Travels in the New Third World

Lewis, Michael

Book - 2011
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Presents the author's darkly humorous investigation of the effects of the 2008 financial bubble on other countries before taking aim at greedy debtors in California and Washington, D.C.

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Co., c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0393081818
Branch Call Number: Non-F 330.905 Lew


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Oct 16, 2014
  • redban rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Please, please, read Matt Taibbi's book Griftopia, then come back and evaluate Michael Lewis' narrative.

This book was indeed a fun read, but the more I reflect on it the more disgusted I get. This is Michael Lewis at his worst, as least The Big Short and Flash Boys offered some insight amidst all the re-framing and omissions! Yes, it's fun to be an amateur pseudo-sociologist and chuckle at different cultural behaviors. However, when we are talking about Economics, we must consider magnitude, who controls the money, and who profits the most. The first place to examine is banking.

Last time I checked it was systemic Wall Street fraud that caused the 2008 financial crisis; this was a top-down scam which is why the money all funnelled to the top through profits from predatory fraud, bailouts, and executive bonuses while everyone else suffered through the actual Recession. Please follow the money! It was all started and controlled by the big banks, like Goldman Sachs, who successfully lobbied the Federal Reserve to give these banks the power to churn out ever-more-complex-and-risky fraud investment instruments that these banks later sold to everyone else, laying all the risk to the taxpayers since the big banks have the Feds in their pockets and can negotiate taxpayer bailouts when their scams collapse.

THAT is Economics, or what's left of it underneath the propaganda. With that in mind, wouldn't it be prudent to examine the big banks' role with Greece? Say... Goldman Sachs? Goldman Sachs providing short-term profit to Greek politicians in return for Greek taxpayer/infrastructure wealth? (Where else have we heard that story?). Once again, who profited the most, and who was in control?

How difficult is it to follow the money? Apparently, Michael Lewis can write an entire Economics book while omitting the obvious.

Oct 14, 2014

If you don't want your illusions and delusions shattered and continue to live in la la land, instead of entering the land of reality, you read Michael Lewis. If you are interested in the truth, you read Matt Taibbi, Pam Martens, Nomi Prins, Michael Hudson, Michael Perelman and Michael Parenti. A simple choice.

Oct 14, 2014
  • no2squaredrive rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

What is it that drives our economic systems' cycles of boom and bust ? Mr. Lewis doesn't explicitly say, but analyses several countries recent troubles and shows how quirks and habits of individuals build-up to mass delusions and a national herd mentality. This leads to blindness to risk and over optimism. (After years of good times, our caution seems to go to sleep while our greed leads us on.) And there are different flavors in different countries. At least that's what I've gotten out of it after a quick read. It's worth a second read, and then other conclusions may be found.

Jan 17, 2013
  • Khrushchev rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A fun romp through the economics of countries newly introduced to the woes of a downturn. Lewis explains the reasons behind each one's individual reasons for collapse quite well (though you would probably need at least some prior knowledge of economics to gain the full enjoyment this book offers). Well researched, well written, well done Michael Lewis.

Sep 02, 2012

This book is better than I expected. I finished it from cover to cover in two days.

Sep 01, 2012
  • scathing_haiku rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

At least Vallejo / can boast to builders that they / need not search for elves

Aug 02, 2012
  • binational rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The best explanation - by far - that I have read about the Greek economic debacle. Corruption is embedded so deep in Greek culture that one can easily understand the reluctance by Germans and other northern Europeans to bail out people who resolutely refuse to pay taxes yet insist to retire on public pensions at age 55. Blew my mind.

Jun 26, 2012
  • PrairieStar rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Well written and humorous but the subject matter makes you want to cry while laughing. One chapter was about California budget and pension woes.

May 09, 2012
  • VPL Career Commons rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

One of the great things about Michael Lewis is how well he writes for the lay audience. He has a great sense of humour and irony and an eye for the absurd. These are serious matters and if his light touch helps to get more people thinking about our financial situation we can only applaud. There will be many more volumes written about the mess we find ourselves in. Enjoy the lighthearted ones!

May 04, 2012
  • TtamioO rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Michael Lewis tells us humorously why Europe is in the serious financial trouble it's in, and then not so humorously why the U.S. is next. It's most likely he will not be taking a another vacation anytime soon to the countries whose people he had so thoroughly eviscerated and hopefully if he need the services of the police or fire department, they will not recognize his name.

View All Comments


Add a Summary

Apr 24, 2012
  • elinpat rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Hilarious account of what went wrong in Europe in those countries so badly in debt. Also a pretty solid summary of how things transpird.

Mar 08, 2012
  • AnneDromeda rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A while back, I reviewed a Michael Lewis book called *The Big Short*, all about the personalities and events that built the Great Recession. In the time it took to write and release that book, Lewis stumbled across a few shrewd financiers who were predicting a global crash based on the same kind of accounting principles that shook America. Lewis initially dismissed these characters as people who'd gotten lucky predicting one crash, and now thought they had a talent for predicting crises. But, by the time he was promoting *The Big Short*, Iceland and Greece were deep in trouble, and Lewis knew there was more to the story.<br />

*Boomerang*, then, is all about how the American banking system's creative approach to credit tranching spread round the world. Again, Lewis takes the time to introduce readers to the characters making the big financial decisions. He makes some broad and questionable arguments extending generalized national character traits (Icelandic, Greek, Irish, German) to their money management techniques, but the effect is meant to be humorous and it is. In fact, the whole book's tone is gleefully irreverent – toward the money gods, toward religion, and toward the crisis itself. It's not that the recession hasn’t had dire consequences; Lewis knows it has, and that it may get worse. He's fundamentally optimistic, though, and willing to see the abundant humour in the decision making processes of nations, banks and individuals who inadvertently set up the crisis. Either it gets better or it doesn't – either way, you have to laugh. With its wry approach and clear, approachable style, *Boomerang* is recommended for any readers interested in the factors driving the credit crisis around the world.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Find it at PPL