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)
WOW! This book is informative and poignant.
He analyzes the behavioral traits of a society using historical and anecdotal evidence and then uses that evidence to explain how those traits related to each countries financial collapse (or involvement in a collapse). There were a few laugh-out-loud moments and many moments where I sounded smart at cocktail parties after listening to it.
Get this book. Very worth it. I'm definitely going to get his first (financial) book, "The Big Short"
P.S. I really try not to be an all 5's or all 1's guy. I hope that says something about the all 5's rating.
P.S.S. I can't believe the surprise twist ending when you find out his brother was his father AND he was a vampire all along.
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.
look out below
other Michael Lewis books.
He almost makes the disturbing issues comical. I laughed more than once.
The Greek monks bribing government officials
I wonder if we're a step ahead or a step behind Europe.
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.
Good, entertaining and illustrative anecdotes of people and situations that contributed to the global economic downturn. A follow-up to Lewis's Big Short.
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.
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