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)
I'm a recent grad in finance. this book does an amazing job at outlining some of the systemic problems that led up to the crash. easy to follow for the lehman. passionately told to keep any reader (or listener) engaged.
I was already familiar with the details of the financial instruments that caused the 2007/8 financial collapse. What was interesting about this book was that it dealt with some of the people involved, specifically those who saw the collapse coming and shorted the bonds and stocks of the companies involved.
I think the most unfortunate part of the whole debacle was the response of the Obama administration. At the time they had the opportunity and the political capital to restructure the financial institutions and punish those who were the primary cause. Instead they let them keep their money, and tax payers footed the bailout bill.
If you're interested in a well told story about the collapse this is definitely a good listen.
Helped make the financial crisis understandable. Love how you almost feel like you know the guys he is talking about. Like you sat down for coffee with them and picked their brains. Really a great listen. Now to go buy some sub prime mortgages.
Great story, picks up speed after the second half of the first chapter. Discusses some of the groups making money on bonds with Subprime Mortgages and even more interestingly the money made against them. Discusses some principles of Buffett on Michael Burry's value investing trades. Also how Joel Greenblatt invested into Burry's fund. Another facinating story on Cornwall Capital on how three young men made millions.
I listened to and read Liars poker 8 times the first month I discovered it. As Lewis says in his prologue, I viewed the book as a how to... Get into the culture id the industry albeit 25+ years ago. This book represent the mechanics and evolution of a market Louis Raneri created so long ago. It present a case that value investing is still valid and that markets are not always efficient. There is, at some point an opportunity in the market for smaller sums of money. One just need the wear withal to find the right talent and stay on course. There is a heard mentality when I comes to money and when you can identify opportunity correctly feel free to go the other way.
I have a window cleaning & janitorial business that has me working solo much of my time so I enjoy listening to books (nonfiction) as I work
I think people that don't mind frequent cussing won't mind this title. As for me...it was over the top.
Good narration, good story if you like financial topics. I just wish people would write without the profanity. I wasn't able to turn the book on in the living room and have the kids listen in.
Free dumb isnt free
A compelling and humorous character study of extreme personalities
I've listened through this more than once, whereas some audiobooks I don't even bother finishing.
Big characters, big money, big ideas.
The whole Wall Street culture was fascinating.The book made clear how the financial community will follow the whims of anyone who has had some success, with little consideration given for the logic or ethics of the path on which that person is taking his followers.
He is able to plow through the complexity with energy and clarity to help keep the book interesting.
Innovation vs. Ethics in Big Money Wall Street
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