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Rampant speculation. Record trading volumes. Assets bought not because of their value but because the buyer believes he can sell them for more in a day or two, or an hour or two. Welcome to the late 1920s. There are obvious and absolute parallels to the great bull market of the late 1990s, writes Galbraith in a new introduction dated 1997. Of course, Galbraith notes, every financial bubble since 1929 has been compared to the Great Crash, which is why this book has never been out of print since it became a bestseller in 1955.
Galbraith writes with great wit and erudition about the perilous actions of investors, and the curious inaction of the government. He notes that the problem wasn't a scarcity of securities to buy and sell; "the ingenuity and zeal with which companies were devised in which securities might be sold was as remarkable as anything." Those words become strikingly relevant in light of revenue-negative start-up companies coming into the market each week in the 1990s, along with fragmented pieces of established companies, like real estate and bottling plants. Of course, the 1920s were different from the 1990s. There was no safety net below citizens, no unemployment insurance or Social Security. And today we don't have the creepy investment trusts--in which shares of companies that held some stocks and bonds were sold for several times the assets' market value. But, boy, are the similarities spooky, particularly the prevailing trend at the time toward corporate mergers and industry consolidations--not to mention all the partially informed people who imagined themselves to be financial geniuses because the shares of stock they bought kept going up. --Lou Schuler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"[A] skilled analysis of that most memorable year in our economic history." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch )
"Most intriguing for its depiction of the delusion that swept the culture, and the ways financiers and bankers, wishful academics and supine regulators willfully ignored reality and in the process encouraged the epic collapse of the stock market." (New York Times )
"Paints a vivid picture of how the supposedly rational capitalist system seemed to lose its collective mind, and it has spooky parallels with what we are witnessing now." (Fortune ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I read this excellent book several years ago. Loaned it out but lost track years ago. So bought it again! Very important and relate to in the uncertain timesPublished 17 days ago by Charles Michael Hill
Succinct and complete. My favorite. And unlike this demanding review, certainly nothing one should leave upon finishing is at all forceful in purpose.Published 1 month ago by Fussell
A valuable volume with useful insight into what led up to, and why, this crash contributed to the depression of the 1930's. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Creston_CVCS
through this book i was able to understand about the great stock market crash.Published 2 months ago by lorraine fryer
Best to read in small snippets; the author's dry wit tempers the tragedy.Published 2 months ago by RPC
I still do not see how the crash happened. As intelligent as Galbraith was, he didn't acquit himself well with this book.Published 3 months ago by C. Royal
Well, I don't necessarily agree with the position of John Galbraith in his opinion of what was done about the crash by the then president, however the telling of what led up to... Read morePublished 4 months ago by J L W