Debunking “The Big Short”: How Michael Lewis Turned the Real Villains of the Crisis into Heros


Naked Capitalism has the article Debunking “The Big Short”: How Michael Lewis Turned the Real Villains of the Crisis into Heros by Yves Smith.

I hate to give any attention to Michael Lewis’ The Big Short, since the wildly popular book told a fundamentally misleading story of the crisis which sadly has become conventional wisdom. And it wasn’t just harmlessly inaccurate; it directed public and even lawmaker attention away from the real drivers of this debacle.

If you are going to see the movie, you can read this article first to inoculate yourself from falling for the “heroes”, or you can watch the movie without reading the article to see if you can figure out for yourself that the “heroes” were really just as vallainous as the “villains” of the movie.

Maybe I am giving myself more credit than I deserve, but I remember coming away from the book with the thought, “Wait a minute, those guys that made out like bandits by taking down the insurance companies really were bandits. Had poetic justice been served, they would have walked away with nothing, too.”

You can see in just what way Michael Hudson’s explanation Debts that can’t be paid, won’t be. It is the classic case of the 1% rigging the system so that they avoid being left holding the bag. It could have been handled so that the 1% were left holding the bag they created, and the taxpayers were left with whatever real assets there were. In a true democracy, the 99% would have won.

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