Jean's Reviews > The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

The Big Short by Michael Lewis
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Aug 15, 10

bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in August, 2010

This book should be in the "True Crime" section. Lewis provides an excellent analysis of the problems inside the financial bond markets leading up to the crash of September 2008. Lots of villains here, and a few heroes.

Lewis tells the stories of several people who figured out what was going on and who went "Short" (hence the title); that is, they bet that the market for consumer mortgages was going to crash. Many times, as I was reading, I thought, "anyone with sense could have seen that this was going to crash." Guess those people on Wall Street aren't as smart as we assume.

Lots of good detail and clear explanations of what these crazy derivatives are. I was glad I read this, but then again I wasn't because I could see that the people we think are regulating these industries and "protecting" the American consumer and investor, are either ignoring the problems or making money by supporting them. People like the SEC, the Federal Reserve, and more, either knew or should have known, what was going to happen, but the derivative market was so complicated it was difficult to understand.

If you want to understand what happened, and you like reading about real people, you'll like this book. By the way, it's reasonable in length. I finished it in a day and a half.

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