Thursday, 27 September 2012

Boomerang: Michael Lewis has done it again..!!

Θα μπορούσα να γράφω μέρες για την ικανότητα του Michael Lewis να απλοποιεί (χωρίς να απλουστεύει) τα πιο περύπλοκα χρηματοοικονομικά εγκλήματα της εποχής μας, αλλά ευτυχώς για μένα τα λέει (ή μάλλον τα γράφει) καλύτερα η NY Times:

Michael Lewis possesses the rare storyteller’s ability to make virtually any subject both lucid and compelling. In his new book, “Boomerang,” he actually makes topics like European sovereign debt, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank not only comprehensible but also fascinating — even, or especially, to readers who rarely open the business pages or watch CNBC.

Mr. Lewis explains why the world is so worried that Greece could default: “If Greece walks away from $400 billion in debt, then the European banks that lent the money will go down, and other countries now flirting with bankruptcy” might easily follow, destabilizing regional and world economies further. He also explains why taxpayers in Germany — the euro zone’s largest economy, with resources critical to a rescue plan — are reluctant to keep bailing out other countries they regard as profligate, indolent and irresponsible.

This is why, Mr. Lewis writes, “European leaders have done nothing but delay the inevitable reckoning, by scrambling every few months to find cash to plug the ever growing holes in Greece, Ireland and Portugal, and praying that bigger and more alarming holes in Spain, Italy and even France do not reveal themselves.”

How did this situation develop? In “Boomerang” Mr. Lewis captures the utter folly and madness that spread across both sides of the Atlantic during the last decade, as individuals, institutions and entire nations mindlessly embraced instant gratification over long-term planning, the too good to be true over common sense.

Greece, Mr. Lewis writes, ran up astonishing debts — from high-paying government jobs and generous pensions, as well as waste, bribery and theft — that came to “about $1.2 trillion, or more than a quarter-million dollars for every working Greek.” In just the last 12 years, he says, “the wage bill of the Greek public sector has doubled, in real terms” with the average government job now paying almost three times the average private sector job. Those who work in jobs classified as “arduous” can retire and start collecting pensions, he adds, “as early as 55 for men and 50 for women”; more than 600 Greek professions have somehow managed “to get themselves classified as arduous: hairdressers, radio announcers, waiters, musicians, and on and on and on.”

Στην ουσία, ο Michael Lewis ταξιδεύει στις πιο "χτυπημένες" από την κρίση (και τα δικά τους λάθη!) χώρες και επιχειρεί να απαντήσει σε μια (φαινομενικά) απλή ερώτηση: κλεισμένοι σε ένα σκοτεινό δωμάτιο γεμάτο με χρήματα, οι κάτοικοι της χώρας Χ πως θα τα ξοδέψουν;;;

Οι απαντήσεις σαφείς, ξεκάθαρες, μερικές φορές χοντροκομμένες και σίγουρα όχι πάντα... ευχάριστες!

Διαβάστε το! Αξίζει..!!!

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