Boomerang by Michael Lewis


Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World
The book looks at international governmental debt and the investment bubbles these governments fell for. These bankers and finance ministers are just as dumb and short sighted as the average investor. Lewis writes well, the tone is light and each chapter deals with a different Country or State (California). The problems range from: spending, bad investments, and sometimes the principles are just plain crazy. There are no answers in the book. Lewis shows us the thinking and personalities that we will be paying for decades.

224 pages

Interesting Quotes From The Book:

When you borrow a lot of money to create a false prosperity, you import the future into the present. -Location 722

That had been the strangest consequence of the Irish bubble: to throw a nation that had finally clawed its way of out centuries of indentured servitude back into indentured servitude. -Location 1648

Not long ago I spoke with a former senior Merrill Lynch bond trader who, on September 29, 2008, owned a pile of bonds in one of the Irish banks. He’d already tried to sell them back to the bank for 50 cents on the dollar—that is, he’d offered to take a huge loss, just to get out of them. On the morning of September 30 he awakened to find his bonds worth 100 cents on the dollar. The Irish government had guaranteed them! He couldn’t believe his luck. -Location 1668

By the middle of 2007 every Wall Street firm, not just Goldman Sachs, realized that the subprime market was collapsing, and tried frantically to get out of their positions. The last buyers in the entire world, several people on Wall Street have told me, were these willfully oblivious Germans. That is, the only thing that stopped IKB from losing even more than $15 billion on U.S. subprime loans was that the market ceased to function. -Location 2248

But that’s not at all what she had said: her words were being misrepresented so that her message might be more easily attacked. -Location 2413

It’s a problem of people taking what they can, just because they can, without regard to the larger social consequences. -Location 2785

“What we’re doing is minimizing the use of the part of the brain that lizards don’t have,” says Whybrow. “We’ve created physiological dysfunction. We have lost the ability to self-regulate, at all levels of the society. The five million dollars you get paid at Goldman Sachs if you do whatever they ask you to do—that -Location 2818

Everywhere you turn you see Americans sacrifice their long-term interests for a short-term reward. -Location 2825


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I do a little web design work and support a couple web sites and blogs. My primary focus is lighting and energy consulting where I use a number of computer tools to help my customer find ways of saving money and improving their work environment. See my web site for more information:
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