The Big Short

by

Michael Lewis

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Daniel Moses Character Analysis

Daniel “Danny” Moses is Eisman’s head trader at the hedge fund FrontPoint Partners and one of his most trusted coworkers. He knows Eisman because they both used to work at Oppenheimer and Co. (the financial company where Eisman’s parents got him a job), and even then, Danny admired Eisman’s willingness to ruffle feathers with his reports. The son of a finance professor from Georgia, Danny is perhaps the most optimistic employee at FrontPoint, though he isn’t naïve and is always on the lookout for how the people he deals with are looking to screw him over. Danny takes meetings with Greg Lippman, distrusting him immediately, but ultimately they decide to make a deal with him. Though Vinny is Eisman’s main research guy, Danny also plays an essential role in gathering information and trying to understand the markets.A turning point is when Danny and Vinny fly down to Miami to see firsthand how bad things are in neighborhoods built by subprime loans. Occasionally Danny is at odds with his boss—on the golf course, he pleads for Eisman to follow standard etiquette and at least wear a collared shirt—but for the most part, he’s a team player. He believes people in the financial industry are too blinded by their own interests to see the risks they’ve created (as opposed to Vinny, who believes they’re mostly crooks). Though ultimately Danny becomes extremely wealthy off FrontPoint’s short position, he isn’t able to sit back and enjoy the success because he starts having panic attacks.

Daniel Moses Quotes in The Big Short

The The Big Short quotes below are all either spoken by Daniel Moses or refer to Daniel Moses . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Outsiders vs. Conformists  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the W.W. Norton edition of The Big Short published in 2010.
Chapter 3 Quotes

The least controversial thing to be said about Lippmann was that he was controversial. He wasn’t just a good bond trader, he was a great bond trader. He wasn’t cruel. He wasn’t even rude, at least not intentionally He simply evoked extreme feelings in others. A trader who worked near him for years referred to him as “the asshole known as Greg Lippmann.” When asked why, he said, “He took everything too far.”

Page Number: 64
Explanation and Analysis:

The argument stopper was Lippmann’s one-man quantitative support team. His name was Eugene Xu, but to those who’d heard Lippmann’s pitch, he was generally spoken of as “Lippmann’s Chinese quant.” Xu was an analyst employed by Deutsche Bank, but Lippmann gave everyone the idea he kept him tied up to his Bloomberg terminal like a pet. A real Chinese guy—not even Chinese American—who apparently spoke no English, just numbers’ China had this national math competition, Lippmann told people, in which Eugene had finished second. In all of China. Eugene Xu was responsible for every piece of hard data in Lippmann’s presentation. Once Eugene was introduced into the equation, no one bothered Lippmann about his math or his data. As Lippmann put it, “How can a guy who can’t speak English lie?”

Related Characters: Michael Lewis (speaker), Greg Lippmann (speaker), Steve Eisman, Vincent Daniel, Daniel Moses , Eugene Xu
Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

In his search for stock market investors he might terrify with his Doomsday scenario, Lippmann had made a lucky strike: He had stumbled onto a stock market investor who held an even darker view of the subprime mortgage market than he did. Eisman knew more about that market, its characters, and its depravities than anyone Lippmann had ever spoken with. If anyone would make a dramatic bet against subprime, he thought, it was Eisman—and so he was puzzled when Eisman didn’t do it. He was even more puzzled when, several months later, Eisman’s new head trader, Danny Moses, and his research guy, Vinny Daniels, asked him to come back in to explain it all over again.

Related Symbols: Bonds
Page Number: 92
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

He’d graduated from the University of Rhode Island, earned a business degree at Babson College, and spent most of his career working sleepy jobs at sleepy life insurance companies—but all that was in the past. He was newly, obviously rich. “He had this smirk, like, I know better,” said Danny. Danny didn’t know Wing Chau, but when he heard that he was the end buyer of subprime CDOs, he knew exactly who he was: the sucker. “The truth is that I didn’t really want to talk to him,” said Danny, “because I didn’t want to scare him.”

Related Characters: Michael Lewis (speaker), Daniel Moses (speaker), Steve Eisman, Vincent Daniel, Greg Lippmann, Wing Chau
Related Symbols: Bonds
Page Number: 139
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

It wasn’t Eisman who upset the tone in the room, but some kid in the back. He looked to be in his early twenties, and he was, like everyone else, punching on his BlackBerry the whole time Miller and Eisman spoke. “Mr. Miller,” he said. “From the time you started talking, Bear Stearns stock has fallen more than twenty points. Would you buy more now?”

Miller looked stunned. “He clearly had no idea what had happened,” said Vinny. “He just said, ‘Yeah, sure, I’d buy more here.’”

After that, the men in the room rushed for the exits, apparently to sell their shares in Bear Stearns. By the time Alan Greenspan arrived to speak, there was hardly anyone who cared to hear what he had to say. The audience was gone. By Monday, Bear Stearns was of course gone, too, sold to J.P. Morgan for $2 a share.”

Page Number: 235
Explanation and Analysis:
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Daniel Moses Character Timeline in The Big Short

The timeline below shows where the character Daniel Moses appears in The Big Short. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Outsiders vs. Conformists  Theme Icon
...Porter Collins, a former Olympic oarsman who previously worked with Eisman, also comes. Finally, there’s Danny Moses, who worked with Eisman at Oppenhiemer and was impressed with his style. (full context)
Chapter 4
Outsiders vs. Conformists  Theme Icon
Wall Street’s Culture of Overconfidence Theme Icon
The Problems with Capitalism  Theme Icon
Pessimism vs. Optimism Theme Icon
Needless Complexity Theme Icon
...unsuccessful, but ultimately, he meets Steve Eisman. At first, Eisman doesn’t take the bet. Later, Danny Moses (Eisman’s new head trader) and Vinny Daniels call Lippmann back and ask him to... (full context)
Outsiders vs. Conformists  Theme Icon
Wall Street’s Culture of Overconfidence Theme Icon
The Problems with Capitalism  Theme Icon
Pessimism vs. Optimism Theme Icon
Needless Complexity Theme Icon
Finally, Eisman makes a deal with Lippmann. He, Danny, and Vinny remain skeptical of the deal, so Vinny and Danny fly down to Miami... (full context)
Outsiders vs. Conformists  Theme Icon
Wall Street’s Culture of Overconfidence Theme Icon
The Problems with Capitalism  Theme Icon
Pessimism vs. Optimism Theme Icon
Needless Complexity Theme Icon
...whose whole job is to game the rating agencies. They set out to learn more. Danny and Vinny speak to a woman at Moody’s who answers some of their questions. They... (full context)
Chapter 6
Outsiders vs. Conformists  Theme Icon
Wall Street’s Culture of Overconfidence Theme Icon
The Problems with Capitalism  Theme Icon
Pessimism vs. Optimism Theme Icon
Needless Complexity Theme Icon
After golf, Eisman, Vinny and Danny go to a dinner hosted by Deutsche Bank—an idea suggested to them by Lippmann. Lippmann... (full context)
Outsiders vs. Conformists  Theme Icon
Wall Street’s Culture of Overconfidence Theme Icon
The Problems with Capitalism  Theme Icon
Pessimism vs. Optimism Theme Icon
Needless Complexity Theme Icon
...on bonds). Chau is “newly, obviously rich” and keeps smirking the whole time. Vinny and Danny think Chau is a fool, but they worry that Eisman will talk too much and... (full context)
Outsiders vs. Conformists  Theme Icon
Wall Street’s Culture of Overconfidence Theme Icon
The Problems with Capitalism  Theme Icon
Pessimism vs. Optimism Theme Icon
...speeches around the convention, asking pointed questions when it isn’t even Q&A time. Vinny and Danny agree with him but wish he would keep to himself, to avoid letting everyone else... (full context)
Outsiders vs. Conformists  Theme Icon
Wall Street’s Culture of Overconfidence Theme Icon
The Problems with Capitalism  Theme Icon
Pessimism vs. Optimism Theme Icon
Needless Complexity Theme Icon
...Ponzi scheme. They realize the people in Las Vegas don’t know anything they don’t know. Danny thinks they’re blinded by their own self-interest; Vinny thinks some are “morons,” but that the... (full context)
Outsiders vs. Conformists  Theme Icon
Wall Street’s Culture of Overconfidence Theme Icon
The Problems with Capitalism  Theme Icon
Pessimism vs. Optimism Theme Icon
Needless Complexity Theme Icon
After leaving Las Vegas, Eisman, Danny, and Vinny increase their subprime short position from $300 million to $550 million, overwhelming their... (full context)
Chapter 8
Outsiders vs. Conformists  Theme Icon
Wall Street’s Culture of Overconfidence Theme Icon
The Problems with Capitalism  Theme Icon
Pessimism vs. Optimism Theme Icon
Needless Complexity Theme Icon
...catastrophe coming and made a profit: it includes Greg Lippmann, but it leaves out Eisman, Danny, Charlie, Jamie, Ben, and Vinny, as well as Burry. Burry is frustrated that his investors... (full context)
Chapter 10
Outsiders vs. Conformists  Theme Icon
Wall Street’s Culture of Overconfidence Theme Icon
The Problems with Capitalism  Theme Icon
Pessimism vs. Optimism Theme Icon
...FrontPoint has doubled the size of their fund, from $700 million to $1.5 billion. Both Danny and Vinny want to realize their profits and get out—partly because they still don’t trust... (full context)
Outsiders vs. Conformists  Theme Icon
Wall Street’s Culture of Overconfidence Theme Icon
The Problems with Capitalism  Theme Icon
Pessimism vs. Optimism Theme Icon
Needless Complexity Theme Icon
...shorts on financial institutions, which are all falling in value, earning FrontPoint even more money. Danny knows he should be excited, but he's anxious instead. The fundamentals of investing suddenly don’t... (full context)
Outsiders vs. Conformists  Theme Icon
Wall Street’s Culture of Overconfidence Theme Icon
The Problems with Capitalism  Theme Icon
Pessimism vs. Optimism Theme Icon
Needless Complexity Theme Icon
At the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral with his partners Vinny and Danny, Eisman considers how he wants to be, now that he is no longer an underdog... (full context)
Epilogue
Outsiders vs. Conformists  Theme Icon
Wall Street’s Culture of Overconfidence Theme Icon
The Problems with Capitalism  Theme Icon
Pessimism vs. Optimism Theme Icon
Needless Complexity Theme Icon
At about the same time that Eisman, Danny, and Vinny are at St. Patrick’s, Lewis goes to lunch with his old boss, John... (full context)