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Bubbleology: The New Science of Stock Market Winners and Losers Hardcover – July 23, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Crown Business Briefings
  • Hardcover: 187 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; 1 edition (July 23, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609609297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609609293
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,785,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From The New Yorker

In the wake of the Nasdaq's precipitate decline, investors who were once boundlessly exuberant are now hopelessly downcast, convinced that the market is doomed to an endless series of boom-and-bust cycles. Adroitly synthesizing work from the fields of economics, evolutionary psychology, and social science, Hassett shows that the kind of frenzy we saw at the height of dot-com mania, far from being characteristic of financial markets, is actually relatively rare. A bubble, he argues, is almost always the product of technological upheaval, which creates great economic potential but also great economic uncertainty. Investors looking for guidance take their cue from each other, encouraging a herd mentality, and individually rational behavior creates a collectively irrational outcome. Still, for all the havoc that bubbles can wreak on our portfolios, they can also provide collective gains: the railroad bubble gave America its first transportation network, and we will be reaping the technological benefits of the Internet boom for decades to come.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker

Review

“Financial bubbles are serious business. But in the hands of Kevin Hassett, they’re also a blast. His Bubbleology is as enlightening as it is fun to read.”—Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, Washington, D.C., bureau chief of Fortune magazine and contributor to Fox News Channel

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Despite Mr. Hassett's track record with his previous book "Dow 36,000," I saw him appear on CNBC during the early morning show and thought that he did well enough that I should buy the book. He promised that you could use his book to figure out what stocks were overvalued and which ones weren't. A pretty important topic given the current market environment. However, after reading this short book I have no idea of how to actually rank stocks on the 1 to 6 scale that he uses. He doesn't actually provide concrete examples, only that he says that he put together this ranking and it worked really well. My other problem is that if this approach works so well how come he didn't use it when his "Dow 36,000" book came out when the stock market was at its peak. Some explanation would have been useful for why Hassett, who is marketing this book as a full proof approach to spotting bubbles, wasn't able to use this approach himself over just the last couple of years to warn people and predict which stocks were going to crash, a period when he was supposedly writing this book. Claiming that you use a not clearly stated formula to identify overvalued stocks after they have already crashed seems like a scam to me.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John R. Lott Jr. on May 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am somewhat more dubious than Kevin Hassett is about the existence of "bubbles" (e.g., see PeterGarber's excellent review of the history of bubbles in "Fables that Aren't Worth the Price of a Tulip"), but given that Hassett provides the latest academic research in an understandable readable way on how to spot when bubbles might be occurring, this is a very useful book. I think for the vast majority of readers the book strikes the right balance between practical usefulness and technical detail. It is a hard task, but I have rarely seen someone take what can be such technically complicated issues and get the logic of what is going on in such a straightforward way. For investors, this is a very useful book to read.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I saw a favorable review in the New Yorker so I took the plunge and bought the book, even though I never read finance books. This is one of the most interesting books I have ever read. While its easy to say there was a bubble after the fact, this book looks at the work of the real scientists who have been searching for hard scientific evidence of bubbles. The book has very well done dialogues that help make the material entertaining. I never expected that the search for bubbles would provide so much insight into how the world works.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Emmett Brady on November 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Hassett has improved his scholarship immensely in the present book over his previous,co-authored book with James Glassman ,written in 1999, which predicted a Dow of 35,000 by late 2005.The fundamental problem underlying the formation of a boom-bust stock market(herd,crowd, and momentum investing,financed in large part by margin account loans,that leads to manias,bubbles,panics,crashes and subsequent economic downturns)is the inherent ambiguity(uncertainty) of the information or data upon which stock market participants are basing their expectations and probabilistic forecasts of future price changes.The inability to form reliable probabilistic forecasts of future market outcomes leads perfectly rational decision makers to start to follow other market participants who they think might be somewhat better informed.The formation of herd behavior is then started and you are well down the road to boom and bust capitalism.Hassett correctly credits D.Ellsberg,F.Knight,and J.M.Keynes for providing the fundamental concepts underlying his "new" "science" of stock market analysis.Essentially,any type of classical-neoclassical analysis based on the assumption of normality(a normal probability distribution a la the efficient markets type of reasoning) is shown to be badly misleading and very inaccurate.The ambiguity(uncertainty)versus risk distinction is of fundamental importance for any type of financial investing or modeling.There are two significant omissions in Hassett's book.The first omission is Ellsberg's 1962 dissertation,recently published in 2001.Hassett gives Gilboa and Schmeidler unwarranted credit for incorporating optimism-pessimism into Ellsberg's decision theoretic technical structure.Read more ›
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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful By 2many2read on August 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The young co-author of Dow 36,000 writes a summary of theories regarding financial bubbles. (Thank goodness he doesn't pursue the earlier book's theory on the stock market's risk premium.) Unfortunately, this is not a practical bubble detector.
This is a quick, pithy read with lots of information and a bibliography to point the way for further study. He contrasts the efficient market theory with other ideas that suggest the market can be beaten. It's too bad this book is not longer and more substantial. Maybe Devil Take the Hindmost or Tulipomania would make a nice follow up to this simple intro.
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