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Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises (Wiley Investment Classics) Paperback – October 4, 2005
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'Charles Kindleberger has written, with great polish and style, an analysis of the stages of financial crises over the last two and a half centuries.' - Patrick Minford, Economic Journal
'Manias, Panics and Crashes is a scholarly account for the way that mismanagement of money and credit has led to financial explosions over the centuries.' - Richard Lambert, Financial Times
'Professor Kindleberger has the welcome gifts of carrying lightly an immense weight of learning and of always using his imagination in deciding how to deploy it. These gifts are as evident as ever in his latest book.' - W.Ashworth, Economic History Review
'Underneath the hilarious anecdotes, the elegant epigrams, and the graceful turns of phrase, Kindleberger is deadly serious. The manner in which humans beings earn their livings is no laughing matter to him, especially when they attempt to do so at the expense of one another. As he so effectively demonstrates, manias, panics, and crashes are the consequence of an economic environment that cultivates cupidity, chicanery, and rapaciousness rather than a devout belief in the Golden Rule.' - Peter L. Bernstein
'Robert Aliber has produced superb update of the classic book by Charles Kindleberger which remains as relevant as ever.' - Martin Wolf, Financial Times
'...if what you're after is a comprehensive guide to financial crises since the dawn of the modern era, buy Charles Kindleberger's Manias, Panics and Crashes...an excellent read.' - Edmund Conway, Telegraph.co.uk
From the Back Cover
"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. As he so effectively demonstrates, manias, panics, and crashes are the consequence of an economic environment that cultivates cupidity, chicanery, and rapaciousness rather than a devout belief in the Golden Rule."
from the Foreword to the Fourth Edition by Peter L. Bernstein,
author of Against the Gods and The Power of Gold
Praise for previous editions of 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 crisiswhatever and whenever that happens to be."
David Warsh, The Boston Globe
Floyd Norris, The New York Times
"[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
"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
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Top customer reviews
I studied business and economics in college in the U.S and in Eastern Europe and now run a small real estate business with 15 employees, so I am I am not a dumb person. However, this book was written at a much higher intellectual level than with which I could engage.
This book is written for academics or for use in an academic setting. This is NOT a book for the average person interested in economics trying to gain a basic understanding of economic crashes.
I would concur that this is a book that should be referred to every few years. For example, speculative investing & expansion of credit gave way to the Housing Bubble; these topics are covered extensively in the book (albeit written before the pop of the Housing Bubble). It will be interesting to come back to this book as the next couple of economic cycles play out given our nations leverage levels and the implications of expansionary monetary policy (Kindleberger highlighted that Debt/GDP levels should be healthily around <60-70%).
Interestingly, something somewhere is always crashing. And I have also used Kindleberger to size up what are obvious manias (easy one: there are now more construction cranes in Toronto than any other city in North America). Places where I have bought after crashes are Greek shipping companies in January 2013 (42% gain in 12 months even including a stock that went from $70/share to $0.11/share) and Indian small caps in August of 2013 (up ~30% gain in 5 months), the US housing market in 2012, and a small bank whose shares went from $300, to $1, to $11 (counting reverse splits).
I have proven that you can still lose money even buying after a big fall (US Treasurys)--so I am not touting Kindleberger as a panacea. it is far from clear how to get the timing right during or after a crash. But this book did a great job illuminating the crazy ways people can cause a good or a stock to part from reality both on its way up and on its way down. Using it, I succeed more often than I fail. And I succeed more often than if I had not read it.
I would place this book on the short list, with Taleb's, Lefevre's, and Malkiel's work if you invest for yourself.