The Big Short
Inside the Doomsday Machine
The #1 New York Times bestseller: a brilliant account—character-rich and darkly humorous—of how the U.S. economy was driven over the cliff.
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 #1 best-selling Liar’s Poker. Who got it right? he asks. Who saw the 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 bestsellers, proving yet again that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our times.
- March 2010
- 6.6 × 9.6 in
/ 266 pages
- Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.
Endorsements & Reviews
“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
“[A] strikingly original take that offers an enhanced understanding of the debacle....Since his first book, Liar's Poker, Lewis has tackled big, engaging stories...by finding and developing characters whose personal narratives reveal a larger truth. He's done it again.” — Daniel Gross, The New York Times Book Review
“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, Salon.com
“It is the work of our greatest financial journalist, at the top of his game. And it's essential reading.” — Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair
“One of the best business books of the past two decades.” — Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times Book Review
“I read Lewis for the same reasons I watch Tiger Woods. I’ll never play like that. But it’s good to be reminded every now and again what genius looks like.” — Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times Book Review
“I recommend everyone within the sound of my voice to read [this] book.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
“I’ve joined a lot of other people in just finishing Michael Lewis’s book, The Big Short, and it’s really an eye-opener of what was going on at the time that this real estate bubble was created.” — Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
“I read it, marked it up for my staff, underlined it, made copies and asked them to read it.” — Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.)
“[A]n incredible piece of commentary on Wall Street.” — Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.)
“If you’re wondering if there’s importance or an urgency to this issue, read the book The Big Short by Michael Lewis, and then, when you’re finished reading, come back to the floor and say that you support this amendment [on financial reform].” — Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota)
Also by Michael Lewis
Movie Tie-in Edition / Paperback