This was one of those books that you enjoyed listening to but you also felt helpless as far as what you could do to prevent it from happening again. The greed and lack of ownership for their actions that people on Wall Street were allowed to get away with makes you want to put your money somewhere else. Unfortunately, there aren't alot of other options so we'll just have to be careful of who we do business with. This book certainly gave me a much better understanding of how it all fit together and why we lost what we did in the market. I listened to it twice and liked it both times.
It took a long time to get into this book, but I ultimately got there and was glad I stayed with it. Worth a read.
Michael Lewis does a wonderful job of making a complicated story engaging. This is the story of how the subprime mortgage market nearly brought the world financial system down. Mr. Lewis' breaks down the financial topics into easily digestible bits and weaves in interesting personal stories of those people to identified the opportunity & risks.
To get a better understanding to what happened during the financial crisis, one would have to read the author's book Liar's Poker. The author does a good job explaining how this happened and how Wall Street had been betting against the American people and the world. How they had no regard of any of the consequences. How bad behavior was rewarded.
Did not like this book. I suppose I only finished it because I paid for it. I found no insight into the sub-prime mortgage debacle. The author throws around people's names & company names as if that were enuff. He gives you terms but never defines them. As a realtor I may know a little more about sub-prime mortgages than the average person, but still it was totally unenlightening. This includes Part 2 of the book. It does not get better. I gave it one star only because I could not give it a half star.
Now i begin to understand the sub-prime crisis. The greed and stupidity of ALL the heads of the major commercial and investment banks is beyond belief. Lewis explains it all in a manner that is easily understood. Every last American should read it. All the bankers, all the government functionaries come out looking like fools.
A very comprehensive but understandable narrative about Wall Street's catastrophic investment in "subprime mortgages" (i.e., home loans to people who couldn't pay them back) leading to the economic meltdown of 2008. It's a bit dry at times, but Lewis explains everything clearly and soon you'll be following along as he discusses Mezzanine CDOs and all the other arcane financial terms brokers and traders use to deceive (yes, deliberately deceive) investors.
Greed and deceit on Wall Street? Shocking! No, but really, the problem as Lewis explains it is not that Wall Street is greedy and dishonest but that most of the people on Wall Street don't actually know what they're doing. You'd think guys put in charge of handling billions of dollars would take the time to research their investments. Even if they don't care about screwing the public, they don't really want to bring down the entire economy. Yet that's exactly what they did, because they were lazy and ignorant. Even the CEOs.
If your understanding of the implosion of the housing market and the economy is kind of vague and you want to know the details, this is a very good book to start educating yourself with. Of course Lewis tells the story from his own viewpoint, and some of his opinions are not shared universally, so this isn't necessarily the definitive book on the subject.
He populates the book with an interesting cast of characters, not necessarily the biggest names in the catastrophe, but the little guys who made a killing seeing what the big investment banks didn't: that Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers were holding billions of dollars of bad paper. It almost makes you believe that you could make a killing on Wall Street if you were willing to put in the time and the study -- and if you were willing to hold on for a white-knuckle ride while everyone else is telling you you're about to lose your pants.
I really enjoyed this book. For those of us that guessed right but were too lazy to act, this book is great for pretending that we shorted the market. This was a very interesting insider view of the shorting of our country's greed and stupidity.
This book is a brilliant and unbiased account of the Wall street Meltdown, and the seeds of destruction (planted many years previous) that provided the basis for the ensuing carnage. Rarely do I have the pleasure of listening to a book this insightful!! The research, writing, and unbiased reporting in this book should make the author a Pulitzer Prize candidate!!!