The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael LewisPosted: February 13, 2012
The Big Short turned out to be quite a wholesome book – it seems, the more I read Lewis, the more I like him – so I guess I have to read more.
To tell you frankly, for a person not too involved with and not too interested in FI markets, I never really took time to analyze what hit the big WS firms back in 2008 – I guess I am still a bit puzzled how the smart guys outsmarted themselves and kept this rotten pile of crap on their balance sheets – I don’t buy into this loan warehousing idea – and blunt bets for the trading units would be, umm, stupid – I know, boys will be boys etc, but still, why not push the crap away to, as Lewis calls him, the sucker, a mystery to me. S&P, AIG and the rest – easy to understand – but MS, ML and the rest of the folks – uh, why?
As in his golden 80s when Lewis spat venom about Salomon Bros, his recent stuff is all about “ibankers, the wrongdoers of the world” – oh, well. #occupymyasshuh
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When a Wall Street firm helped him to get into a trade that seemed perfect in every way, he asked the salesman, “I appreciate this, but I just want to know one thing: How are you going to fuck me?”
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Senior management’s job is to pay people,” he’d say. “If they fuck a hundred guys out of a hundred grand each, that’s ten million more for them. They have four categories: happy, satisfied, dissatisfied, disgusted. If they hit happy, they’ve screwed up: They never want you happy. On the other hand, they don’t want you so disgusted you quit. The sweet spot is somewhere between dissatisfied and disgusted.”