Lewis shows again why he is the leading journalist of his generation.”—Kyle Smith, Forbes The tsunami of cheap credit that rolled across the. Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World. Front Cover. Michael Lewis. W. W. Norton, Oct 3, - Business & Economics - pages. 5 Reviews. As Pogo. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The tsunami of Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World Shelves: non-fiction, ebook.
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Editorial Reviews. Review. Michael Lewis possesses the rare storyteller 's ability to make Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World - Kindle edition by Michael Lewis. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or. Read "Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World" by Michael Lewis available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first download. As Pogo. This content was uploaded by our users and we assume good faith they have the permission to share this book. If you own the copyright to this book and it is.
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WordPress Shortcode. Published in: Full Name Comment goes here. Are you sure you want to Yes No. Be the first to like this. His construct for analyzing how nations deal with the economic environment of the 21st century is to imagine each of these countries in a dark room in which piles of money were dumped, the easy credit available in the first chu UPDATED - July 28, - at bottom Checking in with the whiz kids who predicted the Wall Street crash that he wrote about in The Big Short , his excellent look at the latest Wall Street meltdown, Michael Lewis finds that the next big bust will be on the nation-state scale.
His construct for analyzing how nations deal with the economic environment of the 21st century is to imagine each of these countries in a dark room in which piles of money were dumped, the easy credit available in the first chunk of the 21st century. What would the different countries do, based on presumed national characteristics?
The answer, obviously, varies from nation to nation. In the case of Ireland they used the money to download up property, Irish property, and sold it to each other for increasing prices, generating a nifty real estate bubble that eventually burst.
Lewis looks at Iceland, Germany and the USA as well, each offering its own response to the sudden availability of great gobs of cash. His national portraits are very interesting, and at times amusing. It does seem a simplistic way to judge the behavior of entire nations though. Perhaps a view of that smaller group might have been more illuminating.
OK, so suspend disbelief for a bit and go along for the ride. What Lewis finds is disturbing. It is only a matter of time before nations begin defaulting on their national debts. In the USA there is a very specific way in which the debt crisis will find its way into your life and mine. That was, for me, the most interesting piece of the book. That Lewis got to hang with Ah-nold makes for a fun read, but his analysis is where the real beefcake is.
How did all this come to be? There are several reasons for this international debacle, but much of it comes down to simple greed. It may be comforting to know that the USA still exports something, even if it is a form of corruption. For example, that bastion of righteousness, Goldman-Sachs, or as Matt Taibbi prefers to call it, the Vampire Squid , did the Greek government the favor, for a stunning fee, of offering advice on how to lie to the European Community about the state of their economic affairs.
In a larger view, Wall Street monetization of assets, toxic and otherwise, took the western world by storm. Not only are American companies drowning in lie-based securities, now investors and nations across the world are able to go glug-glug in the same waters.
And in most cases, financial institutions think AIG and Wall Street investment houses , and banks, private, public, or some combination, manage to externalize their debt, their greed and stupidity onto the national taxpayer and somehow keep themselves afloat.
Thus working people in Ireland are being soaked to pay back loans made by German banks, among others, caught up in the mindless feeding frenzy. Why should the taxpayers of Ireland be stuck with that bill? American taxpayers have been hit with hundreds of billions of dollars in cost to prop up corrupt financial predators, while the hyenas continue to treat themselves to astounding salaries, bonuses and stock options. Similar externalizations of cost have become standard operating practice, as governments step in to keep afloat too-big-to-fail corporate entities, often under the guise of keeping nations above water.
A significant point is made here about the fuzzing of the line between public and private indebtedness. As governments trend towards privatizing public assets they are increasingly on the hook for private debt, by guaranteeing private loans, or downloading toxic assets.
One result is a gross understatement of how much debt governments are truly responsible for, since not all the indebtedness shows up on the public ledgers.
The numbers are staggering, and frightening. Big changes are needed, but all Lewis offers at the end is a feeble optimism that we in the USA will figure something out.
Boomerang is a fascinating read, rich with information, range and insight. It could have used a bit more analysis, and seems to refer to, without naming, a significant current trend, namely that governments are becoming little more than mechanisms through which private corporations can shift their indebtedness and failure onto the backs of taxpayers while keeping their profits nicely private. There is plenty of personal responsibility to go around. Yes, there are people who have taken on more debt than they can manage, bought more house than they could afford, but as often as not, they were misled when applying for their mortgages.
A subject that seems outside the purview of this book is that in the face of skyrocketing prices for medical care, housing, and energy, among other things, millions of people have taken on more and more debt, not to live large, but merely to be able to pay their bills But the major culprits here are not middle class people trying to achieve or sustain a decent standard of living.
Lewis, on the other hand, sees much greater responsibility lying with middle class folks, in tandem with big speculators. The answer to so much of this is simple and clear. In the United States the wealthy began kicking up the rate at which they were looting the nation in It has only gotten worse in the years since.
How about we start by returning, more or less, to the tax rates extant before the Reaganauts took power? How about the long-hairs at the top taking a haircut instead of them continually trying to trim the newly-bald middle class and making the lives of the poor even more intolerable.
A whole new financial economy has come into existence in the last few decades. And those making big bucks from it have paid off our legislators to keep those areas away from government regulation. It is the absence of such regulation that has allowed the madness to go on.
Clearly there are more than just banks involved in the world of finance these days, and the regulators and also the legislators that provide the laws that regulators enforce, or somehow manage not to need to get serious about keeping up with the latest attempts to evade scrutiny.
It might be nice if the financial regulatory agencies were run by people other than former Wall Street CEOs or their fellow travellers. As with civilization, the Greeks led the way. Will the rest of the world, the Western world anyway, follow in their steps? What is happening in Europe will make much more sense after you read that. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man , by John Perkins, details how international debt is consciously used as a way of virtually enslaving entire countries.
November 9, - New York Times article: Dickens would find 21st Century America far too familiar. View all 27 comments. Oct 28, Perry rated it really liked it Shelves: A Wall Street Revolt.
This was no exception. Lewis has the uncanny, creative ability to explain in clear and simple terms subjects that are complex or seem otherwise mundane. I read this a couple of years ago, after Greek citizens soundly rejected the terms of a proposed 2d bailout agreement. The book is an excellent aid to understanding the basic root causes of the economic catastrophes in Greece, Iceland and Ireland, Germany's role in European collapse, as well as giving a view in the U.
To give a sampling of quotes from the book to show Lewis' ability to offer the intriguing with wit: Before Alcoa could build its smelter it had to defer to a government expert to scour the enclosed plant site and certify that no elves were on or under it. It was a delicate corporate situation, an Alcoa spokesman told me, because they had to pay hard cash to declare the site elf-free This, as it turns out, is an excellent description of their role in the current financial crisis.
I left two dozen interviews saying No success of any kind is regarded without suspicion. Everyone is pretty sure everyone is cheating on his taxes, or bribing politicians, or taking bribes, or lying about the value of his real estate.
And this total absence of faith in one another is self-reinforcing. The epidemic of lying and cheating and stealing makes any sort of civic life impossible; the collapse of civic life only encourages more lying, cheating, and stealing View 1 comment.
Do a Goodreads book search and marvel at the results. What I found was a fast, entertaining romp through post-bubble Europe Look to be entertained first and enlightened only by accident. The final chapter hints at what may be about to happen to several cities in the United State which have been squeezed nearly out of existence by the same forces that have bankrupted parts of the Old World. My favorite tidbit?
If you take a big swig of the Daily Show along with your viewing of the Nightly Business Report, you'll love Boomerang. View all 5 comments. Feb 12, Brian Yahn rated it really liked it. Michael Lewis is surprisingly racist and politically incorrect in this book.
For entertainment's sake, he reduces entire nations to cartoon characters, essentially turning the world into the Looney Tunes.
It's equal parts hilarious and frightening--the more you learn about the financial future of the global economy, the more you start to think of the world in terms of Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny. This is less of a story and more of a collection of five separate articles about the lead up to the fin Michael Lewis is surprisingly racist and politically incorrect in this book.
This is less of a story and more of a collection of five separate articles about the lead up to the financial crises in Iceland, Ireland, Greece, Germany, and the US. It's almost scary how funny it is.
I am a huge Michael Lewis fan - in fact I wish I could have his job. He writes about money and sports, two subjects I find fascinating. However, Lewis crosses the line with this book, which is a compilation of previously published magazine pieces about the financial crisis as it has played out in Iceland, Ireland, Greece, Germany and California. Lewis seems to have reached some sweeping conclusions about the "essential character" of these places, based on spending a couple of weeks there and tal I am a huge Michael Lewis fan - in fact I wish I could have his job.
Lewis seems to have reached some sweeping conclusions about the "essential character" of these places, based on spending a couple of weeks there and talking to carefully selected people. The results are mean-spirited caricatures of entire nations. Like all caricatures they have an element of truth but are fundamentally distorted. The section on California was a little more interesting and nuanced, and I agreed with Lewis' conclusion about the fact that financial markets are based on extreme self-interest and will always find innocent victims if they are not controlled.
So read this book if you liked The Big Short, but it's not anywhere near as good. I'm loving this. Taken in tandem with Lewis's previous book, The Big Short, it's a hilarious and terrifying explanation of the present financial crisis ruination, collapse, armageddon? I was chatting to a couple of people the other day who really know finance and suchlike, and they objected that Lewis doesn't get everything right.
I can't say whether that's a question of fact or a matter of nuance and opinion. What I can say is that a nothing he writes clashes with my experience or understandi I'm loving this. What I can say is that a nothing he writes clashes with my experience or understanding of what is happening right now and b I suspect that while he may get things wrong, they are things which matter if you already know what a Credit Default Swap is or how you sell a hundred million dollars' worth of coffee without ever leaving your office.
How in tarnation do you crash your dad's global economy?! You want to know why Iceland tanked? Why Italy and Greece are in trouble? Why the whole thing is worse than you know? You want to laugh while you learn? Here's your book. I think my main complaints can be summarized with three observations: Lewis begins by discussing the financial situation in Iceland -- and it's not bad.
He gives the absolutely amazing details of the financial run-up, and talks with politicians, academics, and economists. It's mostly the sort of writing I hoped, and expected, to see.
But it's not all great: Tolkien fantasy novel. Lewis also describes hearing a couple of explosions -- apparently, part of a trend of insurance fraud perpetrated by "many Icelanders" who can no longer keep up with the payments on their fancy cars. Cute story -- but one that seems to have completely escaped news sites on the internet. The stereotypes don't end there. Greeks are lazy, Irish are simple, Germans are obsessed with order -- he goes on and on. It's insulting, and unnecessary. Finally, I get an impression of bias in this book that I haven't really seen in previous Lewis books.
Time and again, he tries to push the idea that recent financial problems are really not the fault of banks, but rather were caused by the lazy, greedy, average citizen.
There are interesting issues there, for sure, but Lewis doesn't even attempt to explore them: Even there, he doesn't talk about how the economy had to radically transform itself in the mid's after the largest employer the Naval Shipyards was shut down. I know Michael Lewis can do much better than this -- he has in the past.
I can only hope his next effort will be up to his usual standards. In , Wall Street's largest investment banks brought about the beginning of a worldwide financial downturn by creating the credit default swap on the subprime mortgage bond.
The events that followed have been widely reported. Once-wealthy nations such as Greece, Ireland, Iceland and Germany accrued gargantuan debts, causing governments, banks and other companies to crumble. In 'Boomerang', Michael Lewis explains the details of how and why this happened, visiting the worst-affected countries a In , Wall Street's largest investment banks brought about the beginning of a worldwide financial downturn by creating the credit default swap on the subprime mortgage bond.
In 'Boomerang', Michael Lewis explains the details of how and why this happened, visiting the worst-affected countries and speaking with key players from both sides of the fence those whose actions caused the damage, and those whose predictions - if taken seriously - could have prevented it. Lewis's snappy prose and incisive wit make this an enjoyable reading experience as well as an educational one.
In an amusing aside that could be viewed as a prophetic metaphor for Iceland's approaching financial meltdown, Lewis reveals that Alcoa, the biggest aluminium company in Iceland, encountered a problem unique to their nation when, in , it set about erecting a giant smelting plant. Iceland's folklore is so all-pervasive that many Icelanders believe in 'hidden people', or, in other words, elves. Before Alcoa could build a smelter, it had to pay a government expert to examine the enclosed plant site and certify that no elves were on or under it.
One Alcoa spokesman told Lewis that it had been a delicate corporate situation, as the company had been forced to pay hard cash to declare the site elf-free, but, as he put it, "we couldn't as a company be in a position of acknowledging the existence of hidden people.
Gender, Overconfidence, and Common Stock Investment', published by MIT Quarterly Journal of Economics, which found that men trade more often than women, and from a position of worse judgement. The study found that single men trade more recklessly than married men, who in turn trade more irresponsibly than single women.
The weaker the female presence, the less rational the approach to financial-market trading. One of the characteristics common to both Iceland's financial collapse and Wall Street's is the absence of women only one woman occupied a senior position in an Icelandic bank , who weren't given risk-taking jobs.
Interestingly, only one woman had a senior position in Icelandic banking in Her business is now one of very few profitable financial businesses in Iceland. I just want some women to take care of my money. She's now my ex-wife, for obvious reasons!
Greece's financial downfall was unique in that it was caused by bankers behaving ethically: The Greek bankers made one fatal mistake: Michael Lewis points out that, "In Greece the banks didn't sink the country. The country sank the banks. Unpaid taxes were another main contributor to Greece's financial troubles. No one has ever been punished in Greece for not paying taxes, which is seen as an option rather than a responsibility.
Ireland's post-millennial boom in property development led to debts that were unsalvageable. The Irish banks - most notably Anglo Irish Bank - lent billions of euros to property developers whose construction activities ran amok, despite there being no influx of downloaders for these new properties, until the developers were broke and the banks went bust.
Germany's financial problems resulted from trying to bail out European countries which were in deep financial trouble. In doing so, they behaved in a way that was uncharacteristically unGerman putting other nations' financial wellbeing before their own.
Germany was dragged into financial descent, its downward spiral inextricably linked to the economic fate of the countries that simply couldn't afford to pay back the billions of euros they had borrowed from the Germans. In each case, the dissenting voices of a few shrewd observers were hushed or ridiculed, granting the countries a short-term facade of financial wellness, but making them look foolish, conceited and financially immature when the truth finally came out and the brown stuff hit the fan.
Lewis's world tour of financial destruction is an enlightening adventure for the reader. He tells his tale with a voice of wisdom, humour and humanity. Well written, immaculately researched and told from a perspective of economic knowledge, 'Boomerang' is a must-read book. At 48mins 31secs - ye geezer states that Iceland will drop the kroner in favour of the Euro - wrong - Iceland is not in the EU. It works through Norway and both have trade agreements with the EU.
Neither are full members. Iceland now wants to be candidate list no financial surprise and Norway strongly doesn't want to be.
The peoples of Sweden want out but the govt is not keen on the penalty clauses. There have been meetings to consider a nordic block. This man is not the definitive - nosiree. Tak At 48mins 31secs - ye geezer states that Iceland will drop the kroner in favour of the Euro - wrong - Iceland is not in the EU.
Taking in more, I have to dump here. This is written to make american home policies more palatable and is not a reflection of actual events. Icelanders had the money x and US was skint - doh! View all 3 comments. Any banker. As i went along I was removing the clips from the pages which had struck me as provoking, incisive, witty etc. Patrick deWitt. The Ambitious City. Back to Blood.
Tom Wolfe. The Morning After. Chantal Hebert. Stress Test. Timothy F. The Death of Money. Lawrence in Arabia. Scott Anderson. The World Until Yesterday. Jared Diamond. The Innovators. Charlie LeDuff. The Seventh Scroll.
One Summer. Bill Bryson. The Big Shift. Darrell Bricker. No Easy Day. Mark Owen. Double Down. Mark Halperin. The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods. Hank Haney. Annelie Wendeberg. Edge of Eternity. Ken Follett. Salt Sugar Fat. Michael Moss. After America. Mark Steyn.
Rogue Lawyer. John Grisham. Avenue of Mysteries. John Irving. When the Lion Feeds. The Crossing. Michael Connelly. Monkeys, Myths and Molecules. Joe Schwarcz. Cold Hard Truth. Kevin O'Leary. The Power of Habit. Charles Duhigg.
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. Stephen Greenblatt. Us Conductors. Sean Michaels. End This Depression Now! Paul Krugman. This Town.
Mark Leibovich. A Delicate Truth. Don't Panic. Gwynne Dyer. This Time Is Different. Carmen M. Richard Ford. Hillbilly Elegy. The Social Animal. David Brooks. Elon Musk. Ashlee Vance. The Orenda. Joseph Boyden. The King of Shanghai. Ian Hamilton. Raw Bone.