I loved Michael Lewis' book – The Big Short – about the 2008 Wall Street created global financial catastrophe, that is still impacting the little guys on Main Street eight years after it was supposedly resolved by Paulson, Bernanke and Obama. I even wrote an article about it called The Big Short: How Wall Street Destroyed Main Street. I also loved one of the main characters in the book – Frontpoint Partners hedge fund manager Steve Eisman – a foul mouthed, highly skeptical, open minded guy who figured out the fraudulent subprime mortgage scheme and shorted the crap out of the derivatives backing the fraud, making hundreds of millions in the process.
I had the opportunity to attend a 90 minute talk by Steve Eisman last night where he discussed the financial crisis, the response by the Fed and government, and the future for the financial industry. My perception of him, based on the book and movie, was he was a cantankerous asshole who didn't care what anyone thought about him. My perception matched what I experienced. He was dropping f-bombs, insulting the institution hosting his talk, making fun of business school students (he graduated with a liberal arts degree) and dismissing any question he found to be stupid.
He was very funny. You could tell immediately he was smart and very opinionated. He was confident in his area of expertise. His diagnosis of what happened leading up to the financial implosion was dead on.