Michael Lewis, in his 2010 bestseller, “The Big Short,’’ brilliantly explained what caused the collapse of our nation’s financial system. Lewis brought readers inside an amoral subculture of Wall Street investment bankers who managed risk in a style reminiscent of free-wheeling Las Vegas casino gamblers. “Boomerang,’’ his new book, zooms out to the wider global financial crisis, exploring the crippled economies of nations such as Iceland, Greece, and Ireland.
Lewis’s rare gift as a guide through the world of credit-default swaps and sovereign debt doesn’t come simply from his deep understanding of how the global financial system works (he worked on Wall Street in the early part of his career), but also from his skill as a storyteller, his ability to tell the larger tale through fascinating human stories of greed, excess, and self-delusion. He shows how systemic problems are the result not of abstract forces but of human error and misdeed, with each chapter taking a look at the problems in a specific country.