October 3, 2011
by NPR Staff
No two countries are experiencing the global financial crisis in the same way. And according to author Michael Lewis, you can tell a lot about each country by looking at its problems — and how they’re being dealt with.
To research for his new book, Boomerang, Lewis went on what he has called a “financial disaster tour.” He surveyed some of the most financially challenged countries in the world, from Iceland and Ireland to Greece and the United States.
As he tells NPR’s Lynn Neary, Lewis found a fatal flaw deeply ingrained in each country’s culture — which he says helps to explain how they lost their economic way when they were offered cheap credit.
“You can think about the credit bubble as one giant temptation that was laid before the developed world,” Lewis says. “Anybody who wanted to borrow basically could, in virtually unlimited sums. And given that temptation, different countries wanted to do different things with the money.”