Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The Big Short (Michael Lewis)

Michael Lewis, of Liar's Poker fame, has written The Big Short, which covers the 2008 GFC and the events leading up to it. The main focus are on a few characters in the events. This is non-fiction.

The book is a narrative/ expository on the GFC, told from the perspective of Steve Eisman, Michael Bury, and Cornwell Capital. There is also a little sell-side perspective from Greg Lippmann along with scattered with anonymous interviews. The book describes how the GFC unfolded, interwoven with the stories of how each fund/ fund manager tried to game the situation and their challenges in doing so. There is also some explanation of how the GFC came about and the financial instruments involved. The descriptions are humorous and can be over-the-top, and the explanations are simple and easy to follow. The Big Short reads more like a thriller than a dry finance tome dissecting the crisis.

I really enjoyed the book and was surprised that it was this funny. At the same time, it is thought-provoking about the industry and readers may feel engaged with the frustrations of the characters. I recommend this book as an easier entry point to reading about the GFC.

Recommended: Yes

Found in NLB: Yes