Making the Dice Work and Playing Games With Subprime Mortgages

The Big Short, by Michael Lewis (Inside the Doomsday Machine)

Published by W.W. Norton & Company, New York and London

“Spider-Man at The Venetian”, p 151

“Craps offered the player the illusion of control–after all, he rolled the dice–and a surface complexity that masked its deeper idiocy.  “For some reason, when these people are playing it they actually believe they have the power to make the dice work,” said Vinny (at the Venetian in Los Vegas).”

“Thousands and thousands of serious financial professionals…were now playing craps with the money they had made off subprime mortgage bonds.  …it had somehow become the most powerful engine of profits and employment on Wall Street–and it made no economic sense.”

The financial players at the Venetian were playing gambling games on the tables, but they were also gambling with subprime mortgage bonds, rolling the dice and playing craps with billions of dollars of bonds that would almost bring down the U.S. financial system.

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