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Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World | [Michael Lewis]

Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

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. 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 more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish.
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Publisher's Summary

From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Big Short, Liar’s Poker and The Blind Side!

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.

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 more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish.

The trademark of Michael Lewis’s best sellers is to tell an important and complex story through characters so outsized and outrageously weird that you’d think they have to be invented. (You’d be wrong.) In Boomerang, we meet a brilliant monk who has figured out how to game Greek capitalism to save his failing monastery; a cod fisherman who, with three days’ training, becomes a currency trader for an Icelandic bank; and an Irish real estate developer so outraged by the collapse of his business that he drives across the country to attack the Irish Parliament with his earth-moving equipment.

Lewis’s investigation of bubbles beyond our shores is so brilliantly, sadly hilarious that it leads the American listener to a comfortable complacency: Oh, those foolish foreigners. But when Lewis 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.

©2011 Michael Lewis (P)2011 Simon & Schuster

What the Critics Say

“No one writes with more narrative panache about money and finance than Lewis.” (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Deane Jacksonville, FL, United States 11-29-11
    Deane Jacksonville, FL, United States 11-29-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Interesting and enjoyable"

    Not as good as the Big Short, but good broad level information on what caused Europe's financial problems. Probably a bit simplistic, but informative, and enjoyable listening.
    Throwing the California problems in seem out of context, but did hurt the overall theme.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Naples, FL, United States 11-29-11
    Thomas Naples, FL, United States 11-29-11
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    "Our Scary Future"
    If you could sum up Boomerang in three words, what would they be?

    look out below


    What other book might you compare Boomerang to and why?

    other Michael Lewis books.


    What does Dylan Baker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He almost makes the disturbing issues comical. I laughed more than once.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The Greek monks bribing government officials


    Any additional comments?

    I wonder if we're a step ahead or a step behind Europe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Johnson Raleigh NC 11-29-11
    D. Johnson Raleigh NC 11-29-11 Member Since 2010

    DJ

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    "Entertaining and informative read"

    As in the "The Big Short," Michael Lewis tells a somewhat technical story through stories about individuals and organizations and, in this case, societies. I enjoyed the combination of the story and Dylan Baker's "can you believe this" type of delivery. Somehow the mostly bad and even depressing news/information is presented in a way that's pretty enjoyable. There are certainly some oversimplifications and broad generalizations based on his personal experiences, but it's a good level of information to add to other information that someone may run across in understanding what's happening to the world's economic and financial system. I would highly recommend the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward Pittsburgh, PA, United States 11-29-11
    Edward Pittsburgh, PA, United States 11-29-11 Member Since 2014
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    "Less than the sum of its parts"

    Interesting read with a lot of great stories, but overall, a bit disappointing as a follow-up to the superb "The Big Short."

    A lot of the ground was the same as Lewis's previous, but it felt like a lot of bits and pieces that didn't fit into the earlier novel. A few entertaining bits, but far too much of a reliance on national stereotypes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan 11-29-11
    Susan 11-29-11
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    "A great book"

    A great book for those of us struggling to understand the economic crisis. I found it easy to follow, unlike much of what I read from the "experts".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard W Holmes 11-29-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Anecdotes illustrating global economic crisis"

    Good, entertaining and illustrative anecdotes of people and situations that contributed to the global economic downturn. A follow-up to Lewis's Big Short.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Huguenot Revenu 11-29-11
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    "Worth rehearing, even if you read the originals"

    If you haven't discovered Lewis's dissection of how crazy things have become in his Vanity Fair articles, then this collection is a must.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chuck 11-29-11
    Chuck 11-29-11 Member Since 2015
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    "Didn't want it to end"

    Help bring today's headlines down to a personal level. Now I want to listed to his book about the subprime mess.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob 11-28-11
    Bob 11-28-11 Member Since 2015
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    "Global Moneyball"

    If you like Michael Lewis's other books you'll love this one. I especially liked his analysis of the Muni Bond problems pending in California. This book examines why the Boomers boom of the 90's has turned into a bust of the 2000's, especially for those countries with an an aging demographic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Dever Philly 11-25-11
    M. Dever Philly 11-25-11 Member Since 2014

    OraJDBC

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    "Adds nothing to our understanding of Economics"

    Mischaracterization of cultures.
    Author seems to be buried in right wing spin, and has not yet questioned it.
    Austerity budgets lead to Much Lower Economic growth.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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