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