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The Big Short [Paperback]

Michael Lewis
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 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 Daisy Chain of Financial Malfeasance April 22 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Michael Lewis's brilliant book "The Big Short," is billed as a sequel to his earlier biographical effort "Liar's Poker" which covered his 1980s experiences on Wall Street. It's a great example of why Malcolm Gladwell has called Lewis "the finest storyteller of our generation."

Subtitled "Inside the Doomsday Machine," the book chronicles the 2008 market collapse from the perspective of those who saw it coming and bet against the subprime mortgage market at the height of the housing bubble. The protagonists, whose foresight earned them fantastic profits, are a colorful lot, including: Steve Eisman, Danny Moses and Vincent Daniel (of FrontPoint Partners, owned by Morgan Stanley); Michael Burry (of Scion Capital); Charlie Ledley, Ben Hockett and Jamie Mai (of Cornwall Capital); and Greg Lippmann (of Deutsche Bank), and a handful of others.

Amazingly, none of these contrarian investors were experts in the housing market. They saw disaster coming while the "smart money" was betting that house prices would continue to rise and that subprime mortgages would pay off. It took this unlikely group of outsiders to see what was about to happen and undertake "the big short."

So what was the Doomsday Machine and how did it work? As Lewis points out, it was spawned by a toxic mix of the US housing bubble, sub-prime mortgage lending, investor greed, and the insatiable demand for leverage by Wall Street Banks. Aiding and abetting these factors were unwitting credit agencies populated by Wall Street rejects and wannabes.

Investors around the world wanted access to the ever-inflating American mortgage market. This gave lenders ever stronger incentive to push new loans out the door.
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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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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars cover ruined
thought this amazon purchase would be new except the front cover had a large deep scratch across it. Very disappointed
Published 5 months ago by Alvin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I love Michael Lewis books. Well researched, well written with a touch of humor. All his books are a must
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional fact finding
This is a very informative book. Michael Lewis has brought to the surface
the hidden workings of those who corrupt the system. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Ron Reimche
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit Boring
This book was an insightful read. But, it gets repetitive and rather boring. I found it easy to start and hard to finish.
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A New Big Short: Capitalism
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. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mitchell Rhodes
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Story
Lewis spins out another great Wall Street story. This time it is all about a small group of unknown investors. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2012 by Patrick Sullivan
4.0 out of 5 stars Sad. But more than that...
This is going to be less a 'book review' than a brief commentary.

In providing the former, this: 'The Big Short' is a amicably-written explanation of The Great Financial... Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2012 by Schmadrian
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
Well written. Very thoughtful. Provided a different perspective on the financial crisis. I really enjoyed the thoroughness of his research.
Published on Dec 11 2011 by RMH
3.0 out of 5 stars overrated and sub-par
I actually felt like I knew less about the economic meltdown of 2008 after reading this book than I did before. Read more
Published on Oct. 18 2011 by ogilive
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