The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday MachineThe Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can’t get over how good of a writer Michael Lewis is.

I listened to this book on Audible and was shocked at how easy it was to follow the complex financial maneuvering through his prose. It’s been said that the best teachers are not the ones with most knowledge, but the men and women who can transfer the most knowledge. If that is the case,m then Michael Lewis is a true master.

I’ve read so much about the financial crisis of 2008 and still felt there were gaps in my understanding. Michael Lewis brings everything together in an understandable way. That is incredible, even how much there is to untangle from what happened in 2008.

He is also an incredible storyteller. I was spellbound by the stories of the different whistleblowers who cashed in. Their exploits were riveting to follow.

The depictions of financial managers who crashed the economy were nuanced. I found that to be the real marvel of the work. I, like many people, wanted to just hate these people unequivocally. My family lost our childhood home during the crash, so I guess I was personally invested.

Instead, what I came to understand was that many of these people were just incompetent, lazy, and didn’t want to question a good thing. In short, they were the exact people most of us would be if we were making that kind of money. I still harbor some ill will, but I can see much of it is unfounded.

If you get a chance to hear the audio version I’d highly recommend it. Michael Lewis does a foreword where he discusses his time in the finance world. After the book is read by a different narrator, he comes in for a short interview to finish things up, where he gives a very candid view of the Wall Street bailouts.

This a real tour de force. My only regret is I didn’t read it sooner.

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