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The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine 

Michael Lewis (WW Norton & Company)

In this compelling look at 2008’s world financial meltdown, The Blind Side author focuses on a few money managers who won big when Wall Street bet wrong. Along with a tale of oddballs battling the system, you get an easy-to-swallow education. “The subprime mortgage market had a special talent for obscuring,” Lewis writes. “Alt-A was just what they called crappy mortgage loans for which they hadn’t even bothered to acquire the proper documents---to verify the borrower’s income, say. ‘A’ was the designation attached to the most creditworthy borrowers; Alt-A, which stood for ‘Alternative A-paper,’ meant an alternative to the most creditworthy, which of course sounds a lot more fishy once it is put that way.” With Wall Street woes still in today’s headlines, this book is required reading.

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