Michael Lewis is one of the most prominent authors on the inner workings of 'the Street' and the financial crisis they - with central bankers aiding and abetting - create. It looks like he has a doozy of an article coming in March's Vanity Fair in relation to Merrill Lynch and the crisis in Ireland titled 'When Irish Eyes Are Crying'. If you recall, the Irish taxpayer (like the British, and lesser degree American taxpayer) was made to socialize the losses of private entities, whereas a country like Iceland basically gave a big middle finger to the banking establishment. [Dec 9, 2010: Should Sovereign Nations Pursue the Iceland Solution or the Irish Solution?] How Ireland got there, and the aftermath seem to be the focus of the story. Lewis wrote about Greece last year.
While it is too far ahead to be published on the website there is a lengthy Q&A on the website here, and below I've embedded a video from CNBC this afternoon. As I've long decried the combination of central banks fixing every problem with a flood of easy money and incredibly broken incentive systems herks and jerks the global economy from bubble to bust, in increasingly fast time frames.
For the March issue of Vanity Fair, Michael Lewis traveled to Ireland for the third leg of his Euro DisasterLand adventure (preceded by Greece and Iceland). In Iceland, Lewis found that the country was brought down by Icelandic Alpha males who wanted to be investment bankers; in Greece, he found that the country was brought down by spectacularly generous social services coupled with rampant tax evasion; in Ireland, Lewis finds a housing bubble the likes of which even we Americans struggle to fathom. “In an era when capitalists went out of their way to destroy capitalism,” he writes, “the Irish bankers set some kind of record for destruction.”
6 minute video - email readers will need to come to site to view