When the crash of the U. S. stock market became public knowledge in the fall of 2008, it was already old news. The real crash, the silent crash, had taken place over the previous year, in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn’t shine, and the SEC doesn’t dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower- and middle-class Americans who can’t pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren’t talking.
The crucial question is this: Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages? Michael Lewis turns the inquiry on its head to create a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his #1 best-selling Liar’s Poker. Who got it right? he asks. Who saw the real estate market for the black hole it would become, and eventually made billions of dollars from that perception? And what qualities of character made those few persist when their peers and colleagues dismissed them as Chicken Littles? Out of this handful of unlikelyreally unlikelyheroes, Lewis fashions a story as compelling and unusual as any of his earlier bestsellers, proving yet again that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our times.
About the Author
Date of Birth:October 15, 1960
Place of Birth:New Orleans, LA
Education:Princeton University, B.A. in Art History, 1982; London School of Economics, 1985
Table of Contents
Prologue Poltergeist xiii
Chapter 1 A Secret Origin Story 1
Chapter 2 In the Land of the Blind 26
Chapter 3 "How Can a Guy Who Can't Speak English Lie?" 61
Chapter 4 How to Harvest a Migrant Worker 85
Chapter 5 Accidental Capitalists 104
Chapter 6 Spider-Man at The Venetian 136
Chapter 7 The Great Treasure Hunt 160
Chapter 8 The Long Quiet 179
Chapter 9 A Death of Interest 200
Chapter 10 Two Men in a Boat 226
Epilogue Everything Is Correlated 253
What People are Saying About This
I’ve joined a lot of other people in just finishing Michael Lewis’s book, The Big Short, and it’s really an eye-opener of what was going on at the time that this real estate bubble was created.
I read it, marked it up for my staff, underlined it, made copies and asked them to read it.
I recommend everyone within the sound of my voice to read [this] book.
[A]n incredible piece of commentary on Wall Street.
If you’re wondering if there’s importance or an urgency to this issue, read the book The Big Short by Michael Lewis, and then, when you’re finished reading, come back to the floor and say that you support this amendment [on financial reform].