The Big Short

May 4th, 2010

It was John Adams who said "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." What Adams missed is that facts can be interpreted differently by different people. Bias, fed by money, greed, delusion and even by too much information, can cloud and shape those facts. In many ways that's what happened in the recent collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market and of Wall Street itself.

Twenty one years ago Michael Lewis wrote about the wreckage of Wall Street in his memoir Liar's Poker. Little did he know then that he was writing about the beginning of an era that may now finally be ending. In his new look at Wall Street and the recent financial crisis The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine,he paints a powerful narrative of smart and fearless men, some of whom see things as they are and ask why, and others who never ask why not. My conversation with Michael Lewis: