The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine Paperback – 27 Jan 2011
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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)
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.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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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.
The book itself is a self-consciously narrow take on the financial disaster, looking at the traders involve in the sub-prime markets with the range of other markets and institutions, not to mention other countries, getting only limited walk-on parts.
It is therefore probably not the only book you might want to read about the financial crash, but it should certainly be one of them - especially as Lewis not only dishes out criticism widely but also makes an effort to explain why so many people turned out to have acted in ways that seemed so dumb.
Great book about how banks run the world economy.
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