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Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World eBook Kindle

5.0 de 5 estrelas 1 avaliação de cliente

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Número de páginas: 240 páginas Dicas de vocabulário: Habilitado Configuração de fonte: Habilitado
Page Flip: Habilitado Idioma: Inglês

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Descrição do produto

As Pogo once said, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
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.

Sobre o Autor

Michael Lewis, is the best-selling author of Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, The Blind Side, and Flash Boys. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and three children.

Detalhes do produto

  • Formato: eBook Kindle
  • Tamanho do arquivo: 1489 KB
  • Número de páginas: 240 páginas
  • Editora: W. W. Norton & Company; Edição: 1 (28 de setembro de 2011)
  • Vendido por: Amazon Servicos de Varejo do Brasil Ltda
  • Idioma: Inglês
  • ASIN: B005CRQ2OE
  • Leitura de texto: Não habilitado
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  • Dicas de vocabulário: Habilitado
  • Leitor de tela: Compatível
  • Configuração de fonte: Habilitado
  • Avaliação média: 5.0 de 5 estrelas 1 avaliação de cliente
  • Lista de mais vendidos da Amazon: #98,976 entre os mais vendidos na Loja Kindle (Conheça os 100 mais vendidos na Loja Kindle)

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Por Marcos Luz em 20 de fevereiro de 2017
Formato: eBook Kindle Compra verificada
This book is interesting because give the reader a frank feedback of financial reality behind the events: people are greedy and Germans are gullible. Jokes sidelined, the worst of all is that after reading this book the reader probably realizes that nothing has changed since 2008's financial crisis and the vicious circle, someday, will happen again and again (bubbles boom and bust).
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Avaliações mais úteis de consumidores na Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 de 5 estrelas 712 avaliações
Esta avaliação foi considerada útil por 846 de 879 pessoa(s):
5.0 de 5 estrelas The Financial Crisis Moves From the Private Sector to the Public Sector. 20 de setembro de 2011
Por AdamSmythe - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: Capa dura Compra verificada
I admit to being a fan of Michael Lewis' books, so take that into consideration as you read this review. Lewis earned a masters degree in economics from the London School of Economics and went to work as a bond trader for Salomon Brothers before its scandals. His education and investment experience qualified him to write "Liar's Poker" in 1989, though I have no idea what qualified him to write such an entertaining and lucid description of the Wall Street culture of that time. Subsequently, I have read Lewis' "Moneyball" (in 2003), "The Blind Side" (in 2006), and "The Big Short" (in 2010). All of these books are very easy to read and hard to put down. They tell well-researched, interesting stories. In the case of "The Big Short" it helps to illuminate the origins of the financial crisis that broke starting in 2007.

In Lewis' latest book, "Boomerang," the subtitle is, "Travels in the New Third World." Lewis is not referring to Asian or Latin American countries here. He's talking about European countries that drank the elixir of seemingly endless and cheap credit prior to the bursting of the recent financial bubble. To say that cheap credit transformed the economies in Greece, Ireland and Iceland, for example, is to understate the impact of the financial bubble on these countries. Talk about a timely book--I am writing this during September 2011, and yet this book refers to the recent downgrade of U.S. debt, which occured only last month, beginning on page 171.

As in many of Lewis' books, there's a new person who you probably never heard of before to meet. In "Moneyball" it was Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team, and in "The Big Short" it was Steve Eisman, Michael Burry and others. This time it's Kyle Bass, the manager of a Dallas-based hedge fund, who Lewis makes sound both very insightful and eccentric. What would you call a man who owns a 40,000 square foot ranch located on thousands of acres in the middle of nowhere with its own water supply and an arsenal of automatic weapons? Or someone who would recommend "guns and gold" for his mother? Anyway, the gist of Bass' financial analysis is that mountains of shaky debt (arising from borrowings during 2002 - 2006 by people who couldn't repay) was essentially transferred from private institutions (like banks, etc.) to various governments, to the point that eventually markets would question the credibility of these governments. Put differently, the public debt of certain countries wasn't just the official public debt, but also that which came from supporting various private institutions.

Bass, Lewis tells us, visited Harvard professor Ken Rogoff (coauthor of "This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly," which I recommend), and found even Rogoff to be surprised by the magnitude of the public debt problems. Just as Bass bought credit default swaps on subprime mortgages prior to the financial crisis, Bass later bought credit default swaps on Greek government bonds, because he was convinced that Greece would be one of the first countries to experience real problems. Bass expected the swaps he purchased for 1,100 per year per million to eventually be worth 700,000.

Anyway, Lewis interviewed Bass years ago in preparation for writing "The Big Short," but he "left Kyle Bass on the cutting room floor." Lewis returned to Dallas two and a half years later, this time to find that Bass was betting most heavily against Japan and France at the time. Bass also had literally bought 20 million U.S. nickels (don't ask how), because he said the value of the metals in each nickel was worth 6.8 cents. The majority of this book is devoted to Lewis' travels in Iceland, Greece, Ireland and Germany, and to his discoveries during his travels. To get a flavor for the book and Lewis' writing style, here are some of Lewis' passages, in his own words:

Iceland: "Iceland instantly became the only nation on earth that Americans could point to and say, `Well, at least we didn't do that!'"

Greece: "As it turned out, what the Greeks wanted to do, once the lights went out and they were alone in the dark with a pile of borrowed money, was to turn their government into a pinata stuffed with fantastic sums and give as many citizens as possible a whack at it."

Ireland: "But while the Icelandic male used foreign money to conquer foreign places--trophy companies in Britain, chunks of Scandinavia--the Irish male used foreign money to conquer Ireland. Left alone in a dark room with a pile of money, the Irish decided what they really wanted to do was buy Ireland. From each other."

Germany: "Either Germans must agree to integrate Europe fiscally, so that Germany and Greece bear the same relationship to each other as, say, Indiana and Mississippi (the tax dollars of ordinary Germans would go into a common coffer and be used to pay for the lifestyles of ordinary Greeks) or the Greeks (and probably, eventually, every non-German) must introduce `structural reforms,' a euphemism for magically and radically transforming themselves into a people as efficient and productive as the Germans."

Quoting Lewis quote UCLA neuroscientist Peter Whybrow in the book's last chapter (on California's financial problems, not European countries), Lewis writes, "'Human beings are wandering around with brains that are fabulously limited. We've got the core of the average lizard.' Wrapped around this reptilian core is a mammalian layer (associated with maternal concern and social interaction), and around that is wrapped a third layer, which enables feats of memory and the capacity for abstract thought. 'The only problem is our passions are still driven by the lizard core.' Even a person on a diet who sensibly avoids coming face-to-face with a piece of chocolate cake will find it hard to control himself if the chocolate cake somehow finds him. Every pastry chef in America understands this, and now nueroscience does, too. 'In that moment the value of eating the chocolate cake exceeds the value of the diet. We cannot think down the road when we are faced with the chocolate cake.' ... Everywhere you turn you see Americans sacrifice their long-term interests for a short-term reward."

Love him or not, Michael Lewis is a talented writer, and I truly believe that most readers will have a hard time putting this book down. If you have enjoyed his earlier books, the decision to purchase this one seems to be a no-brainer. If you haven't read one of his earlier books, this one is worthy of your consideration.
Esta avaliação foi considerada útil por 4 de 4 pessoa(s):
5.0 de 5 estrelas excellent follow up to the Big Short about the economic failures of countries 22 de janeiro de 2017
Por Frank L. Greenagel II - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: Capa comum Compra verificada
This is the Big Short, part 2. Instead of looking at how American banks made risky bets and hurt themselves and the public, this investigates how the financial crisis hurt whole countries. The five countries that Mr. Lewis reads up on, travels to, and conducts dozens of great interviews are (in order): Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany and the USA.

The chapters on Greece, Germany and the USA are particularly strong. There are two pages on Greece that are utterly brilliant - Mr. Lewis lays bare the sloth and corruption of the Greeks, and how it is unlikely that they will change their behavior in order to satisfy the Germans and stay in the EU. The chapter on the USA and it's problems with underfunded pension plans is devastating - Mr. Lewis grasps the very important fact (that most Americans are clueless about) that one should not only be concerned about federal and state budget deficits and debt, but also municipal debt and liabilities. As usual, Mr. Lewis stories are informative and often humorous. Excellent.
Esta avaliação foi considerada útil por 35 de 36 pessoa(s):
3.0 de 5 estrelas A flip flight through devastated economies. 12 de outubro de 2011
Por Joseph Psotka - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: Capa dura Compra verificada
Instead of reading the articles in Vanity Fair, I bought the book and found it a completely comfortable ride through the the countryside of some unbelievable places. You don't get any detailed view of things, sort of like having lightning flashes as you ride along, but the scenes are startling and make you reflect in ways that I would have wanted Lewis to do. Instead you just see his grotesque mask - like smile reflected in the windows. His analyses are fun, but misleadingly shallow. These three countries' slide into bankruptcy - Iceland, Ireland, Greekland - are amazing stories that seem completely unreal, even science fiction at times; but Lewis provides no real understanding for what went on and what will happen in the future. AS he points out, Germany seems the key to which direction the bailout of Greece will take, and whether or not the international economy will take another post-Lehman-like dive; but instead of giving us the real dirt on Germany's intentions, he diverts us with entertaining but highly irrelevant side trip into their fascination with feces and coprophilia. After all, what really distinguishes the fleissig hard working Germans from the Greek and Irish seems to have more to do with their determined trust and cooperation with each other, more like the other scandinavians, than with prurient coprophilia. How did they become so trusting - was it the utter devastation of WWII and the enormous hangover of guilt from the Nazi era? What taught them to be so rulebound that they demand ubiquitous order in all things?Was it the utter devastation and disorder of the black market?
The book raises many such psychological national mysteries but offers few plausible suggestions for any resolution: why do the Irish pay off their international debt in full when they could easily have defaulted with many fewer downside consequences? Why in heavens' name would Icelandic fisherman think they are good investment speculators? It seems so improbable! Lewis has a good time in a monastery and I guess it sheds some light on the cavalier attitude Greeks have to taxes and government corruption; but the central story is the Greek government as a corrupt enterprise, lying to the EU about its debt and intentions; and conniving with wall street firms to hide the debt (at great additional cost) from the EU. Again, Lewis' excursion into a greek monastery hides the story in fluff and display lighting.
So, kudos to Lewis for making these bizarre state actions publicly accessible; but a few humbugs too, for such shallow, patronizing and seductive analyses
Esta avaliação foi considerada útil por 1 de 1 pessoa(s):
5.0 de 5 estrelas Elves, Purgation and the Cycle of Contempt 3 de outubro de 2015
Por W Perry Hall - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: Capa dura Compra verificada
It's hard not to be entertained AND enlightened by a Michael Lewis book. His books exploring subjects like Major League Baseball, the NFL left tackle, the stock market and financial shorting are to non-fiction, somewhat like Apple was to personal computing. He has the creative ability to explain in clear and simple terms subjects that are complex or seem otherwise mundane. As Jobs said, "the way we’re running the company, the product design, the advertising, it all comes down to this: Let’s make it simple. Really simple,” noting the Da Vinci quote on Apple's first brochure: "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." As Isaacson's Jobs biography explained, what Jobs meant was that you have to work really hard and creatively on the difficult things to make them simple enough for potential customers to enjoy and understand.

Lewis writes with clarity and wit, using his unique creative abilities to render subjects compelling to the average reader. It's only a half-joke to say that if Lewis set his mind to fully understanding organic chemistry, he could deliver a book explaining it to the masses, or to proclaim that Lewis could deliver a best-seller about telephone books

I read BOOMERANG a few years back, lost it in a move and bought the audio version early this year after Greek citizens soundly rejected the terms of a proposed 2d bailout agreement. While published in 2011, the book is still a timely, excellent aid to understanding the basic root causes of the debacles in Greece, Iceland and Ireland, Germany's role in European collapse, as well as giving a view here at home via an abbreviated examination of California's economic and political climate.

To give a sampling of quotes from the book to show Lewis' ability to offer the intriguing with wit:

One problem encountered by “Alcoa, the biggest aluminum company in the country, ...when, in 2004, it set about erecting its giant smelting plant... [was] the so-called hidden people—or, to put it more plainly, elves—in whom some large number of Icelanders, steeped long and thoroughly in their rich folkloric culture, sincerely believe. Before Alcoa could build its smelter it had to defer to a government expert to scour the enclosed plant site and certify that no elves were on or under it. It was a delicate corporate situation, an Alcoa spokesman told me, because they had to pay hard cash to declare the site elf-free...."

Lewis explains the Germans' obsession with human excrement, or scheiße (pronounced "scheisse"), as a way to explain that country's role in the global debt collapse:

“Germans longed to be near [scheiße], but not in it. This, as it turns out, is an excellent description of their role in the current financial crisis.”

"The first thing Gutenberg sought to publish, after the Bible, was a laxative timetable he called a 'Purgation-Calendar.' Then there is the astonishing number of anal German folk sayings. 'As the fish lives in water, so does the [scheiße] stick to the a$ $hole!,' to select but one of the seemingly endless examples.” Another is *you are just as dirty as toilet paper!*

“Individual Greeks are delightful: funny, warm, smart, and good company. I left two dozen interviews saying... 'What great people!' They do not share the sentiment about one another: the hardest thing to do in Greece is to get one Greek to compliment another behind his back. No success of any kind is regarded without suspicion. Everyone is pretty sure everyone is cheating on his taxes, or bribing politicians, or taking bribes, or lying about the value of his real estate. And this total absence of faith in one another is self-reinforcing. The epidemic of lying and cheating and stealing makes any sort of civic life impossible; the collapse of civic life only encourages more lying, cheating, and stealing....”

"The retirement age for Greek jobs classified as 'arduous' is as early as [55] for men and [50] for women.... when the state begins to shovel out generous pensions...." Over 600 Greek professions were able to get so classified: "hairdressers, radio announcers, waiters, musicians, and on and on and on."

“The Irish people and their country are like lovers whose passion is heightened by their suspicion that they will probably wind up leaving each other.”

"California had organized itself, not accidentally, into highly partisan legislative districts. It elected highly partisan people to office and then required these people to reach a two-thirds majority to enact any new tax or meddle with big spending decisions. On the off chance that they found some common ground, it could be pulled out from under them by voters through the initiative process. Throw in term limits—no elected official now serves in California government long enough to fully understand it—and you have a recipe for generating maximum contempt for elected officials. Politicians are elected to get things done and are prevented by the system from doing it, leading the people to grow even more disgusted with them. 'The vicious cycle of contempt,' as Mark Paul calls it. California state government was designed mainly to maximize the likelihood that voters will continue to despise the people they elect.'"

I highly recommend this book for both delight and enlightenment.
Esta avaliação foi considerada útil por 2 de 2 pessoa(s):
2.0 de 5 estrelas Meh. 29 de dezembro de 2013
Por P. Troutman - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: Capa comum Compra verificada
Many other reviews talk about what an amazing writer Michael Lewis is. Having only read this book, I don't see it. He engages in what he calls 'financial disaster tourism', which is basically him taking quick trips to Europe to write magazine articles that are basically exercises in inventing ethnic stereotypes. The Greeks are craaaaaaaaazy because of ___________. Icelandic men are craaaaaazy because of __________. The Irish are craaaaaaaaazy because ___________. The Germans are fascinated with fecal material because, well, who knows? In Lewis's estimation, it seems, the only one person he interviewed who wasn't craaaaazy was the Austrian bodybuilder who ran California for seven years.

To say that this comes across as more of a self-indulgent exercise in trying to find things expected to get the rise out of readers would be a serious understatement. By the time Lewis brings home to California (about whose politics I personally know enough to appreciate how one-sided and glib he is), he had lost me.

If any readers can recommend any serious works on speculative bubbles (from any perspective across the political spectrum), please drop me a note in the comment section. The roiling effect of global capital sloshing around the world is one of the biggest issues of our time, and it doesn't get the attention it deserves.
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