Boomerang, A book review

Riot police in Athens, December 2010
Photo courtesy The Guardian
Andrew Anthony, The Guardian

If you don’t happen to be sitting on large reserves of gold, one of the few bright spots amid the darkening gloom of the global financial crisis is the wealth of explanatory literature it has produced. The apparently incomprehensible complexity of securitised debt left many economic experts, not to mention regulators, as clueless as the mark in an elaborate con trick.

But we can now see that what once seemed fiendishly difficult was in fact fiendishly simple – it all came down to the blindness of greed – and we can see that in no small part thanks to writers such as Andrew Ross Sorkin, John Lanchester and that prolific American journalist and author, Michael Lewis.

While all these writers aim to demystify, it is perhaps Lewis who is most determined to cut through the forest of dull subplots to get to the action. What he unearths may not always be the main story, but it is invariably the best story.

Most of the material originates from a series of reports Lewis published in Vanity Fair. Put together they lack the narrative cohesion of Lewis’s previous expose, The Big Short, and sometimes the journalistic present tense can seem intrusive or anachronistic. Yet the book is chock-full of extraordinary characters, amusing anecdotes and shocking insights.

Read the full review at The Guardian …