Boomerang by Michael Lewis, published by W.W.Norton & Company, 2011, reviewed by J.S. Bradford
You’d never think a book about an ongoing global economic crisis could make you laugh, but Michael Lewis has an uncanny ability to provide comic relief. Seriously, this guy could be writing for Saturday Night Live. In the process, Lewis sketches a unique picture of the financial conflicts created by a combination of greed, hubris, ineptitude, dependency, and governmental bungling.
Besides being extremely astute on the financial issues of the day, Lewis has the ability to connect patterns and players across a huge landscape ranging from New York City to Texas, Ireland, and Iceland, just to name a few. (I especially enjoyed the narrative of his visit to a Greek monastery.) In the process, Lewis glibly deconstructs theories of gamesmanship, national idiosyncrasies, and historical influences which ultimately contributed to the free fall into financial self-destruction.
Ultimately the author leaves the reader to answer the key question: “What happens when a society loses its ability to self-regulate, and insists on sacrificing its long-term self- interest for short term rewards?”