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The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine [Kindle Edition]

Michael Lewis
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)

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Product Description


I read Lewis for the same reasons I watch Tiger Woods. I ll never play like that. But it s good to be reminded every now and again what genius looks like. --Malcolm Gladwell

Product Description

'We fed the monster until it blew up ...'

While Wall Street was busy creating the biggest credit bubble of all time, a few renegade investors saw it was about to burst, bet against the banking system - and made a fortune.

From the jungles of the trading floor to the casinos of Las Vegas, this is the outrageous story of the misfits, mavericks and geniuses who, against all odds, made the greatest financial killing in history.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 453 KB
  • Print Length: 287 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0393338827
  • Publisher: Penguin (27 Jan 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,681 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Michael Lewis was born in New Orleans and educated at Princeton University and the London School of Economics. He has written several books including the New York Times bestseller, Liar's Poker, widely considered the book that defined Wall Street during the 1980s. Lewis is contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and also writes for Vanity Fair and Portfolio magazine. He is married with three children.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
137 of 153 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Let me get one thing straight out of the way - this book is unlikely to have the impact of Liar's Poker (Hodder Great Reads) for two reasons. The former was one of the first on the subject and defined 1980s banking to an extent, it got many graduates excited about potentially becoming BSDs themselves. It was in a way the perfect pitch for the industry, working even better as a result of being a critique of the system. The second reason was that while Liar's Poker was timely, this book came out a bit late to the 2008 financial meltdown party. Books like The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable or Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets were a lot more timely, and while not everyone will appreciate Taleb's writing style, they were in some ways more general and applicable to broader sets of situations.

Be that as it may, Lewis is still an accomplished writer and knows how to package the book well. Unlike in Liar's Poker, this book is not based on his own personal experiences (he retired from the industry prior to writing Liar's Poker) but follows several of the investors, who saw the unsustainability of the subprime mortgage market and decided to short it ahead of the curve. Through their stories Lewis shows how the market developed, the systemic problems plaguing the sector (a bit like in the second part of Liar's Poker) and how the downfall happened.
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76 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Generation Kill goes to Wall Street 12 May 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Michael Lewis is one of the most gifted and entertaining writers today - anyone who has read his reputation-forming Liar's Poker will know this (if you haven't, and you aspire to a career in finance, you should), but his subsequent offerings, particularly the singularly brilliant Moneyball have also been outstanding. He distinguishes himself from his peers firstly by his thorough insider's understanding of how, when and why finance works (and by extension how, when and why it doesn't) but also a deft turn of phrase and devastating wit. When the subject is the logic-defying but leaden topic of tranched portfolio credit derivative armageddon, both attributes are in good demand. And both, in the shape of Lewis' airy but insightful writing, are in abundant supply.

The rosette for "best book about the financial meltdown" is hotly contested - luminaries such as George Soros, Mohamed El-Erian and Hank Paulson have entered more or less weighty tomes (some excellent, some portentous, some a bit wacky); as have well-respected and deeply learned journalists like the NY Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin and the FT's Gillian Tett.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This book is brilliant in its explanation of the mechanisms that brought us the credit crisis. It explains very well how a combination of stupidity (people that did not understand their own products), reward systems (for bankers, brokers and rating agencies alike) created a setting that made people think that they had created a method to turn lead into gold. In a very non-technical way, this book explains above all the folly of the Collateralized Debt Obligations and how a combination of some crooks (and a lot of dumb people) in the investment business created this mess. It is written from the perspective of the few smart people who saw the emperor's new clothes (financial engineering that was supposed to remove risk) for what they were, bet against them and won, while the rest of the world lost out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Writing with style on the dark side of finance 21 April 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book's salient points appear on the bottom half of p.243 " Wall Street investment banks somehow conned the rating agencies into blessing piles of crappy loans;how this had enabled the lending of trillions of dollars to ordinary Americans;how ordinary Americans had happily complied and told the lies they needed to tell to obtain the loans;how the machinery that turned the loans into supposedly riskless securities was so complicated that investors had ceased to evaluate the risks;how the problem had grown so big that the end was bound to be cataclysmic and have big social and political consequences..."

The elements that comprise the book excellence are:the first class intellect of the author matching the quality of the Institutions he was educated namely Princeton University and the London School of Economics;his charisma in writing concisely, lucidly and impressively wittily, and the fact that he is imbued with morality;the story is not presented in the abstract but through brilliant albeit eccentric protagonists - all betting and winning against the market - such as Steve Eisman graduating from the University of Pennsylvania magna cum laude,and then with honours from Harvard Law School and Dr Michael Burry who abandoned neurology studies at Stanford to immerse himself in the world of finance.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
10out of 5 read it twice
Published 2 days ago by Mr Joseph Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A bit difficult to follow but worth the effort.
Published 8 days ago by Dr Keith Amery
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read if you want to understand what happened
loved it
Published 21 days ago by Karen Moller
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Another great book by Michael Lewis. Very informative regarding sub-pirme and the origins of the cash crunch. He has made a difficult very easy to access.
Published 23 days ago by Usario
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read
The Big Short by Michael Lewis is a must read for anyone interested in how the financial system works (or doesn't work). Read more
Published 25 days ago by Haidji
5.0 out of 5 stars entertaining and illuminating
The crisis clearly explained in a thought provoking and entertaining style... A must reward for anyone curious about the fundamentals of what happened
Published 1 month ago by guy1234
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read and insightful
Michael Lewis writes in an approachable and easy to read style that results in an absorbing and entertaining read. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Janno
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best 'post-mortems' about the financial crisis - extremely...
For a "finance" book, The Big Short reads more like a novel, and I couldn't put it down once I'd started reading it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by SEK
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read (you don't need to know your interest ...
A confession - I once worked selling adverse credit mortgages to people who should, by all rights, have been living in rented accomodation. Nontheless still shocking. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Keith Wileman
5.0 out of 5 stars Lewis in Fine Detail
A genius with detail.
Published 2 months ago by James Hunter
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