I normally pick books on guys like"Mitch Rapp" kicking butt and saving this nation, but I thought I should use a credit to educate myself. I have no idea how the big Wall Street firm's work, hedge funds, bond trading etc, and after listening to this book, I still don't. With that said, I was locked into this book. Michael Lewis did a great job of taking a subject that is designed to confuse the living daylights out of 99% of people and making you understand what occurred to get us into this mess. He established, three sets of modern day heroes who were screaming at the Wall Street Machine that what they were doing was wrong. When they wouldn't listen, they bet against them. I am floored at the level of deception and greed of so many different components to allow this to happen. How does Moody's and S&P do what they did and when confronted, not have the backbone to correct it? Why did they not have any repercussions and why didn't someone go to jail? How does the smartest people on Wall Street with Ivy league degree's allow this to occur and run their firms into the ground? Nice job guys. Do you think we really want to do business with any of you clowns after this? How does our Government and Alan Greenspan not recognize this and act? How does our Government bail out these inept Wall Street Firms and allow them to use that money and pay big executive bonuses?
I like to believe I am a Capitalist and believe in free enterprise with less Government. However, we read stories like this and it makes you wonder if their is something better. I have never placed a great deal of trust in banks and traders and after this book, I certainly have much less faith in them. They have truly earned the name "Banksters" and maybe we should have sent in "Mitch Rapp" to clean up the entire mess. That would be a good story!!!
When Michael Lewis reads the preface he unwittingly shows us what a good narrator might have done: found the right tone to convey the irony and sarcasm which abounds in this great book. Instead we get a narrator whose sonorous voice can't hide the fact that he is terribly suited to the work...
A superb book, well read. I laughed out loud and also understand the monumental arrogance of Wall Street better.
Michael Lewis spins a characteristically gripping and compelling tale. The odd thing was, Lewis is so talented, the book effectively felt like a suspense novel even though we knew the outcome having lived through it already.
I know there are some readers who are upset that Lewis has contradicted himself in his writings on the value/danger of derivatives. I don't see how that has relevance to this particular work as it's very well done and I couldn't stop listening once I got into it.
The narration is non-obstrusive and is effective because of that.
I am a big fan of Michael Lewis. I enjoy the way he weaves characters and history within the "Big Short." Some minutiae is tough to digest on the run and via audio but that's what makes this such a complicated story. I cannot imagine how he finds such unique people and they are definitely ready to talk. I believe there is something for everyone...personalities, business and history.
It might have made more sense if I could have listened straight through or read the book to keep all of the people straight in my head, but overall it was quite good, and gave a good insider's view into part of the story. I thought it might detail more of Goldman's dubious short sales that they are being questioned about now, but it doesn't go into much detail about that.
What it does cover, and very well at that, is the shorting of the market that some people did, and how they did it, what companies were willing to do it and how there was pretty much zero oversight to prevent this sort of thing from happening.
The interview at the end of the book with the author is really good, and he covers the most important aspect of the Big Short there: which is that the 'heros' of the book did a pretty wild thing, and made a lot of money, which is to be 'wowed' to some extent, but in the end that money comes straight from the public's purse to cover the losses of these companies that are supposedly too big to fail.
Basically, it makes you wonder- if these guys weren't all out there banking on the real estate crash, or there were regulations in to prevent the type of trades the big firms made with AIG's money, how bad would the crash have been? And I wish he'd had covered that to some extent rather than making it sound so great that these guys made out like kings by taking the taxpayer's money.
Apart from a slightly off-putting reader's drone and the occasional wish to flip back a page to digest a complex concept--this book was mostly quite engaging. You enter a world, learn it's language & customs, and follow unexpected characters toward their billions in fluke wealth. Incredulity, indignation, and disgust ensue.
Lewis is not deep, but he knows his stuff. Well worth the effort.
Given the material, it was easy to follow, funny and , above all, fascinating. You will understand the crisis better than anyone you know, and have a good time learning about it.
Michael Lewis begins the book in early 2000's and takes you on an extraordinary ride with some extremely interesting fellows. When it's all said & done, where does he leave you?? Well just pick up the newspaper! The issues with Goldman Sachs / Deutche Bank continue to get ever more interesting as each day passes.