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

The Big Short by Michael Lewis
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Feb 24, 11

bookshelves: non-fiction, economics, business
Read in February, 2011

Compelling story, providing a clear understanding of what was designed (or evolved through a network of incentives) to be opaque: Credit Default Swaps & Credit Default Organizations. Undermines many assumptions about how the financial system processes information, how the workforce is deployed (a handful of people at Salomon Brothers making all of the companies profit while the other 10,000 generate a loss?!), etc. The strikes against it are the occasional repetitiveness - in some instances, word for word repetition of passages - and the use of analogies that initially offer insight but never grow to reveal more depth. Flooding in the mezzanine tranches, for example.

In a way, it reads as an inverted detective story; there is no "whodunit." We know who did it; instead we're treated to an elaboration of how, of whether or not they even knew what they were doing, and the righteous indignation of the few that understood it as it was playing out.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Lisa After reading this, I read Liar's Poker, which I absolutely preferred.


Ryan Lisa wrote: "After reading this, I read Liar's Poker, which I absolutely preferred."

I've hear, from those that are big Lewis fans, that Moneyball is the best. Such quick reads, I'm sure I'll get to them both in the next few months.

Team of Rivals looks epic!


Lisa Ryan wrote: "Lisa wrote: "After reading this, I read Liar's Poker, which I absolutely preferred."

I've hear, from those that are big Lewis fans, that Moneyball is the best. Such quick reads, I'm sure I'll get ..."


I'm moving on to Moneyball soon (I need a little fiction break though). As for Team of Rivals, it is one of the best books I've ever read. Incredible. AND aside from the not totally being on Black people's side -- I'm little in love with Lincoln plus a serious lady crush on DKG.


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