One of the hallmarks of our present financial crisis and one of the main reasons it happened in the first place is that it's really hard to understand: the effects are obvious, but the causes are often lost in a fog of data and explanations of obscure financial instruments. Michael Lewis is one of the situation's few lucid explainers. The Big Short was his pocket history of the U.S.'s financial disaster; in Boomerang he shifts his focus to Europe's screwups. At the same time he undertakes a deeper probe, dropping down several levels, reclassifying causes (subprime mortgages) as effects of deeper causes (the ability of Western civilization, Germany somewhat excepted, to delude itself). Lewis is a world-class storyteller, and it's occasionally hard to remember how awful everything is, because he makes it all so entertaining.