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 piñata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it. The Germans wanted to be even more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish.
Michael Lewis's investigation of bubbles beyond our shores is so brilliantly, sadly hilarious that it leads the American reader to a comfortable complacency: oh, those foolish foreigners. But when he turns a merciless eye on California and Washington, DC, we see that the narrative is a trap baited with humor, and we understand the reckoning that awaits the greatest and greediest of debtor nations.
"Lewis's books are always excellent and always best sellers, so this should be at the top of your list." - Library Journal
"Mr. Lewis's ability to find people who can see what is obvious to others only in retrospect or who somehow embody something larger going on in the financial world is uncanny. And in this book he weaves their stories into a sharp-edged narrative that leaves readers with a visceral understanding of the fiscal recklessness that lies behind today's headlines about Europe's growing debt problems and the risk of contagion they now pose to the world." - New York Times Book Review
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Rated of 5
oh, thats what happened
This book helped me understand what happened and what is still happening in the world as it relates to credit / defaults/ bailouts. I've read other books that were more in depth, but they were a struggle - this was not
Rated of 5
Ideal height to hold the window open to get a nice breeze
Really stupid book. I know - all the book reviewers rave over it. In a nutshell - here is the whole book -- different countries misused cheap credit and had different reactions to the bust. That's it. Show's over. Just read the reviews and book summaries and you'll have read the whole book. Don't waste your $25. Get it from the library -- or (like me) just read a few chapters in the book store. It will be at garage sales for 25cents within a couple of years.
Michael Lewis was born October 15, 1960 in New Orleans, LA. He graduated from Princeton with a BA in Art History, and in 1985 received his master's degree from the London School of Economics. Salomon Brothers hired him as a bond salesman shortly after. He moved to New York for training and witnessed firsthand the cutthroat, scruple-free culture that was Wall Street in the 1980s. Several months later, armed only with what he'd learned in training, Lewis returned to London and spent the next three years dispensing investment advice to Salomon's well-heeled clientele. He earned hundreds of thousands of dollars and survived a 1987 hostile takeover attempt at the firm. Nonetheless, he grew disillusioned with his job and left Salomon to write an account of his experiences in the industry. ...
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