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Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  28,021 Ratings  ·  1,720 Reviews
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 pi
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Paperback, 218 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published October 3rd 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mark Rice
Nov 29, 2011 Mark Rice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 2004, Wall Street's largest investment banks brought about the beginning of a worldwide financial downturn by creating the credit default swap on the subprime mortgage bond. The events that followed have been widely reported. Once-wealthy nations such as Greece, Ireland, Iceland and Germany accrued gargantuan debts, causing governments, banks and other companies to crumble. In 'Boomerang', Michael Lewis explains the details of how and why this happened, visiting the worst-affected countries a ...more
Cheryl
Oct 08, 2011 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who knew it could be so enjoyable reading about the financial crisis, explained with examples from several key areas of the world? Fascinating. Iceland, Greece, Ireland, USA -- these are some of the countries in what he calls the New Third World. We have been undone by our ancient lizard nature of greed, where short term satisfaction overwhelms common sense. Hilarious and sobering all at once.
Scott Rhee
Apr 27, 2016 Scott Rhee rated it it was amazing
I puzzled over the title of Michael Lewis’s book “Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World”, as the word “boomerang” does not appear once throughout. It confused me until I began to piece together what exactly Lewis was trying to say between the lines.

Lewis’s books are all about what’s between the lines. He is all about the subtle extrapolation of meanings and hidden meanings lurking beneath the subject matter. In his wonderful book, “Moneyball”, which was ostensibly about baseball and the econ
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Trish
Michael Lewis turns his curiosity on the wider world after the financial debacle of 2007 and the success of his book The Big Short . Here he attempts to answer a few questions: How did the crisis unravel overseas, what was the role of European banks, and how did governments and investors deal with the disaster? Then he returns home to America to look at state failures, California specifically, in the aftermath.

I listened to the Recorded Books edition of this book, and Lewis has a laugh in his v
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Mary Ronan Drew
Oct 03, 2011 Mary Ronan Drew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Lewis is the author of the blockbuster Liar's Poker from 20 years ago (soon to be a major motion picture, by the way.) Lewis has recently done a bit of "financial disaster tourism" as he calls it and the results are in his latest book, Boomerang.

I bought it for Wilhelm but made the mistake of leaving it lying around and yesterday I did what I said I would not do and started reading it. And couldn't put it down. Fortunately it's short.
In an attempt to figure out what happened to the euro
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Mark Stevens
Jun 02, 2013 Mark Stevens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Boomerang" isn't afraid to talk about greed and culture. Michael Lewis swoops down into the world economic crisis with a biting, perplexed tone. If you are in the least bit worried that a book about international finance might teeter on boredom, you're presumptions will be shattered. Lewis helps us see the people and the key decisions in Iceland, Ireland, Greece and Germany that continue to play havoc with the global economy in mid-2013. The chapter on the Greek monks ("And They Invented Math") ...more
Perry
May 24, 2016 Perry rated it it was amazing
Icelandic Elves and the German Obsession with Scheiße

It's hard not to be entertained AND enlightened by a Michael Lewis book. His books exploring Major League Baseball, the NFL, the stock market and financial shorting ( The Big Short ) are to non-fiction, somewhat like Apple was to personal computing. He has the creative ability to explain in clear and simple terms subjects that are complex or seem otherwise mundane. As Jobs said, "the way we’re running the company, the product design, the adver
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Abbey
Oct 13, 2011 Abbey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It strikes me as unfair to characterize a whole nation as uptight or reckless or fickle like Lewis does, but maybe it's not so far off the mark. As a whole, Americans take more risks than Japanese. Why is that such a shocking observation? Comparing one Japanese with one American, it may be that the Japanese person is less risk-averse than the individual American; nonetheless, generalities hold true. If this is the case, then the "personalities" of nations could in some way account for the astoni ...more
Sam Quixote
Dec 06, 2012 Sam Quixote rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a big reader of newspapers or watcher of the news, mostly as the news these days is reported as quickly as possible with the barest of facts and, for larger issues like the economic troubles of recent years, almost no understanding of the circumstances for context. That's not to say I'm not interested, but I would only be interested in reading about the financial woes of late through a writer who could write, not as an economist or academic, but a true writer, and could make the subject ...more
John Woltjer
Apr 04, 2014 John Woltjer rated it it was amazing
Whatever illusions I had that the financial world is run by people that are surpassingly brilliant, died here in this telling of how Ireland, Greece, Iceland, et.al. managed to completely destroy their national economies. Michael Lewis has the gift of making arcane and seemingly incomprehensibly complicated financial machinations seem understandable to the average person. My background is in the humanities, so when I read about CDO's, and other investment strategies designed by Quants, my eyes g ...more
Erin
Michael Lewis’ “Boomerang” is one of the most frightening books I have ever read. Most frightening, I think, because it is all too true and happening right now.

Lewis travels to Iceland, Greece, Germany, and the United States to discover the causes of the global financial crisis and what, if anything, might be done about it. It is a bit depressing to realize that the main problem we need to overcome is ourselves. The cultures in these countries has greatly contributed to the financial crisis, and
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Joseph Raffetto
Jan 19, 2016 Joseph Raffetto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, business
In Michael Lewis new book he captures the global financial insanity that gripped so many countries. He goes on a financial tour to discover why each economy collapsed--or how they avoided financial catastrophe. Lewis writes with a travel writer's flair for the idiosyncrasies of each subject. Boomerang is filled with compelling information about each country he explores. Here are some examples.

Iceland fisherman became investment bankers and quickly threw Iceland into terrible investments, bankrup
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thewanderingjew
Apr 06, 2013 thewanderingjew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Lewis has the gift of gab! His book on the financial crisis (the economic debacle that hit the United States and Europe, that almost brought the whole world down and of which we are not yet out of the woods), is so easy to read and so filled with wit that one forgets the horrific images of the failure that the book is describing; he makes plain what was the complete amorality or stupidity of the bankers, the investment brokers and the clients that they serviced, as they all marched towar ...more
Doug Cornelius
Michael Lewis packages his stories on the effects of the global financial crisis in Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany, and California into one book: Boomerang. If you had ready the stories when they were published in Vanity Fair, then you've ready the book. If you missed some (or all) of those stories then this book is great viewpoint on how five countries got themselves into trouble with excessive debt.

I had already read the first four articles when they appeared in Vanity Fair, but I had not y
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Brian
May 21, 2012 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bondholders
Recommended to Brian by: Amber
Reading most of Mr. Lewis's books, I always end up walking away a little uneasy about the narrative or the conclusions or the morals about which I just read. So he gets a pass on idolizing hedge fund short-sellers becasue he helped you understand what a traunch was? I griped. Did none of you listen to NPR's Planet Money?

Yet somehow, in Boomerang, which may be more appropriately titled "Game Over Man, Game Over", I feel this is honestly some of his best work and have no remorse about whole-heart
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John
Jul 19, 2012 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lewis generally elicits a "Wow" whenever he writes anything, telling incredible stories from the banks and trading pits (and more recently with Moneyball and the Blind Side, the locker rooms and sports franchises). He has spun a few decent books on high tech. But his last two tomes on financial malfeasance - The Big Short and Boomerang - are among his best. Irreverent to the point of being almost insulting, Lewis pulls the curtain and exposes the charade in the Iceland, the Eurozone and even lit ...more
Darwin8u
Feb 16, 2012 Darwin8u rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I read these essays on Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany and California when they were first published in 2009/10/11 in Vanity Fair. It is hard re-reading them now again in book form and not think Michael Lewis is a GOD. IF you haven't read these, go to the Library, buy the book. GET off your butt, go to Vanity Fair and start reading his essays: http://www.vanityfair.com/search?quer...

After you've read this read The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, also by Michael Lewis. That is probably
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Shelly
Jun 08, 2013 Shelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the beginning there are Wall Street Bankers alone in dark rooms full of money. Then there are Icelanders unimpressed with Bjork blowing up Range Rovers, Irish Donald Trump Wannabes, Corrupt and Conniving Greek Monks and an Overstaffed, Overpaid and Underperforming Greek Public Sector, Duped and Poop-Obsessed Germans, and then finally California. The Governator, Wine Country, Silicon Valley, Police, Firefighters, Fatties, Me, You, and a Dark Room Full of Money.
Ita
Nov 16, 2011 Ita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't read much nonfiction and find books about financial stuff generally boring. This book, however, grabbed me fairly quickly. It offers a dismaying and frightening picture of our financial future. Lewis travels to Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany, and California and details why we're in the financial mess we're in. He does so in an anecdotal and entertaining fashion.

Highly recommended.
Loraine
Jul 14, 2012 Loraine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent listen. The material is as promised: travels in the new third world. Not exactly entertaining because how can a book that deals with financial misfortune of others be entertaining? But that is the only word I can come up with to describe how easily Michael Lewis grabbed my attention and kept it all the way through.
John Spillane
Aug 16, 2012 John Spillane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooked
Great, really great. The info in this will be a gift that keeps on giving. I'd read two of the book's five pieces when they were in Vanity Fair but they are so packed and well told that revisiting them was an easy call. There's a reason he got $10/word for them the first time around.
Paul Downs
Nov 18, 2015 Paul Downs rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone.
A portrait of financial folly - tales of democracies that can't manage money. Written in 2012, but still holds up today. Not much has changed in the countries discussed - Greece, Ireland, Germany, and California - but it's the quality of the writing that is eternal.
Jason Born
May 05, 2012 Jason Born rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Frightening how selfish/childish we and our elected/appointed leaders have become. Seems like the debt time-bomb will have to detonate before we alter our course. Greece here we come!
Cathleen Ross
Jul 19, 2012 Cathleen Ross rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. This is an author who can make books about finance interesting. He's also very witty. Very talented. Look forward to reading more of his work.
Deborah Weir
Apr 26, 2012 Deborah Weir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious backstories of the recent financial crisis! Everyone can enjoy this - especially people not in finance.
Scott Savs
Dec 30, 2015 Scott Savs rated it it was amazing
I thought it was good. I recommend it to people who like to read.
Diskor Toomingas
very well written and interesting
Christine Zibas
Feb 07, 2016 Christine Zibas rated it it was amazing
Ever wonder just how the global economy got into such a mess? With a generous dose of humor, author and financial guru Michael Lewis turns his attention to the “new Third World,” that is, Europe. And of course, the United States.

While other financial writers can make eyes glaze over as they detail the markets and throw around acronyms like ECB (European Central Bank) and IMF (International Monetary Fund), Lewis has a rare gift for making economics personal. In “Boomerang: Travels in the New Thir
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Rafael Alves
Sep 27, 2015 Rafael Alves rated it it was amazing
Another great case of deep economic investigation, Michael Lewis takes us to the heart of the biggest european economies that created parallel crisis - and in the case of Ireland, also linked- to the american supbrime bubble.

In fact the author's insight into the development and the prime motivator of these said bubbles, as well as the quality of the information, might even be said to have something of a sociological angle for considering the common thinking of entires cultures as the icelandic,
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Leonidas Kaplan
Aug 12, 2015 Leonidas Kaplan rated it it was amazing
What's with this 'Greek Bailout' thing? I was in Athens not too long ago (actually more like 5 years ago), and they were rioting about something... well, it seems like Greeks are always rioting about something. Then I was there just 3 weeks ago, and they were on the verge of receiving another several BILLION dollars, or else, I couldn't use Euros in their country anymore? What?

Furthermore, Germany keeps saying it will keep sending Greece more and more money. Why? What is it up to?

I also saw a do
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Books Quotes: Boomerang 1 7 Sep 02, 2013 12:32AM  
Isnt there a paperback version? 6 48 Jan 06, 2013 09:02AM  
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Michael Lewis, the best-selling author of Liar’s Poker, The Money Culture, The New New Thing, Moneyball, The Blind Side, Panic, Home Game, The Big Short, and Boomerang, among other works, lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and three children.
More about Michael Lewis...

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“Everywhere you turn you see Americans sacrifice their long-term interests for a short-term reward.” 10 likes
“Germans longed to be near shit, but not in it. This, as it turns out, is an excellent description of their role in the current financial crisis.” 9 likes
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