Michael Lewis discusses Europe's financial crisis on "The Daily Show"
(CBS) Michael Lewis, author of "Moneyball" and "The Blind Side," stopped by "The Daily Show" on Tuesday to discuss his latest book, "Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World."
In the book, Lewis embarks on what he calls "financial disaster tourism," looking at countries like Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany and the United States, which, for different reasons, went wild with cheap credit.
"Everybody faced the same temptation, that the banks were willing to lend to anybody," he told host Jon Stewart. "But what they wanted to do was so different from place to place. And the money, for me, became a prism through which to view the society."
Lewis and Stewart discussed Greece's precarious position in the European Union.
"Greece, left alone in a dark room with a pile of money, wanted to turn a corrupt, bloated government into an even more corrupt, bloated government," Lewis said. "They wanted to plunder from the government on the one hand, and cheat the government of their taxes on the other. It's really a society in total moral collapse."
Lewis also described how Iceland's fishermen were becoming currency traders "in a matter of days."
"They told themselves that they were good at this," he said. "Their president was wandering the world saying Icelanders were naturally suited to be hedge fund people."
Watch Part 2 of the interview below:
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