Boomerang by Michael Lewis touches on various viewpoints of the recent financial crisis: Greek, Irish, German, and American. Overall, this book was a very easy read and inter spaced with various interesting people. You have fisherman turned currency speculators, Greek public service workers and their high salaries, German bankers being swindled by American bankers, and the mayor of Vallejo California struggling with the heavy burden of public service sector unfunded liabilities.
I read this book from Feb. 29 until March 2, 2012. The book is relatively short at 212 pages, a first-person narrative, gives a different viewpoint of the various factors effected by the 2008 banking/housing recession. I could keep up with some of the financial terms and flow of the book; however, at times I was clueless who Lewis was focused on.
Here are a few points that I liked:
- Purchase nickles soon – their current value is almost 6 cents per coin
- Page 13 – Lewis’ personal opinion on that because Iceland’s prime minister David Oddsson implemented Milton Friedman’s economic philosophies that the crash happened – I could not disagree more.
- Page 38 – Women may be better and more rational investors.
- Page 62 – Goldman Sachs – how they cooked the books to hide Greek debt. But GS received over 300 million in fees alone. This company has no soul…
- Page 136-7 – German philosophy regarding filth and cleanliness – also that they were to trusting of American banks.
- Last part – Lewis’ encounter with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold is full of hubris but constantly looks forward and he came from nothing to being elected. I also like how Lewis shows how Arnold tried to implement change but California is basically screwed financially.
- Page 202 – Human nature is short-term and thinks about current incentives. For instance the public unions wanting raises and not caring about burdening the future generations.
Overall a decent read.