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
“No one writes with more narrative panache about money and finance than Lewis.” (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times)
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.
This most recent Michael Lewis book is a lighter, more anecdotal read about governments going bust in the aftermath of the subprime financial meltdown. Almost has a Bill Bryson air to it. I give it four stars--but even with that rating, Boomerang pales because The Big Short is truly a great, great book.
Lewis is a terrific financial writer but the book is not nearly as good as some of his other works. There is so much about other countries that could have been included.
I can alway count on Michael Lewis to write something that is interesting to listen to, and leaves me with new insight about a subject that I thought I knew a little about, Boomerang is no different, interesting perspective on finance and what got us to where we are today, and it points to an unsettling economic future.
Okay, now I have some idea about what happened in Iceland, Greece and Italy. And I had a great time along the way. Clever and insightful.
There were a few people, like Ron Insana, who talked about the emerging problems, the excesses, in the 90's. He gave up, and so did most others. Everyone became a cheerleader and everything was 'fine' for a few years, despite the tech bubble collapse. But the 2008 collapse is proving difficult to fix, and there has been no recovery, to date.
This book pretty much explains the extent of the problem. It is deadly serious and seriously funny, thanks to the writing style and the over the top excess of everything described.
It's definitely worth the time and money and it's a book that works great as an audiobook.
Michael Lewis weaves a tail of over the top greed; incessant corruption and clueless bewilderment that will make you laugh – the master of witty and funny. This book is written from “my” point of view, the way a regular person would see the crisis assuming that regular person was both brilliant and gutsy. He talks to dozens of people, both winners and losers and lets you see into their world. It is somewhat like looking into an exotic fish tank. Incredibly entertaining. I have avoided almost anything to do with the global meltdown. Rehashing a painful experience seemed like a form of masochism. But I decided to take a chance after listening to Lewis on Jon Stewart. It was a great decision.
The story takes you from country to country, starting with Iceland and ending in the United States. It offers insight that I would have never considered. In each case Lewis lets you see how the country reacted, how they dealt with the situation. Most important, it lets you see that each country dealt with the crisis in a different way.
Do not worry about political commentary or think this book is a social statement. It is not. The stories speak for themselves and the outcomes are self-evident. Lewis delivers entertainment on a topic that has only brought the world misery. You won’t be disappointed.
If you ever wondered how the financial crisis could happen, this book will show how it's a story of regular people. Perfect length and I enjoyed every second.
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