Michael Lewis retrospective

I’ve been a fan of Michael Lewis’ writing ever since Ashby Monk (author of the best niche blog on sovereign wealth funds) pointed me towards Liar’s Poker. Some recent and not so recent fare:

Lewis’s article in Manhattan, Inc. magazine is a terrific yarn and a remarkable artifact–mainly because of how wrong Lewis turned out to be…. The imaginary scenario Lewis crafts, of a massive Tokyo earthquake crushing the global economy, reflects a time when Japan was an ascendant economic force widely believed on the cusp of ending U.S. pre-eminence. In that world, Lewis’s imagined chain of events goes something like this: Large swaths of Tokyo will be destroyed by a magnitude 7.9 earthquake. Stock markets collapse, in part as Japanese companies and investors sell foreign assets, including U.S. Treasury bonds and commodities, to finance the country’s rebuilding. Japanese banks and companies pull money and halt their loans outside the country, sapping  a big source of the fuel for economic growth world-wide. Global interest rates soar to 5%, meaning Americans can’t afford loans to buy cars or homes. The U.S. economy skids to a halt, though Japan manages just fine….

Not always right, but always interesting.

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03 2011

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