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 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
I could have done without listening to this audio book. Because its is just a reminder how this whole Money business is totally raked.
It makes me sick to my stomach to here how a few guy's in control making up there money game as there go.
It seems to me that Wallstreet is still the wild west...and I don't see this ever changing.
I like to read but listening is better.
The best part about Lewis' books is that he always manages to interject laugh-out-loud humor.
Steve Eisman. He was a moral force in the amoral world of Wall Street.
Solid, deep, woody.
Well the end is a bit depressing because for the most part the culprits got away with it.
Michael Lewis is a genius and this is another excellent book. It wasn't my favorite of his books but it was still very entertaining. He does a good job explaining the complexities of the market well enough to let even those of us who don't understand it still enjoy the story.
I'm still working my way through this one, but I am utterly captivated by the details and the stories. If you ever wanted to understand more deeply the sub-prime loan debacle, this is the book for you. Learning about some of the people and personalities adds another element to the story and keeps it interesting. I still have a way to go, but am really enjoying this, my first real adventure into audio books (in the past I have had a hard time staying focused).
No, there is so much detail and background that you need to absorb it in small amounts.
I found it exhilarating to learn about the handful of men who saw through the subprime fraud and (deservedly) profited from it.
The contrast between the very few smart people and all the others who were either stupid or self-deceptive.
Steven Eisman, for whom I felt real warmth for his sense of outrage committed against the victims; and Michael Burry who was so badly treated by those for whom he made money through his insights.
Eisman's confrontational style
I got a vicarious and cathartic joy out of the victory of Eisman, Burry, et al. And Michael Lewis is a wonderful writer. The subject matter is rather limited in nature, and I cannot say this is a book you have to read or listen to, but I certainly was glad I did not pass it up because of some of the critical remarks (even if justified).
Lewis explains the mechanics of the economic crisis extremely well for people with no background in finance. As a result, readers surely understand what happened far better than most subprime mortgage bond and derivative traders did before the big crash. This is also a very well-told story. Fascinating characters -- heroes, villains, and oddballs -- and an excellent build-up to a satisfying climax and epilogue. The book was so interesting, I read it again about a year later -- and enjoyed it just as much the second time.
Dr. Mike Burry is one of my favorite heroes of all time, but what makes this book so special is the host of rich characters like Greg Lippmann and Wing Chau. You might not trust them, but they are wonderful subjects for Lewis's narrative.
I loved Jesse Boggs's deadpan delivery of character lines that were both classic in their ironic humor and revealing about the characters themselves. The effect was much funnier than if he'd tried to sound like it was a comedy.
I laughed several times throughout the book, even more frequently the second time around.
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