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The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine Hardcover – Mar 15 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton; 1st Edition edition (March 16 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393072231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393072235
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 3 x 24.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

No one writes with more narrative panache about money and finance than Mr. Lewis....[he] does a nimble job of using his subjects’ stories to explicate the greed, idiocies and hypocrisies of a system notably lacking in grown-up supervision....Writing in faintly Tom Wolfe-ian prose, Mr. Lewis does a colorful job of introducing the lay reader to the Darwinian world of the bond market. — Michiko Kakutani (The New York Times)

Superb: Michael Lewis doing what he does best, illuminating the idiocy, madness and greed of modern finance. . . . Lewis achieves what I previously imagined impossible: He makes subprime sexy all over again. — Andrew Leonard (Salon.com)

One of the best business books of the past two decades. — Malcolm Gladwell (New York Times Book Review)

I read Lewis for the same reasons I watch Tiger Woods. I’ll never play like that. But it’s good to be reminded every now and again what genius looks like. — Malcolm Gladwell (New York Times Book Review)

I recommend everyone within the sound of my voice to read [this] book. — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

I’ve joined a lot of other people in just finishing Michael Lewis’s book, The Big Short, and it’s really an eye-opener of what was going on at the time that this real estate bubble was created. — Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

I read it, marked it up for my staff, underlined it, made copies and asked them to read it. — Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.)

[A]n incredible piece of commentary on Wall Street. — Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.)

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)

From the Back Cover

Why Michael Lewis, according to Malcolm Gladwell, is the finest storyteller of our generation:

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having loved the film, I decided to buy the book it was based on. The Big Short is an informative and entertaining look at the 2008 financial crisis, primarily from the perspective of those who anticipated the housing market collapse and bet against the market. You will find that many of the scenes from the film were taken directly from the book. With the book you just get more details and a few extra stories and characters. I was particularly keen to learn about the $9 billion trading loss of Howie Hubler at Morgan Stanley. The Benny Kleeger mentioned in the film is really referring to Howie.
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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Read the book. The movie is just drivel catering to the feeble of mind. The book on the other hand is an adventure story of a few clear minded individuals as they figure out what is happening in the market then capitalize on it. The story is gripping and you are willing on the protagonists to succeed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Its a book. A good one. It has many pages and smells of rich mohagany.

I didn't read it, was a gift for a family member.

Also, It's Uncanny that it has the same name as my... Nevermind.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One the most fascinating financial stories ever written (if you like that sort of thing). It highlights how crooked the markets are, details how investment banks screwed people over and in turn paid the ultimate price. After reading this, you might agree with me that the bond-rating firms should be erased and rebuilt. In the core of the story however, Michael Lewis details how some individuals and groups figured out ahead of time the massive financial derailment that was approaching and how to profit from it. Good for them. Intelligence, hard work and perseverance should be well rewarded.
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By Patrick Sullivan TOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 22 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lewis spins out another great Wall Street story. This time it is all about a small group of unknown investors. These investors investigate; mortgage backed securities, the sub prime housing market, Wall Street investment banks, the ratings agencies, and even the SEC. They soon realize the entire housing market is a house of cards, that is just waiting to collapse. Then they position themselves, to profit from a fall in the housing market.

Some of the details Lewis uncovers, are rather shocking. S&P and Moody`s are basically a bunch lackeys, to the big investment banks. The Sec did nothing to monitor the quality of the Wall Street mortgage securities. The banking industry issued so-called liar loans to many home buyers. These people should have never been allowed, to take out a mortgage. And of course, the big investment banks knowingly issued all sorts of risky mortgage backed securities, that were rated as investment grade.

This was a very entertaining and informative read. In fact, I think this may have even topped Liar`s Poker.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought the book ahead of the movie.

Loved it. The secrets behind the secrets

The reason nobody went to jail is because nobody had a clue what was going to happen. Nobody except a very few nobodies who chose to examine the system closely. They came out on the good end.
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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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