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The Big Short [Paperback]

Michael Lewis
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 2011
Michael Lewis creates a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his #1 bestseller “Liar's Poker.” Out of a handful of unlikely-really unlikely-heroes, Lewis fashions a story as compelling and unusual as any of his earlier bestsellers, proving yet again that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our time.

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Review

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)" --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Michael Lewis, the author of Liar's Poker, The New New Thing, Moneyball, The Blind Side, Panic, Home Game and The Big Short, among other works, lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, Tabitha Soren, and their three children.

Michael Lewis, the author of Liar's Poker, The New New Thing, Moneyball, The Blind Side, Panic, Home Game and The Big Short, among other works, lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, Tabitha Soren, and their three children.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Most Entertaining Read April 26 2010
By Ian Robertson TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
The Big Short is the best kind of investment book: it's entertaining, with larger than life characters in unimaginable situations; it's edifying (you won't even realize you're being schooled until after the fact); and it's a story no-one else has told ("The Greatest Trade Ever" comes closest). Readers can get structured narratives about the recent crisis through excellent tomes like Sorkin's "Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System from Crisis -- And Themselves", or economist's critiques in books such as Stiglitz's "Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy", but you'll likely not find another book like this one; a stunning and jaw-dropping account by one of the best authors in the business.

Lewis is the same author who burst on to the scene with his first book, the instant classic "Liar's Poker", and who followed up with a string of excellent books, including "Moneyball" and "The Blind Side". "The Big Short" is Lewis at his best.

Lewis understands the investment business like the insider he was, but this book is very much from the perspective of a critic. It is much more direct in its criticism of the financial industry than was Liar's Poker. In that book he similarly crafted a terrific story, but with a bemused "can you believe we did that" tone. In this book, Lewis taps mainstreet's anger, and to great effect (sample quote, "...
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5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasure to read Jan. 2 2014
By Raf AK
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One of the most entertaining reads in a while! It was similar to watching a reality show that describes the making of the 2008 crisis from the protagonists' perspective. How the train crash was foreseen but was unstoppable, and how, essentially, the crisis was already old news when it happened.

The character development is superb and the facts are of course there, solid and well researched! The book is revealing (once more after Liar's poker) of the thought process, the social dynamics, and culture, prevailing in the financial world/wall street. Certainly stuff that we all know and hear about left and right, but Lewis has a knack to present things without exaggeration and with the credibility of a knowledgable and talented insider! Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars could not put it down Aug. 24 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was entertained and educated at the same time. Makes me wonder how the financial systems all over the world has come to naught and everyone is acting like all is well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars what becomes of a world ruled by greed and hubris? April 10 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's anyone's guess how the collapse of the Wall Street will pan out this time round except to say that, whatever it looks like, the ordinary citizen world wide will be footing the bill for a very long time. Although everyone is complicit in this financial game of greed, the paradox is that the poor will continue to sustain the mathematically gifted few who essentially pilfer their wealth. Is there a lesson yet learned in all of this financial malfeasance? With what Michael Lewis has shown us in the Big Short, my hope is that we are preparing for something better than financial doom.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book March 19 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love Michael Lewis books. Well researched, well written with a touch of humor. All his books are a must
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional fact finding March 5 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very informative book. Michael Lewis has brought to the surface
the hidden workings of those who corrupt the system. Those who put
absolutely nothing in yet take everything out. Fortunes are made upon the
backs of those who do not understand the greed of the elite, right down the
chain to those who are controlled by them. It should be criminal, the schemes
of the big money controllers,and really it is. Who can stop them?

Reading this book has further opened my eyes to the truth of Wall Street,
the wealthy top 1% and the manipulation involved. A book for anyone
wishing to take a look inside the makings of millionaires out of thin air.
I now call them, simply....Paper Millionaires.

Thank you to Amazon for thousands of informative books to choose from, and great service
for their products, I have purchased to many to list here, including dozens of
free download Kindle e-books.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bit Boring Jan. 12 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was an insightful read. But, it gets repetitive and rather boring. I found it easy to start and hard to finish.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A New Big Short: Capitalism Dec 19 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Reviewed by Mitchell Rhodes

The Big Short takes the reader on a fantastic ride inside the most recent, and many would say ongoing, financial crisis. Lewis introduces us to people who bet against the subprime mortgage market, in all its variations, and in doing so became unimaginably wealthy. They are presented as a few select heroes pitted against the corrupt and often stupid villains of Wall Street insiders and their legion of minions. Has anything really changed since then?

If Dr. Evil ever resurfaces in another installment of Austin Powers, puts his little finger to his mouth and makes a ransom demand for anything less than, “one gazillion dollars,” it will seem preposterous and, once again, a cue for all to laugh.

The shock and awe of billions or even trillions of dollars are past us. They are now just strings of meaningless zeros heading off into the vastness of infinity. Take for example the capitalized notional value of derivatives—pegged at 1.2 quadrillion dollars (December 2012). Really?

That’s the equivalent of 20 years worth of economic activity for the entire planet. And derivatives are only one asset class expecting a return on investment (ROI). When others classes, such as stocks, (traditional) bonds, money market instruments, real estate holdings, etcetera, are added to the mix, financial expectations, going forward, become even more unrealistic and ridiculous.

Due to a system of circular collateralization, debt, money and other financial assets essentially get boiled down to the same thing—mental constructs of value. The assigned values are now stratospheric. At best, they are delusional, dishonest and corrupt, and at worst, dangerously catastrophic.
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