Saturday, July 21, 2012

Book Review: The Big Short

The Big Short (2010) by Michael Lewis

This book addresses the 2008 financial crisis by discussing how a few relatively unknown hedge fund managers recognized the impending crisis and profited from it by shorting mortgage-backed securities and the stocks of the financial institutions that owned them. It was interesting to read about how these managers saw the warning signs surrounding the subprime mortgage industry that others (government regulators, rating agencies, major banks, etc.) either failed to see or chose to ignore. There were also some details regarding how the managers went about profiting from the greedy and irresponsible actions of major banks. The book's focus on the personalities and individual decisions of the managers made for an interesting and provocative read. However, if I were to offer one criticism of the book, it would be that it covers the financial crisis from a single perspective (albeit a unique one), providing limited insight into what the people responsible for the crisis were thinking and doing at the time.

Note: I read this book in July 2012.

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