If you don't understand why we suffered the big collapse of financial markets, this will explain it. If you already know what CDSs and CDOs are, you'll still find this fascinating because it's a retelling from the ground by people who watched it happen and participated in it while it happened. Third, if you like to read Lewis, you won't be disappointed.
Michael Lewis has the gift of being able to explain the most complicated financial concepts in easy to understand language. He has done this in spades in describing the conplicated sub-prime morgage market and the complex financial instuments conceved of by the so called wizards of wall street. A must for any investor or anyone interested in investing. It reads like a mystery thriller.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
In “The Big Short” and “No One Would Listen”, Michael Lewis and Harry Markopolos reveal man’s incompetence and greed. Lewis details the collapse of the real estate industry and Markopolos dissects Bernie Madoff’s multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme. This is the 21st century but we still live in Thomas Hobbes’ 17th century world.
“The Big Short” and “No One Would Listen” reveal the nuts and bolts of how smart and stupid a free society can be. There is plenty of blame for every person involved; both perpetrator and victim. Human nature is an equal opportunity victimizer. Freedom of opportunity beckons good and bad behavior in humankind.
Regulation is not a perfect solution for control of bad actors in a free society. However, no regulation is worse. The forensic reports of Michael Lewis and Harry Markopolos show what happens when efforts to regulate human nature are abandoned. Thomas Hobbes’ “Leviathan” lives to wreck havoc on society.
The narrators of these two books, Jesse Boggs and Scott Brick, are easy to listen to and the author’s forensic stories are valuable to hear.
I have listened to Flash Boys and read Liars Poker and Moneyball by the author. Those books moved at a faster pace I think, more engrossing. In all a good piece of work, just not his best.
I focus mainly on History, Endurance Sports and Science/Speculative Fiction books.
Only if they were interested in finance.
Good overview of what happened and how the bubble burst.
He did a good job.
Probably not, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
History will repeat itself. Understanding the financial past can only benefit you as you make future decisions.
As someone who worked rather extensively on financial regulatory policy during and immediately after the financial crisis, I thought I understood quite a bit about factors contributing to the sub-prime bubble and about structured finance generally. But it was not until I read this book that I really grasped the full extent to which most of the "masters of the universe" on Wall Street had no idea what the f--k their banks and funds were doing in the frenzy of securitization and greed in the years preceding the financial crisis.
For anyone who wants to understand exactly how we went from a booming bull market in 2006 to near economic and financial collapse in 2008, this is the book to read.
Michael Lewis at his incisive best.
The mechanics of mortgage "tranching," and the extent to which so many Wall Street firms were genuinely blindsided when the monster they conceived, nurtured, and created, came calling for them. (I loved how Lewis correctly notes that it was Goldman Sachs who first recognized the nature of the systemic risk they did so much to create, and managed to profit from it...love them or hate them (and I put myself in the latter category), its uncanny how those guys are always a step ahead.
I read science, biographies, histories, mysteries, adventures, thrillers, educationals, linguistics but not no way, not no how, romances.
I've read Paul Krugman books, I've read about the collapse of Bear Stern, I've read Lewis' aftermath book, "Travels in the New Third World" and they've been amazing and enlightening, but never before has the structure of the financial collapse and its exact cause been so clearly delineated. This book doesn't dumb down, doesn't simplify, but tells a human and exciting story about a market gone completely mad and the few people who saw it coming. You'll learn about Wall Street, how it ticks and what happened between 2005 and 2008.
The narrator is spot on, the pacing is perfect, the information is incredible and understandable for someone without an economics background, the characters are well drawn and likeable, but more than anything this is a cracking good story of an imminent disaster and exactly what went wrong. Please, please read it!
mostly nonfiction listener
Now I finally understand the sub-prime mortgage meltdown. I mean, I understood that in general too many people took out mortgages they could not afford, and when housing prices stopped going up each year that many of these people could not refinance or sell and therefore could not pay their loans. What I did not understand, prior to reading The Big Short, was the credit default swap and how Wall Street and the big insurance companies got themselves in so much trouble that they needed to be bailed out. This is a fun book to read because Lewis is at the top of his game as a storyteller. In lesser hands, the people profiled in the book to advance the sub-prime meltdown narrative would not have been nearly as compelling.
With Lewis telling the tale, however, we learn about the antecedents of the great recession through the personalities of a marginalized and somewhat anti-social group of traders and analysts whose outsider status let them see what nobody else saw, and make millions in the process. This is really a story of how sometimes the outsider, willing to go against the conventional wisdom and the customs of the dominant elite, are able to over turn entire systems while shedding sunshine on uncomfortable realities. I'm going to make it a point to seek out the eccentrics in higher ed, and listen to what they have to say.
My first objective was to get more insight about the 2008 crash, which was accomplished very well. For my surprise it was in a very entertaining context, character dynamics, humor and structure are to be appraised as much as it's content.
Perhaps because I've read SO much good journalism about this and heard Michael Lewis speak on it so eloquently on radio & TV, the pace of this account was hard for me to get into. I found it slow, with explanations of default swaps and collateralized debt obligations and short sells that I've become bored of since the crash. I suspect the written book trumps the audio because you can skim dry economic explanations whereas the narrator has to plod through them slowly. You'll need to be willing to put in time and effort for this one. I'm not.