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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: W.W. NORTON & CO.-TRADE; Reprint edition (Feb. 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393338827
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393338829
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 0.2 x 2.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Ian Robertson TOP 100 REVIEWER on April 26 2010
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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bob Cluett on June 26 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Big Short is an account of the guys who made a killing as Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Wachovia and other less renowned banking and investment names were being sucked down the tubes by the mega-leveraging of overvalued derivative paper. Those guys did it, of course, in accordance with the Michael Lewis mythology, the story that he tells and re-tells in all his ego-fronted books: quick, bright young deviants (the new kids) beat up on slow, old, established traditionalists. But The Big Short is different from Lewis's other work like Moneyball in that this time the mythology fits the reality of which he is giving an account. This time, the quick young deviants - nobodies with names like Steve Eisman, Mike Burry and Vinny Daniel - really did take the measure of the financial community's big dudes - Richard Fuld, Ken Thompson, John Thain. And though the big dudes were retired or fired on generous terms, they did not leave their executive suites wreathed in laurels, and they left their stockholders holding a lot of empty bags. In this book, reality and the Lewis mythology are together at last.
In the summer of 2010 David Brooks wrote a column in the New York Times contrasting Princes with Grinds (NYTimes, 13 July 2010). The Princes are people like John Thain and Bill Miller: gracious, widely informed, gifted in conversation, they are men you feel privileged to be with. Grinds, on the other hand, are brilliant but narrow and boring, often totally graceless. The heroes of Lewis's book are - to a man - Grinds, and Lewis does an excellent job of showing the degree to which their social dysfunctions equipped them to be the ultimate contrarians and ultimate winners in the subprime collapse.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Engage the Fox on Oct. 4 2010
Format: Hardcover
Michael Lewis's fabulous book, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, is not, on the surface, a book about a decision-making, but in many ways, it's entirely about decision-making. According to Lewis, the near-collapse of the financial markets in 2008 was caused by a thousand small decisions: the decision of investment banking firms to go public in the 1980s, the decision to let bond desks run autonomously, the decision of rating agencies to issue ratings on instruments they clearly misunderstood, the the decision to permit investment dealers to enter into leveraged trades, the decision to allow home owners to enter into mortgages they could not afford to service, and the list goes on. But Lewis gets at the real problem: a problem that ' since the government was forced to prop up these institutions deemed too big to fail ' continues to go unaddressed: 'What are the odds that people will make smart decisions about money if they don't need to make smart decisions ' if they can get rich making dumb decisions?' All business leaders know that behaviours tend to align themselves with the compensation system and the bailouts ensured that this compensation system remains out of whack. As Lewis wrote, 'That was the problem with money: What people did with it had consequences, but they were so remote from the original action that the mind never connected one with the other.' The book does not leave one with warm and fuzzy feelings but is a fantastic read nonetheless.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on April 13 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the book. It's not Moneyball, but Lewis has a way with real characters that make them come alive. While others report the facts, Lewis' stories are about living/breathing characters. Having read other books on the sub prime crisis (i.e. The Greatest Trade Ever & On the Brink), this is certainly the most entertaining one, if not the most factual or data driven book - but pure research and fact is not the reason to read Lewis. He's a story man with a great ear for character.

I recommend it if you're a fan of Lewis.
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