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Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World av…
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Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World (utgåvan 2011)

av Michael Lewis

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,483639,062 (3.81)34
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.Icelanders wanted to stop fishing and become investment bankers. 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.Michael Lewis's investigation of bubbles beyond our shores is so brilliantly, sadly hilarious that it leads the American reader to a comfortable complacency: oh, those foolish foreigners. But when he 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.… (mer)
Medlem:kcstroud
Titel:Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World
Författare:Michael Lewis
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2011), Hardcover, 224 pages
Samlingar:Ska läsas
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World av Michael Lewis

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This is a follow-up to The Big Short, a seminal account of the 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis. Lewis goes to Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany and then back to the US to show the downstream effect of the crisis on the economies of these countries, and California. While not his best work, the book is extremely thought provoking, and at points downright scary. ( )
  koustav | Jan 6, 2021 |
Quite interesting to see how different cultures behave in relationship to money. ( )
  RunsOnEspresso | Mar 25, 2020 |
Published in 2011, when the financial crisis was still fairly fresh in everyone's mind and we had not yet reached as much recovery as we eventually achieved, this is in some respects a look into the past. Yet none of Lewis's observations from his travels through a developed world still reeling from that crisis seem to have been proven truly false. Each country got into trouble in the world of essentially free money in the madness of 2003-2008 by following its own weaknesses and temptations.

Greece was the only country he visited where the financial industry had nothing directly to do with the country's financial collapse. They were honest, they were responsible, and they could not impose honesty and responsibility on a government that took taking bribes for just doing their jobs for granted, people who saw no reason not to evade taxes, and an entire culture seemingly arranged around facilitating financial irresponsibility. When the financial problems started to show themselves, the new finance minister discovered that no one really had any idea what the government's deficit was--and as he started digging out the real numbers, the truth was horrifying.

In Iceland, it seems ludicrous to say and yet has a bizarre plausibility, that the men have a very macho, risk-taking culture that goes along with centuries of open ocean fishing being the main national source of income, and the women have a much more pragmatic, practical culture grounded in keeping everything working on land while the men were away fishing. And the two cultures didn't interact much. When the men discovered, in the era of free money, that they could stop fishing and get fantastically rich with offshore investments built on practically nothing, they weren't discussing these wonderful, exciting new ventures with the women who might have encouraged them to think about the lack of any real basis for the wealth and the consequences of it blowing up on them.

He also visits and analyzes Ireland and California, but in some ways the most interesting country is Germany. There were no wild and crazy investments in Germany. There were no wild and crazy investments in Germany. But careful, responsible German banks bought up unbelievable amounts of US securitized subprime loans. They had in some respects the greatest exposure of all. They didn't break any laws; they followed all the rules. These were, after all, AAA-rated securities, so they were completely risk-free, right? The German bankers check all the boxes, followed all the rules, and never really thought, certainly never asked, what those AAA-rated US real estate securities really contained. And Germany, to a great extent, was left holding the bag.

It's a fascinating story with some interesting revelations I hadn't been aware of before. It's a really good listen.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook. ( )
  LisCarey | Aug 30, 2019 |
A book published in 2012 about how so little had changed/been learned from financial events in 2008. A baffling read in 2019, where still nothing seems to have changed and "we remain at the mercy of the failed financial institutions that sit at the cent of our capitalism" (page 215). Only reason I gave it middling rating is because I can't imagine rereading it in the future because of it's specificity. I'm sure Lewis could write a new version of this book twice a decade. ( )
  sarcher | Jul 7, 2019 |
This book told me more of what I already knew about the economics of the third world globally, as in the global south, and our own third world right here in the USA, but not much about fixing it, unless I ought to have read farther, which I undoubtedly should have. But after living in more than one 'developing' country, I no longer had the stomach or energy to continue.
Well, I did read more, and wish I hadn't. My initial experiences in Greece were confirmed, and I am sorry to see what happened to Ireland (and Iceland, though it feels a bit different, less sympathetic toward them, for some reason). ( )
  FourFreedoms | May 17, 2019 |
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To Doug Stumpf, gifted editor and gentle soul, without whom it never would have occurred to me to tour the ruins
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This book began accidentally, while I was at work on another book, about Wall Street and the 2008 U.S. financial disaster.
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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.Icelanders wanted to stop fishing and become investment bankers. 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.Michael Lewis's investigation of bubbles beyond our shores is so brilliantly, sadly hilarious that it leads the American reader to a comfortable complacency: oh, those foolish foreigners. But when he 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.

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