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The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine | [Michael Lewis]

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

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  •  
    John Satterfield 05-03-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
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    "Clear explanation of financial crisis"

    Excellent description of what happened in financial crash, good descriptions of complicated securities.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonnie Panama City, FL, United States 05-02-10
    Jonnie Panama City, FL, United States 05-02-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    364
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    "Clarity and entertainment on the fiscal crisis"

    Michael Lewis is a great writer. I have read three or four books on the recent Wall Street fiasco and Lewis has the most easily understood and most entertaining explanation of any of them. If you like this book try Moneyball.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel 05-02-10
    Joel 05-02-10 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    28
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    "Best explanation of sub-prime mortgage meltdown"

    Once again Michael Lewis has taken a very complex financial engineering product and made it simple for us to understand. A great read that explains why the financial markets melted down. The book keeps your attention all the way to the last word.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Blumstein NYC 05-02-10
    Michael Blumstein NYC 05-02-10 Member Since 2006

    Michael Blumstein

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Compelling"

    This is the first non-fiction audiobook that I've listened to (which I do when running). It was compelling; I literally could have run for hours. The only distraction was that the narrator mispronounced a number of the names (how does that happen??).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rupert Blairstown, NJ, USA 04-30-10
    Rupert Blairstown, NJ, USA 04-30-10 Member Since 2012
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    3
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    "Best Explanation"

    This is the best explanation of what really happened on Wall Street 2003 until the meltdown of 07/08. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Evans, GA, United States 04-27-10
    Gary Evans, GA, United States 04-27-10
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    "Fantastic!"

    I highly recommend this book. Michael Lewis does a supurb job of telling the story of the financial meltdown and the relevant causes (CDO's and Credit Default Swaps). I read "Liars Poker" 20 years ago and this book is just as informative and entertaining. He is truly a great author and story teller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roger Long Beach, CA, USA 04-25-10
    Roger Long Beach, CA, USA 04-25-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Finally someone gets it right!"

    The people to blame for the financial meltdown has always been Wall Street. Michael Lewis nails it in this book. A must read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lovell Greensboro, NC, USA 04-16-10
    Lovell Greensboro, NC, USA 04-16-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Awesome Book"

    What a great book that adds such a valuable perspective to the crap that goes on, on Wall Street. Thanks Michael!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DW Colorado 03-31-10
    DW Colorado 03-31-10 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Read (or listen) to this book"

    Great description of what happened during the subprime crisis

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Al San Francisco, CA 05-26-10
    Al San Francisco, CA 05-26-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
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    "Predictable"

    Bankers got rich, regular folks got poor,central bankers were sleeping, and we also get to know how these hedge fund managers talk to each other in a frank way...

    26 of 59 people found this review helpful
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