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Starred Review. Three cheers for "exuberant, foolish, mad overinvestment!" Slate columnist Gross takes a counterintuitive look at economic bubbles—those once-in-a-generation crazes that everyone knows can't last, and don't. With each one, we lament having gotten in too late, and then not having gotten out soon enough, and finally shake our heads at the inevitable bankruptcies and lost jobs and general financial wreckage. The pattern is all too familiar, which is why Gross's argument is so intriguing: that these bubbles, with their hype and madness and overenthusiasm, are not to be feared—they're actually a primary engine of "America's remarkable record of economic growth and innovation." The author surveys modern bubbles and finds the benefits far more durable than the disruptions: in each case, most investors flopped, but businesses and consumers found themselves with a "usable commercial infrastructure" that they quickly put to new uses. The telegraph "led to the creation of national and international financial markets"; extra railroad lines made national consumer brands possible and gave consumers access to distant stores; extra fiber-optic capacity gave everyone Internet access after the bust. Gross drops zingers throughout his cheery history, amusingly highlighting parallels between past and current bubbles. He concludes—with admirable practicality—by calling for a "real bubble" to jump-start alternative-energy programs. (May)
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"Grosss thesis is...thought-provoking...for modern investors, particularly given that the bubble phenomenon shows no sign of disappearing." -- Financial Times
"Its hard to resist crossing your fingers...hoping that the next bubble bursts while youre still around to enjoy it." -- New York Observer
"The sort of analysis that makes economics and investing so intriguingly fascinating." -- Barry Ritholtz, The Big Picture
"This is a stimulating book, worth your time and money." -- Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution
In his new book Pop! Why Bubbles Are Great for the Economy, business journalist Daniel Gross makes the contrarian-but-persuasive case that irrational exuberance and its aftermath have made the U.S. economy a juggernaut. -- Jeff Ostrowski, Palm Beach Post
Pop!s good old-fashioned historical narrative is refreshingly unambiguous in its lessons for investors.
Sizzle! Pow! Bam! Business history gets feisty in this attention-deficit-friendly guide to American booms and busts. Gross' angle: Bubbles are good for us, or at least they're not as bad as you might think. . . fast stats and light pace make the "dismal science" seem less dismal. -- Conde Nast Portfolio
Sizzle! Pow! Bam! Business history gets feisty in this attention-deficit-friendly guide to American booms and busts. -- Conde Nast Portfolio
The sort of analysis that makes economics and investing so intriguingly fascinating. -- Barry Ritholtz, the Big Picture
This is a stimulating book, worth your time and money. -- Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution
Whilst "Pop!" was an enjoyable read, one must realise that its analysis is very superficial. Arguably, this is the book's weakest point. Read morePublished on May 28, 2011 by Andrew Desmond
Not that I'd expect anything written by Daniel Gross to be worthy of reading, I was initially intrigued by the claims made by this book. Read morePublished on September 1, 2010 by cuthere