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"And you shall give the money, with which the excess number of them is redeemed, to Aaron and his sons." -- Numbers 3:48 (NKJV)

Did you ever win big in the lottery, obtain a large inheritance you didn't expect, get an extra several thousand dollars added to your credit limit, or take out a home equity line of credit? If so, you'll know what this book is all about: Suddenly having a lot of money available . . . and how you responded to that circumstance. Most people find something to spend it on . . . either for fun, for potential profit, or for foolish investments.

In the recent global expansion, ridiculously cheap debt was available to hundreds of millions of people and to governments of all kind in a way that was unprecedented. Almost everyone got themselves into financial trouble in the process.

In Boomerang, that entertaining writer of financial folly, Michael Lewis, visits Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany, and California to describe what happened differently in each case. You'll find his descriptions hilarious . . . if obviously oversimplified for good punch line effects. He leaves you in one of the most desperately broke municipalities in the world, providing a vision of what the future will look like for many of those governments that overspent.

While it's not up to Liar's Poker or The Big Short, Boomerang makes for a fun, quick read that will give you lots of laughs . . . and leave you with some solid food for thought about any debt crisis that might be impending in your part of the world.

The book could have been improved a lot by including some more overspending countries (such as building entirely empty cities that no one ever occupies in China to meet government quotas for growing the economy, Japan trying to spend its way out of a demographic disaster, and nations all around the world spending like crazy to put in infrastructure to supply demand that will evaporate as soon as all the governmental overspending is inevitably cut back). The substance could also have been increased to better balance the tongue-in-cheek oversimplifications of national "character." In places, the sections feel a lot like fluff (especially the section on Iceland).
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon November 22, 2011
Michael Lewis is always informative while keeping the reader interested - this book is consistent with his previous work in that regard. This book is somewhat a continuation of the theme of "The Big Short". This time he goes abroad to view what went wrong in Iceland, Ireland, Greece & Germany. Once can't help but think that natives of these countries will be insulted, but that's what you get with Lewis. I found the chapter on Germany weakened - Lewis for some indefinable reason gets obsessed with scatological subjects. Lewis insists its the Germans who are obsessed but the reader has reasons to wonder if Lewis is not perhaps their equal?

The final chapter brings home the bite as Lewis returns to the US, particularly California, suggesting that the next Greece might be right here.
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on April 5, 2013
I have read several of Michael's books and this is one of his best. Michael points out how many nations monetary systems all started to come apart at the same time, just in different formats. The prime culprit in each case was easy credit and excessive greed. This easy to read overview of half a dozen different countries gives a macro view of the world with cheap credit and lax rules allowing massive leverage. After reading Boomerang I have a much better understanding of what went wrong during the credit crisis!
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on December 17, 2011
For anyone looking for a easy to understand, non technical explanation of the current European financial meltdown, this is the best one I've seen so far. Lewis goes a little too easy on the significant role US policy makers and Wall St powerbrokers played in the crisis, but I'm sure the inevitable day of reckoning for the US markets (likely to begin to play out after the 2012 election cycle) will make for an equally good sequel.

If any of us will be able to afford to buy the sequel, that is :-)
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on May 18, 2015
Michael Lewis is a good writer, a little cynical sometimes and also a king at spotting hilarious behavior in the financial world; in the case of boomerang, he describes four contenders for the Big joke award, being Iceland,Greece,Ireland and Germany.
The story is short (200 pages) , precise and well documented as always, for the books Lewis writes.
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on September 3, 2015
This was the first book I'd read by Michael Lewis. He is a really good writer (I have since read three other of his books). He subject here is a travelogue of financial catastrophes (since 2008). Iceland, Ireland, Greece, Hamburg (Who knew?) California cities. It's entertaining to read, it's topical, it's informative. What more can you ask.
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Michael Lewis has a voice and a critical intellect that shines through murky worlds where people want things kept obscure. There was a great deal of embarrassment, grief and loss following the finacial debacle of 2008. Lewis went on the road to investigate and as always spared no prisoners. His account in incisive, funny and well worth the read.
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on April 7, 2016
An excellent read five years after it was written as we are mostly papering over the same problems, despite some progress. Like all of Lewis's books, this will make you feel smarter and better informed while also putting a smile on your face.
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on May 26, 2015
fantastic read that explains how the greedy american bankers screwed most of the developed world in 2008
Michael Lewis is a very funny and entertaining writer. I couldn't put it down and bought copies for many of my friends.
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on April 10, 2013
It's a little scary to know our delicate world economy depends on human judgement and moral authority, or lack of it.
At least the Greeks didn't work hard at trying to mask their lack of it. I, for one, am buying Gold.
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