Boomerang by Michael Lewis – Book Review

Boomerang is a continuation of the financial crisis story laid-out in The Big Short. But while The Big Short was, for the most part, told from the perspective of those within the borders of The United States, Boomerang covers those counties hurting most: Ireland, Greece, Germany and Iceland.

Calling himself a Financial Disaster Tourist, Lewis visits these countries and speaks to members of government, workers and citizens. As with The Big Short, his writing style, the way he recalls events and conversations, causes the book to almost read like a novel, a work of fiction.

But there is no fiction and, as such, there are many ‘woah’ moments.

Responsibility for the $100 billion in Icelandic banking losses spread across the population equates “to roughly $330,000 for every man, woman and child”.

Anglo Irish Bank lost HALF of EVERY dollar that it invested.

In parts of Dublin, “rents had fallen to less than 1% or the purchase price; that is, you could rent a million-dollar home for less than $833 a month”.

Lewis, by writing in his narrative style, seems to struggle to link the events in these four countries to the national character. He may have a point, or he may simply be stereotyping – his coverage of Germany and their supposed schiesse obsession feels like a bit of a strain, pun excusing.

Nevertheless, the book is easy to follow, informative, quick-paced and, at times, mind-blowing.

 
[xrr rating=4/5]

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