
Certainly. It was an incredibly interesting (and exciting?) listen. As others have suggested perhaps the author is a tad 'black and white' in terms of the supposed 'geniuses' who foresaw the 'inevitable' crisis and the supposed 'head-in-sand ostriches' that failed to. But I would agree with others that this helped the story aspect of the book.
Do not feel dissuaded if you have I saw the film first, I was very glad that I listened to this after watching the film because it enabled me to picture the characters and situations in my head as the book progressed.
Steve Eisman: His (alleged?) disregard for social conformity
"More interesting than the movie"
I enjoyed the book more than the movie. makes for a good insight into the corrupt world of finance..
"for financial geeks.."
I enjoyed this book but a long term interest in investments, finance and investing really helped. If you come into this looking for a good romp or a mirror image of the film you would be disappointed. This is a forensic look into some of the shameful lack of care and practices that led to the financial crisis. If don't already have an understanding of what a collateralised debt obligation is already then this book is not for you.
If you have a mind for business then this will tick all your boxes. Really well delivered.
"Just enough technical detail and a good story"
I've worked a lot in financial regulation so I understood a lot about the events described already, but I still learned a few things from this. All the technical details are well explained and I think people without a financial background could understand a lot of it as well.
As for the story, it's well done. If I have a criticism, it's that it's a bit too black and white - Lewis's world is populated by two types of people - one group who are smart, hardworking and honest, and another who are stupid, shady and just out to make a quick buck. But I guess he exaggerated the characters a bit to make the story more engaging. And engaging it is. Would recommend to anyone interested in understanding what caused the crisis but not wanting to get bogged down in technical analyses
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