Michael Lewis, author of The Big Short (photo: CBS)
Fantastic article and video of 60 Minutes on Michael Lewis Wall St meltdown here.
“I’m afraid that our culture will come to the conclusion, ’cause it’s always the easy conclusion, that everybody was just a bunch of criminals. I think the story is much more interesting than that. I think it’s a story of mass delusion,” Lewis said.
Lewis’ forte has always been discovering little-known facts and characters that change people’s perception about a story. So when he finally sat down at his computer with sacks full of research to write about this calamity, he had no interest in Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, or Ben Bernanke, or the CEOs of Wall Street’s big investment banks, who he believes had no clue what was going on while it was going on.
He wanted to tell the story through the eyes of people who were paying attention and who knew that a financial disaster was inevitable.
“There are a handful of characters who actually had seen it coming and made a fortune off of it. And there were so few of them, and there were so many people who had been on the other side that I thought that I kind of wondered who they were and why they got themselves into that position,” Lewis said. “What they saw. Almost more how they saw.” [emphasis added]
Remember we discussed Dr Michael Burry and Asperger’s in this previous post; Asperger’s. Of course. Are we surprised?
In certain circumstances it’s easy to label the whistle-blowers, contrarians, and a-little-bit-too-focused-for-their-own-good geeks as trouble-makers.
I’m considered a bit of an outsider myself at times. For sure, I’m choosey with my friends and who I’ll work with. I owe it to myself and my authors to keep our Empower ‘brand’ clean. So I have resisted the ‘charm’s of greedy crooks, snake oil merchants and rapacious spruikers seeking to use my humble talents and contacts to help find and funnel more victims into their ghastly rip-off machines.
I’ve stood up to the threats, attempted bully-boy intimidation and scorn of those posing as pillars of the community or ‘peers in the industry’ (vomit) to speak my mind and provide a basis for my opinions and conclusions — in as direct a manner as I can, sometimes to the distress of those who ask:
Q: Can’t we all just get along?
A: Not if you’re dodgy. No.
(‘Include me out’, as Samuel Godwyn said.)
“Michael Burry’s advantage was he wasn’t part of the collective. That he was just this guy in a T-shirt and shorts with a glass eyeball and Asperger’s Syndrome, looking at the numbers, and when nobody else really was,” Lewis said.
‘Doesn’t play well with others’ is not always such a bad thing, is it, Dr Burry?