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Boomerang: The Meltdown Tour [Format Kindle]

Michael Lewis
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Lewis is the finest storyteller of our generation. (Malcolm Gladwell )

He is so good everyone else may as well pack up (Evening Standard )

Fascinating...the book could not be more timely...a sharp-edged narrative that leaves readers with a visceral understanding of the fiscal recklessness that lies behind today's headlines (Michiko Kakutani New York Times )

Michael Lewis's bravura journey through Europe's economic underbelly brilliantly charts the consequences of a world plagued by debt...highly enjoyable...nicely politically incorrect, often very funny, and shot through with genuine insight (Robert Harris Sunday Times )

Michael Lewis meets some extraordinary characters in his excursion through the barely controlled madness that is modern finance ... lucid, entertaining (Tony Barber Financial Times )

Présentation de l'éditeur

Having made the U.S. financial crisis comprehensible for us all in The Big Short, Michael Lewis realised that he hadn't begun to get grips with the full story. How exactly had it come to hit the rest of the world in the face too? Just how broke are we really?



Boomerang is a tragi-comic romp across Europe, in which Lewis gives full vent to his storytelling genius. The 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 piata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack. The Irish wanted to stop being Irish. The Germans wanted to be even more German. Michael Lewis's investigation of bubbles across Europe is brilliantly, sadly hilarious. He also turns a merciless eye on America: on California, the epicentre of world consumption, where we see that a final reckoning awaits the most avaricious of nations too.



This is the ultimate book of our times. It's time to brace ourselves for impact. And, with Michael Lewis, to laugh out loud while we're doing it.


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Commentaires client les plus utiles
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Compréhensive à tous et bien amusant 9 décembre 2011
Par C. V. Aze
Format:Relié
Le livre nous fait passer un bon moment, tout en augmentant notre compréhension sur la crise dans diverses zones du monde. Néanmoins, il perdra sans doute d'intérêt avec le temps, une fois qu'il est très centré sur l'actualité.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Un bon moment 5 octobre 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Une approche drôle et facile à lire de problèmes qui le sont beaucoup moins
Les dernières crises passées au crible et au vitriol
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  40 commentaires
47 internautes sur 47 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A highly entertaining and mind-opening world tour 17 octobre 2011
Par Neville Samuels - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
The bit-part characters behind the world's current, and still evolving, financial debacles seem so absurd that you would think this book, 'Boomerang: The Meltdown Tour,' was a novel; a humor piece, not a true story; not really non-fiction.

But it's all real. Very.

Author, Michael Lewis, visits Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany and California. Parts of the world that have suffered badly from the financial collapse that became a reality since 2007.

He interviews financial industry analysts, politicians, including a former Irish prime minister. And colorful individuals; world citizens, who've personally suffered financial ruin, like a bankrupted property developer, a retired grandfather whose claim to fame was throwing two rotten eggs at the chairman of an Irish bank.

Somehow, Lewis manages to keep up with former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as they ride bikes, dangerously, around the streets and boardwalks in Santa Monica. It's an interesting interview, where Schwarzenegger is honest about the challenges he faced running the most populous state in the U.S.

Lewis' interviews are more like conversations with the players, than just questions and answers. And it's not just about the people, Lewis also paints a colorful, or rather grey, picture of the places he visits. In Ireland, "It's always either raining or about to rain." And in Iceland, the days are so short, "the sun sets with enthusiasm at 3:44 P.M."

Appropriately, Lewis finishes his book with a conversation with a California fire fighter who has to make do with cutbacks in pay, fire trucks and personnel. It proves that there have been real consequences to the instant gratification mania that snatched up the hearts and minds of bankers, politicians, property developers and home buyers.

'Boomerang: The Meltdown Tour' is a highly entertaining and mind-opening read.
19 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Sovereign debt situation for dummies is HILARIOUS! 16 novembre 2011
Par Glendale - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Very enjoyable. He has taken a sticky and unbelievable situation (like the sub prime meltdown) and broken it down with the current main players. He approaches the absurd circumstances behind Iceland, Greece, and Ireland's debt problems with humanity and humor. It's impossible to describe adequately here the completely different ways that these three countries ended up so BROKE. Commentary on Germany's role as the mainstay of the ECB is entertaining as well. It's like commentary in the director's cut of a movie. Lewis then moves to the story of California debt as a harbinger of American municipal debt stories, on state and local levels. It's scary when you realize your town could be next. As if any city or state isn't buzzing about the pensions of public service workers, particularly police and fireman? This is a seminal topic that will be center-stage for decades to come. I listened to this book on my MP3 -- I highly recommend enjoying it that way.
13 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating 29 novembre 2011
Par HeavyMetalManitou - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
In 2004, Wall Street's largest investment banks brought about a worldwide financial downturn by creating the credit default swap on the subprime mortgage bond. The events that followed have been widely reported. Once-wealthy nations such as Greece, Ireland, Iceland and Germany accrued gargantuan debts, causing governments, banks and other companies to crumble. In 'Boomerang', Michael Lewis explains the details of how and why this happened, visiting the worst-affected countries and speaking with key players from both sides of the fence (those whose actions caused the damage, and those whose predictions - if taken seriously - could have prevented it). Lewis's snappy prose and incisive wit make 'Boomerang' an enjoyable reading experience as well as an educational one.

In an amusing aside that could be viewed as a prophecy of Iceland's approaching financial meltdown, Lewis reveals that Alcoa, the biggest aluminium company in Iceland, encountered a problem unique to their nation when, in 2004, it set about erecting a giant smelting plant. Iceland's folklore is so all-pervasive that many Icelanders believe in 'hidden people', or, in other words, elves. Before Alcoa could build a smelter, it had to pay a government expert to examine the enclosed plant site and certify that no elves were on or under it. One Alcoa spokesman told Lewis that it had been a delicate corporate situation, as the company had been forced to pay hard cash to declare the site elf-free, but, as he put it, "we couldn't as a company be in a position of acknowledging the existence of hidden people."

Lewis cites a 2001 paper called 'Boys Will Be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence, and Common Stock Investment', published by MIT Quarterly Journal of Economics, which found that men trade more often than women, and from a position of worse judgement. The study found that single men trade more recklessly than married men, who in turn trade more irresponsibly than single women. The weaker the female presence, the less rational the approach to financial-market trading. One of the characteristics common to both Iceland's financial collapse and Wall Street's is the absence of women (only one woman occupied a senior position in an Icelandic bank), who weren't given risk-taking jobs. Interestingly, only one woman had a senior position in Icelandic banking in 2005. The woman in question, Kristin Pétursdóttir, quit her job in 2006 to set up a financial-services business run entirely by women, as she didn't like the reckless way men were running Icelandic banks. Her business is now one of very few profitable financial businesses in Iceland. An old man turned up at Pétursdóttir's door one morning with his life savings and the proclamation, "I'm so fed up with this whole system. I just want some women to take care of my money." (Please note that this approach is not foolproof - I once tried it with my wife and she spent the lot on cars, designer handbags and shoes. She's now my ex-wife, for obvious reasons!)

Greece's financial downfall was unique in that it was caused by bankers behaving ethically: they did not buy US subprime-backed bonds nor did they irredeemably leverage their assets or pay themselves inordinate sums of money. The Greek bankers made one fatal mistake: they lent 30 billion euros to the Greek government, where it was stolen or squandered. Michael Lewis points out that, "In Greece the banks didn't sink the country. The country sank the banks." (This reaffirms the increasingly popular belief that entrusting one's money to bankers or politicians is unwise...a bit like entrusting one's budgie to a hungry cat.) Unpaid taxes were another main contributor to Greece's financial troubles. No one has ever been punished in Greece for not paying taxes, which is seen as an option rather than a responsibility.

Ireland's post-millennial boom in property development led to debts that were unsalvageable. The Irish banks - most notably Anglo Irish Bank - lent billions of euros to property developers whose construction activities ran amok, despite there being no influx of buyers for these new properties. Within a couple of years, the developers were broke and the banks had gone bust.

Germany's financial problems resulted from trying to bail out European countries which were in deep financial trouble. In doing so, they behaved in a way that was uncharacteristically unGerman (putting other nations' financial wellbeing before their own). Germany was dragged into financial descent, its downward spiral inextricably linked to the economic fate of countries that simply couldn't afford to pay back the billions of euros they had borrowed from the Germans.

One factor was common to the worst-affected countries (Greece, Ireland, Iceland and Germany): an insistence on burying their heads in the sand and repeatedly proclaiming that all was well, even though their financial foundations were sinking into oblivion. In each case, the dissenting voices of a few shrewd observers were hushed or ridiculed, granting the countries a short-term facade of financial wellness, but making them look foolish, conceited and financially immature when the truth finally came out and the brown stuff hit the fan.

'Boomerang' is an eye-opening book which gives the inside scoop on events that have been - for the most part - covered up. Lewis's world tour of financial destruction is an enlightening adventure for the reader. He tells his tale with a voice of wisdom, humour and humanity.

Well written, immaculately researched and told from a perspective of economic knowledge, 'Boomerang' is a must-read book.
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Terrible narration, too snarky to be taken seriously 13 octobre 2012
Par Diverse - Publié sur Amazon.com
I like Michael Lewis, and i got this audiobook because i really enjoyed "The Big Short".
But i don't like this audiobook at all. Major problems are
(a) the narrator's delivery is too snarky & condescending. Every paragraph ends with a sneering, dismissive conclusion. At least 100 (literally) times, the author concludes a few paragraphs with the YELLING, NORM-MCDONALD-TYPE PUNCHLINE THAT IS OBVIOUS TO EVERY NON-IDIOT! He sounds like a bitter drunken uncle watching his favorite football team lose another game, and he's yelling at the TV "You CATCH the ball dummy! That's what your job is, to CATCH THE BALL! How hard is that! It comes, you catch it, we win. HELLO!"

(b) The author oversimplifies all situations.
Lewis acts like everyone, all the time, is a blind idiot, not able to see the most obvious items. But he doesn't persuade very well through intelligent analysis. It's like he's at a carnival, and he's determined to not be impressed, and to have no respect for these drunken charlatans. So he describes each person's 'act' with an all-knowing air of omniscience, because he, the author, has 'seen this nonsense before'. Now, this approach would be more effective if he did it to 30% of the characters. But when the comments of every politician, every academic, business owner's are belittled, oversimplified and laughed at, i quickly lose respect for the author's viewpoint.

-
The author's sneer worked well in "The Big Short", because the main characters are swindling grifters. But many of the characters in this book are caught in an economic collapse that they didn't cause nor can they stop. To mock them because they are humans forced to survive in situations beyond their control loses a major aspect of the situation. I don't think Lewis has enough nuance to capture the tragedy of the folk in these pages.
8 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Disappointing account of the eurocrash 20 décembre 2011
Par William Podmore - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Michael Lewis, an ex-Wall Street trader, wrote the far better books, Liar's poker and The big short. This book is a series of reports from his finance disaster tourism.

Between 2001 and 2008, worldwide debts, public and private, soared from $84 trillion to $195 trillion. But the peoples of Europe are being made to carry all the costs.

By 2008, Ireland had debts that were 25 times its annual tax revenues, Spain and France's debts were ten times their annual tax revenues. Iceland's banking assets grew to $140 billion by 2007, 35 times its GDP.

Merrill Lynch, the Bank of America's wealth management division, said, "all of the Irish banks are profitable and well-capitalised." They were `fundamentally sound'. For this six-page lie, Merrill Lynch got a seven million euro fee.

Between 2007 and 2010, Irish banks borrowed 97 billion euros from the European Central Bank to repay their bondholders. The Irish government lied that Irish savings banks owned the bonds, but the real bondholders were German and French banks, German investment funds and - Goldman Sachs. The Irish government lied that it was doing this to save Ireland's savers, but its decision meant that Irish savers were saving speculators.

In 2001, the Greek government's deficit was 15 per cent of its GDP, not the 3 per cent required to join the euro. So Goldman Sachs fixed it, for a fee of $300 million.

Lewis writes of the Greek people, "Trapped by an artificially strong currency, they cannot turn these deficits into surpluses, even if they do everything outsiders want them to do. Their exports, priced in euros, remain expensive. The German government wants the Greeks to slash the size of their government, but that will also slow economic growth and reduce tax revenues." This is true of all the euro's members.

But overall, Lewis blames the peoples. The Icelanders? Their berserker Viking heritage is to blame. The Greeks? They were all on the take. The Irish? They wanted to stop being Irish.

Lewis proffers only a self-righteous and pathetically simple `moral' solution. Telling people that they should be different is no solution at all. He mirrors the EU mantra, that national characteristics are the problem, that we should all become European.

Lewis evades seeing that in each country the capitalist class is exploiting the crisis to exploit the working class even more. He dodges all the real questions: should countries default on their debts? Should they leave the euro? How can they rebuild?
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