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Boomerang: Travels In The New Third World Hardcover – Oct 4 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton; 1 edition (Oct. 4 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393081818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393081817
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 2.3 x 21.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

“Michael Lewis possesses the rare storyteller’s ability to make virtually any subject both lucid and compelling. . . . Combining his easy familiarity with finance and the talents of a travel writer, Mr. Lewis sets off in these pages to give the reader a guided tour through some of the disparate places hard hit by the fiscal tsunami of 2008, like Greece, Iceland and Ireland, tracing how very different people for very different reasons gorged on the cheap credit available in the prelude to that disaster. The book — based on articles Mr. Lewis wrote for magazine — is a companion piece of sorts to , his bestselling 2010 book about the fiscal crisis. . . . Mr. Lewis’s ability to find people who can see what is obvious to others only in retrospect or who somehow embody something larger going on in the financial world is uncanny. And in this book he weaves their stories into a sharp-edged narrative that leaves readers with a visceral understanding of the fiscal recklessness that lies behind today’s headlines about Europe’s growing debt problems and the risk of contagion they now pose to the world.” — Michiko Kakutani (New York Times)

“Lewis’s rare gift as a guide through the world of credit default swaps and sovereign debt doesn’t come simply from his deep understanding of how the global financial system works . . . also his skill as a storyteller, his ability to tell the larger tale through fascinating human stories of greed, excess, and self-delusion.” — Chuck Leddy (Boston Globe)

“[Lewis’s] explanations of thorny financial processes are surprisingly compelling, his characters entertaining.” — Jessica Loudis (BookForum)

About the Author

Michael Lewis, the best-selling author of The Undoing Project, Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, The Blind Side, and The Big Short, among other works, lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and three children.


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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lewis decides to become a financial disaster tourist, and travels to various bankrupt European countries. He wants to find out at the ground level, what happened in; Iceland, Greece, and Ireland. Well Lewis collects the data he was looking for, and spins out quite the story.

In a nutshell these countries get a hold of cheap foreign credit, and go into a wild financial mania. They also abandon all previous forms of prudent economic management. The details regarding the Greek economy, are beyond anything I have ever heard before. In fact, the Greek situation makes the former Tulip Mania and Dot Com Bubble, seem rather tame and orderly. The Greek debt problems have still not been fully resolved, so this makes the details all the more engaging.

This is a small book, but the message delivers a big impact. The reader will be left with, a much better understanding of the current global financial dilemma. This book was hard to put down, and a very good read. Both general and financially interested readers, will be entertained and astonished.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lewis demonstrates with great panache that one book can be funny, brilliant and dead wrong, all at the same time. In Lewis's case, this is aggravating. His assessments of world fiscal situations have the ring of freshness, experience, truth and wisdom, yet his assessments of people, often quite humorous, are unsteady and thus undercut whatever it is he wishes to say about the economic situation, which is a lot. He seems somewhat unaware of his own presence, so when he walks down an Icelandic street and enters a series of collisions with Icelandic men, it doesn't seem to occur to him that he may have broken a social rule about how strangers pass on a street. Instead he belittles Icelandic society. It gets worse. He slams the Germans, for instance, for having a language and a culture built around images of filth, without noting that American culture does the same thing. Another example: he spends a lot of time harassing people from numerous countries for ridiculous and irresponsible behaviour, yet when he comes to his native California he glosses over the same irresponsible behaviour as if it weren't even there. That's cowardly and untrustworthy. Buy a box of salt, enjoy Lewis's style, hold your nose when he goes off the deep end, and read this as a model, in style and form, that can lead to a truly great book in the hands of a different writer. By all means, read it, though. There's some real smart stuff in here, in a refreshing format. Just beware. People aren't totally his thing.
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Format: Hardcover
Boomerang is a good sequel to The Big Short which covered the mortgage default debacle very well. We were left wondering as things continued and we never made it out of the depression. Boomerang explains what happened in Iceland, then Ireland, and now in Greece. He also explains how American consultants, the very same who were responsible for engineering mortgage default swaps were paid big bucks to 'advise' Ireland and Greece. Iceland did it on their own. He also explains why Germany is the way it is. It ends with examples from USA. Fasten your seat belts. It is not over! He tells us why things can't remain as they are or were. An excellent read. So timely as we watch the government of Greece tripping over themselves to build a trogen horse in an effort to get $$$ from Germany. The book is quick and easy to read. Michael is someone who can explain this in simple terms because he knows the subject well.
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Format: Hardcover
Bestselling author Michael Lewis delivers again with this series of themed travelogues about the financial crisis and originally published in Vanity Fair. Each of the articles stands well on its own, but in series they manage to bring an additional element, a much broader perspective on the financial crisis and on human nature.

Lewis travels to the major hot-spots: Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany and the US, noting the similarities and the differences in each of their situations, but mostly letting the individual characters who populate his essays tell the stories. Descriptions of people are rich, humorous, playful and cutting, but never mean spirited - the kind of descriptions your friends might use at your roast. Descriptions of countries' national characters and of specific places are equally pithy; 'it's the sort of place bankers stay because they think it's where the artists stay.'

As expected, bank leadership, politicians and regulators fare poorly in Lewis' crosshairs, and although they play small walk-on parts, investment banks such as Merrill Lynch come across as morally bankrupt and duplicitous, far worse than their aforementioned dimwitted but greedy co-conspirators. Lewis is finance literature's equivalent of television's Jon Stewart, calling all out on their motives, their revisionist explanations, and their mistakes. Ultimately, though, Lewis settles on the root cause - it's us; it's human nature and short term thinking. One of his interviewees sums it up best when he says about the virtual bankruptcy of his city, 'I think we've suffered from a series of mass delusions.'

As much as Charles Kindleberger's excellent book
...Read more ›
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