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The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine [Paperback]

Michael Lewis
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

27 Jan 2011

From the author of Liar's Poker, Michael Lewis's international bestseller The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine is the extraordinary true story of the men who made millions from global economic meltdown.

From the jungles of the trading floor to the casinos of Las Vegas, The Big Short tells the outrageous story of the misfits, renegades and visionaries who saw that the biggest credit bubble of all time was about to burst, bet against the banking system - and made a killing.

'In the hands of Michael Lewis, anything is possible ... if you want to know how a nation lost its financial mind - and have a good laugh finding out - this is the book to read'
  Sunday Times

'Magnificent ... a perfect storm of brilliant writer meeting big subject'
  Guardian

'A triumph ... riveting ... The Big Short reads like a thriller'
  The Times

'A terrifying story, superbly well told'
  Daily Telegraph

'A rollicking good yarn'
  Financial Times

'Probably the single best piece of financial journalism ever written'
  Reuters

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, Panic!, Moneyball, later adapted into a film of the same name starring Brad Pitt, The Blind Side, adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Sandra Bullock, and Boomerang. Lewis is contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, columnist for Bloomberg and Slate.


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The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine + Boomerang: The Biggest Bust + Liar's Poker (Hodder Great Reads)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (27 Jan 2011)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0141043539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141043531
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description

Review

It's time to throw another tank of petrol on the Wall Street pyre, as only Lewis can (Financial Times)

He is so good everyone else may as well pack up (Evening Standard)

No one writes with more narrative panache about money and finance than Mr. Lewis (Michiko Kakutani New York Times)

Probably the single best piece of financial journalism ever written (Reuters)

Hugely entertaining (Economist)

Terrifying and superbly told (Daily Telegraph)

Genius (Sunday Times)

Compelling and horrifying (GQ)

A more than worthy successor to Liar's Poker ... if you want to know about the origins of the credit crunch, and the extraordinary cast of misfits, visionaries and chancers who made money from the crash, there's no more readable account (Daily Telegraph)

A triumph ... riveting ... a genuine page-turner (Times)

The very best book about this whole affair (John Lanchester, author of 'Whoops!')

If you read only one book about the causes of the recent financial crisis, let it be Michael Lewis's The Big Short (Washington Post)

In the hands of Michael Lewis, anything is possible ... if you want to know how a nation lost its financial mind - and have a good laugh finding out - this is the book to read. (The Sunday Times)

Magnificent ... a perfect storm of brilliant writer meeting big subject. (The Guardian)

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 for Vanity Fair. He is married with three children.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
We are still living with the consequences of the global financial crisis of 2008. A sad story of losses and losers resulting from the construction and application of flawed mathematical models, untested assumptions and greed. Much has been written about the process of turning subprime mortgages into financial products which were then sold, after being accorded triple A (or equivalent) ratings by ratings agencies. Much is being spent by governments around the world to try to repair the damage. And, hopefully, changes are being made to try to ensure that such disasters are avoided in future.

In this book, Michael Lewis tells the stories of some of those people who analysed the market and saw the possibility that instruments created on the foundation of subprime mortgages could fall. In such circumstances, going short could reap a fortune.

So, how did these people know this? Were they prescient, or just lucky? Maybe both: together with the fact that they undertook some analysis of the subprime mortgages and realised that the facade was rotten. Who were these people? Mr Lewis writes about Steve Eisman and his team, who understood the US housing market and Wall Street. He writes of Michael Burry, who immersed himself in the bond market, and of the `garage band hedge fund' created by Jamie Mai and Charlie Ledley.

I found this book interesting because it sheds light on a different aspect of the crisis. Its discomforting to think that while some individuals undertook the analysis required to determine an opportunity for profit, the multiple entities involved in the subprime mortgage financial path (from lending money initially to manufacturing the financial products sold as a consequence) did not undertake appropriate risk analysis. And now, sadly, individuals and taxpayers are bearing the cost.

`Success was individual achievement; failure was a social problem.'

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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73 of 81 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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136 of 152 people found the following review helpful
By AK TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars continuing professional development in everyday stories of the money...
exposes the goings on that everybody knows all about when the have made their first ten million and kept some of it.
Published 1 month ago by abbeyjohnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Hillarious
One of the best books I have ever read. I need to find a time soon and read it again.
Published 1 month ago by Ondrej Nezdara
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and important book
A book about a bunch of guys who predicted the 2008 crash, made a ton of money, and then felt bad about it. An important record of what happened with the sub prime market. Read more
Published 1 month ago by The Edster
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic read couldn't put it down
A gripping read one that everyone should read, i was up into the small hours riveted by what I had seen unfold being explained to me. Read more
Published 2 months ago by bluekermit
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
A great insight into the greed, dishonesty, and farce that was/is? the American banking system. Some good guys but heavily outnumbered by the vultures with regulators heads buried... Read more
Published 2 months ago by P. Cornyn
4.0 out of 5 stars Good pace, well chosen personalities
For someone who has already been following books on the crisis, this feels like a bit more of the same but it's a good book nonetheless
Published 2 months ago by Sherene
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read
It all seems so obvious as one progresses through the book. And yet at the time it clearly wasn't. It is not just a fascinating insight into real and recent happenings but also a... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Richard Alberg
3.0 out of 5 stars jagat
Good narrative i should say and a definite page turner and provides a simpler views of complex things. Keep going Michael
Published 3 months ago by jnc
5.0 out of 5 stars Exhilarating read
Lewis makes the financial crisis thrilling by making us identify with the characters who bet against the subprime loan cheats. Read more
Published 3 months ago by William Cohen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, easy to read
Almost finished it in one day as it was genuinely exciting to read and not very difficult to understand. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Stefan
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