The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis

I would like to start by saying that I think many average Joe’s saw this coming. I came home from work one day in 2005 or 2006 shaking my head. Many people I worked with were constantly refinancing their homes and using the money to buy bigger homes, travel, buy stuff and generally live life like they were in Beverly Hills.

I knew what these people made and the math made no sense. How could they afford to purchase second and third homes on their incomes? Who was lending them money and how in the world was this sustainable?

I was routinely derided because I took out a standard 30 year home loan, fixed, and refused to purchase anything beyond the formula of using one third of my income as a mortgage. Lenders with silver tongues including at least two losers I knew from high school were trying to get me involved in the sub-prime market.

Well, I never had to sell my house. I didn’t lose money. I stayed in the black except for about 15 months where my housing value dipped but has since rebounded. I didn’t have to do anything because blind Freddy could see that borrowing money you don’t have with a balloon payment due in five years was all a pipe dream.

And that is what this book is about. It addresses the scammers from Wall Street who have been robbing people blind and here we are back in sub-prime land. I am watching families with average middle and working class incomes buy half a million dollar homes where the combined gross income of each adult is just over $100,000. I am no genius but…..

This book gets into a lot of detail. The movie explains it well, the book is dense and I digested it slowly over weeks. But with the current state of the nation and the same crooks that broke our backs in 2008 now in charge of the White House, this is recommended reading.


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