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Publisher's Summary

A masterful account of today's money culture, showing how the underpricing of risk leads to catastrophe. When it comes to markets, the first deadly sin is greed. Michael Lewis is our jungle guide through five of the most violent and costly upheavals in recent financial history: the crash of '87, the Russian default (and the subsequent collapse of Long-Term Capital Management), the Asian currency crisis of 1999, the Internet bubble, and the current sub-prime mortgage disaster. With his trademark humor and brilliant anecdotes, Lewis paints the mood and market factors leading up to each event, weaves contemporary accounts to show what people thought was happening at the time, and then, with the luxury of hindsight, analyzes what actually happened and what we should have learned from experience.
As he proved in Liar's Poker, The New New Thing, and Moneyball, Lewis is without peer in his understanding of market forces and human foibles. He is also, arguably, the funniest serious writer in America.
©2008 Michael Lewis (P)2008 Simon & Schuster Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Cash on 01-03-09

Good - But you need to know what you are getting.

What the description doesn't tell you is this is a series of articles written over the past 20 years - many of them not by Lewis. If this will annoy you, steer clear.

With that said, there are some really good articles here. As for many of them being 'old', the value they provide is perspective. It will be years before we have perspective on the 2008 melt down. It's a bit easier to have perspective of the financial crisis of '87, '97, and 2000. With these, we can start having some with the 2008 situation.

Lewis, selects articles written in the boom preceding the bust and in the midst of the crisis. His narrative adds his own analysis and perspective around these articles.

The primary themes and lessons of these events are: 1) The markets are very complicated and very few people understand them - even after the fact. 2) Often these busts are caused by groups attempting to exploit a condition supported by market technicalities. 3) People often believe the current event is "the end of the world" or the "the end of Capitalism". 4) The environment of the the Global Economy seems to be increasing the frequency and strength of these boom bust cycles. 5) As painful as they are, they don't foretell the end of the world and we'll be better off when we recognize this reality not Panic!

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24 of 24 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Sheldon on 01-01-09


I love Michael Lewis but this is a poor effort. It's just a compendium of articles from Lewis and others over the last 20 years. Interesting maybe, but there's nothing new and it feels as if he is just taking advantage of the current financial mess rather than contributing something original.

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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