Michael Lewis on Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Michael Lewis looks at how the tsunami of cheap credit across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering societies—from Iceland to Greece to Ireland—the chance to indulge and take risks. Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World investigates of bubbles abroad and here at home in California and Washington, DC.

Comments [13]

Brian from Brooklyn

This is an economic crisis 30 years in the making. The repeals of Glasss-Steagall did NOT start this process but instead was the last and farthest reaching set of legislative/economic dominoes that were set in motion.

The deregulation (and reduction of taxation on the rich) during the Reagan era started this. It continued structurally with the various free trade agreements as well as Most Favored Nations Status that China received. Meanwhile, a series of financial crises presaged (savings & loan, Enron, etc) the Great Recession. It is the "Free Trade" corporatist mentality with all its political, economic, and cultural implications that are responsible for our current crisis.

First step to repair... stop voting for economically conservative politicians.

Oct. 04 2011 12:52 PM

The book title is Boomerang: Travels in the *N*e*w* Third World.

Oct. 04 2011 12:44 PM
John A.

The Guy is trying to teach morality and moral collapse without insulting this country directly. The way you have to go to win followers. I like him for that.

Oct. 04 2011 12:39 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Aha! When Mr. Lewis said the people wouldn't let reforms be carried out, I thought, sounds like California!

On Iceland, I was wondering how an entire political party is male?

Oct. 04 2011 12:38 PM

on the other hand, metal prices went down recently.

copper penny is no longer worth 3 cents, but 2 cents.

maybe it is a good time to invest in nickels....

Oct. 04 2011 12:28 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

The implications for the gender aspects becomes even more complicated when we consider how most women want to "marry up" -- the so-called phenomenon of hypergamy.... the attraction of women to "alpha" males...

That's how females contribute to this dysfunction, by paying homage to these greedy males and coupling with them!

Oct. 04 2011 12:26 PM

according to, metal value of 1946-2011 nickel coin is worth $0.0494931.

Lewis was deceived by that hedge fund guy, his story is total bs.

Oct. 04 2011 12:26 PM
Gary Shaffer from Brooklyn

Structural cures for bubbles: regulations 1) with teeth 2) that are enforced. Not perfect but good enough. Canada's banks are not having the same problems that our, and other nation's banks, are and Canada's citizens haven't had to bear the cost of bailing them out. And yes, the repeal of Glass-Steagel laid the groundwork for all this. But as Alan Greenspan said in 2008, who could have predicted that people would actually be motivated by greed and put their own short-term material interests above the long-term economic interests of the nation? They never taught that at U of Chicago.

Oct. 04 2011 12:23 PM
Mike from NYC

When you say that the Icelanders created global investment banks don't you mean some individuals in Iceland decided to create global banks? Did the 300,000 Icelanders all become bankers? I doubt it. So the few bankers should go bankrupt and to jail if they violated any laws, but WHY should the rest of the country be expected to make good their losses?

Oct. 04 2011 12:18 PM

1. It is illegal to melt circulating coins.

2. pre-1981 penny is worth 3 cents based on current price for copper. Some people sell them on eBay.

Oct. 04 2011 12:15 PM

Act III - war?

Oct. 04 2011 12:10 PM
mark brown

We are Now Officially in Depression 2.0. The problems were caused in the 1990's and started with the repeal of GLASS-Steagel.

ALSO: the fun part of the tent cities (Remember HOOVERvilles (tent cities) from the 1930"s???

THe more things change the more they remain the same.

The banks ARE part of the problem. Another part is politicians who take POLITICAL contributions and are beholden to those interests and therefore wont change...


Oct. 04 2011 12:00 PM
LL from UWS

Any suggestion for structural cures for bubbles?

Oct. 04 2011 11:19 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.