Wall Street Slime – The Big Short

The Big Short is Michael Lewis‘s expose of the subprime mortgage debacle that underpinned the 2007 economic melt-down and subsequent Recession. The narrative is a compelling one on several levels. First of all, Lewis is a superb writer. His characterizations of the odd-ball personalities who first understood the inevitable collapse of the subprime house of cards are marvelous. You really want to know more about these people as the story evolves. Fascinating, too, is the tale of the enormous financial industry that was clueless about the obvious fraud it was perpetrating on millions of homeowners and investors. Finally, the book is a sobering account of raw greed on an incomprehensible scale. You don’t need to understand collateralized debt obligations or credit default swaps to realize the first question you need to ask your broker is “How are you going to screw me?” I hope members of Congress read this book as they formulate new regulation of the financial industry…. but I doubt they will.

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