I just finished Michael Lewis’ new book, the Big Short. It follows three groups of investors as they forsaw and then attempted to bet on the biggest financial calamity since the great depression. As is typical with Lewis’ books (including “The Blind Side” which was recently made in to a movie), he took a larger social issue and found a key character or two that he could use to illustrate the point. He did so masterfully by following Michael Barry, Steve Eisman and several others bet a couple million against the US SubPrime business and made hundreds of millions. Throughout most of the telling the protagonists are desperately trying to figure out why they are the only ones that see this coming. It’s an interesting question.
The book does a better then average job of describing the financial instruments (CDOs, Synthetic Bonds, CDSs, etc…) in layman’s terms; although with Lewis’ slight political twist. This information alone though is worth the $11 at Amazon. Throw in the breezy pace and great story telling of one of this generation’s best authors and you’re in for well more then your money’s worth.