The Big Short

by

Michael Lewis

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Wing Chau Character Analysis

Wing Chau is one of the guys on the long side of the bets that people like Steve Eisman, Vinny Daniel, Danny Moses, Mike Burry, Ben Hockett, Charlie Ledley, and Jamie Mai were shorting. Greg Lippman sets up a meeting between Chau and Eisman’s team, knowing that Eisman will think Chau is clueless and feel reassured about the deals he’s doing with Lippman. Though Chau seemed to find success before the crash, his pride and short-sightedness (emblematic of many in the subprime mortgage bond industry) ultimately lead to his downfall.

Wing Chau Quotes in The Big Short

The The Big Short quotes below are all either spoken by Wing Chau or refer to Wing Chau . 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 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:

The trouble, as ever, was finding Wall Street firms willing to deal with them. Their one source of supply, Bear Stearns, suddenly seemed more interested in shooting than in trading with them. Every other firm treated them as a joke. Cornhole Capital. But here, in Las Vegas, luck found them.

Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:
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Wing Chau Character Timeline in The Big Short

The timeline below shows where the character Wing Chau appears in The Big Short. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
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
Eisman ends up at a table with an investor named Wing Chau, who is a CDO manager (meaning he is long on bonds). Chau is “newly, obviously... (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
Eisman keeps asking Wing Chau to repeat statements, as he learns more about how a CDO works. Since AIG left... (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
Wing Chau tells Eisman, “I love guys like you who short my market. Without you I 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
The dinner seems to go well, but immediately afterwards, Eisman grabs Lippmann, points to Chau and says, “whatever that guy is buying, I want to short it.” Eisman isn’t joking,... (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
...that they manage. They decide to look for even more deals against people like Wing Chau. (full context)