Late Night: Michael Lewis says men are ‘dangerous with money’


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Bestselling author Michael Lewis paid a visit to ‘The Daily Show’ last night, where he chatted with Jon Stewart about his new book, ‘Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World.’

In the book, Lewis tours the bankrupt nations of Europe -- Iceland, Ireland and Greece -- and pinpoints the ‘deep cultural traits’ that contributed to the disasters in each country.


He spoke at length about Iceland, a tiny country where fishermen were transformed into day traders virtually overnight.’They weren’t prepared for this idea that you could make money out of money, without any effort,’ he explained. If you fished, and someone offered you the chance to be an investment banker, you’d take it. Fishing’s hard. Investment banking is not.’

But, according to Lewis, not everyone in Iceland was convinced. ‘It was just the men. The men said to their wives, ‘I know what I’m doing.’’ But the women of Iceland were more skeptical of their tiny country’s sudden transformation into a global economic powerhouse, and less surprised by the eventual failure of its banking system.

In what Lewis thought was a sign of the times, Iceland now has the first lesbian head of state. ‘The women said, ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’. They’ve had this realization of how dangerous men are with money.’

The extended interview is available here.


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-- Meredith Blake