Reading And Reflecting On Michael Lewis ' The Big Short

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Reading and Reflecting on Michael Lewis’ The Big Short For Commercial Bank Management class I read The Big Short and reflected on its contents. In this paper, I will describe my reading of the book and show how it relates to this class. I devoted about a week to this project—reading, reflecting and writing. During this activity, I kept notes on what I was reading so that I could better understand exactly what happened in terms of concepts like collateralized debt obligations, etc. But what most interested me about this activity was the human element of the story. Lewis begins The Big Short by telling the story of Meredith Whitney, whose expose on Citigroup in 2007 began a series of Wall Street unraveling. Lewis contacted her to find…show more content…
Eisman is like the little reminder that pops up along the way to let Macbeth know that he is not on the right track: it is called a conscience—and Macbeth finally squashes it out of himself. Eisman, Lewis shows, has been the voice of conscience on Wall Street for some time, admitting to the unconscionable—whether the head of “a large U.S. brokerage firm” or “the president of a large Japanese real estate firm”—that their own dealings fail to make any sense. In the world, there are two types of people, those who say yes and everything else you want to hear—and those who say the truth. Eisman, however, is the latter type. Vinny Daniel is another. Hired by Arthur Andersen, his job as an accountant was to account—audit the big Wall Street firms, in other words. In theory, that is what his job was supposed to be. In reality, his job was to rubber stamp and approve all that such firms set before him. There is regulation in Wall Street. It is just easily gotten around. People like Vinny Daniel are the ones who clog up the works: “He concluded that there was effectively no way for an accountant assigned to audit a giant Wall Street firm to figure out whether it was making money or losing money” (Lewis 11).

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