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Showing 1-10 of 117 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 195 reviews
on September 9, 2016
Wonderful read. JKG is a great writer, and keeps the story going through what could be labor-some or dry economic topics. Best audience is someone interested in markets & willing to think along the way. It's not a thriller or such, where you just sit back and read. JKG likely does not get "passive" or inattentive readers. If you want to gain a perspective on what happened in 1929, you'll need to read many, many books to gain a full understanding. This is a great quick intro.
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on October 24, 2016
This book is an extremely clear account of the stock market bubble and disastrous crash of the late 1920s. I have read quite a few financial histories, and they are often quite difficult going. However, Mr. Galbraith's account is a pleasure to read, not least because of his very dry wit. The major drawback to the book is that despite the fact that it has been continuously in print since 1955, we have kept on falling into the same trap over and over, leading to unhappy thoughts about our wise leaders.
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on May 11, 2016
I've just read this book for the third time in the last 30 years. It is eerily relevant to understanding the financial markets, including the post-bubble declines after 2000 and 2007, as it is 1929 and the years immediately after. Also, it is the opposite of dry reading. Enjoyable, understandable, and enlightening. You won't regret reading it.
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on April 10, 2012
John Kenneth Galbraith was born October 15, 1908 in Iona Station, Ontario, Canada; and he died April 29, 2006, at the age of 97, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Galbraith worked as a professor of economics, prolific writer, and active political influence. The Great Crash, 1929, published by Houghton Mifflin Company, originally in 1954; with its seventh edition, in 1997, contained a new introduction and a witty note on sources by the author, who dedicated this book to his wife, Catherine Atwater Gailbraith. The author wrote an easy to read historic interpretation with economic insight and a robust index in nine chapters and 194 pages. Galbraith discussed, "Vision and Boundless Hope and Optimism." Something Should Be Done? In Goldman, Sachs We Trust. The Twilight of Illusion. The Crash. Things Become More Serious. Aftermath I. Aftermath II. Cause and Consequence. I like the book for Galbraith's historic interpretation and economic opinions; especially recognizing he financial community's five main weaknesses in 1929: 1) The Distribution of Income, 2) Corporate Structures, 3) The Structure of Financial Institutions, 4) U.S. Foreign Credit Balance, and 5) Financial Intelligence.
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on March 28, 2016
The book is well written with insights on what the american people thoughts were. It highlights how american invested in the stock market due to bankers selling them the products and how we assumed the bankers knew exactly how the market worked. Which in truth bankers know as little as the market as we do.
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on August 21, 2017
As we get further from the event, the older source material is harder to find. A nice synopsis on the crash told be a great author.
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VINE VOICEon January 29, 2009
As I read this book in January 2009 I see many parallels to the 2008 crash. Both the housing boom of 2008 and the stock boom of 1929 were caused by heavy speculation on borrowed money. In 2008 almost anyone could get a mortgage and in 1929 there were billions used to run up margin to buy securities some with only 10% cash required. 10 to 1 leverage for stocks in 29', while some investment banks in 08' ran 20 to 1 leverage to invest in mortgage backed bonds both of these situations lead to catastrophe. Rockefeller came out in 29' to let the public know that he was picking up stocks at the great prices being offered in much the same way Warren Buffett would do in 08' then in both cases the markets continued to plunge. Strangely enough during this era Richard Whitney an ex-president of the New York Stock exchange: "unquestionably emerged as the Ponzi of financial self deception" using borrowed and invested money to reshuffle debt and investments much like Madoff in our modern error.
The book does a great job telling the story of the stock market crash of 1929. You will learn that there were many rallies and rebounds and that it was not straight down. You will here how political leaders and prognosticators reassured the public that the "economy was sound". You will see how the crash brought to surface many frauds in the investment community. Surprisingly the suicides of this time period were greatly exaggerated in myth, with no more than the usual amount in the populace with a few high profile ones about the same as in 2008.
Very simple easy to read book that will teach you about irrational exuberance, greed, and fear through the story of that fateful year of 1929.
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on September 17, 2016
This concentrated on th stock market. I believe bank failures played an important role in the continuation of the great depression.
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on February 12, 2009
John Kenneth Galbraith's book on The Great Crash in 1929 is a short and vivid story about the causes leading to the stock market crash in October 1929. Reading it in February 2009, it is like a horror story. The description of the boom years, from 1925 to 1929, are very similar to today. Then people bought stocks on the margin, now they got houses. A main investment object was securitized stock loans, today it was CDOs bases on mortgages. Then, as now, capital was flowing to the US from the whole world to take part in the boom.

Galbraith also spend some space to discuss why this particular crash led to The Great Depression, while most crashes don't get us into anything like that. That part is also very scary, 54 years after the writing. He claims that income distribution in 1929 was partly responsible. Today, it is almost as uneven. The credit and banking system was distorted in pretty much the same way as today. And the current account ran a deficit (however, far smaller than today).

There is consolation in two important differences. The US is no longer on gold standard. That will probably prevent the devastating and long-lasting deflation from the Great Depression. And balanced budgets are not the holy grail of public finances, as it were in the 1930s (including under president Roosevelt).

To anyone with the slightest interest of the mechanisms of booms and busts, I will recommend Galbraith's excellent work. There are naturally simplifications and political biases, but in a couple of hours reading, he offers a lot of understanding.
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on June 30, 2017
So how do you think no regulations will work? Read this and find out.
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