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The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

by

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine Cover

ISBN13: 9780393338829
ISBN10: 0393338827
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

Lewis describes the causes of the financial crisis with clarity, while putting it all in a very human context by focusing on a few of the individuals involved. It would have been easy for Lewis to second guess — in retrospect, it seems crazy to have expected house values to rise forever — but he reminds us how truly difficult it was at the time to foresee the conditions where a collapse was possible and how few people actually did predict it.
Recommended by Mark P., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When the crash of the U. S. stock market became public knowledge in the fall of 2008, it was already old news. The real crash, the silent crash, had taken place over the previous year, in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn't shine, and the SEC doesn't dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower- and middle-class Americans who can't pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren't talking.

The crucial question is this: Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages? Michael Lewis turns the inquiry on its head to create a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his #1 best-selling Liar's Poker. Who got it right? he asks. Who saw the real estate market for the black hole it would become, and eventually made billions of dollars from that perception? And what qualities of character made those few persist when their peers and colleagues dismissed them as Chicken Littles?

Out of this 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 times.

Review:

"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 sub-prime sexy all over again." Pam Houston

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." Andrew Leonard

Book News Annotation:

When US financial markets began to crash in 2008, many pundits expressed surprise at their fragility, but some individuals involved in the markets had foreseen the problems inherent in the debt-and-real-estate shenanigans of the markets and bet against them, reaping great rewards from their short calls. This work by Lewis, who described his own experiences in the US bond markets in the popular Liar's Poker, tells the story of some of these short-sellers, exposing many of the systemic flaws in the financial markets along the way. This is a paperbound edition of a work first published in 2010. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

"It is the work of our greatest financial journalist, at the top of his game. And it's essential reading." Vanity Fair

Synopsis:

The #1 New York Times bestseller: "It is the work of our greatest financial journalist, at the top of his game. And it's essential reading."—Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair

Synopsis:

The real story of the crash began in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn't shine and the SEC doesn't dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower- and middle-class Americans who can't pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren't talking.

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.

About the Author

Michael Lewis, the best-selling author of Liar's Poker, The Money Culture, The New New Thing, Moneyball, The Blind Side, Panic, Home Game, The Big Short, and Boomerang, among other works, lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and three children.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

John Goldsmith, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by John Goldsmith)
A selective and insightful look into the minds of a relative few contrarian investors leading up to the financial crises of 2008. It's a good synopsis of the greedy and heedless culture that existed with the big investment banks and rating agencies. Lewis weaves an entertaining tale that is told with literary flair and that will keep you riveted.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
David Levine, January 4, 2012 (view all comments by David Levine)
A very entertaining, understandable and insightful chronicle of the collapse of the economy and Great Recession. Author Micheal Lewis tells the story from the perspective of a select and varied group of individuals who saw it coming well before anyone else. This group of compelling characters, all real, provide the template for explaining derivatives, credit default swaps, and "too big to fail" in easily understandable terms. This is really a very readable history of why and how the market unraveled. Non fiction at its most inviting.
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VLenore, January 3, 2012 (view all comments by VLenore)
The Big Short offers the only entertaining way to learn about the 2007 financial meltdown. Human faces are assigned to the players, most of whom are brilliant, a few even likable. No matter what the readers' level of finance understanding, The Big Short will illuminate and amaze.
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View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393338829
Author:
Lewis, Michael
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
Economic Conditions
Subject:
Economics - General
Publication Date:
20110231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 x 1 in

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The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393338829 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Lewis describes the causes of the financial crisis with clarity, while putting it all in a very human context by focusing on a few of the individuals involved. It would have been easy for Lewis to second guess — in retrospect, it seems crazy to have expected house values to rise forever — but he reminds us how truly difficult it was at the time to foresee the conditions where a collapse was possible and how few people actually did predict it.

"Review" by , "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 sub-prime sexy all over again."
"Review" by , "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."
"Synopsis" by , "It is the work of our greatest financial journalist, at the top of his game. And it's essential reading." Vanity Fair
"Synopsis" by , The #1 New York Times bestseller: "It is the work of our greatest financial journalist, at the top of his game. And it's essential reading."—Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair
"Synopsis" by , The real story of the crash began in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn't shine and the SEC doesn't dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower- and middle-class Americans who can't pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren't talking.

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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