Featuring an exclusive audio interview with Michael Lewis
When the crash of the U.S. stock market became public knowledge in the fall of 2008, it was already old news. The real crash, the silent crash, had taken place over the previous year, in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn’t shine, and the SEC doesn’t dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real-estate derivative markets, where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower- and middle-class Americans who can’t pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren’t talking.
The crucial question is this: Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real-estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages?
Michael Lewis turns the inquiry on its head to create a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his number-one best-selling Liar’s Poker. "Who got it right?" he asks. Who saw the ever-rising real-estate market for the black hole it would become, and eventually made billions of dollars from that perception? And what qualities of character made those few persist when their peers and colleagues dismissed them as Chicken Littles?
Out of this handful of unlikely—really unlikely—heroes, Lewis fashions a story as compelling and unusual as any of his earlier best sellers, proving yet again that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our times.
©2010 Michael Lewis (P)2010 Simon & Schuster
“No one writes with more narrative panache about money and finance than Mr. Lewis....[he] does a nimble job of using his subjects’ stories to explicate the greed, idiocies and hypocrisies of a system notably lacking in grown-up supervision....Writing in faintly Tom Wolfe-ian prose, Mr. Lewis does a colorful job of introducing the lay reader to the Darwinian world of the bond market.” (Michiko Kakutani - The New York Times)
“Superb: Michael Lewis doing what he does best, illuminating the idiocy, madness and greed of modern finance. . . . Lewis achieves what I previously imagined impossible: He makes subprime sexy all over again.” (Andrew Leonard - Salon.com)
"[Michael Lewis] is the finest storyteller of our generation.” (Malcolm Gladwell)
It was very informative, though hard to follow from a novice's perspective, I learned a lot about how the financial collapse actually happened and what caused it.
The characters....wacky and misdirected guys working on wall street for sure.
I forgot he wasn't the actual author.
I laughed, but mostly couldn't stop listening because he really had you on the edge of your seat to see how each story was going to play out.
Definitely recommend this book, it's important context for understanding the bullsh*t that is wall street.
This has all the elements of a great story. Underdogs, villains, drama, humor. Interestingly, no Real Heroes or good guys. And I found myself thinking, "you can't make this stuff up-it is so outrageous but true. AND The bad guys all got away with millions."
Great research and writing by Michael Lewis. Narrator's voice and pace fit the story very well. Highly recommended for realists, cynics and those who want to better grasp what really happened to create the massive financial crisis of 2007-8.
Lewis makes sense of the nonsensical and tells a great story. Be prepared for a lot of forehead-slapping "Are you f***ing kidding me?" moments.
If you have even only a cursory interest in the market and in Wall St, this is a riveting story about the madness of 2005-2008. Mr. Lewis has done a great job of describing an episode of that will join the "Tulip Mania" and "The South Sea Island Bubble" in the Pantheon of human folly.
Aside from the fact that Michael Lewis is one of my all-time favorite writers, this book was particularly page-turningly fascinating. I have listened to this book probably 7 times in its entirety and I have learned something new every time I listen. The characters he chose to write about were captivating and I definitely spent an afternoon Googling them to try and get the after story! I would (and shamelessly do) recommend this book to absolutely everyone who will listen.
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