Customer Reviews for

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

Average Rating 4
( 912 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(413)

4 Star

(275)

3 Star

(120)

2 Star

(50)

1 Star

(54)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

31 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

Informative and entertaining

Hugely entertaining look at the genesis of our current economic mess. Lewis finds the very few investors who predicted and profited from the sub-prime mortgage meltdown and follows their journey from initial realization of the impending disaster to eventual payout. Fo...
Hugely entertaining look at the genesis of our current economic mess. Lewis finds the very few investors who predicted and profited from the sub-prime mortgage meltdown and follows their journey from initial realization of the impending disaster to eventual payout. Following these eccentric characters and their interactions with the big Wall Street investment banks is at turns laugh out loud funny and head shaking incredulous. Lewis knows how to turn a phrase and does a good job teasing out the dark humor of the situations. He also does a very good job at explaining the essence of very complicated financial transactions and gives the reader a good understanding of the whys and hows of the financial meltdown. While this book is an important addition to our understanding of what happened, it isn't complete as it doesn't spend any time talking about US government policies that contributed to the crash (specifically, the special legal status given to the three rating agencies, and Fannie and Freddie's role in weakening underwriting standards). Nonetheless, this is still both an important and entertaining book.

posted by PTrubey on March 13, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

11 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Surprisingly disappointing

I am a pretty big fan of Lewis' work and also an expert on financial markets. This book disappointed me. I cannot pinpoint my problem with this book. Maybe I'm just uncomfortable with its investigative reporting tone and what I found to be a monotonous style. I can assu...
I am a pretty big fan of Lewis' work and also an expert on financial markets. This book disappointed me. I cannot pinpoint my problem with this book. Maybe I'm just uncomfortable with its investigative reporting tone and what I found to be a monotonous style. I can assure you that I understand credit default swaps and CDOs as well as anyone and yet the explanations weren't clear. The book droned on and on until I found that I couldn't put it down just because I wanted to get it over with and move on to the next book in my stack to read. I probably would not have said all this, or said it this way, had I not just finished reading Scott Patterson's excellent book called The Quants. Same basic subject (Wall Street meltdown), but much better written and amazingly (given the title), much easier to read and follow. I wish I could be more specific about what's wrong with this book but it was just a gut feeling that this subject is done much better by Patterson. Nonetheless, I'm not recommending you don't read this. Just read them both and see if you don't wish you had read Patterson and skipped Lewis. Ok, well, if you have enough time you can afford to read both and indeed some will say the two books are complementary, not competitive.

posted by 3092400 on September 27, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 275 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 14
  • Posted May 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Must-read to understand the origins of the Great Recession of 2008-09

    An easy read, although those without a deep background in Finance (such as myself ) will find it a bit intimidating. Lewis follows the moves of a few people who understood the house of cards that the sub-prime mortgage (SPM) market became in the 2007-2009 period. Lewis highlights, in lucid fashion, the role that the ratings firms (Moody's and S&P) played; in that their ignorance and incompetence allowed the SPM market to reach the point where its inevitable unravelling had such catastrophic results.
    Particularly compelling are his accounts of the events of March, 2008 (Bear Stearns) and September, 2008 (Lehman Brothers); which events proved to be the eventual triggers of the current Recession.

    While the book is well worth reading, it could have benefited a great deal by the inclusion of supplementary material. In particular, the addition of: (a) A Glossary, (b) A Time-Line of Events, and (c) An Index would have been of great value to the reader. One suspects that there was a rush to publication in order to "capture the moment".

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing Book

    Lewis has done it again! This book has helped me through my rough divorce and so much more. Thanks big dawg...this is a claaic. one

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Chicken Little was right - The sky IS falling!

    Seldom has a book about Wall Street caught my attention as much as this.
    Michael Lewis has brought to the attention of the public sector a tragic era that will live in infamy for years to come. Naming names and using the actual events to tell this tale of horror, Mr. Lewis has opened my mind and eyes to the reality of a self-serving industry.
    Well written and current, this is a must read for all investors and up-coming traders.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2010

    The inside scoop

    As a real estate agent who watched the whole sub-prime fiasco take place, I always wondered why no one seemed concerned about the obvious greed and theft that was taking place. And even if you knew about it, who was there to tell? And who cared? I am not a financial specialist but I enjoyed reading this book and understanding better what was going on behind the scenes as Wall Street melted. This book has been even more insiteful while watching the televised interviews of Goldman Sachs and Congress. Michael Lewis explained it so I could understand as best I could. Greed, greed, greed!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2010

    "The Big Short"

    A compelling, well written book on a subject which has directly and adversely affected the U.S. economy. Michael Lewis gives a very good explanation of the complex financial instruments, credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations, which were at the heart of the subprime mortgage meltdown. He personalizes the narrative with names and personalities to give the reader an idea of what drives many on Wall Street to seek mega-wealth regardless of the consequences to their firms and the economy. The characters mentioned in the "Big Short" are playing the market as they would play Craps in Las Vegas. Except in Las Vegas there is a dealer and oversight and penalties for cheating. Wall Street has little oversight and rarely do the perpetrators have to pay for their gaming of the system. Michael Lewis has written an important, readable book on a subject that should be of interest to all investors.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2010

    Lewis declares war on hedge funds and derivatives traders

    I spent a lot of time in the dictionary while reading The Big Short. I probably would have done well to buy Economics for Dummies to better understand the terms of high finance. Nevertheless Lewis has blown the cover of those get-rich-quick hedge funds trader who bet on their fellow citizens being foreclosed upon. Well written and full of naming names of those who caused the big short of 2008-2009. Good read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2014

    Meanderings of a Madpony

    Tonna thpe with my eyes closee. :3
    <p>
    Ahahaha..... wjqy wchooois worth? Kisy mu passiin. I fel ooke O'm smpeaking qnother languag. Or typpint at las. Sill mot bry goos at hiw. It'w rinn, jough. If I ehis kuch mo, ao'll rqll aslpp. :o Mmmmmmmm......... sleep..... I meed a good helpn o that! Bigh school is wos than anythint. Bur ginner, oo. Y'know, on Friday, I had to eat linch woth a buncj of Weguis! It was tibl! Speciallu since my vry-Christian friend was her, as well. Tise weniors were taliin dirtyz. Blefh! Oo! And mah doggy layn on meh keeps snorin! Agh! Nmmmmmm. Good nightw...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    Great book

    Amazing how the market survived like nothing happened.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    Finally Picked it Up and Couldn't Put it Down

    Curious about how the financial crisis came about? This book certainly addresses the question in a matter of fact way. Many of the challenges the country now faces stems from the greed of some which led to the downfall of many. It does a wonderful job explaining how Wall Street changed the subprime mortgage market by morphing it into the biggest panzi scheme the world has seen. Anyone who's worked in the industry had to have seen the business could not sustain itself and realize it was only a matter of time before it began to digest itself. I wish I'd had the ability and financial intelligence to capitalize on it as Mr Burry did for his investors; as well as, others who gambled against the pump and dump experienced at the height of the subprime craze.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    Wallstreet collapse in 2008

    wow- scary stuff on what the big bankers did to housing and our economy, Michael says it very well & makes it understandable

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 12, 2011

    Fascinating!

    My knowledge of investment banking is minimal, but Lewis does a great job of explaining the complex and opaque investment instruments that led to the crash of 2008. Full of amazing characters, and written like a crime novel, there were many times that I found my jaw literally dropping at what these people did - and largely got away with. A great story of greed and stupidity among The Masters of the Universe (with apologies to Tom Wolfe). A perfect example of truth being stranger, and scarier, than fiction.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 24, 2011

    Eye-opening

    This is a must read for anyone interested in understanding what really happened in this latest market collapse. Let me warn you, as with any explanation of a complex topic, it requires some focused attention. This isn't the type of book you read while watching television. The payoff is a an entertaining read that will leave you stunned at the ineptitude of the so-called experts handling hundreds of billions dollars. It will also leave you outraged at a system that encourages complexity for the sole purpose of ripping you off.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 22, 2011

    Long live the shorts

    l,m glad someone made some money out of the debacle of 2008. The rants of Steve Eisner are alone enough reason to read this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 1, 2011

    Excellent and relevant book

    This is not the first and likely not the last book I will ever read about the subprime crisis and the people who were involved in the various facets of it, but this is the one that I could not stop reading. Lewis does an amazing job writing and I really loved this book.

    I am not sure it will appeal to everyone, but for a beginner you can not do wrong, and will hardly find better.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This book will make you feel like an expert!

    Written By Matthew Nickels If talk about financial derivatives and economic indicators makes your head spin, this is the book for you. Michael Lewis writes in a way that makes you feel smart. By the end of the book I kept wondering why I didn't predict the looming crisis. Very engaging and thorough.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 29, 2011

    Complex book on a complex subject

    I always realized that the financial markets were complex and vast but the story told here made me realize how little I really did know about all the different ways to make and lose money in the market. I think anyone that has investments in stock and bonds should read this book just to remind them how little they really know. As Lewis makes abundantly clear even the "experts" did not see or understand what was going on.

    At times the reading seemed to drag because of all the detail but overall its a very interesting and informative tale.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    excellen review of the crisis

    a good narrative of what greed motivates and how bubbles form, right before our eyes

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 15, 2010

    Implosion of Wall St and economy

    If you were mad at the bank bailout you'll be incensed after reading this book. Micheal Lewis does a great job of bringing a very complicated story and mechanism (derivatives) to someone who doesn't understand the trading world. The book illuminates how "ruthless" Wall St can be but also how unbelievably greedy the traders and firms are in the industry.

    I tend to think Lewis re-hashes his own experiences a bit too much in his past books, but he seldom does here - except at the beginning and very end. For the most part, he does a great job of explaining how it all started - what they were doing - and who knew what.

    After reading this, you'll find it hard to trust people on Wall St again, but there are some shining examples of people who tried to stand up and be heard, only to be turned away by the sound of money crashing through the doorway.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 15, 2010

    one of the best documentations of the credit crisis

    If you ever trusted Wall Street to protect the average investor, this book will convince you to reevaluate your position. Lewis documents what happened, why it happened and the fact that Wall Street was out to make money at the expense of their customers.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Book was an Easy read

    The book was very informative, but very easy to understand. The book flows well and keeps the reader involved even though it uses very specific financial terms.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 275 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 14