The Big Short by Michael Lewis

I have just finished The Big Short by Michael Lewis - definitely his best
book since Liar's Poker lifted the lid on the ghastly world of the bond
dealers of Salomon Bros in the 1980s. By any standards the people and the
environment he described in Liar's Poker were deeply unpleasant - a
dog-eat-dog world of aggression and amoral moneymaking. But the bear pit he
described was just that - a mini-world of its own where consenting adults
abused each other in private with any victim as carnivorous as  the one
above in the food chain.

The Big Short describes something much more shocking. It paints a whole
financial system in America that went out of its way, unimpeded by a
corrupt governing class, to systematically rape and pillage the very
poorest in society to its own ends. It paints an incompetence,
irresponsibility  and greed within the elite financial institutions that is

Billions of dollars - that's right, billions - are spent every year by
lobbyists in Congress on behalf of the financial industry. Their scions,
Rubin, Paulson and Summers to name only three have been deep in the
executive for decades. And, surprise, surprise,  the way the financial
system operates has hardly changed at all and the systematic fraud at the
heart of the sub-prime mortgage scandal has been gently whitewashed.

One has to hope that Lewis's book doesn't get read by too many people.
There would be a revolution if it was.


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