Essay on Michael Lewis's The Big Short

Essay on Michael Lewis's The Big Short

Length: 1087 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Michael Lewis’s The Big Short tells the tale of the 2008 financial crisis from the perspective of a few idiosyncratic characters that saw it coming. Unlike big financial institutions that underestimated the risk of increasingly extending subprime mortgage loans to uncreditworthy customers, Lewis’ characters gauged such risk accurately and anticipated the eventual burst of the housing bubble. Not only did they foresee the inevitable, but they also made a fortune by betting on its happening. Had they conformed to the public sentiment of extreme optimism and confidence in the stability of the real estate market, they would not have reaped immense monetary rewards. Between the lines of The Big Short, there lurks, albeit not too covertly, a message about the benefits of nonconformity. While conformity is often times socially encouraged and applauded, it is important to wonder at times whether going against the flow would be of greater benefit to us or our community. In Michael Lewis’s narrative, defiance of the status quo as a result of skepticism toward financial markets has yielded big payoff, whereas conformity to the widespread denial of the housing market’s unpredictability has incurred massive losses.
Among the big skeptics in The Big Short are two thirty-year-old men who founded a small money management firm and named it Cornwall Capital Management. Charlie Ledley and Jamie Mai, later joined by Ben Hockett, ventured into running a money making business out of a house garage in Berkeley, California, with just a little over a hundred thousand dollars in their bank account and absolutely no experience in investments. Rather than knowledge and expertise, the young financiers were equipped with the conviction that “the best way to m...

... middle of paper ...

...o us all: If it wasn’t for Copernicus and later Galileo, we would still be under the impression that the Earth, not the Sun, is at the center of the universe. The monetary profits earned during the 2008 financial crisis by a small circle of people seemed to be well worth the challenges as well. Ironically, though, the circle included both the conformists and the contrarians. Outside the circle stood exasperatedly middle- and lower-middle-class Americans who suffered the most and will continue to until nonconformist politicians press for the implementation of much needed financial reforms.

Works Cited

Lewis, Michael. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. New York: W.W. Norton &
Company, 2010. Print.
Lewis, Michael. Interview with Charlie Rose. 16 March 2010. Web. 7 March 2014.
McLeod, Saul. “Asch Experiment.” Simply psychology, 2008. Web. 7 March 2014.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Liars Poker by Michael Lewis

- The novel Liars Poker by Michael Lewis is very interesting firsthand account of an inside look into the investment banking world, in particular bond trading at the firm Solomon Brothers in the 1980s. Lewis took an interesting and roundabout way to end up on Wall Street, studying art history at Yale and bombing his interview with Lehman Brothers but he eventually found himself at Solomon Brothers through a lucky encounter with two managing directors wives. Through his book Michael Lewis conveys the inner workings of investment banks in the 1980s to the average person using his own experience at Solomon Brothers....   [tags: investment banking, trading]

Strong Essays
736 words (2.1 pages)

A Book about Baseball: Moneyball by Michael Lewis Essay

- Moneyball by Michael Lewis is more than just a book about baseball as most may believe it to be. It is a novel about business, leadership, character, and overcoming the odds and competition no matter how much of a disadvantage there may be. The difficult part is seeing how all this can be understood by reading a book about baseball, however if the book is read and analyzed carefully the lessons are as clear as day and easy to understand. The plot of Moneyball is based on the true story of the 2002 Oakland Athletics baseball team, also known as the Oakland A’s....   [tags: MBL, red soxs, general manager]

Strong Essays
652 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis

- The process that led the Oakland Athletics baseball team to a record-breaking 20-game winning streak, known as ‘moneyball’, is similar and dissimilar in the thoughts and ideas of both Neil Postman and Nicholas Carr. In 2003, Michael Lewis wrote a book called Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game that describes the process used by the Oakland Athletics professional baseball team to lead them to a 20-game winning streak, and nearly win the World Series. Inside the book, Billy Beane (the general manager of the team) and the Oakland Athletics are faced with the paradigm of financial inequity....   [tags: transformation, players ]

Strong Essays
1590 words (4.5 pages)

American Authors: Sinclair Lewis Essays

- Sinclair Lewis Sinclair Lewis was one of the greatest American authors from the 1920s to the 1930s. Lewis’ early novels failed to bring him fame and success but that later changed when these novels came along. His successes in the novels Babbitt and Main Street shot him up to commercial fame. Lewis was a great American novelist and writer. Lewis wrote novels, poems, and even short stories. His works redefined and brought to light many issues in America that were thought to be normal and just but were not at the time....   [tags: biography, poems, short stories]

Strong Essays
1107 words (3.2 pages)

Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis Essay

- "Arrowsmith", by Sinclair Lewis In the novel "Arrowsmith", by Sinclair Lewis, written in 1925, one can read of our world's lack of idealism in science, most often found in the medical profession (Encarta, 1). This book portrays the times in terms of scientific advancement not being idealistic, mostly in the medical field. Our scientists could not come up with their own ideas and our progress was going nowhere, fast. Although, today we are advancing so rapidly that we have no choice but to move and experiment, there is no time to slow down and copy old works....   [tags: Sinclair Lewis Arrowsmith ]

Free Essays
1817 words (5.2 pages)

The Impact of Michael Jordan Essay

- December 21, 1891- The birth of basketball. It has been changed from simply shooting a soccer ball into a peach basket to dunking a seven pound, leather ball into an iron rim. In the early years of the game, basketball was not as popular as other sports. In the 1985 NBA draft all this would change with the emergence of a 6'6" basketball phenomenon from Wilmington, North Carolina. Although going third in the draft, he recreated the game and is known as the best player to ever touch a basketball; he is Michael Jordan....   [tags: Basketball Michael Jordan]

Strong Essays
1010 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Michael Lewis' Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

- In Major League Baseball the general belief is that the more a team spends on their payroll the more games they will win. With the absence of a salary cap baseball may seam unfair to the smaller market teams who can't bare the salary costs that the larger market teams can. In Michael Lewis' Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game Lewis depicts just how the Oakland Athletics have been winning in an unfair game for almost a decade. The A's are a small market team that doesn't have nearly the amount of money at their disposal that their competitors in the American League do....   [tags: Baseball Salaries ]

Strong Essays
1922 words (5.5 pages)

Essay on In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje

- “In the Skin of a Lion,” by Michael Ondaatje In the novel, “In the Skin of a Lion,” by Michael Ondaatje, the main character, Patrick Lewis, searches for identity and light. Without these elements, he lacks love and cannot survive the world. A passage in chapter three describes him as a lonely man that is isolated from the world around him. “Clara and Ambrose and Alice and Temelcoff and Cato- this cluster made up a drama without him. And he himself was noting but a prism that refracted their lives....   [tags: Skin Lion Michael Ondaatje Essays]

Strong Essays
1025 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Michael Frayn's Copenhagen

- Michael Frayn's Copenhagen “Our children and our children’s children. Preserved, just possibly, by that one short moment in Copenhagen. By some event that will never quite be located or defined. By that final core of uncertainty at the heart of things.” (Frayn 94) The final line of Michael Frayn's Copenhagen suggests an approach to reading the entire work that looks at the inseparable scientific and dramatic elements of the play. Heisenberg says that no one will ever fully understand the meeting in Copenhagen between himself and Bohr in 1941; Uncertainty forever preserves the moment....   [tags: Michael Frayn copenhagen Essays]

Strong Essays
2077 words (5.9 pages)

My Dream Essay

- I lay on the hospital bed unable to move my legs and a throbbing pain in my head. Thoughts continuously entered and left my head and to me the room was going in circles. One thing agitated me and that was the question will I be able to lead a normal life again?. According to the doctors I was wheeled for life but I failed to believe that and I was in the wait for a miracle to happen…. It was a humid day in Barcelona I had just arrived to the Barcelona International Airport and I had been told by my father that his younger cousin Steven was going to be picking me up....   [tags: Personal Narrative, Short Story]

Free Essays
1339 words (3.8 pages)