There’s a cottage industry now in publishing books that “explain” the U.S. and global economic meltdown. The best book about this phenomenon that I’ve read so far is Michael Lewis’ The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (Norton, 2010). Lewis, who worked on Wall Street, is the perfect guide to the Byzantine world of bond traders. That’s where the economic meltdown started. Yes, Lewis is able to tell you what a credit default swap is, unlike the Wall Street types Michael Moore interviewed in Capitalism: A Love Story who couldn’t. Lewis’ innovative approach to telling his story is to concentrate on the people who figured out sub-prime mortgages were toxic and made millions of dollars betting against them! If you want to understand the financial collapse we’ve just been through, and will be living with for years, The Big Short is the perfect place to start. GRADE: A.
(Thanks to the North Tonawanda Public Library for providing this book.)