Monday, September 13, 2010

Review: The Big Short

I realized I had finished up my Non-Fiction Five challenge reading, but never posted the final two reviews.  Yeah, I'm on the ball.  Oh well, I can only start anew, right?  Here is book 4 of 5 for the challenge.

Title: The Big Short by Michael Lewis

Summary:  A brilliant account—character-rich and darkly humorous—of how the U.S. economy was driven over the cliff.
Truth really is stranger than fiction. Who better than the author of the signature bestseller Liar’s Poker to explain how the event we were told was impossible—the free fall of the American economy—finally occurred; how the things that we wanted, like ridiculously easy money and greatly expanded home ownership, were vehicles for that crash; and how shareholder demand for profit forced investment executives to eat the forbidden fruit of toxic derivatives.

My Review:  This book is one of those books that I went into knowing would make me angry, but I had heard Michael Lewis on NPR talking about the release of the book and added it to my to-read list. I have to say I walked away even angrier than I expected as I gained a basic understanding of what seemed to perplex most of the investors on Wall Street. I enjoyed the narrative tales of a handful of those who noticed what was going on with the economic system early on through until the end. Most if it was easy to follow, even by me, a girl who feared economics, as much as anyone could make sense of it - which is one of the points of the book; that none of it was logical.

I think this is one of those books that everyone should read. Because while people hate what has happened to the economy and don't think too highly of the financial industry, I don't think most of us are nearly as mad as we should be. As it seems, unfortunately at the end of this book, that nothing has been learned.

Good, but depressingly-true read.

4/5 stars

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