Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises (Wiley Investment Classics)
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Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises (Wiley Investment Classics) [Hardcover]

Charles P. Kindleberger
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews


"what will strike the reader is the book's remarkable relevance to current events"...(Sunday Times, 19 August 2001)

"?pretty well the last word on the subject?"(Financial Times, 12 October 2002) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

The best known and most highly regarded book on market crisis, Manias, Panics, and Crashes is thoroughly engaging. Since its introduction in 1978, it has charted a new landscape in the volatile world of financial markets. Charles Kindleberger’s brilliant, panoramic history reveals how financial crises follow a nature-like rhythm: they peak and purge, swell and storm. Now in a newly revised and expanded fourth edition, Manias, Panics, and Crashes probes the most recent natural disasters of the markets–from Black Monday to the Japanese boom and bust, from the sterling crisis and peso devaluation to the explosion in today’s technology stocks.

Captivating and colorful, Kindleberger’s writing leads the reader through a myriad of financial free falls. From the currency devaluation in the Holy Roman Empire in 1618, through the California gold rush of the 1840s and ’50s to the crash of 1987, all the way up to the present day, his sharply drawn history confronts a host of key questions: In the ups and downs of market behavior, where is the line between rational and irrational? Are the markets a fool’s paradise in an explosive world? When the storm expands to dangerous proportions, who will calm the panic? Should a "lender of last resort" intervene to repair the wreckage?

Along with scores of casualties and criminals, a revealing common thread emerges from this rich history of manias, panics, and crashes: market crises are associated with greed. Just as money evolved from coins to include bank notes, bills of exchange, bank deposits, and checks, greed likewise took on many different forms. Lightning will strike an economic environment in strife, and Kindleberger explores what happens to the markets when conflicting interests arise.

Manias, Panics, and Crashes can be regarded as a warning or a proposition, reminding readers, in many ways, that what goes around comes around. Like all true classics, Kindleberger’s book remains timely–for better or for worse.

From the Back Cover

"Sometime in the next five years you may kick yourself for not reading and re-reading Kindleberger’s Manias, Panics, and Crashes."–Paul A. Samuelson, Institute Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"One never picks up a work by Charles Kindleberger without anticipating a feast of entertainment. But underneath the hilarious anecdotes, the elegant epigrams, and the graceful turns of phrase, Kindleberger is deadly serious. The manner in which human beings earn their livings is no laughing matter to him, especially when they attempt to do so at the expense of one another."

–from the Foreword by Peter L. Bernstein, author of Against the Gods and The Power of Gold

Praise for Manias, Panics, and Crashes

"Classic. . . . Manias, Panics, and Crashes is a durable guide to meditation: wise, witty, and practical. It is a template against which to measure the latest financial crisis–whatever and whenever that happens to be." –David Warsh, Boston Globe

"Definitive." –Floyd Norris, New York Times

"Menacing..." –The New Yorker

"[Manias, Panics, and Crashes] is a scholarly account of the way that mismanagement of money and credit has led to financial explosions over the centuries." –Richard Lambert, Financial Times

"This book sparkles with the best of Kindleberger’s wit, insight, and passion for financial history. A real delight." –Robert Z. Aliber, Professor of International Economics and Finance, University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business

"What long has been the best history of financial pathologies is now even better. The reader who absorbs Kindleberger’s lessons will be prepared to foresee and navigate the financial crises that surely lie ahead. Like a true classic, Manias, Panics, and Crashes is both timely and timeless." –Richard Sylla, Kaufman Professor of Financial History, Stern School of Business, New York University

About the Author

CHARLES P. KINDLEBERGER was the Ford Professor of Economics at MIT for thirty-three years. He is a financial historian and prolific writer who has published thirty books. Manias, Panics, and Crashes is his most popular book.
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