The Big Short by Michael Lewis

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Rate: 3.5/5


Medium: Audiobook


Overview:

When the events that Lewis describes in this book were taking place, I was blissfully oblivious in college. While I can discuss many scientific topics in depth, finance has always been rather a mystery to me that has never quite clicked. I remember once going out on a date with a financial advisor in early graduate school, being convinced that he was speaking a totally different language. While I’ve come a long way from my financially clueless youth, early on in The Big Short, I felt much the same way with regard to the terms and subject matter of which the 2008 financial crisis was centered upon. While much of the jargon remains shrouded in mystery, Lewis did an excellent job explaining very complex concepts, allowing my analytical mind to at least be feebly lead along, ultimately absorbing the gist of what was going on. The sheer massive quantities of money exchanging hands during this time period, and I’m sure, currently on Wall Street are still unfathomable to this small town farm girl. Regardless, money aside, the perseverance of these men to think outside the box, whereupon they were going against the grain of the philosophy at the time, is impressive, especially considering they were ‘gambling’ with large quantities of money. Personally, I felt awful for Michael Berry, for although he made a large chunk of money, he was robbed of any validation for his prediction by seemingly spiteful investors who had doubted him along the way, despite the sizable quantities of money he had made for them. Overall, while the terminology of the financial world used in The Big Short were a bit overwhelming for someone unfamiliar with the field, Lewis does an excellent job both navigating the events and detailing the key players that were influential in leading up to the 2007-2008 financial crisis.


 

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7 comments

  1. I was so happy when this post popped up in my Reader. I love this book!

    I completely agree with your point about the terminology used in the book. I’m a Financial Paraplanner, training to be a Financial Adviser and even I felt it was a bit too heavy at some points.

    Have you seen the film? They portray the complex parts in a really interesting way.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I really enjoyed Moneyball more so than this book. Only because I know more about baseball than I do short sales of mortgages. Also, I am an Oakland A’s fan so I knew all the guys he was talking about in Moneyball. This book was way over my head and I knew I wasn’t getting much out of it because I was so far behind with terms and all.

    Liked by 1 person

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