Lewis shows again why he is the leading journalist of his generation Kyle Smith, Forbes The tsunami of cheap credit that rolled across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was than a simple financial phenomenon it was temptation, offering entire societies the chance to reveal aspects of their characters they could not normally afford to indulge Icelanders wanted to stop fishing and become investment bankers The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a pinata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it The Germans wanted to be even German the Irish wanted to stop being Irish Michael Lewis s investigation of bubbles beyond our shores is so brilliantly, sadly hilarious that it leads the American reader to a comfortable complacency oh, those foolish foreigners But when he turns a merciless eye on California and Washington, DC, we see that the narrative is a trap baited with humor, and we understand the reckoning that awaits the greatest and greediest of debtor nations....
|Title||:||Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World|
|Publisher||:||W W Norton 1 edition September 4, 2012|
|Number of Pages||:||240 pages|
|File Size||:||598 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World Reviews
I admit to being a fan of Michael Lewis' books, so take that into consideration as you read this review. Lewis earned a masters degree in economics from the London School of Economics and went to work as a bond trader for Salomon Brothers before its scandals. His education and investment experience qualified him to write "Liar's Poker" in 1989, though I have no idea what qualified him to write such an entertaining and lucid description of the Wall Street culture of that time. Subsequently, I have read Lewis' "Moneyball" (in 2003), "The Blind Side" (in 2006), and "The Big Short" (in 2010). All of these books are very easy to read and hard to put down. They tell well-researched, interesting stories. In the case of "The Big Short" it helps to illuminate the origins of the financial crisis that broke starting in 2007.
I wish everyone would read this book. I thought it might be a bit outdated, since it describes events that happened during the 2008 financial collapse. Unfortunately, everything in this book applies today as much as it did 8 years ago. This is a bottom-line view of how countries go crazy and throw themselves into bankruptcy, and nobody seems to see it coming. I hope enough folks read it to save the USA from the same path. As always, Michael Lewis is a smart, funny guy who somehow makes economics the most entertaining subject on earth.
Any review of this book would have to start by pointing out that this book is not a new original work. It is, instead, a compilation of previously published essays that can be found in a variety of periodicals (i.e., The Atlantic, etc.). That being said and gotten out of the way, it should also be noted that this book is not an examination of economic factors contributing to the economic bust of 2007-2008 in each of the nations discussed. There is no analysis or coverage of economic variables such as debt levels, regulatory environments, mortgage, debt and financial markets, etc. The book, instead, provides a discussion of each nation’s unique psychological profile and how this, implicitly, contributed to the crisis in each nation. This “profile” is not discussed or examined through a formal psychological analysis but instead through stories told about visits made to each nation and observations made about its peoples. Something like a travelogue told through stories involving meeting bankers, indebted individuals, Arnold Schwarzenegger and even monks.
Lewis is a master of explaining complex financial phenomena in understandable terms by focusing on individuals who seem to personify the problems he investigates & who appear to be the first -- or only -- individuals to recognize the significance and immensity of the problem. His sense of humor makes the painful truths his reveals somewhat less painful to confront -- although even he is at a loss at times when he meets up with some of the people in positions of power & responsibility who have screwed things up for their respective countries. It's mind-boggling to see how oblivious they usually are re. the disastrous consequences of their economic behavior. (And of course most if not all of the "bad actors" he investigates are males - especially males in other countries trying to model their careers on some of the Wall Street guys who were already reeking havoc here in the USA.)