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)
If you are interested in getting some insight into the credit crisis; and the way the financial system works (or doesn't). This should be on your required reading list. At the end of the book, it reinforces some of the more cynical thoughts I had about the financial market.. Makes you think twice before blindly trusting your retirement savings with your not so favourite broker.
As someone who followed the 2008 financial crisis closely, I found this book to be utterly fascinating. It reads like a thriller, and its true life characters made me laugh out loud. I think different people can read this and draw wildly different conclusions about what it all means, but regardless of your political bent, the story itself is a great one.
Driving over 100,000 mile a year since 1983, I got hooked on audible books on tape 30 years back. I now listen from my bicycle 2 hours a day
I wish I knew how to evaluate the accuracy of Lewis assertions since I've read a number of reviews that challenge his premise. But I have no problem recommending this book as a compelling look into the strange idiocy of credit default swaps and the characters of Wall Street who played roles in the financial disaster.
This was the best of the books I have read on the financial meltdown. Americans need to read and understand how unethical Wall Street has been for decades. Most of these people should be in jail, instead they are enjoying the millions they ripped off from the working people around the world. The government just paid for their losses and let them carry on business as usual.
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??).
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