The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
So begins my smartypants reads for 2011.
I am really glad I read this book, although I am not sure I am smart enough to understand it all. (But then again, can anyone really understand the financial crisis of 2008, it was such a complete unbelievable disaster.) All sorts of new vocab: credit default swaps, CDO's, leverage, hedge funds, triple-b rated sub-prime bonds, tranches, mezzanine, etc. Thankfully I listened to quite a few Planet Money podcasts about the financial crisis over the last few years, so I had my head just above water.
Lewis is a fantastic writer. As the dust jacket explains, he tells the story from the perspective of the "unlikely heroes" of the financial crisis, those who saw it coming and bet against it. I spent the entire book shaking my head, saying over and over, How could this have happened? How is this even possible? I can't help feeling a little depressed. The greed and ignorance and lack of responsibility and accountability blows my mind.
A note to about content: the heroes use a lot of strong language.
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