The Big Short

by

Michael Lewis

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In finance terms, going long on a company means buying its stock with the expectation of the stock going up. It is the most conventional type of investing and generally considered safest, though in certain cases it can be costly—the people who lost money during the subprime mortgage meltdown of 2007 were all the ones who went long on subprime investments.

Long Quotes in The Big Short

The The Big Short quotes below are all either spoken by Long or refer to Long. For each quote, you can also see the other terms 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 7 Quotes

It made no sense: The subprime CDO market was ticking along as it had before, and yet the big Wall Street firms suddenly had no use for the investors who had been supplying the machine with raw material—the investors who wanted to buy credit default swaps. “Ostensibly other people were going long, but we were not allowed to go short,” said Charlie.

Related Characters: Michael Lewis (speaker), Charlie Ledley and Jamie Mai (speaker), Ben Hockett
Related Symbols: Bonds
Page Number: 163
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

Howie Hubler had grown up in New Jersey and played football at Montclair State College. Everyone who met him noticed his thick football neck and his great huge head and his overbearing manner, which was interpreted as both admirably direct and a mask. He was loud and headstrong and bullying.

Related Characters: Michael Lewis (speaker), Howie Hubler , Michael Burry
Page Number: 200
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

Now the metaphor was two men in a boat, tied together by a rope, fighting to the death. One man kills the other, hurls his inert body over the side-only to discover himself being yanked over the side. “Being short in 2007 and making money from it was fun, because we were short bad guys,” said Steve Eisman. “In 2008 it was the entire financial system that was at risk. We were still short. But you don’t want the system to crash. It’s sort of like the flood’s about to happen and you’re Noah. You’re on the ark. Yeah, you’re okay. But you are not happy looking out at the flood. That’s not a happy moment for Noah.”

Related Characters: Michael Lewis (speaker), Steve Eisman (speaker)
Page Number: 227
Explanation and Analysis:

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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The Big Short PDF

Long Term Timeline in The Big Short

The timeline below shows where the term Long appears in The Big Short. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Outsiders vs. Conformists  Theme Icon
The Problems with Capitalism  Theme Icon
...by ten times but first it goes down by half.” He likes investors who are long on the stock market (believing stocks will ultimately go up). But as time goes on,... (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
...that investors who are shorting bonds will be seated at tables with investors who are long on bonds. (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
...table with an investor named Wing Chau, who is a CDO manager (meaning he is long on bonds). Chau is “newly, obviously rich” and keeps smirking the whole time. Vinny and... (full context)
Chapter 7
Outsiders vs. Conformists  Theme Icon
Wall Street’s Culture of Overconfidence Theme Icon
The Problems with Capitalism  Theme Icon
Pessimism vs. Optimism Theme Icon
...mortgage bonds. They are unsuccessful in buying more—even though the big banks are theoretically going long on the bonds, they are hesitant to sell more short positions. Charlie thinks the big... (full context)