In The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, author Michael Lewis pulls back the curtain to reveal the roots of the 2008 financial crisis. Using his trademark wit and ability to clearly explain complex financial matters, Lewis explores reasons for the credit market meltdown of 2007 and 2008 that ultimately ended up infecting the entire economy. With the same humanizing approach that he employed in his previous non-fiction work (Liar’s Poker, The Blind Side, Moneyball, etc.), Lewis narrates the story through the lens of people who are viewed as outsiders. The individuals in The Big Short not only challenged the consensus view that the rapid growth during the 1990s and 2000s in the housing market, consumer credit and amount of consumer debt being packaged and sold was problematic, they also bet on an eventual meltdown in the credit market and steep decline in real estate values.
The Big Short is a rich tale full of vibrant characters— individuals with excess hubris on one side and skeptics on the other—that comes across as a David v. Goliath match-up. Lewis excels in detailing the financial alchemy that went into creating and selling complex financial instruments and how a select group of individuals fought the odds and maintained their belief that the “doomsday machine” would ultimately wreak havoc.