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Boom and Bust: Financial Cycles and Human Prosperity (Values and Capitalism) Paperback – December 16, 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: Values and Capitalism
  • Paperback: 105 pages
  • Publisher: Aei Press (December 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0844743836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0844743837
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 4.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #578,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Alex J. Pollock isn't angry about the financial panic that erupted in 2008 and knocked the U.S. economy into the worst slump since the 1930s. Mr. Pollock, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a former banker, isn't even looking for someone to blame. In Boom and Bust, he swiftly identifies the villain—a familiar, sometimes endearing and invariably roguish character known as human nature. (The Wall Street Journal)

Provides some basics on financial cycles. (World Magazine)

About the Author

Alex J. Pollock spent thirty-five years in the banking industry before becoming a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where he researches housing finance, government-sponsored enterprises, corporate governance, and the banking system. He is a director of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the International Housing Union for Housing Finance.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas E. Johansen VINE VOICE on December 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was skeptical that a small text, marketed as a "common sense" book, could have any profound insights into our financial system. Generally, these types of releases skim over lots of important details, dumb-down terminology, or are written by people who have little more than a basic understanding of the events themselves.

This is not the case with "Boom and Bust."

The beauty of this text is its length; Pollock does not include a lot of fluff, unrelated sidenotes, or useless equations. Rather, he cites previous historical examples in support of his thesis that the 2008 crisis was not "unique" but similar to others in the past (and future). At the same time, he explains key financial terms succinctly and effectively; potentially scary terms to non-business people such as "Loan to Value [LTV]," leverage and moral hazard are explained with examples. The quotes that he pulls from various market professionals -- past and present -- are excellent, providing a great historical context for the current problems in our financial system. Occasionally the book can be a little bit dry, but Pollock does a great job with holding your attention through some fundamentally boring concepts. In any event, there aren't many wasted words in "Boom and Bust" -- it's in-depth enough to be helpful, but not dense enough to be offputting.

At around 85 pages (not including the foreword/works cited), this is a great, concise explanation of many key aspects of our financial system. I'm confident that some of the warning signs discussed in this book will help me avoid some investing mistakes in the future. You can read the entire thing in around two hours; afterwards you'll wonder how you didn't understand the market before.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Erik Eisel on March 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I heartily recommend "Boom and Bust" as a concise explanation of the current financial crisis. As an extended essay rather than a book, "Boom and Bust" is very readable, especially to the lay person.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TBusiness on January 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a must read to understand todays economic cycle. It's short, sweet and to the point. Best of all you don't have to be an economist to understand. I recommend this to all!
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