15th Anniversary of "The Big Short" Collapse

…so go and watch the brilliant movie and discover that it is extremely relevant today, and that the changes we have all been through are illuminated by revisiting those crucial and telling events. Here are some telling scenes, but I suggest watching the whole movie!

The collapse starts accelerating and all the thieves will be getting off free:

10 minutes of background stuff everybody ignored

Wendy was more than prescient, she was prophetic. I have followed her closely ever since. Thank you Wendy.

David fb


I enjoyed the movie with Christian Bale.

Also came across this cheery piece.

Evidently, a 1972 report about economic collapse in the 21st century has been remarkably accurate. And we haven’t changed a thing about our pursuit of growth at any cost, so (per the report), the collapse is coming.

(BTW, how do I private email someone on the Fool now? They used to have a checkbox, but it’s gone in this new system.)

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You don’t. The software has the capability, but TMF has chosen to turn that off.



I did last night. Back in 2010 I read Gregory Zuckerman’s The Greatest Trade Ever which has the same plot but the main character is John Paulson instead of Michael Burry. The advantage of the book over the movie is that it gives a clearer explanation of how the fraud was designed and perpetrated.

Burry and Paulson detected the housing bubble but there were no instruments to short this market…

Book review: The Greatest Trade Ever

Besides the fast moving story, the two elements I enjoyed most were, first, the description of the research, a.k.a. due diligence in the investing world, performed by John Paulson and Paolo Pellegrini. Performance on Wall Street is seldom a matter of luck but rather a question of patient and acute research as the basis of well planned trading campaigns. And, second, the detailed explanation of the various derivative instruments that were used in the financing of the housing bubble. Nowhere had I found as clear and complete an explanation of the financial derivative instruments used in the housing bubble as that provided by Zuckerman.

What is missing is the rest of the story and the moral of the story. While they are not part of the book review proper, I believe it is the most important and least understood part of the story.

The Captain


In Limits to Growth they are generally vague on time scales, but with mineral resources they provide some hard numbers.

In Table 4 we learn that the world will run out of gold by 1981, of mercury by 1985, tin by 1987, zinc by 1990, petroleum by 1992, and copper, lead and gas by 1993. Clearly all false.

They also provide estimates based on reserves increasing five-fold. By that measure we have already run out of gold, silver and mercury. Opponents of fossil fuels will be cheered to know that even with the 5x increase in reserves, world petroleum and natural gas ran out in 2020.