Friday, August 15, 2014

The Big Short (Michael Lewis)

(spoilers in the review)

I admit I am in a Michael Lewis time warp (with 1 more - Moneyball to go).

This book is one of the 2 definitive pieces ever penned or recorded on Sub Prime crisis, other being documentary from CNBC journalist David Faber apty titled - House of Cards (

However unlike David Faber's work that takes him to one of the guilty parties - House Owners, Michael Lewis has constructed this story using an almost unaffected class of people as observers. Three sets of money managers who otherwise would have been untouched by this crisis, chance upon it as a bet of their lives and pursue it relentlessly.

What starts as purely a research effort in order to prove their hypothesis that there is a lot of money to be made by shorting the Sub Prime bubble - these three unrelated crusaders take upon themselves in unraveling the madness behind an insatiable mortgage securities market as it existed in its heydays ending in 2007. Their personal struggles are used as additional burden they have to carry in addition to their quest of proving that world is wrong on Mortgage market or more precisely entire Wall Street is dumb enough to not to see what is coming.

As is the case with other works, this book too is for someone who has some idea of the lexicon - Mezzanine CDOs, MBS etc. My own personal experience or rather brush with Mortgage market albeit on periphery (I was selling back office IT solutions to MBS/CDO/CDS traders in 2006) - made me enjoy this book even more. A must read for someone who is remotely interested in Sub Prime crisis and is looking for some closure. :)