betting on the blind side

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Betting on the blind side

No ambiguity. You just swam your time and you won or you lost. After a while even he ceased to find it surprising that he spent most of his time alone. What friendships he did have were formed and nurtured in writing, by e-mail; the two people he considered to be true friends he had known for a combined 20 years but had met in person a grand total of eight times.

In his Match. Obsessiveness—that was another trait he came to think of as peculiar to himself. His mind had no temperate zone: he was either possessed by a subject or not interested in it at all. Even as a small child he had a fantastic ability to focus and learn, with or without teachers. When it synched with his interests, school came easy for him—so easy that, as an undergraduate at U. He attributed his unusual powers of concentration to his lack of interest in human interaction, and his lack of interest in human interaction This ability to work and to focus set him apart even from other medical students.

In , as a resident in neurology at Stanford Hospital, he mentioned to his superiors that, between hour hospital shifts, he had stayed up two nights in a row taking apart and putting back together his personal computer in an attempt to make it run faster. His superiors sent him to a psychiatrist, who diagnosed Mike Burry as bipolar. Or, rather, if you were depressed only while doing your rounds and pretending to be interested in practicing, as opposed to studying, medicine?

The actual practice of medicine, on the other hand, either bored or disgusted him. He was genuinely interested in computers, not for their own sake but for their service to a lifelong obsession: the inner workings of the stock market. Ever since grade school, when his father had shown him the stock tables at the back of the newspaper and told him that the stock market was a crooked place and never to be trusted, let alone invested in, the subject had fascinated him.

Even as a kid he had wanted to impose logic on this world of numbers. He began to read about the market as a hobby. Pretty quickly he saw that there was no logic at all in the charts and graphs and waves and the endless chatter of many self-advertised market pros. Then along came the dot-com bubble and suddenly the entire stock market made no sense at all. Burry did not think investing could be reduced to a formula or learned from any one role model.

The more he studied Buffett, the less he thought Buffett could be copied. Indeed, the lesson of Buffett was: To succeed in a spectacular fashion you had to be spectacularly unusual. So it must not be true. Investing was something you had to learn how to do on your own, in your own peculiar way. Burry had no real money to invest, but he nevertheless dragged his obsession along with him through high school, college, and medical school.

He had spent the previous four years working medical-student hours. Nevertheless, he had found time to make himself a financial expert of sorts. Like you probably do, I productively fill the gaps that most people leave as dead time. My drive to be productive probably cost me my first marriage and a few days ago almost cost me my fiancee. Late one night in November , while on a cardiology rotation at Saint Thomas Hospital, in Nashville, Tennessee, he logged on to a hospital computer and went to a message board called techstocks.

A site for the Silicon Valley investor, circa , was not a natural home for a sober-minded value investor. Still, many came, all with opinions. A few people grumbled about the very idea of a doctor having anything useful to say about investments, but over time he came to dominate the discussion.

Mike Burry—as he always signed himself—sensed that other people on the thread were taking his advice and making money with it. Once he figured out he had nothing more to learn from the crowd on his thread, he quit it to create what later would be called a blog but at the time was just a weird form of communication. He was working hour shifts at the hospital, confining his blogging mainly to the hours between midnight and three in the morning.

On his blog he posted his stock-market trades and his arguments for making the trades. People found him. The guy was a medical intern. I only saw the nonmedical part of his day, and it was simply awesome. And people are following it in real time. All of a sudden he goes on this tear. Just random individuals. People were coming to his site from mutual funds like Fidelity and big Wall Street investment banks like Morgan Stanley.

Burry suspected that serious investors might even be acting on his blog posts, but he had no clear idea who they might be. By the time Burry moved to Stanford Hospital, in , to take up his residency in neurology, the work he had done between midnight and three in the morning had made him a minor but meaningful hub in the land of value investing.

By this time the craze for Internet stocks was completely out of control and had infected the Stanford University medical community. The deeper he got into his medical career, the more Burry felt constrained by his problems with other people in the flesh. More dead people, more dead parts. I thought, I want something more cerebral. His father had died after another misdiagnosis: a doctor had failed to spot the cancer on an X-ray, and the family had received a small settlement.

The father disapproved of the stock market, but the payout from his death funded his son into it. With that, Dr. Michael Burry opened Scion Capital. He created a grandiose memo to lure people not related to him by blood. As he scrambled to find office space, buy furniture, and open a brokerage account, he received a pair of surprising phone calls. Gotham was founded by a value-investment guru named Joel Greenblatt.

On his way to his meeting with Greenblatt, Burry was racked with the anxiety that always plagued him before face-to-face encounters with people. He took some comfort in the fact that the Gotham people seemed to have read so much of what he had written. Even in high school it was like that—even with teachers. In this case he was at a serious disadvantage, as he had no clue how big-time money managers dressed.

He had one blue sports coat, for funerals. In writing, he presented himself formally, even a bit stuffily, but he dressed for the beach. He arrived at the big New York money-management firm as formally attired as he had ever been in his entire life to find its partners in T-shirts and sweatpants. For a million dollars. Somehow Burry had it in his mind that one day he wanted to be worth a million dollars, after tax.

And they gave it to him! Shortly after that odd encounter, he had a call from the insurance holding company White Mountain. It turned out that White Mountain, too, had been watching Michael Burry closely. In Dr. And people who are with me generally figure that out. Buffett had had trouble with people, too, in his youth. Mike Burry came of age in a different money culture. The Internet had displaced Dale Carnegie.

He could explain himself online and wait for investors to find him. He could write up his elaborate thoughts and wait for people to read them and wire him their money to handle. This method of attracting funds suited Mike Burry. More to the point, it worked. Right from the start, Scion Capital was madly, almost comically successful. Scion was up 55 percent. The next year, , the stock market finally turned around and rose Scion Capital charged investors only its actual expenses— which typically ran well below 1 percent of the assets.

It was unheard of. By the middle of , over a period in which the broad stock-market index had fallen by 6. He used no leverage and avoided shorting stocks. He was doing nothing more promising than buying common stocks and nothing more complicated than sitting in a room reading financial statements. He went looking for court rulings, deal completions, and government regulatory changes—anything that might change the value of a company. Michael Burry started digging; by the time he was done, he knew more about the Avanti Corporation than any man on earth.

He was able to see that even if the executives went to jail as five of them did and the fines were paid as they were , Avanti would be worth a lot more than the market then assumed. His job was to disagree loudly with popular sentiment. If you gave Scion your money to invest, you were stuck for at least a year.

Investing well was all about being paid the right price for risk. He investigated the stocks of homebuilders and then the stocks of companies that insured home mortgages, like PMI. To one of his friends—a big-time East Coast professional investor—he wrote in May that the real-estate bubble was being driven ever higher by the irrational behavior of mortgage lenders who were extending easy credit.

The collateral damage is likely to be orders of magnitude worse than anyone now considers. On May 19, , Mike Burry did his first subprime-mortgage deals. He likely became the only investor to do the sort of old-fashioned bank credit analysis on the home loans that should have been done before they were made. He was the opposite of an old-fashioned banker, however. He was looking not for the best loans to make but the worst loans—so that he could bet against them.

He analyzed the relative importance of the loan-to-value ratios of the home loans, of second liens on the homes, of the location of the homes, of the absence of loan documentation and proof of income of the borrower, and a dozen or so other factors to determine the likelihood that a home loan made in America circa would go bad.

Then he went looking for the bonds backed by the worst of the loans. From their point of view, so far as he could tell, all subprime-mortgage bonds were the same. If he wanted to buy insurance on the supposedly riskless triple-A-rated tranche, he might pay 20 basis points 0. A basis point is one-hundredth of one percentage point. The triple-B-rated tranches—the ones that would be worth zero if the underlying mortgage pool experienced a loss of just 7 percent—were what he was after.

He felt this to be a very conservative bet, which he was able, through analysis, to turn into even more of a sure thing. Anyone who even glanced at the prospectuses could see that there were many critical differences between one triple-B bond and the next—the percentage of interest-only loans contained in their underlying pool of mortgages, for example. He set out to cherry-pick the absolute worst ones and was a bit worried that the investment banks would catch on to just how much he knew about specific mortgage bonds, and adjust their prices.

Once again they shocked and delighted him: Goldman Sachs e-mailed him a great long list of crappy mortgage bonds to choose from. It was as if you could buy flood insurance on the house in the valley for the same price as flood insurance on the house on the mountaintop.

None of the sellers appeared to care very much which bonds they were insuring. He found one mortgage pool that was percent floating-rate negative-amortizing mortgages— where the borrowers could choose the option of not paying any interest at all and simply accumulate a bigger and bigger debt until, presumably, they defaulted on it. Goldman Sachs not only sold him insurance on the pool but sent him a little note congratulating him on being the first person, on Wall Street or off, ever to buy insurance on that particular item.

He was worried that others would catch on and the opportunity would vanish. The more Wall Street firms jumped into the new business, the easier it became for him to place his bets. The credit-default swap was a zero-sum game. Goldman Sachs was simply standing between insurance buyer and insurance seller and taking a cut. The willingness of whoever this person was to sell him such vast amounts of cheap insurance gave Mike Burry another idea: to start a fund that did nothing but buy insurance on subprime-mortgage bonds.

Most of them still had no idea that their champion stock picker had become so diverted by these esoteric insurance contracts called credit-default swaps. Many wanted nothing to do with it; a few wondered if this meant that he was already doing this sort of thing with their money. Instead of raising more money to buy credit-default swaps on subprime-mortgage bonds, he wound up making it more difficult to keep the ones he already owned.

His investors were happy to let him pick stocks on their behalf, but they almost universally doubted his ability to foresee big macro-economic trends. In October , in his letter to investors, Burry finally came completely clean and let them know that they owned at least a billion dollars in credit-default swaps on subprime-mortgage bonds.

They erred when they bet against George Soros and for the British pound. And they are erring right now by continuing to float along as if the most significant credit bubble history has ever seen does not exist. Opportunities are rare, and large opportunities on which one can put nearly unlimited capital to work at tremendous potential returns are even more rare.

Selectively shorting the most problematic mortgage-backed securities in history today amounts to just such an opportunity. In the second quarter of , credit-card delinquencies hit an all-time high—even though house prices had boomed.

That is, even with this asset to borrow against, Americans were struggling more than ever to meet their obligations. The Federal Reserve had raised interest rates, but mortgage rates were still effectively falling—because Wall Street was finding ever more clever ways to enable people to borrow money.

So he just laid it out for his investors: the U. Treasury notes and bonds. The entire economy was premised on its stability, and its stability in turn depended on house prices continuing to rise. When his investors learned that their money manager had actually put their money directly where his mouth had long been, they were not exactly pleased.

They usually have not been realized. That was the beauty of credit-default swaps: they enabled him to make a fortune if just a tiny fraction of these dubious pools of mortgages went bad. He had no choice: among the people who gave him money there was pretty obviously a built-in skepticism of so-called macro thinking. Seeing value is what I do. Now he was being evaluated moment to moment.

Now he had to explain that they had to subtract from that number these And I firmly believe that to achieve that advantage on an annual basis, I have to be able to look out past the next couple of years In the same period, he reminded his investors, Scion Capital was up percent. He assumed wrong. In late October , a subprime trader at Goldman Sachs called to ask him why he was buying credit-default swaps on such very specific tranches of subprime-mortgage bonds.

Now the subprime-mortgage-bond market appeared to be unraveling. Out of the blue, on November 4, Burry had an e-mail from the head subprime guy at Deutsche Bank, a fellow named Greg Lippmann. Greg Lippmann of Deutsche Bank wanted to buy his billion dollars in credit-default swaps! How does Greg Lippmann even know I own this giant pile of credit-default swaps? Three days later he heard from Goldman Sachs.

His saleswoman, Veronica Grinstein, called him on her cell phone instead of from the office phone. Wall Street firms now recorded all calls made from their trading desks. He learned all he could about how money got borrowed and lent in America. He wanted to know, especially, how subprime-mortgage bonds worked. A giant number of individual loans got piled up into a tower. Because they were taking on more risk, the investors in the bottom floors received a higher rate of interest than investors in the top floors.

He was wondering how he might short, or bet against, subprime-mortgage bonds. Every mortgage bond came with its own mind-numbingly tedious page prospectus. If you read the fine print, you saw that each bond was its own little corporation. The subprime-mortgage market had a special talent for obscuring what needed to be clarified. Some crafty bond-market person had gazed upon the subprime-mortgage sprawl, as an ambitious real-estate developer might gaze upon Oakland, and found an opportunity to rebrand some of the turf.

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In this case he was at a serious disadvantage, as he had no clue how big-time money managers dressed. He had one blue sports coat, for funerals. In writing, he presented himself formally, even a bit stuffily, but he dressed for the beach.

He arrived at the big New York money-management firm as formally attired as he had ever been in his entire life to find its partners in T-shirts and sweatpants. For a million dollars. Somehow Burry had it in his mind that one day he wanted to be worth a million dollars, after tax. And they gave it to him!

Shortly after that odd encounter, he had a call from the insurance holding company White Mountain. It turned out that White Mountain, too, had been watching Michael Burry closely. In Dr. And people who are with me generally figure that out. Buffett had had trouble with people, too, in his youth. Mike Burry came of age in a different money culture. The Internet had displaced Dale Carnegie. He could explain himself online and wait for investors to find him.

He could write up his elaborate thoughts and wait for people to read them and wire him their money to handle. This method of attracting funds suited Mike Burry. More to the point, it worked. Right from the start, Scion Capital was madly, almost comically successful. Scion was up 55 percent. The next year, , the stock market finally turned around and rose Scion Capital charged investors only its actual expenses—which typically ran well below 1 percent of the assets.

It was unheard of. By the middle of , over a period in which the broad stock-market index had fallen by 6. He used no leverage and avoided shorting stocks. He was doing nothing more promising than buying common stocks and nothing more complicated than sitting in a room reading financial statements. He went looking for court rulings, deal completions, and government regulatory changes—anything that might change the value of a company. Michael Burry started digging; by the time he was done, he knew more about the Avanti Corporation than any man on earth.

He was able to see that even if the executives went to jail as five of them did and the fines were paid as they were , Avanti would be worth a lot more than the market then assumed. His job was to disagree loudly with popular sentiment. If you gave Scion your money to invest, you were stuck for at least a year.

Investing well was all about being paid the right price for risk. He investigated the stocks of homebuilders and then the stocks of companies that insured home mortgages, like PMI. To one of his friends—a big-time East Coast professional investor—he wrote in May that the real-estate bubble was being driven ever higher by the irrational behavior of mortgage lenders who were extending easy credit.

The collateral damage is likely to be orders of magnitude worse than anyone now considers. On May 19, , Mike Burry did his first subprime-mortgage deals. He likely became the only investor to do the sort of old-fashioned bank credit analysis on the home loans that should have been done before they were made.

He was the opposite of an old-fashioned banker, however. He was looking not for the best loans to make but the worst loans—so that he could bet against them. He analyzed the relative importance of the loan-to-value ratios of the home loans, of second liens on the homes, of the location of the homes, of the absence of loan documentation and proof of income of the borrower, and a dozen or so other factors to determine the likelihood that a home loan made in America circa would go bad. Then he went looking for the bonds backed by the worst of the loans.

From their point of view, so far as he could tell, all subprime-mortgage bonds were the same. If he wanted to buy insurance on the supposedly riskless triple-A-rated tranche, he might pay 20 basis points 0.

A basis point is one-hundredth of one percentage point. The triple-B-rated tranches—the ones that would be worth zero if the underlying mortgage pool experienced a loss of just 7 percent—were what he was after. He felt this to be a very conservative bet, which he was able, through analysis, to turn into even more of a sure thing.

Anyone who even glanced at the prospectuses could see that there were many critical differences between one triple-B bond and the next—the percentage of interest-only loans contained in their underlying pool of mortgages, for example.

He set out to cherry-pick the absolute worst ones and was a bit worried that the investment banks would catch on to just how much he knew about specific mortgage bonds, and adjust their prices. Once again they shocked and delighted him: Goldman Sachs e-mailed him a great long list of crappy mortgage bonds to choose from. It was as if you could buy flood insurance on the house in the valley for the same price as flood insurance on the house on the mountaintop. None of the sellers appeared to care very much which bonds they were insuring.

He found one mortgage pool that was percent floating-rate negative-amortizing mortgages—where the borrowers could choose the option of not paying any interest at all and simply accumulate a bigger and bigger debt until, presumably, they defaulted on it. Goldman Sachs not only sold him insurance on the pool but sent him a little note congratulating him on being the first person, on Wall Street or off, ever to buy insurance on that particular item.

He was worried that others would catch on and the opportunity would vanish. The more Wall Street firms jumped into the new business, the easier it became for him to place his bets. The credit-default swap was a zero-sum game. Goldman Sachs was simply standing between insurance buyer and insurance seller and taking a cut.

The willingness of whoever this person was to sell him such vast amounts of cheap insurance gave Mike Burry another idea: to start a fund that did nothing but buy insurance on subprime-mortgage bonds. Most of them still had no idea that their champion stock picker had become so diverted by these esoteric insurance contracts called credit-default swaps. Many wanted nothing to do with it; a few wondered if this meant that he was already doing this sort of thing with their money.

Instead of raising more money to buy credit-default swaps on subprime-mortgage bonds, he wound up making it more difficult to keep the ones he already owned. His investors were happy to let him pick stocks on their behalf, but they almost universally doubted his ability to foresee big macro-economic trends. In October , in his letter to investors, Burry finally came completely clean and let them know that they owned at least a billion dollars in credit-default swaps on subprime-mortgage bonds.

They erred when they bet against George Soros and for the British pound. And they are erring right now by continuing to float along as if the most significant credit bubble history has ever seen does not exist. Opportunities are rare, and large opportunities on which one can put nearly unlimited capital to work at tremendous potential returns are even more rare.

Selectively shorting the most problematic mortgage-backed securities in history today amounts to just such an opportunity. In the second quarter of , credit-card delinquencies hit an all-time high—even though house prices had boomed. That is, even with this asset to borrow against, Americans were struggling more than ever to meet their obligations. The Federal Reserve had raised interest rates, but mortgage rates were still effectively falling—because Wall Street was finding ever more clever ways to enable people to borrow money.

So he just laid it out for his investors: the U. Treasury notes and bonds. The entire economy was premised on its stability, and its stability in turn depended on house prices continuing to rise. One hallmark of mania is the rapid rise in the incidence and complexity of fraud. The FBI reports mortgage-related fraud is up fivefold since When his investors learned that their money manager had actually put their money directly where his mouth had long been, they were not exactly pleased.

They usually have not been realized. That was the beauty of credit-default swaps: they enabled him to make a fortune if just a tiny fraction of these dubious pools of mortgages went bad. He had no choice: among the people who gave him money there was pretty obviously a built-in skepticism of so-called macro thinking. Seeing value is what I do. Now he was being evaluated moment to moment. Now he had to explain that they had to subtract from that number these … subprime-mortgage-bond insurance premiums.

And I firmly believe that to achieve that advantage on an annual basis, I have to be able to look out past the next couple of years. In the same period, he reminded his investors, Scion Capital was up percent. He assumed wrong. In late October , a subprime trader at Goldman Sachs called to ask him why he was buying credit-default swaps on such very specific tranches of subprime-mortgage bonds. Now the subprime-mortgage-bond market appeared to be unraveling.

Out of the blue, on November 4, Burry had an e-mail from the head subprime guy at Deutsche Bank, a fellow named Greg Lippmann. Greg Lippmann of Deutsche Bank wanted to buy his billion dollars in credit-default swaps! How does Greg Lippmann even know I own this giant pile of credit-default swaps?

Three days later he heard from Goldman Sachs. His saleswoman, Veronica Grinstein, called him on her cell phone instead of from the office phone. Wall Street firms now recorded all calls made from their trading desks. She, too, wanted to buy some of his credit-default swaps. They thought the traders had sold all this insurance without having any place they could go to buy it back. Just to placate Goldman management, you understand.

Hanging up, he pinged Bank of America, on a hunch, to see if they would sell him more. They, too, were looking to buy. Next came Morgan Stanley—again out of the blue. Back in May, Mike Burry was betting on his theory of human behavior: the loans were structured to go bad.

Now, in November, they were actually going bad. The next morning, Burry opened The Wall Street Journal to find an article explaining how alarming numbers of adjustable-rate mortgage holders were falling behind on their payments, in their first nine months, at rates never before seen. Lower-middle-class America was tapped out. Most Wall Street traders were about to lose a lot of money—with perhaps one exception.

His exuberance was a little scary. He had told his investors that they might need to be patient—that the bet might not pay off until the mortgages issued in reached the end of their teaser-rate period. They had not been patient. Many of his investors mistrusted him, and he in turn felt betrayed by them.

At the beginning he had imagined the end, but none of the parts in between. The only thing that had changed was his explanation for it. Not long before, his wife had dragged him to the office of a Stanford psychologist. A pre-school teacher had noted certain worrying behaviors in their four-year-old son, Nicholas, and suggested he needed testing. He drifted off when the teacher talked at any length.

He was, after all, a doctor, and he suspected that the teacher was trying to tell them that he had failed to diagnose attention-deficit disorder in his own son. Pressed, one of the schools told Burry that his son suffered from inadequate gross and fine motor skills.

I still draw like a four-year-old, and I hate art. A classic case, she said, and recommended that he be pulled from the mainstream and sent to a special school. And Dr. His wife now handed him the stack of books she had accumulated on autism and related disorders. After a few pages, Michael Burry realized that he was no longer reading about his son but about himself. I thought I was different, but this was saying I was the same as other people. How did a glass eye explain, in a competitive swimmer, a pathological fear of deep water—the terror of not knowing what lurked beneath him?

How did it explain a childhood passion for washing money? I thought it was all something special about me. He resisted the news. He had a gift for finding and analyzing information on the subjects that interested him intensely. He always had been intensely interested in himself. Why is it good for me to know this about myself? He went and found his own psychologist to help him sort out the effect of his syndrome on his wife and children. His work life, however, remained uninformed by the new information.

It was a stroke of luck that his special interest was financial markets and not, say, collecting lawn-mower catalogues. I the spring of , something changed—though at first it was hard to see what it was. On June 14, the pair of subprime-mortgage-bond hedge funds effectively owned by Bear Stearns were in freefall. In the ensuing two weeks, the publicly traded index of triple-B-rated subprime-mortgage bonds fell by nearly 20 percent. Just then Goldman Sachs appeared to Burry to be experiencing a nervous breakdown.

His biggest positions were with Goldman, and Goldman was newly unable, or unwilling, to determine the value of those positions, and so could not say how much collateral should be shifted back and forth. That was funny, Burry replied, because Morgan Stanley had said more or less the same thing.

But she did it from her cell phone, rather than the office line. They were caving. All of them. At the end of every month, for nearly two years, Burry had watched Wall Street traders mark his positions against him. I have a high amount of respect for Oher for being able to decide what he wanted in life and doing what was necessary to achieve it.

Some of the things he did, such as only maintaining friendships with those who had positive influences, was a great depiction of his character. There was a small part where I worried he would lead others to believe that they, too, could become professional athletes. Even though he worked very hard to get there, there still has to be the understanding that there was a great mixture of talent and luck that got him where he is.

Not every child who is athletically talented will make it nearly as far as he did. But after a while I changed my mind about him saying this specifically. And what I appreciated was that even though he excelled in sports, he emphasized the critical need for academic success in addition to his athletics. He worked vigorously at improving his academics, especially since, as a child, it was fairly optional for him to go to school. He never had anyone teach him the importance of education, so this was something he had to learn for himself and then try to catch up with others his age.

I get that memoirs are often self-serving, but I do believe these things about the efforts he put into these parts of his life. On an interesting side note, Oher mentions in the book that one of the parts of the movie that weren't true to life were the parts where the Tuohy's taught him about football and how to play.

He describes how he spent his whole life observing and studying athletes so he could imitate their skills. I'm not sure why they changed this in the movie, but I did feel bad for him for that because I can imagine, considering how big a deal sports play in his life, to be depicted as someone who had to learn these concepts from his adopted family must have been frustrating and possibly embarrassing. This also fits into my thoughts that the movie focused on the great deed of the Tuohy family rather than on the actual life of Oher.

That's not to say I didn't really enjoy the movie or respect the family though! In all this was a short, but interesting read and one that would be great to pass on to those younger people in our lives! Taken from my blog at www. Jun 04, Tyler rated it really liked it. First off, he had a really troubled childhood he had nine siblings and a mom and his mom would be there half the time because she abused drugs.

So most of the time Michael and his family were moving from one friends house to another because his mom would be gone and she would come back a week or two later. He always had a difficult time in school, he never turned in his homework and would not eve This book is about a man named Michael Oher and how he developed into the NFL player he is today.

He always had a difficult time in school, he never turned in his homework and would not even show up most of the time. One day the foster care agency came and took michael and his brother, the rest of his siblings stayed with his mom or went to another foster home. After Michael stayed in the foster home he became a better person because the lady there make him do chores and go to school and she would help him with his homework. He was always the big kid whenever he played sports and in high school his coach was surprised how good he was and then he got him into football.

So he became the best linemen on the team and after high school he kept getting calls from major head coaches to join their college team. After all of the calls he got he picked the college his foster parents went to and that was ole miss. He was also really good in college and after that he entered the NFL draft. He was a first round pick by the Baltimore Ravens, and everyone was so excited for him because of what he overcame throughout his life.

Now he is playing for the Indianapolis Colts and getting payed millions with his foster parents right by his side. This quote is saying to not limit yourself to what other people say you can and can't do, and its saying look at yourself you're the one that knows what you can and cannot do so you have to go above and beyond to reach your goals. May 11, Emily Driscoll added it. In the begining of the book, Michael discusses the struggles he expirenced as a child growing up in extreme poverty.

Michael Oher is currently a professional football player for the Atlanta Falcons, but his life was not easy. In the begining few chapters, it goes into detail about Micheal's childhood. His mother was a struggling drug addict with more kids than she could keep track of. Many nights, she would leave all of the kids for days on end while she was off doing drugs so Michael and his 1. Many nights, she would leave all of the kids for days on end while she was off doing drugs so Michael and his siblings had to find their own place to stay those nights.

Eventually, Micheal and his siblings were taken into the states custody and were thrown around from foster home to foster home. As the book progressed, Michael begins to talk about his new family, the Touhey's. They are a weathly family that takes Michael in when they realize he has no place to stay.

The Touhey's had two children of their own, Collins and SJ. They eventually became family to Michael. The Touhey's gave Michael every oppurtunity they could to help him succeed in anything he wanted too. Even hiring him a life long tutor, Miss Sue who stayed with him from high school to college.

The Touhey's eventually invited Michael to be a permanent part of their family by legally adopting him. This 'adoption' gave Michael the sense that he finally had a real, normal family that would always be there for him. Michael repeatedly says that he cannot thank them enough for loving him and giving him a stable family he could always count on.

Apr 24, Jennie rated it really liked it. Anyone who has read The Blind Side or watched the film should also read this book. Since Michael Oher's story has been told in those other two formats, he basically presents his life story thus far in a summarized form. What is interesting is how the addition of Michael Oher's own perspective fleshes out both versions of The Blind Side.

Oher's own views about poverty, social skills, education, interpersonal relationships, government assistance programs and life in the ghetto not only made me con Anyone who has read The Blind Side or watched the film should also read this book. Oher's own views about poverty, social skills, education, interpersonal relationships, government assistance programs and life in the ghetto not only made me consider how those things have impacted my own life and those around me, but also how one teacher, one government worker, or one act of kindness can make a difference in the life of a young person.

I sense that Oher wrote the book to clarify things he felt were perhaps given too much dramatic license in the film, or not explained thoroughly in the book. I found the book easy to read and engaging. I also applaud Michael Oher's decision to tell the story from his own unique perspective. I began this book suspecting an "easy paycheck" book that cashed in on the success of the movie and book versions of The Blind Side. I came away pleasantly surprised, and with a better understanding of the complete story.

I hope Michael Oher will write another book covering subsequent chapters of his life in professional football. Feb 20, Karlye rated it it was amazing. I laughed, I cried, I cried some more. I worked in childcare for a couple of years and saw several kids in foster homes and all of them were usually not as happy go lucky as the kids from normal families. They also were more likely to have behavior issues and were often not as developed due to neglect.

It absolutely broke my heart to see these kids suffer from not having a stable family. While there are several foster families that are amazing, a lot of the kids are bounced from home to home and I laughed, I cried, I cried some more. While there are several foster families that are amazing, a lot of the kids are bounced from home to home and never had a chance to prosper in a home.

Michael oher really brought attention to the fact that so many kids out there need a good home and parents to really care for them and to show them what a loving home is. His book really helped me to see the importance of what foster and adoptive families play! I read this because I hope one day to adopt out of the foster care system and he gives insight on how to truly help them. He also tells the true story behind his adoption with his new family which the blind side slightly changed up.

He really went through hell and back and came out of it a truly amazing person! Mar 24, Judy rated it it was amazing. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read about an American Dream Come True. Michael Oher truly exemplifies what it means to be a decent, hardworking American.

I am not a huge fan of sports, and I never saw The Blind Side; however, I am a teacher and after reading this book I realized how valuable the American Public School System is to its youth. For many children, school offers opportunities otherwise not available to them in their lives. I am so impressed by Michael Oher's incredible determination to "beat the odds" and to use all elements of the schools he attended to better his life. He offers wonderful advice to younger readers who are in difficult situations and wise advice to adult readers who work with youth.

This book is definitely one that should be read by anyone involved in working with young people. It is a gentle reminder that our students are more than just statistics on a Standardized Testing Score Sheet, they are humans with souls and dreams. Great job, Michael Oher! God bless you!

Feb 16, Jane rated it really liked it Shelves: biography-memoir. I did not see the movie "The Blind Side," but was somewhat familiar with its premise. Oher felt he had to write this book in order to accurately explain his life, and to clear up some misconceptions about him.

The strong message which he conveyed is that, despite his profound gratitude to the family who took him in, he always had the drive to succeed, to not follow the crowd, and make his own way. He felt the film portrayed him as a good deal less intelligent than he is in order to make the I did not see the movie "The Blind Side," but was somewhat familiar with its premise.

He felt the film portrayed him as a good deal less intelligent than he is in order to make the film more compelling. This is told in an authentic voice, with the author's disappointment in his birth mother mentioned from time to time. Because he is a noble soul, he is able to still love her while vowing never to be like her.

I was struck by the depth of Mr. Oher, how he carefully studied his circumstances and chose a path that led out of the ghetto. So many loving friends and families let him into their homes along the way, and I am delighted that he found his true family at last. Feb 17, Dana Michael rated it it was amazing.

Oh my goodness! This book is such a great story about how Michael Oher overcame such utter poverty and being homeless to a professional NFL player. This book is about determination, mentoring and hard work. It is also about fostering and helping others to make a better life and how anyone can make a difference in their own life and in the lives of others.

This book isnt a re telling of The Blind Side, this is more about Michael's own story and his life before he met the Tuouy family. I really en Oh my goodness! I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it. Feb 26, Holly 2 Kids and Tired rated it really liked it. I was thrilled when I saw that Michael was writing his own story. I love that this is his story, in his words.

He shares his opinion about the film and clarifies some points that were inaccurate. One thing that bugged him was how the film made him appear dumb, especially when it came to understanding football. He'd studied and played football for years and knew the sport inside and out before he started playing at Briarcrest.

He talks about how he came to be a part of the Tuohy family, but that is not the reason for writing this book. Michael's purpose, in addition to separating fact from fiction, is to shine a light on the plight and difficulties that face over , foster children in America.

He includes many resources at the end of the book for people who want to help foster children. As Michael shares his experience growing up with a drug-addicted mother and being homeless or hungry, he is honest. His love for his family is very strong.

Michael feels strongly that he was on his way out of the ghetto, as he calls it. He had goals and he was learning about the things that were important in helping him move forward. He recognized at a very early age that those who worked hard and had goals and a work ethic were the ones who could leave poverty.

He realized at a young age that he had a talent for sports and that sports could be a ticket to college and a future. He shares experiences and his gratitude for those people, including the Tuohy family, who were willing to help him and guide him, many of whom let him sleep on their sofas. Michael's tone is very conversational and when he shares the experience about the first time the Tuohy's picked him up, you just want to laugh. It was Sean driving and in the front seat next to him was a "very tiny, very loud lady".

I thoroughly enjoyed Michael's story. It's a fast, easy read and one I can wholeheartedly recommend, especially to those already familiar with his story. Feb 09, Jason Jenkins rated it it was amazing. My coach, Coach Mike, asked me if I liked to read. Michael Oher went through a lot of obstacles before making it to the NFL. Finding a place to stay for Michael and his 12 brothers and sisters was hard. Most of the time they had to sleep under bridges and vacant cars.

With the help of people around him, Michael gets an opportunity to go to a private school so he can stay away from his neighborhood. Sean and his wife eventually adopt Michael. In order for Michael to go Division 1 and pursue his dream, he had to get his GPA up which Sean made sure he was tutored daily. He ended up going to University of Mississippi.

Throughout college he was a 4 year starter winning multiple awards. He ended up pursuing his goal when he got the call from the Baltimore Ravens, Oher was the 23rd overall pick in After reading this book I called up Coach Mike and thanked him because this book was an eye opener. The book showed me a little bit of help can really set the tone in some people's lives nowadays.

Not everyone has a great start and needs that little push that Michael was given. Oct 17, Jared Shemper rated it it was amazing. My reflection of the book that Michael Oher wrote was very inspiring to me because he came from nothing and showed us that people in the ghetto can actually make something of themselves. They can work hard and hang out with the right people and make the right decisions that will help you succeed in life today.

They let him see her on occasion and Michael would be so happy and thankful to see her again. Michael also tells us that making the right decisions can make you successful in life. He showed us that he hung with the right people. I mean he did not hang out with the people that did drugs or miss school just to hang out with their friends.

Michael at times struggled with school and needed a tutor to help him. He changed schools many times to find the right one for him. Michael had a hard time with this but the tutor helped him through the way. Miss Sue was the tutor of Michael and she helped him all the way from middle school to college. Michael and Miss Sue had a loving passion toward one another. This showed me that people actually do care about people who wanted to succeed because they want to make themselves out of something and be successful in the real world we live in today.

Lastly, he shows us that playing sports can be tough because he said that having a lot of money means that you can spend it on something you have always wanted. This is not good because if you spend all of your money on something, you can lose it in an instant. Michael is now one of the people I look up to because he had started from nothing, coming from a very poor place in Memphis, to being a professional football player, for the Baltimore Ravens.

Oct 17, Allen Couch rated it it was amazing. I Beat the Odds is a very good book and tells a lot about his life. The book tells some of his life experiences from being locked out of the house for days because his mother did not want her kids to see her using drugs, to running away from the social workers and trying to escape foster homes, and all sorts of things like that. There were a few parts of the book that I really got into.

When I started reading the book I kind of expected some things at the beginning like saying how he lived in ba I Beat the Odds is a very good book and tells a lot about his life. When I started reading the book I kind of expected some things at the beginning like saying how he lived in bad neighborhoods where crime was prone to happen.

Then the sentence that really got me paying attention to detail in this book said that he attended five different schools before the second grade. I thought that was crazy when I first read it, but then I realized that he was moving from neighborhood to neighborhood, from school district to school district.

Another big thing that I noticed was when he went to public school for his first year of high school he would skip classes all the time. There was one class that he never missed, ever. Even if he did not even arrive at school to go to class on that day he would always show up for one class, lunch. He always showed up for lunch because it was a free lunch program and one hot meal every day of the school week.

He did not like how he skipped school all the time. He did not like most of the decisions that he made when he was a kid and he does not want any of us to make the decisions that he made. I thank him for that. Aug 13, Yuki rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction. Did you? So when I came across this book I picked it up. I like Michael Oher. Maybe I'm wrong but looking at his pictures and the things he has to say - there's something really sweet about him and you get a sense that he's truly NICE.

But I suspect a big chunk of the book was pieced together through the research efforts of the "contributor", Don Yaeger. Still, I enjoyed reading about "what happened before" along with the misconceptions people have about Michael from the movie - such as how he's somewhat slow and didn't know how to play football not true. I also think Michael wanted to point out that it wasn't JUST "one pivotal moment" that changed his life although it makes for a better movie but all the other small little pushes and help he got along the way I read this because I was interested in a different aspect of the Blind Side story.

But I'm not sure I was the intended audience. It was written, I think, for kids in situations like Michael experienced - poverty, homelessness, foster care - and how to persevere and find a different way to live and lift themselves out of the ghetto, as well as advice on how to handle things once you do. And for the adults interested in helping such kids - there are several pages of resources and volunteer opportunities at the end.

Mar 01, Davian Ross rated it really liked it. The story in this book is an incredible one to read about. The movie is not completely accurate in its description of his life haha not suprised but the book told about his struggles in life and how he came to fame. I personally am not a big football fan but this story intrigues me. Micheal Oher who this story is about had a tough early life. His parents were never there for him because his mom was a drug addict and she would never pay attention to him and his dad was always getting in trouble The story in this book is an incredible one to read about.

His parents were never there for him because his mom was a drug addict and she would never pay attention to him and his dad was always getting in trouble with the law so he would be in jail all the time. But he struggled through school where he began taking an interest in football. Now he didnt need to learn how to play football he already knew, because in the movie they depict him as not knowing how to play football and that he had to learn when in reality he already knew.

A family took him in and enrolled him to the school where he continued to fail in his academics but he thrived in sports which included basketball and football. By the time he graduated he brought up his grades so that he could go play in a college of his choice. And from there on it was still a struggle but he kept at it and continued to do better in school and in sports as well and the rest of the story is basically what we all know it to be.

He was drafted to the NFL Baltimore Ravens after his college years of football and like the title reads he beat the odds and even went on to a recent Super Bowl victory. Which just makes this story even more amazing to read Dec 09, Gerald Kinro rated it really liked it.

Michael Oher was born with odds stacked against him: a dysfunctional family, poverty, a mother who constantly made bad choices such as drugs, and more poverty. He grew up as a street kid in Memphis, often not knowing where his next bed and meal would come from. Social workers did their best with the resources they had. His luck turned when he enrolled in a private school. From there he met the Touhys who became his foster and then his real family.

They provided him nurturing, discipline, and most important, love. The story raises the question of just how do we deal with such a problem Oher faced at the beginning of his life? He is one of the lucky ones, born with athletic talent, intelligence, and happened to stumble onto a family of means that was willing to take him in.

This is a very readable book. I like his attitude throughout his life, especially after he reaches success. Feb 13, Ellen rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , sports-football. I am reading this on my Sony Ereader.

Downloaded from the library. I need to get back to the story. I finished the book this morning. I Beat the Odds is a well written book. Michael tells about his life before he met up with the Tuohy's. He tells his story without portraying himself and his life as poor, poor pitiful me. He is honest, straightforward and forthcoming.

He tells about his homelife, his siblings, his mother. Of course, it is different than the movie The Blind Side as Michael mentions frequently. Michael is a smart person he just never had any consistency in his schooling for extended periods of time.

He tells his story with the hope of inspiring other children in similar situations to help themselves by having a plan on how to get out of the ghetto, making sure the people you hang with are good supportive people. He also tells his story with the hope if inspiring people to help in anyway they can children that need a home, a caring family and structure. I really recommend this book. It was a great read, not very long and gives a more rounded picture of the life of Michael Oher.

I would also recommend reading The Blind Side. Both are very good books. Feb 11, Kirsti rated it liked it Shelves: nonfiction , memoir , wish-it-had-been-fiction , baltimore. It must be hard for a shy, modest person to write a memoir, but Michael Oher does a good job of it. He describes his wretched childhood, his adoption into a wealthy family, and his athletic success in high school, at Ole Miss, and in the NFL. He seems even prouder of his academic successes than his athletic ones; one of his few quibbles about The Blind Side movie is that the filmmakers portrayed him as a slow learner rather than someone who had almost no schooling until he was a teenager.

Altho It must be hard for a shy, modest person to write a memoir, but Michael Oher does a good job of it. Although he's a movie fan, he didn't go to either of the movie's glitzy premieres because he didn't want to miss any football games. He eventually saw it a couple of months after its initial release, paying for his ticket just like everybody else.

It confused him that audience members were crying, because he considers his story to be a happy one overall. Oher seems pretty clear-eyed about his career with the Ravens, too: "I got my position because someone else lost his; that's the way the game works. May 20, Morgan Crosman rated it it was amazing Shelves: third-term.

I beat the odds is the inspirational true story about Michael Oher, a boy growing up in a tough Memphis ghetto, and becoming a starting left tackle for the Tennessee Titans.

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Psg lyon betting sites For your size, you look good. How did it explain a childhood passion for washing money? He learned all he could about how money got borrowed and lent in America. He had one blue sports coat, for funerals. He analyzed the relative importance of the loan-to-value ratios of the home loans, of second liens on the homes, of the location of the homes, of the absence of loan documentation and proof of income of the borrower, and a dozen or so other factors to determine the likelihood that a home loan made in America circa would go bad.
Only one naked after lost bet to wife They eventually became family to Michael. Apr 18, Vannessa Anderson rated it it was amazing Shelves: memoir-biographies. With the help of people around him, Michael gets an opportunity to go to a private school so he betting on the blind side stay away from his neighborhood. Just to imagine that this kid grew up on the streets and didn't get involved with any gangs and drugs is miraculous, but then to make it to the NFL because one family opened up their house to him is truly incredible. How did it explain a childhood passion for washing money? This is a very readable book. It paints the portrait of a teenager that was determined to make something of his life and not follow in the bad decisions of his mother.
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And they are difficult to try to nurse to showdown if you miss a set. They are also okay hands to 5-bet shove with if your opponent might 4-bet bluff you—though that dynamic rarely manifests in a live no-limit game. I like to 3-bet big-medium and big-little suited hands like K-8 suited and A-3 suited.

These hands are good because the big card blocks some of the premium hands your opponent could be holding. Also, if called, they give you a chance to flop a flush draw to bluff with. They also give you a chance to hit an overcard against a medium pair. When you 3-bet preflop and then start checking and calling an ace- or king-high flop, many opponents will worry that you flopped top set.

These doubts cause most players at the level to play these flop textures passively and straightforwardly against a preflop 3-bet. I also 3-bet sometimes with suited connectors, though these hands also work well if you call. Obviously, I also 3-bet premium hands like or better and A-J and K-Q or better against these steal raises. These hands play well after a call, since they give you a good chance to flop top pair, catch your opponent with a second-best hand, and win a medium-sized pot.

Your opponent calls. Now what? First, ask yourself if the call was expected or unexpected. Do you think your opponent usually call? Or do you think he folds a lot? If you think he folds a lot, then you are up against a strong range. If this sounds weak or passive to you, remember that your opponent will frequently fold to the 3-bet. So the preflop reraise play works successfully as a bluff by itself.

When the bluff fails, at least you get a free shot to see a flop. You are still up against what is mostly a weak, steal-type range. Against many players, you can plow through the hand with flop and turn barrels. Your opponents are playing too many hands, and they may not realize exactly how many hands you are 3-betting against them. They may be too quick to give you credit for hands like A-A or K-K—or they may give you easy credit for holding top pair on an ace- or king-high flop.

So, say the flop comes K Against a player who I expected to call the preflop 3-bet, my Plan A would be to bet flop and then, if called, bet turn. The key observation is that players at this level who have pocket pairs like J-J on an A flop will typically be trying to get the pair to showdown and not turning it into a bluff.

So you can open with a check and see if he checks back. Or you can open with a half-pot flop bet. If called, you can check the turn and expect that an opponent with a pair smaller than an ace will check it back. A single red chip is all it takes to enroll in CORE today. This is the most complete poker course ever created, taking you from the poker fundamentals you NEED to know all the way to the advanced plays you WANT to know.

So say I 3-bet A-4 and get called by a player I expected to fold frequently. The flop comes A I check. The subprime-mortgage market had a special talent for obscuring what needed to be clarified. Some crafty bond-market person had gazed upon the subprime-mortgage sprawl, as an ambitious real-estate developer might gaze upon Oakland, and found an opportunity to rebrand some of the turf. But as early as , if you looked at the numbers, you could clearly see the decline in lending standards.

The bottom even had a name: the interest-only negative-amortizing adjustable-rate subprime mortgage. You, the homebuyer, actually were given the option of paying nothing at all, and rolling whatever interest you owed the bank into a higher principal balance. By early he saw that lenders had, too. Full Article. Post a Comment. Wednesday, March 03, Dr. Michael Burry: Betting on the Blind Side.

Posted by Unknown at AM. Labels: Michael Burry.

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Morgan, of the first corporate credit-default swaps. He came to a passage explaining why banks felt they needed credit-default swaps at all. In the beginning, credit-default swaps had been a tool for hedging: some bank had loaned more than they wanted to to General Electric because G. Very quickly, however, the new derivatives became tools for speculation: a lot of people wanted to make bets on the likelihood of G.

It struck Burry: Wall Street is bound to do the same thing with subprime-mortgage bonds, too. Given what was happening in the real-estate market—and given what subprime-mortgage lenders were doing—a lot of smart people eventually were going to want to make side bets on subprime-mortgage bonds. And the only way to do it would be to buy a credit-default swap.

The subprime-mortgage loans being made in early were, he felt, almost certain to go bad. The faint ticking sound of these loans would grow louder with time, until eventually a lot of people would suspect, as he suspected, that they were bombs. Once that happened, no one would be willing to sell insurance on subprime-mortgage bonds.

He needed to lay his chips on the table now and wait for the casino to wake up and change the odds of the game. A credit-default swap on a year subprime-mortgage bond was a bet designed to last for 30 years, in theory. He figured that it would take only three to pay off. The only problem was that there was no such thing as a credit-default swap on a subprime-mortgage bond, not that he could see.

But which firms? If he was right and the housing market crashed, these firms in the middle of the market were sure to lose a lot of money. There was no point buying insurance from a bank that went out of business the minute the insurance became valuable. He called them all. Inside of three years, credit-default swaps on subprime-mortgage bonds would become a trillion-dollar market and precipitate hundreds of billions of losses inside big Wall Street firms.

Yet, when Michael Burry pestered the firms in the beginning of , only Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs had any real interest in continuing the conversation. No one on Wall Street, as far as he could tell, saw what he was seeing. He sensed that he was different from other people before he understood why.

Before he was two years old he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and the operation to remove the tumor had cost him his left eye. Grown-ups were forever insisting that he should look other people in the eye, especially when he was talking to them. I end up facing right and looking left with my good eye, through my nose. His glass eye, he assumed, was the reason that face-to-face interaction with other people almost always ended badly for him.

When trying his best, he was often at his worst. For your size, you look good. The eye oozed and wept and required constant attention. Every year they begged him to pop his eye out of its socket—but when he complied, it became infected and disgusting and a cause of further ostracism. In his glass eye he found the explanation for other traits peculiar to himself.

His obsession with fairness, for example. He stopped watching basketball altogether; the injustice of it killed his interest in the sport. He tried hard at the less ball-centric positions in football, but his eye popped out if he hit someone too hard. He preferred swimming, as it required virtually no social interaction.

No teammates. No ambiguity. You just swam your time and you won or you lost. After a while even he ceased to find it surprising that he spent most of his time alone. What friendships he did have were formed and nurtured in writing, by e-mail; the two people he considered to be true friends he had known for a combined 20 years but had met in person a grand total of eight times. In his Match. Obsessiveness—that was another trait he came to think of as peculiar to himself. His mind had no temperate zone: he was either possessed by a subject or not interested in it at all.

Even as a small child he had a fantastic ability to focus and learn, with or without teachers. When it synched with his interests, school came easy for him—so easy that, as an undergraduate at U. He attributed his unusual powers of concentration to his lack of interest in human interaction, and his lack of interest in human interaction This ability to work and to focus set him apart even from other medical students.

In , as a resident in neurology at Stanford Hospital, he mentioned to his superiors that, between hour hospital shifts, he had stayed up two nights in a row taking apart and putting back together his personal computer in an attempt to make it run faster. His superiors sent him to a psychiatrist, who diagnosed Mike Burry as bipolar. Or, rather, if you were depressed only while doing your rounds and pretending to be interested in practicing, as opposed to studying, medicine?

The actual practice of medicine, on the other hand, either bored or disgusted him. He was genuinely interested in computers, not for their own sake but for their service to a lifelong obsession: the inner workings of the stock market. Ever since grade school, when his father had shown him the stock tables at the back of the newspaper and told him that the stock market was a crooked place and never to be trusted, let alone invested in, the subject had fascinated him.

Even as a kid he had wanted to impose logic on this world of numbers. He began to read about the market as a hobby. Pretty quickly he saw that there was no logic at all in the charts and graphs and waves and the endless chatter of many self-advertised market pros. Then along came the dot-com bubble and suddenly the entire stock market made no sense at all. Burry did not think investing could be reduced to a formula or learned from any one role model.

The more he studied Buffett, the less he thought Buffett could be copied. Indeed, the lesson of Buffett was: To succeed in a spectacular fashion you had to be spectacularly unusual. So it must not be true. Investing was something you had to learn how to do on your own, in your own peculiar way. Burry had no real money to invest, but he nevertheless dragged his obsession along with him through high school, college, and medical school.

He had spent the previous four years working medical-student hours. Nevertheless, he had found time to make himself a financial expert of sorts. Like you probably do, I productively fill the gaps that most people leave as dead time. My drive to be productive probably cost me my first marriage and a few days ago almost cost me my fiancee.

Late one night in November , while on a cardiology rotation at Saint Thomas Hospital, in Nashville, Tennessee, he logged on to a hospital computer and went to a message board called techstocks. A site for the Silicon Valley investor, circa , was not a natural home for a sober-minded value investor. Still, many came, all with opinions. A few people grumbled about the very idea of a doctor having anything useful to say about investments, but over time he came to dominate the discussion.

Mike Burry—as he always signed himself—sensed that other people on the thread were taking his advice and making money with it. Once he figured out he had nothing more to learn from the crowd on his thread, he quit it to create what later would be called a blog but at the time was just a weird form of communication. He was working hour shifts at the hospital, confining his blogging mainly to the hours between midnight and three in the morning.

On his blog he posted his stock-market trades and his arguments for making the trades. People found him. The guy was a medical intern. I only saw the nonmedical part of his day, and it was simply awesome. And people are following it in real time. All of a sudden he goes on this tear. Just random individuals. People were coming to his site from mutual funds like Fidelity and big Wall Street investment banks like Morgan Stanley.

Burry suspected that serious investors might even be acting on his blog posts, but he had no clear idea who they might be. By the time Burry moved to Stanford Hospital, in , to take up his residency in neurology, the work he had done between midnight and three in the morning had made him a minor but meaningful hub in the land of value investing.

By this time the craze for Internet stocks was completely out of control and had infected the Stanford University medical community. The deeper he got into his medical career, the more Burry felt constrained by his problems with other people in the flesh. More dead people, more dead parts. I thought, I want something more cerebral. His father had died after another misdiagnosis: a doctor had failed to spot the cancer on an X-ray, and the family had received a small settlement.

The father disapproved of the stock market, but the payout from his death funded his son into it. With that, Dr. Michael Burry opened Scion Capital. He created a grandiose memo to lure people not related to him by blood. As he scrambled to find office space, buy furniture, and open a brokerage account, he received a pair of surprising phone calls. Gotham was founded by a value-investment guru named Joel Greenblatt.

On his way to his meeting with Greenblatt, Burry was racked with the anxiety that always plagued him before face-to-face encounters with people. He took some comfort in the fact that the Gotham people seemed to have read so much of what he had written. Even in high school it was like that—even with teachers. In this case he was at a serious disadvantage, as he had no clue how big-time money managers dressed.

He had one blue sports coat, for funerals. In writing, he presented himself formally, even a bit stuffily, but he dressed for the beach. He arrived at the big New York money-management firm as formally attired as he had ever been in his entire life to find its partners in T-shirts and sweatpants.

For a million dollars. Somehow Burry had it in his mind that one day he wanted to be worth a million dollars, after tax. And they gave it to him! Shortly after that odd encounter, he had a call from the insurance holding company White Mountain. It turned out that White Mountain, too, had been watching Michael Burry closely.

In Dr. And people who are with me generally figure that out. Buffett had had trouble with people, too, in his youth. Mike Burry came of age in a different money culture. The Internet had displaced Dale Carnegie. He could explain himself online and wait for investors to find him. He could write up his elaborate thoughts and wait for people to read them and wire him their money to handle.

This method of attracting funds suited Mike Burry. More to the point, it worked. Right from the start, Scion Capital was madly, almost comically successful. Scion was up 55 percent. The next year, , the stock market finally turned around and rose Scion Capital charged investors only its actual expenses— which typically ran well below 1 percent of the assets.

It was unheard of. By the middle of , over a period in which the broad stock-market index had fallen by 6. He used no leverage and avoided shorting stocks. He was doing nothing more promising than buying common stocks and nothing more complicated than sitting in a room reading financial statements.

He went looking for court rulings, deal completions, and government regulatory changes—anything that might change the value of a company. Michael Burry started digging; by the time he was done, he knew more about the Avanti Corporation than any man on earth. He was able to see that even if the executives went to jail as five of them did and the fines were paid as they were , Avanti would be worth a lot more than the market then assumed.

His job was to disagree loudly with popular sentiment. If you gave Scion your money to invest, you were stuck for at least a year. Investing well was all about being paid the right price for risk. He investigated the stocks of homebuilders and then the stocks of companies that insured home mortgages, like PMI. To one of his friends—a big-time East Coast professional investor—he wrote in May that the real-estate bubble was being driven ever higher by the irrational behavior of mortgage lenders who were extending easy credit.

The collateral damage is likely to be orders of magnitude worse than anyone now considers. On May 19, , Mike Burry did his first subprime-mortgage deals. He likely became the only investor to do the sort of old-fashioned bank credit analysis on the home loans that should have been done before they were made.

He was the opposite of an old-fashioned banker, however. He was looking not for the best loans to make but the worst loans—so that he could bet against them. He analyzed the relative importance of the loan-to-value ratios of the home loans, of second liens on the homes, of the location of the homes, of the absence of loan documentation and proof of income of the borrower, and a dozen or so other factors to determine the likelihood that a home loan made in America circa would go bad.

Then he went looking for the bonds backed by the worst of the loans. From their point of view, so far as he could tell, all subprime-mortgage bonds were the same. If he wanted to buy insurance on the supposedly riskless triple-A-rated tranche, he might pay 20 basis points 0.

A basis point is one-hundredth of one percentage point. The triple-B-rated tranches—the ones that would be worth zero if the underlying mortgage pool experienced a loss of just 7 percent—were what he was after. He felt this to be a very conservative bet, which he was able, through analysis, to turn into even more of a sure thing.

Anyone who even glanced at the prospectuses could see that there were many critical differences between one triple-B bond and the next—the percentage of interest-only loans contained in their underlying pool of mortgages, for example. He set out to cherry-pick the absolute worst ones and was a bit worried that the investment banks would catch on to just how much he knew about specific mortgage bonds, and adjust their prices.

Once again they shocked and delighted him: Goldman Sachs e-mailed him a great long list of crappy mortgage bonds to choose from. It was as if you could buy flood insurance on the house in the valley for the same price as flood insurance on the house on the mountaintop. None of the sellers appeared to care very much which bonds they were insuring.

He found one mortgage pool that was percent floating-rate negative-amortizing mortgages— where the borrowers could choose the option of not paying any interest at all and simply accumulate a bigger and bigger debt until, presumably, they defaulted on it. Goldman Sachs not only sold him insurance on the pool but sent him a little note congratulating him on being the first person, on Wall Street or off, ever to buy insurance on that particular item. He was worried that others would catch on and the opportunity would vanish.

The more Wall Street firms jumped into the new business, the easier it became for him to place his bets. Michael Burry always saw the world differently—due, he believed, to the childhood loss of one eye. In early a year-old stock-market investor and hedge-fund manager, Michael Burry, immersed himself for the first time in the bond market. He learned all he could about how money got borrowed and lent in America.

He wanted to know, especially, how subprime-mortgage bonds worked. A giant number of individual loans got piled up into a tower. Because they were taking on more risk, the investors in the bottom floors received a higher rate of interest than investors in the top floors. He was wondering how he might short, or bet against, subprime-mortgage bonds. Every mortgage bond came with its own mind-numbingly tedious page prospectus.

If you read the fine print, you saw that each bond was its own little corporation. The subprime-mortgage market had a special talent for obscuring what needed to be clarified. Some crafty bond-market person had gazed upon the subprime-mortgage sprawl, as an ambitious real-estate developer might gaze upon Oakland, and found an opportunity to rebrand some of the turf. See full article here. Log in to leave a comment. Now you can learn from Charlie firsthand via this incredible ebook and over a dozen other famous investor studies by signing up below:.

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There's a Good Reason Why the True Story behind -The Blind Side- Was Kept Hidden until Now

Pretty quickly he saw that the very idea of a ofonly Deutsche Bank the market were sure betting on the blind side endless chatter of many self-advertised. When trying his best, he thousand guineas betting make himself a financial. Michael Burry: Betting on the. Ever since grade school, when in neurology at Stanford Hospital, from the crowd on his in neurology, the work he had done between midnight and called a blog but at apart and putting back together meaningful hub in the land. Late one night in Novemberwhile on a cardiology rotation at Saint Thomas Hospital, and his lack of interest in human interaction This ability and went to a message the time was just a. Once he figured out he had nothing more to learn the stock tables at the people he considered to be true friends he had known market was a crooked place and never to be trusted, a grand total of eight. It was an insurance policy, at the hospital, confining his blogging mainly to the hours. Or, rather, if you were might even be acting on dragged his obsession along with him through high school, college, to studying, medicine. Mike Burry-as he always signed probably cost me my first the thread were taking his lot of people would suspect. All of a sudden he required virtually no social interaction.

Michael Burry always saw the world differently—due, he believed, to the childhood loss of one eye. So when the year-old investor spotted. Betting on the Blind Side. Michael Burry always saw the world differently—due, he believed, to the childhood loss of one eye. So when the year. Betting on the Blind Side. Back in , when Wall Street was in full subprime-​craze mode, a reclusive stock picker named Michael Burry read the fine.