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The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by [Lewis, Michael]
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The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 352 customer reviews

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Length: 285 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

I’ve joined a lot of other people in just finishing Michael Lewis’s book, The Big Short, and it’s really an eye-opener of what was going on at the time that this real estate bubble was created.--Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

If you’re wondering if there’s importance or an urgency to this issue, read the book The Big Short by Michael Lewis, and then, when you’re finished reading, come back to the floor and say that you support this amendment [on financial reform].--Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota)

I've joined a lot of other people in just finishing Michael Lewis's book, The Big Short, and it's really an eye-opener of what was going on at the time that this real estate bubble was created. --Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

If you're wondering if there's importance or an urgency to this issue, read the book The Big Short by Michael Lewis, and then, when you're finished reading, come back to the floor and say that you support this amendment [on financial reform]. --Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota)

[A] strikingly original take that offers an enhanced understanding of the debacle....Since his first book, Liar's Poker, Lewis has tackled big, engaging stories...by finding and developing characters whose personal narratives reveal a larger truth. He's done it again. --Daniel Gross"

It is the work of our greatest financial journalist, at the top of his game. And it's essential reading. --Graydon Carter"

I ve joined a lot of other people in just finishing Michael Lewis s book, The Big Short, and it s really an eye-opener of what was going on at the time that this real estate bubble was created. --Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)"

If you re wondering if there s importance or an urgency to this issue, read the book The Big Short by Michael Lewis, and then, when you re finished reading, come back to the floor and say that you support this amendment [on financial reform]. --Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota)"

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

One of the best business books of the past two decades.--Malcolm Gladwell

I recommend everyone within the sound of my voice to read [this] book.--Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

I read it, marked it up for my staff, underlined it, made copies and asked them to read it.--Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.)

[A]n incredible piece of commentary on Wall Street.--Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.)

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

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

From the Inside Flap

From the jungles of the trading floor to the casinos of Las Vegas, The Big Short, Michael Lewis's No.1 bestseller, 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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1096 KB
  • Print Length: 285 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (27 Jan. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004JXXKWY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 352 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,042 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For a book that aimed to simplify for the layman the financial disaster that the American housing and mortgage industry became, I found it heavy-going initially. There are a number of concepts which are explained in it and Michael Lewis does his best to break it all down but if, like me, you have virtually no contact with the financial industry, it is still not easy to understand at first go. The characters who inhabit the story also make their presence felt, which can be distracting if you're struggling to understand the basics.

However, what I did was also watch the film which was based on this book and shares its title. Then I read the book again after that. As a result, quite a few things made more sense.
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By Marand TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lewis makes a complex issue understandable for the layman in this readable tale of the US sub-prime mortgage debacle that all but brought the global financial system to its knees. The story is told largely through the eyes of a few traders and analysts who couldn't understand how the sub-prime bond market could be as safe as the banks and the rating agencies believed, and who bet that the market would fail. I found the first third of the book a little slow but then it turned the corner and I found it to be a riveting read, in some ways like reading a thriller. I found Lewis' explanation of things like credit default swaps, collateralised debt obligations and such like to be understandable - enough detail but not too much. The ratings agencies come out of it badly, accepting the story told by the Wall Street banks without having the people and intellectual firepower to properly analyse the securities presented to them. Mind you, given that some of the banks that created the securities didn't seem to understand the risks and retained the dodgy securities on their books until they lost millions, it is perhaps a little unfair to castigate the ratings agencies for not seeing what was going on.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michael Lewis's highly readable account of the collapse of the US sub-prime mortgage market and the worldwide financial crisis it triggered focuses on a small number of characters. People with iconoclastic views determined not to be constrained by the old conventional rules. People who created new financial investments. People who put money into places their investors did not really understand on a good day and did not even know what had been done with their money on a bad day. People who made huge profits as others suffered.

But these people are not the villains - they are the heroes of Lewis' book. These are the people who saw the problems in the sub-prime market and what really lay behind the supposed AAA ratings. They are the ones who understood what was really going on and who, if the rest of the world has listened to them sooner, would have been the saviours who had rescued the financial markets before they inflicted calamities on us all.

Although Michael Lewis does not say so himself, the similarity in behaviours and characters between those who got the sub-prime market horribly wrong and those who called it just right is striking. How to learn from all this when those who were right and those who were wrong turned up to be largely indistinguishable, save that hindsight justifies only one of those groups?

That could make for a rather depressing read amongst all the entertaining narrative. However, in his interview to go with the book (and included in some versions of it), Michael Lewis draws one main regulatory lesson and it is one that is being applied in the UK. It is to split off speculative investments from retail banking, or casino banking from boring banking if you will.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting, insightful and compelling. A must read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The build up and storyline were great. It told a detailed and entertaining story of those who benefited from sub-prime and the foolishness of the investment bankers.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Excellent
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I saw the film (twice), and had to read the book upon which it had been based. I am a complete financial world innocent but the crash of 2008 had piqued my curiosity. The book did not disappoint. With the, to me, amazing facility to explain the near inexplicable whilst delivering a thriller intensity story, Michael Lewis concentrates on real personalities involved to tell the story for him and, even though we know how it will end, the tension never goes away. Lives destroyed to make a few men rich. A warning to us all which will doubtless go unheeded, is already being left behind to all our detriment.
Better than the film, everyone should read this wicked story.
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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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