Boomerang is sort of a followup to Lewis’s 2010 bestseller, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. That book looked at the folks who brought us the credit default swaps which played the global financial crisis for profit. In this book, Lewis travels to places like Greece, Iceland and Ireland to observe how these various cultures got caught up in and punished by the economic meltdown.
The reviews seem very good. At the New York Times, Michiko Kakutani wrote:
Michael Lewis possesses the rare storyteller’s ability to make virtually any subject both lucid and compelling. In his new book, “Boomerang,” he actually makes topics like European sovereign debt, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank not only comprehensible but also fascinating — even, or especially, to readers who rarely open the business pages or watch CNBC.
Yesterday, Michael Lewis was Terry Gross’s guest on NPR’s Fresh Air:
How The Financial Crisis Created A ‘New Third World’
It is an interview worth listening to, both for Lewis’s explanation of the current financial mess that has Europe teetering on the brink, beginning with Greece, and also for his clear and succinct appraisal of our current predicament in America:
I think that we have a basic problem in America. And the basic problem is people want things they don’t want to pay for. People want services they don’t want to pay for. And we’ve been disguising this problem by borrowing money and we’re coming to a moment of reckoning. And the question is how that moment of reckoning occurs.
Monday night, Michael Lewis appeared on Charlie Rose. Among other things, he talked about the current “intense anger … about the unfairness with which financial people were treated” in the crisis — the outrageous idea that “We have socialism for capitalists, and capitalism for everybody else” — and how this has spawned protests like the Tea Party movement and Occupy Wall Street.