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The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine [Paperback]

Michael Lewis
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
Price: £5.59 & 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.


Frequently Bought Together

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine + Liar's Poker (Hodder Great Reads) + Boomerang: The Biggest Bust
Price For All Three: £17.61

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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 (167 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,487 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
137 of 153 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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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
Format:Hardcover
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 "...how 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 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 16 days 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 21 days 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 26 days ago by Keith Wileman
5.0 out of 5 stars Lewis in Fine Detail
A genius with detail.
Published 1 month ago by James Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Exposure
A great book. As always, Lewis gets the facts and chases the money trail. A little over the head of a the normal average mortgage holder to apreciate but a startling inditement of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Trevor Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars if you have even a passing interest in how the subprime mortgage...
Another excellent Lewis book, played out through a set of characters, this book is a masterpiece! However reading it without some basic derivative/finance knowledge is going to be... Read more
Published 3 months ago by R. B. Mason
5.0 out of 5 stars If you thought the financial crash was bad, read this
If you thought Lewis' story of the 2007/8 crash was scary, His sequel exposes the 'conspiracy of ignorance' in several governments and the legacy of debt that is still unfolding... Read more
Published 3 months ago by MR D E RANCE
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
The technical words are not too difficult to understand for someone outside of finance.
Would recommend it to anyone for or against the financial sector
Published 4 months ago by sean
5.0 out of 5 stars Good description of the financial world
This book is very easy to read and explains how inside Wall Street only a few people found that the sub-prime mortgage system was about explode. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ignacio N.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining
The book to read my M. Lewis besides Liar's Poker. Both are very entertaining trips to what really happens on Wall Street...
Published 4 months ago by Tero Ojanperä
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