“Boomerang” Quotes

Here’s quotes I found most interesting from Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis. If you find the quotes useful, please buy the book here.

“I think it is easier to take someone in the fishing industry and teach him about currency trading,” Stefan Alfsson says, “than to take someone from the banking industry and teach them how to fish.”” (34)

“A banking system is an act of faith: it survives only for as long as people believe it will.” (97)

“There is an ancient rule of financial life – if you owe the bank 5 million bucks, the bank owns you, but if you owe the bank 5 billion bucks, you own the bank.” (125)

“The scary thing about state treasurers,” Meredith Whitney said “is that they don’t know the financial situation in their own municipalities.”
“How do you know that?”
“Because I asked them!” (177)

“Those who have money and can move do so,” Whitney wrote in her report to her Wall Street clients, “those without money and who cannot move do not, and ultimately rely more on state and local assistance. It becomes effectively a ‘tragedy of the commons.’”” (177)

Arnold Schwarzenegger: “There were times of disappointment. But if you want to live rather than just exist, you want the drama.” (189)

“The people who had power in the society, and were charged with saving it from itself, had instead bled the society to death.” (202)

“The problem with police officers and firefighters isn’t a public-sector problem; it isn’t a problem with government; it’s a problem with the entire society. It’s what happened on Wall Street in the run-up to the subprime crisis. It’s a problem of people taking what they can, just because they can, without regard to the larger social consequences. It’s not just a coincidence that the debts of cities and states spun out of control at the same time as the debts of individual Americans. Alone in a dark room with a pile of money, Americans knew exactly what they wanted to do, from the top of the society to the bottom. THey’d been conditioned to grab as much as they could, without thinking about the long-term consequences.” (202)

“Everywhere you turn you see Americans sacrifice their long-term interests for a short-term reward.” (205)

“Nobody cared in 2007 how much I made. If I made six figures they said, ‘Shit, man, you deserve it. You run into a burning building.’ Because everyone had a job. All they knew about our job is that it was dangerous. The minute the economy started to collapse, people started looking at each other.” (210)

As always, if you liked the quotes, please buy the book.

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