The Greatest Trade Ever

  • by Gregory Zuckerman
  • Narrated by Marc Cashman
  • 11 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 2006, hedge-fund manager John Paulson realized something few others suspected: that the housing market and the value of subprime mortgages were grossly inflated and headed for a major fall. Paulson's background was in mergers and acquisitions, however, and he knew little about real estate or how to wager against housing. He had spent his career as an also-ran on Wall Street. But Paulson was convinced this was his chance to make his mark. He just wasn't sure how to do it.Colleagues at investment banks scoffed at him, and investors dismissed him. Even pros skeptical about housing shied away from the complicated derivative investments that Paulson was just learning about. But Paulson and a handful of renegade investors, such as Jeffrey Greene and Michael Burry, began to bet heavily against risky mortgages and precarious financial companies.Timing is everything, though. Initially, Paulson and the others lost tens of millions of dollars as real estate and stocks continued to soar. Rather than back down, however, Paulson redoubled his bets, putting his hedge fund and his reputation on the line.In the summer of 2007, the markets began to implode, bringing Paulson early profits, but also sparking efforts to rescue real estate and derail him. By year's end, though, John Paulson had pulled off the greatest trade in financial history, earning more than $15 billion for his firm - a figure that dwarfed George Soros's billion-dollar currency trade in 1992. Paulson made billions more in 2008 by transforming his gutsy move. Some of the underdog investors who attempted the daring trade also reaped fortunes. But others who got the timing wrong met devastating failure, discovering that being early and right wasn't nearly enough.Written by the prize-winning reporter who broke the story in The Wall Street Journal, The Greatest Trade Ever is a superbly written behind-the-scenes narrative of how a contrarian foresaw an escalating financial crisis.


What the Critics Say

"Greg Zuckerman's book is much, much more than a brilliant account of Paulson's trade of the century; it also provides a highly enjoyable and lucid journey through the analytical and emotional maze that constituted the financial markets on the eve of the Great Recession. The book is compulsory reading for those looking for exceptional insights on the complex forces that interconnect Wall Street, hedge funds and Main Street." (Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Investment Management Co.)


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This book may have been a decent report when it was published but it has since been overtaken by more complete or better written accounts. "All the Devils are Here" is an amazing comprehensive tome on the financial crisis and 30 years of policies that got us there. "The Big Short" focuses, like this book, on people who shorted the housing market but it more insightful and better written.
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- David


if you have read the big short by lewis don't bother reading this book as there is nothing new. if you have a choice between the two books go with michael lewis. he is a better writer and the narration is also better.

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- michael a delaney

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-03-2009
  • Publisher: Random House Audio