Pin It

'The Big Short,' Michael Lewis 

Outing the masters of the universe who bet big on subprime mortgages

click to enlarge art14809.jpg

Ever hear the one about Howie Hubler? He was one of those masters of the universe with an Armani suit for every day of the month. Funny story: He lost his firm $9 billion when he bet big on subprime mortgages — the biggest individual loss in the history of Wall Street.

Michael Lewis is outing Hubler and his kind in The Big Short, a book that may be the first of a new genre — the financial adventure story. It’s a page-turner.

Everybody knows the country went crazy a few years back when we lost $1.75 trillion for letting Vegas strippers buy five homes (it’s in the book). Although we’ve been a little foggy on the details, we know we got screwed.

Lewis, author of The Blind Side, has the proof. To present his case, he tells the stories of the handful of hedge fund managers and traders who saw the train wreck coming. You almost root for these guys, until you realize they profited (big time) by betting against America. Still, they are cynical enough to guide you through the darkest corners of the collective mind of Wall Street.

For Michael Burry, Steve Eisman, Greg Lippmann and Charlie Ledley, it’s an emperor-has-no-clothes journey. They laugh at Ben Bernanke for saying patently idiotic things, they turn off CNBC when it’s clear “they weren’t in touch with reality anymore” and, while watching Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis speak, Eisman has an epiphany: “I said to myself, ‘Oh, my God, he’s dumb!’ A lightbulb went off. The guy running one of the biggest banks in the world is dumb!”

Dumb was part of it, but it was greed that pushed Wall Street to build what Lewis dubs the “Doomsday Machine.” But just as the monster was about to destroy its creators, the feds saved the day — and Wall Street’s bonuses continue. Yeah, this book will make you very, very mad.

Howie Hubler retired to Jersey. Guess he’ll have to get by on the “many millions of dollars” he was paid by Morgan Stanley to lose them $9 billion.

  • Pin It

Latest in Arts & Culture

  • In the Line of Fire
  • In the Line of Fire

    The Spokane Firefighters Memorial Project reminds us of those who died in their duty to protect
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • Through His Eyes
  • Through His Eyes

    Dean Davis' show at the MAC is a survey of the region's artistic talents
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • For Your Consideration
  • For Your Consideration

    Creepy games, financial podcast pick and an important book
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
Traditions of Christmas

Traditions of Christmas @ Kroc Center

Thursdays-Sundays, 7 p.m. Continues through Dec. 21

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Ted S. McGregor Jr.

  • Cultural Warrior
  • Cultural Warrior

    Publisher's Note
    • Dec 17, 2014

    Because everyone should always be reading something
    • Dec 17, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Captain Planet

    Recycle Man is making the world a little better for people and mascots alike, one bottle at a time
    • Dec 10, 2014
  • Neighborhood Feel

    The Backyard brings a cozy bar to West Central
    • Nov 25, 2014
  • More »

Top Tags in
Culture & Food


last word



for your consideration

© 2014 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation