Study Guide

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine Injustice

By Michael Lewis


The Big Short might not feature any caped crusaders, chirpy sidekicks, or all-powerful supervillains, but make no mistakeā€”this thing is all about fighting injustice. For some people, like Steve Eisman, fighting the financial world's injustice is about protecting the working class. For others, like Michael Burry, it's about exposing the market's failure to live up to its own self-image. For others still, like Charles Ledley, it's about holding on to some small sense of sanity in an insane world. Though their motivations may differ in specifics, all three men are driven by a strong sense of moral authority.

Also, at least one of them idolizes Spider-Man.

Questions About Injustice

  1. How do the various short-selling groups vary in their views of injustice?
  2. Is the subprime mortgage market unjust? Explain your answer.
  3. Is justice restored by the end of the book? Why or why not?
  4. Is there a more equitable way that the mortgage bond market might have operated? Explain.

Chew on This

Steve Eisman's hatred of injustice is rooted in the traumatic death of his son.

The subprime market is unjust because it preys on the people who are most at risk in society.

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