Must read for anyone wishing to really understand a major caused the financial crash. Interesting background on the players within along with a disappointing reality surrounding the rating agencies involved.
We know lots of people and institutions lost a ton of money in the economic meltdown of 2008, but this is a story of people who saw it coming and made a fortune from their bets against the sub-prime mess.
Michael Lewis presents this story in a very entertaining and interesting way. Who else do you know who can describe a synthetic CDO? Let alone someone who can do so in building his story and make you believe that you really can understand what some of these exotic financial products were about?
You almost cannot stop listening, even though you know how the story turns out at the broadest level. The narration is very good, and this is a very entertaining view of very recent history.
Depressing, but well told. Makes you want to know more about where these people are now, even more than is told in the brief epilogue. And I would love to hear what Mr. Lewis recommends for how to avoid this in the future.
You don't have to be a finance major to appreciate this work. Fantastic book. If you were affected by the economic implosion (and who was not?) you should spend a few hours and listen to what really happened. You will be shocked at the incredibly small core-group of smart, greedy, morally bankrupt individuals that were handed the keys to your piggy bank and pulled the wool right over the eyes of every other organization who was theoretically looking out for you.
This book blew me away. The intertwined surreal stories of the people involved in the biggest fleecing of american taxpayers. The people in the know, and the people who should have been in the know, but failed us. In particular, the reaction of the SEC was most telling. I also found it shocking that the people who invented the equities were the same people involved with Milkin in the 80's. Criminals in suits, who carry out the biggest heist in history, and get away with it. Wall Street brokers, who after the entry of the internet era are no longer needed to buy stocks for customers, have turned to more sinister pursuits. One of the characters kept saying to his wife that this could be the end of democracy in the US. Maybe it ended a while ago and we just havent realized it yet, as the same people keep running these scams again and again. I am sure we havent seen the end of these people. I would have never understood what happened if Lewis hadnt written his book. All taxpayers need to read this book. I had to listen to it twice to catch all the nuances.
I found this book informative and deeply disturbing. It very clearly gives you the exact details of how Wall Street screwed the American public. Moreover, the author was able to clearly describe the financial instruments that were involved in the recession we currently find ourselves in. I wonder why the main stream media didn't/couldn't do the same (ok, not really..). At the end of the day, we should charge, convict, and jail most of the bond traders and Sr. leadership at Goldman-Sachs, Lehman, HSBC, Morgan-Stanley and all the others involved in the creation of Sub-prime mortgage backed securities, CDO's, CDS's, etc.
One of Lewis's best. He tackles the subprime mortgage meltdown and explains the inner workings of the banking machinery that made it happen like few other writers could.
Fabulous book. I read Liar's Poker way back when and after seeing Michael Lewis' interview with Jon Stewart, I downloaded the book immediately. I was not disappointed. Michael manages to get more information than seems possible and then weaves a great narrative.
Am I furious at the subject matter, yes. Did Michael do us all a great service writing the tale ... he sure did.
After 10 hours of listening and many well thought out, thorough explanations, I still can't coherently explain what a CDO is... And this is exactly the point of the book. Michael Lewis does an amazing job of allowing the reader the vantage point of the book's protagonists, who become increasingly more incredulous as they learn about the financial system they are betting against. Good stuff.
Micheal Lewis's account of the build up to the Great Recession, told through the eyes of the people who foresaw the catastrophe, is absolutely fascinating. I never suspected that a book about the financial system could be so compelling.