Michael Lewis, who has written one of the most famous books about Wall Street - Liar's Poker - breaks down some of the story of the financial collapse in plain easy to digest language on '60 Minutes' last night.  Ironically, that book - much like the movie Wall Street - was supposed to eschew the principles of Wall Street - but instead attracted America's best and brightest to it.

Also, so it does not get lost in the mix of this post - Lewis writes for Bloomberg, and colleague Erik Schatzker has an extensive Q&A session with him, well worth the read here.  It goes quite a bit more in depth than the videos below, which are good introductory material - worthwhile to pass along to anyone who is not that steeped into what is going on in the gambling halls of Caesars New York City.

2 videos - 16 minutes and 8 minutes.  Email readers will need to come to the site to view

  • If you had to pick someone to write the autopsy report on the Wall Street financial collapse 18 months ago, you couldn't do any better than Michael Lewis. He is one of the country's preeminent non-fiction writers with a knack for turning complicated, mind numbing material into fascinating yarns.
  • He wrote his first bestseller, Liar's Poker, about his experiences as a young Wall Street bond trader when he was still in his 20s and has since followed up with seven more bestsellers on subjects ranging from Silicon Valley in The New New Thing to big time sports in Money Ball and The Blind Side.
  • His new book, called The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, comes out later this week and it explains how some of Wall Street's finest minds managed to destroy $1.75 trillion of wealth in the subprime mortgage markets.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Watch CBS News Videos Online

[Jun 14, 2009: Fareed Zakaria with Michael Lewis]

[Jan 5, 2009: New York Times Opinion Piece by Lewis and Einhorn]