Greg Zuckerman was the first to tell the world about John Paulson's sensational trade... He's written the definitive account of a strange and wonderful subplot of the financial crisis. (Michael Lewis, author of Liar's Poker)
Zuckerman takes us to Wall Street's heart of darkness, where mushroomed a $1 trillion subprime mortgage market that only the few, the brave, the smart dared short. This is at once a great page-turner and a great illuminator of the market's crash. (John Heylar, co-author of Barbarians at the Gate)
Much, much more than a brilliant account of Paulson's trade of the century; this book also provides a highly enjoyable and lucid journey through the analytical and emotional maze that constituted the financial markets on the eve of the Great Recession. Compulsory reading. (Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of Pacific Investment Management Co and author of When Markets Collide)
A magnificent insider look at how Paulson and others profited off of subprime's demise... insightful and gripping. (Marketfolly.com)
More than a cinematic narrative of how Paulson and others figured out how to short the market. We're also reminded of how opaque and illiquid some financial instruments are, how little Wall Street executives understood them, and how difficult it was for more knowledgeable bankers to say that the subprime emperor had no clothes. (Bloomberg)
From the Inside Flap
'Something remarkable was about to happen to the markets, an upheaval that would change the course of financial history. It would transform Paulson from a mere spectator to the biggest player in the game.'
Back in 2006, hunched over spreadsheets, John Paulson realised that the housing market was vastly overstretched. Fuelled by sub-prime mortgages, it was a classic bubble ready to burst.
But Paulson, who had never dealt in real-estate before, struggled to convince bullish Wall Street investors about the coming crash. He was forced to turn to friends and family to start his new fund; then he had to work out how to bet against housing and the banks, a challenge that flummoxed others. Even if he was right he could lose it all by pressing the button too early.
As house prices began to falter and the financial system collapsed, Paulson reaped the rewards. He made a now-legendary series of trades, executed with technical skill and perfect timing. The results were spectacular. In a single morning in late 2007 Paulson made $1.25bn from a five-point fall in the markets. Across the year he earned $15 billion for his fund, including $4 billion for himself - more than the incomes of J.K Rowling, Oprah Winfrey and Tiger Woods put together. It was the largest trading windfall in history by far, securing his place in the history books alongside Warren Buffet and George Soros.
Written with the exclusive co-operation of the highly secretive Paulson, The Greatest Trade Ever tells the full story of his trade for the first time. It also chronicles a band of Wall Street renegades: playboy investor Jeffrey Greene, who swiped Paulson's idea and tried to pull the trade off on his own, brash Greg Lippmann of Deutsche Bank, and Michael Burry, a doctor-turned-trader who was too far ahead of the curve.
Like Barbarians at the Gate 20 years ago, The Greatest Trade Ever tells a wider story of staggering wealth accumulation, hubris and financial whizzery. It is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the inner workings of the markets - and trying to spot the next bubble.