Does Michael Lewis Deserve to Get Sued Over 'The Big Short'?

An asset manager claims he was wrongly depicted as a "villain" of the financial collapse

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Michael Lewis's bestselling-book The Big Short has been called many things: a meticulous explanation of Wall Street's collapse, the only book you need to read on the financial crisis and "the single best piece of financial journalism ever written," to name a few. Today, however, it's going by another name: defamation. Wing Chau and his asset management firm Harding Advisory LLC are suing Lewis and his publisher W.W. Norton & Company, accusing the author of depicting Chau as a "villain" of the crisis.

"In sharing the purported insider's view of the mortgage market meltdown, Lewis made false and defamatory statements about an experienced investment professional, Wing Chau, and his firm, Harding Advisory LLC," the lawsuit claims. "This [book] makes a series of accusations of grave professional misconduct, incompetence, and irresponsibility.”

The suit is already receiving pushback from some bloggers who say Chau's suit misrepresents Lewis's book.

"Chau says he's portrayed as a villain," writes Courtney Comstock at Business Insider. "In reality, Chau isn't portrayed well, but he doesn't look like a villain. He looks like the dummy." Asks Comstock, "what role did Chau play in the crisis, according to Lewis? The end buyer aka the sucker. ... All by himself, Wing Chau generated vast demand for the riskiest subprime mortgage bonds, for which there had been essentially no demand."

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