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This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Hardcover – October 1, 2009
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Winner of the 2011 Gold Medal Arthur Ross Book Award, Council on Foreign Relations
Winner of the 2010 Paul A. Samuelson Award, TIAA-CREF
One of USA Today's "Year's Best Business Books To Make Sense of Financial Crisis"
Listed on Bloomberg.com by James Pressley as one of "our favorite financial-crisis books this year"
Shortlisted for the 2010 Spear's Book of the Year Award in Financial History
Finalist for the 2011 Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize
Runner-Up for the Book of the Year, The Atlantic
Finalist for the 2009 Business Book Award ("Best of the Rest") in Current Interest, 800-CEO-READ
One of Library Journal Best Business Books - Economics/U.S. Economy category
"Mr. Rogoff, a professor of economics at Harvard University, accurately predicted the eurozone debt crisis and for years has been telling anyone who would listen that China posed the next big threat to the global economy. He is starting to look right, again. . . . 'China is the classic "This time is different" story,' Mr. Rogoff said."--Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times
"[E]ssential reading . . . both for its originality and for the sobering patterns of financial behaviour it reveals."--Economist
"Reinhart and Rogoff have compiled an impressive database, which covers eight centuries of government debt defaults from around the world. They have also collected statistics on inflation rates from every country where information is available and on banking crises and international capital flows over the past couple of centuries. This lengthy historical study gives what they call a 'panoramic view' of the unending cycle of boom and bust, showing how claims that 'this time is different' are invariably proven wrong. . . . This Time Is Different doesn't simply explain what went wrong in our most recent crisis. This book also provides a roadmap of how things are likely to pan out in the years to come. . . . This Time Is Different is an important addition to the literature of financial history."--Edward Chancellor, Wall Street Journal
"Everyone working on economic policy should own This Time is Different and open it for a bracing blast of sobriety when things seem to be going well."--Greg Ip, Washington Post
"[T]he most comprehensive study of financial crises and their aftermath."--Eduardo Porter, New York Times
"The authors use copious amounts of data . . . to make the compelling case that any well-informed person should have seen the Great Recession coming. The essence of their book is that while financial crises come in different varieties, they are not mysteriously born of undersea earthquakes, but frequently occurring events that can be spotted and even controlled if politicians and regulators know what to look for."--Devin Leonard, New York Times
"This Time is Different takes a Sergeant Friday, just-the-facts-ma'am approach: before we start theorizing, let's take a hard look at what history tells us. One side benefit of this approach is that the current book manages to be both extremely useful to professional economists and accessible to the intelligent lay reader. The Reinhart-Rogoff approach has already paid off handsomely in making sense of current events."--Robin Wells and Paul Krugman, New York Review of Books
"[A] terrific book."--Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times
"Among policy experts and economists, This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly . . . has become so influential that when somebody says, 'We live in a Reinhart-Rogoff world,' everybody else in the room nods sagely."--Justin Lahart, Wall Street Journal
From the Inside Flap
"This Time Is Different is a tremendously exciting, topical, and controversial book on the history of debt and default. This one belongs on everyone's shelf."--Barry Eichengreen, author ofThe European Economy since 1945
"This is quite simply the best empirical investigation of financial crises ever published. Covering hundreds of years and bringing together a dizzying array of data, Reinhart and Rogoff have made a truly heroic contribution to financial history. This single marvelous volume is worth a thousand mathematical models."--Niall Ferguson, author ofThe Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
"This Time is Different is terrific, for it gives just the perspective we need on the current world economic crisis. People can't expect to understand the current crisis without some in-depth look at past crises. That is exactly what this excellent and timely book provides."--Robert J. Shiller, author of Irrational Exuberance and coauthor ofAnimal Spirits
"You will be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive and insightful analysis of financial crises. Reinhart and Rogoff's superb book is a must-read for anyone looking to understand past and present crises, as well as navigate those of tomorrow."--Mohamed El-Erian, author of When Markets Collide
"I would say that her [Carmen Reinhart's] book with Ken Rogoff on debt crises and financial crises is an extraordinary piece of work."--Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, speaking before the House Budget Committee (6/9/2010)
"A classic."--Nouriel Roubini
"The most important authorities probably in the world now on financial crashes are Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart. . . . And I read it [This Time is Different]."--Former President Bill Clinton, speech at Youngstown, OH, October 31, 2012
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This book was written before their deification by pro-austerity, less-compassionate politicians. This book lays out the data and the small empirically based “aha's”, which investors can use to practical results. And their successful effort in this book is enormous, teasing out reliable historical data, never found before, especially from the Third World. Never underestimate the power of details. I admire this book completely for its precision. And the conclusion I can draw: Caveat Emptor. The future rhymes with the past. Do not confuse causation and correlation.
In my opinion, TTID's greatest strength is the massive data set both authors compiled. I have a background in economics (bachelor's degree) but I can't speak about the quality of the data set itself or the statistical methods the authors used. But from an enthusiast perspective, I enjoyed how Reinhart and Rogoff persuasively weave big-picture themes with their data. I also learned some interesting things, such as how financial innovation makes crisis more severe (e.g. hyperinflation was non-existent when metallic currencies were used but grew with the rise of fiat paper currencies).
My only criticism is that before I read TTID, I assumed the authors would take a complete case study approach and give an in-depth analysis on how different financial crisis developed and unfolded (such as the East Asian Crisis or the Latin American Debt Crisis). This was clearly not the case. TTID is a compendium of financial crisis, and the authors' analysis is clear and concise. Sticklers for detail will be disappointed but researchers might be in for a treat with the data set. Overall, I recommend TTID to anyone with an interest in economics. My rating is four stars, only because of my lack of interest in the tremendous amount of data the authors collected.
The content is a bit intellectual, which isn't bad per se. Maybe because I mainly read before bed, I found it took more concentration to follow then the typical finance/economics stuff I read.
I give this book one star for its Kindle Paperwhite presentation. There are many charts and graphs supporting the text and they are very difficult to read, mainly due to contrast and shades of gray rendering. Perhaps on a color Kindle like Fire this won't be a problem but on the Paperwhite, it is a disaster. If you own a Paperwhite or probably any non-color Kindle, I would avoid buying this book. I feel I wasted my money.
While the charts/graphs are not critical to understanding the points he makes, they are copious and not having them to ponder as you read makes the book less fun.
I recommend the book(content), just not the Paperwhite presentation.