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A Short History of Financial Euphoria (Penguin business) Paperback – July 1, 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
- C. Christopher Pavek, Putnam, Hayes & Bartlett, Inc. Information Ctr., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The perennial features are these. Some seemingly new and desirable artifact or development captures the financial imagination of a large number of people (say, group 1). The arrival of tulips in Western Europe, gold in Louisiana, the advent of joint-stock companies (corporations), real estate in Florida, or the economic designs of Reagan are all examples. The price of the object of speculation goes up. The object when bought today is worth more tomorrow. This attracts new buyers and assures a further price increase. Those in group 1 are persuaded that the new price-enhancing circumstance is under control, and expect the market to stay up and go up, perhaps indefinitely. The individual or institution that discovered the novelty (in group 2) is thought to be ahead of the mob. Fewer in number, individuals of group 2 perceive the speculative mood of the moment, try to get the maximum reward from the increase as it continues, and plan to be out before the eventual crash. The affluence of group 2 is wrongly associated, by group 1, with a miraculous financial genius. When something triggers the ultimate reversal, group 2 decides now is time to get out. Group 1 finds its illusion abruptly destroyed.Read more ›
Patterns tell a story not recognizable from studying the specific events. As we've all observed in our interpersonal dealings, most people can readily explain their behavior on a given occasion, say, getting in a fistfight, but can't explain their habit of getting in fights. The same applies to history's many wars. A study of the facts and circumstances underlying the "War of the Roses" (1455-1485) may explain who were the good guys and who the bad guys, but it can't explain why mankind keeps getting into wars.
This book explains a historical pattern of booms and busts. In light of the Financial Crisis of 2008, it's arguably more pertinent today than it was when published in 1994. I'm currently reading Matt Taibbi's, "The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap" (2014). The author clearly thinks 2008 revealed a huge criminal conspiracy, witness the fact that he uses the word "fraud" at least 100 times. Other books such as Christopher Hayes's "Twilight of the Elites" beat the same drum.
While such demagoguery is appealing, I'm still going with Galbraith: It seems nobody ever sees a crash coming, including the greedy participants at the heart of it. You can say the mortgage bubble was wrong, but it's the same kind of wrong that caused thousands of people to spend crazy amount of money on a single tulip bulb 370 years ago.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Old version came. You need to update your picture showing the cover art. Great book regardless of sellers unfortunate error.Published 7 days ago by MC Dickcheez
This pamphlet is at best an entry point to learning about behavioral finance or crowd theory. One can skip it or use it for a bibliography.Published 2 months ago by NetPurchaseMan
For all who worry that financial crises are cyclical - and often cynical - this is a superb reference book.Published 8 months ago by K. Michael Waldock
When was this written? Galbraith's short history is applicable today, yesterday, and tomorrow.Published 9 months ago by PDW
I really enjoyed this, a great read if you need a short, concise recounting of how euphoria drives financial markets.Published 13 months ago by Corenne T.
If you have read about bubbles in history this book will not add anything. Reading free on the internet would be just as useful.Published 17 months ago by 456Scotty