The Big Short

  • by Michael Lewis
  • Narrated by Jesse Boggs
  • 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Featuring an exclusive audio interview with Michael Lewis
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 number-one best-selling Liar’s Poker. "Who got it right?" he asks. Who saw the ever-rising 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 unlikely—really unlikely—heroes, Lewis fashions a story as compelling and unusual as any of his earlier best sellers, proving yet again that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our times.


What the Critics Say

“No one writes with more narrative panache about money and finance than Mr. Lewis....[he] does a nimble job of using his subjects’ stories to explicate the greed, idiocies and hypocrisies of a system notably lacking in grown-up supervision....Writing in faintly Tom Wolfe-ian prose, Mr. Lewis does a colorful job of introducing the lay reader to the Darwinian world of the bond market.” (Michiko Kakutani - The New York Times)
“Superb: Michael Lewis doing what he does best, illuminating the idiocy, madness and greed of modern finance. . . . Lewis achieves what I previously imagined impossible: He makes subprime sexy all over again.” (Andrew Leonard -
"[Michael Lewis] is the finest storyteller of our generation.” (Malcolm Gladwell)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Informative and Engaging

Lewis should be heralded for the way he takes a very complex idea (sub-prime mortgage default swap collateral debt obligations) and breaks it down into easy-to-understand language. If you were at all confused about how the financial system tanked in 2008, you'll be glad you read this book and also pretty disgusted at the kind of magical thinking that went on on Wall Street. But what makes this book readable is his characterization of three oracular entities (Mike Burry, Steve Eisman, and the Cornwall Capital Group) that foresaw the collapse before anyone else ever did. The characters come across as misanthropic, boisterous, and naive respectively and allow the reader to see the tragedy through three very different perspectives. A read you won't want to put down (...or turn off).
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- Jay

One of My Favorite Analysis

I have read a bunch of books about the 2007 financial crash. By focusing on the people that made a lot of money from the crash, this book explains quite clearly the underlying causes of the crash. Unfortunately this book requires a bit of understanding of how markets and financial products work. If you have these basic understandings, this is the best of the bunch of books examining the 2007 crisis. Not only were the characters quite fun to read about, but the story helped explain the underlying causes of the crisis in an interesting and compelling way. I generally recommend this as a great place to start if you want to understand the mechanics of what happened in the financial crisis of 2007.
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- Michael

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-15-2010
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio