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Boomerang by Michael Lewis


by Michael Lewis

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A very interesting, and entertaining, look at the financial crisis mainly of 2008-2011. Primarily Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Germany, and California [US]. As an interesting juxtaposition I was reading this at the same time as reading Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley" while being trapped in a 30" snowstorm in PA. Lewis is an exceptional writer at getting to what something is - why it is - why it works - why it doesn't work - and the people behind it all. His actual travels to Iceland, Ireland, Germany, and Cali are all detailed and the collection of people he interviews comes to life easily and intelligently. You get behind the people and understand the financial crisis - which in the terms of these banks and the way the different collapses happened for these different places isn't the easiest to understand (for a non-Economic bent mind like myself). ( )
  BenKline | Jan 31, 2016 |
Michael Lewis is an outstanding financial and business writer. His investigation and connecting the dots are interesting and educational. He is able to illuminate complex subjects in an engaging manner. ( )
  deldevries | Jan 31, 2016 |
A very funny account of countries and people affected by the great financial meltdown of 2008. The author calls it financial disaster tourism.
  danoomistmatiste | Jan 24, 2016 |
A very funny account of countries and people affected by the great financial meltdown of 2008. The author calls it financial disaster tourism.
  kkhambadkone | Jan 17, 2016 |
I've had Michael Lewis books on my list of books to read for years, but never picked one up. After I saw The Big Short last week, I immediately went to the library. Of course, The Big Short has a long wait list due to the movie so I chose this one. I couldn't put it down. No wonder so many people have recommended his books to me!

Boomerang looks at how governments acted during the sub-prime boom and bust. He carries a great analogy throughout the book: in the early 2000s the world financial sector turned off the lights in a room with loads of cash that countries across the world could do what they want with it. The bust happened, lights came back on, and we got to see what governments did with the money. The bust showed how vastly different the cultures are and what people value. He profiles Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany and California.

Yes, there's a good amount of finance description that went over my head, but for the most part Lewis is profiling people he meets and then putting them in context with the facts. In many parts it reads like good travel writing. Yes, there are generalizations about cultures. Considering how each culture dealt with the situations so differently, I felt Lewis was right in showing how these characteristics led each country to the decisions they made.

I would recommend you either see or read The Big Short before starting this book. ( )
  strandbooks | Jan 15, 2016 |
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To Doug Stumpf, gifted editor and gentle soul, without whom it never would have occurred to me to tour the ruins
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This book began accidentally, while I was at work on another book, about Wall Street and the 2008 U.S. financial disaster.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393081818, Hardcover)

As Pogo once said, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

The tsunami of cheap credit that rolled across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more 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 piñata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it. The Germans wanted to be even more 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:31 -0400)

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Presents the author's darkly humorous investigation of the effects of the 2008 financial bubble on other countries before taking aim at greedy debtors in California and Washington, D.C.

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