Study Guide

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine Deviled Eggs

By Michael Lewis

Deviled Eggs

Our final course in The Big Short is a deviled egg, which author Michael Lewis enjoys while grabbing lunch with John Gutfreund, his former boss at Salomon Brothers. Take a look:

Now I see he'd ordered the best thing in the house, this gorgeous, frothy confection of an earlier age. Who ever dreamed up the deviled egg? Who knew that a simple egg could be made so complicated, so appealing? I reached over and took one. Something for nothing. It never loses its charm. (e.29)

This, if you can't tell, is a sly reference to the rise of the mortgage bond. Just as a simple egg can be dressed up in this fancy "deviled" fashion, a simple mortgage can be packaged, repackaged, sold, bought, renamed, and, ultimately, made to sink the world's economy. It's not the most complex symbol in the world, but it sure is a clever one.

Plus, we all just need to admit it, people—deviled eggs are gross. Grosser than gross. Shiver.