Friday, October 28, 2011

The Big Short

Michael Lewis was the author of Liar's Poker, The Blind Side, and Moneyball, the last two of which were made into motion pictures.

His latest book, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, is a look at the sub-prime mortgage fiasco and financial crisis that ensued during 2008. However, he has taken a completely different approach on the subject; he looks at the crisis from the eyes of those who predicted what was going to happen early on, shorted the market, and made billions.

Lewis delves deep into the personalities of the people who saw what was happening and the trials and tribulations they went through before their windfalls came in. One track in the book was couple of guys who started a hedge fund with just $110,000 of their own money and built that money up to $135 million, buy buying credit default swaps.

By the way, if you never knew what a credit default swap is or a collateralized debt obligation is, you will by the first quarter of the book. Lewis makes the financial terminology very easy to understand, and what actually happened during the crisis.

It is amazing that this nonfiction book on recent financial history is a page-turner. If you are looking for some fascinating reading during the Thanksgiving hliday, get The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine.

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