Thursday, October 15, 2015

THE BIG SHORT by Michael Lewis

Might THE BIG SHORT be the movie of the year? We shall see. With Christian Bale, Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling at the helm, it is sure to be a mega hit. The 2012 audiobook was a bestseller, and is read by Jesse Boggs. Give it a listen before seeing the movie in December. Recall that the author also wrote MONEYBALL and THE BLIND SIDE, in addition to LIAR'S POKER and FLASH BOYS.  

Simon and Schuster Audio produced another meltdown economy book by Michael Lewis, read by Dylan Baker.  BOOMERANG takes Michael to places like Iceland, Greece, Italy and Germany to see how Wall Street's cancer has spread around the world.  Wow.  Is everyone insane?  Well, they were.  Not sure about now, though.  Eyes have finally opened to the truth, too late.  For decades Greece was corrupt, full of tax evaders and freeloaders.  Everyone knew it, and didn't care.  Today they are picketing because the bills are finally coming due.  Massive, overwhelming bills no one wants to pay.  Lewis explores the ironies, while Baker chronicles the insanity like a fairy tale told at bedtime (only to an insomniac adult).  Talk about hindsight being 20/20!  Of course many hedge fund managers and advisers were saying this would happen, and no one listened.  Where's the wisdom of crowds when we need it?  Probably a myth, considering how many people watch song and dance contests on TV, to say nothing of sound-bite evening news.  What's most interesting about this is how Lewis ends the book, with a visit to California and an interview of Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Did he really become governor just for the kicks of feeling alive at the engaging battles?  That's what he seems to say, after a bizarre bike ride to Venice beach, where it all began.  Of course California may still be doomed, headed for default, just as Greece.  Greece is the word, as they say.  Greece your local politician, and expect to be Greeced.  Meanwhile, the taxpayers are fleeced by runaway costs for all services needing to be cut, due to employee pensions that threaten to break every bank.

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