Writer Michael Lewis is the author of Moneyball, Liar’s Poker, and The Blind Side, books with vastly different subjects but a common theme: Outsiders with innovative ideas who find astonishing success. Lewis’s newest book continues that narrative. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine chronicles the 2008 financial collapse through stories of the people who realized what was happening to the U.S. economy while it was happening — and then made vast fortunes by betting against the markets. “Everybody [on Wall Street] was working with the same set of facts about subprime mortgage lending — about how subprime mortgage loans were turned into bonds and repackaged and turned into CDOs and so on and so forth,” Lewis tells Terry Gross. “[And] the vast majority of the people in the markets took those facts and painted one kind of picture with it; it was a very pleasant picture. And a very small handful of people took the same facts and painted a completely different kind of picture with it. [I wanted to find out] ‘What is it that enables [the people who bet against the market] to paint that picture?’ and ‘Why do these people look at the world differently?'”
HBO’s ten-part series, “The Pacific” is premiering Sunday, March 14th. The documentary tells the story of the five brutal battles of the U.S. offensive in the Pacific theater in WWII: Guadalcanal, Peleliu, New Guinea, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Our guest, writer and the John Henry MacCracken Professor of History at Lafayette College, DONALD MILLER, wrote the book in which this cable series is based, “D-Days in the Pacific.” He is a historical consultant, writer, and appears on-camera, working with the same creative team of the 2001 HBO miniseries, “Band of Brothers” including actor Tom Hanks and director/producer Steven Spielberg.
Toyota is in the hot seat with reports of sudden acceleration resulting in the recall of six million cars in the U.S. and some eight million world-wide. The recalls are to fix floor mats and gas pedals that can get stuck. In this hour of “Radio Times” we talk about Toyota’s problems and what they tell us about car safety, Washington oversight of the industry and consumer behavior. Our guests are Neal Boudette, Wall Street Journal Detroit Bureau Chief, Douglas Flint, auto mechanic and writer, and Wharton professor Maurice Schweitzer.
Beach House‘s entrancing, atmospheric sound has helped make the band an indie-pop powerhouse. The duo formed in 2005 after a chance meeting between guitarist/keyboardist Alex Scally and vocalist/organist Victoria Legrand; the next year, the duo released a self-titled album to great critical acclaim. Since then, the pair has supported subsequent recordings with extensive tours across the country, including a recent tour with Grizzly Bear in support of the new Teen Dream. (Legrand collaborated with Grizzly Bear for its song “Two Weeks,” and for the Twilight: New Moon track “Slow Life.”) Teen Dream was recorded in Upstate New York, in a church appropriately named Dreamland. Beach House remains faithful to its mysterious and wistful sound, but has fleshed out its once-minimal arrangements. Using billowing swirls of guitar, synths and organs to complement Legrand’s airy vocals, maturation is evident in both the content and composition of Teen Dream.