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 such an interesting story teller and this was a great financial story to tell, the almost complete destruction of our financial system, and how a few traders uncovered some serious flaws in the institutional imperative of wall street. This is by far the most entertaining book I have listened to, and it was actually difficult to listen to it in public on my head phones because it made me laugh out lough so many times.
I would recommend to anyone weather they like finance and wall street stuff or not!
The narration on this book was more than just an audible reading, Jesse did a great job making you feel like you were hearing the conversations yourself changing his tones and emotions in most of the quoted texts.
This is not Lewis' most energetic piece, but it was the most informative. Prior to listening to this I had a small inkling as to what actually caused the 2008 recession having been deployed at the time. Lewis explains how the crisis originated, however dryly, and brings to the forefront how yet again those in power are inadequately making tough decisions with little to no concern for the masses.
Great car listen btw.
Mr. Lewis does a very good job explaining the complicated esoteric financial structures and the forces at work in the macro that produced a perfect storm to crash the Financial markets in 2008. He also sheds light on the individuals who were smart enough and objective enough to see the catastrophe early and position themselves to profit massively from their insight into the insanity.
The first half of the book, like Liars Poker, is very good and very interesting. The second half it starts to drag slightly. I think a couple of hours could have been shaved off it and still made for a very good book. Having said that it is still worth the read to understand what happened in 2007 and 2008.
Not much value here (in terms of providing an explanation of how/why the housing market collapsed) that couldn't have been covered in a 10-minute segment on 60 minutes. I was expecting more insight into the key participants.
One of the most riveting non fiction books I've ever experienced. I listened shortly before seeing the movie, and it made the movie that much better for having understood the concepts beforehand. The history of the collapse is wild.
very F'n educational, Now I feel the Bern! My neighborhood went to crap, seemed like every other home on my block was being foreclosed on. I was suddenly upside in my home mortgage loan. I tried loan re-organazation, denied. interest rate went up to 18%. I stopped making the payments and saving the money. Sold the house short at 65,000 loss. Paid cash for my current home, but my credit score is crap now.
THIS BOOK EXPLAINS HOW IT CAME TO BE
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