This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly
|Publisher:||Princeton University Press|
What We're Saying
The longlist for the 2009 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award has been announced. The press release states that "The award is designed to highlight the book that provides the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues, including management, finance, and economics. " The books on the longlist are: Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism by George A Akerlof, Robert J Shiller Clever: Leading Your Smartest, Most Creative People by Rob Goffee, Gareth Jones Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson Good Value: Reflections on Money, Morality and an Uncertain World by Stephen Green House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street By William D Cohan (Cohan won the award two years ago for his first book, The Last Tycoons. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
The 800-CEO-READ Business Book of the Year Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—And Themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin, Viking Books, 624 pages, $32. 95 Even though Too Big to Fail was written during the same year the financial collapse occurred, Andrew Ross Sorkin has written what we predict will be the definitive book on the subject. Sorkin not only tells a gripping “perfect storm” story—reporting the gory details as our 401k’s disappeared and our financial system became nationalized—but he humanizes the players as well, resulting in an imminently readable, albeit lengthy, book. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
Amazon does an interesting thing every year, putting their best selling books in each genre on the same page as their editors' pick so you can easily compare the two. I am sure that, were I an author, I'd hope to see my name on the bestsellers list. It would mean that I had not only done well financially for the year but, more importantly, that my book had made it into the hands of more readers—my ideas into the minds of more people. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
Our economic lives could literally stop on a dime. All it would take is an agreement redefining what a dime is, or is worth, backed by or tied to. It's happened before, and The Economist's "Buttonwood" columnist Philip Coggan believes it will inevitably happen again as the great international play of creditors and debtors enters its next act. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
Throughout history, rich and poor countries alike have been lending, borrowing, crashing--and recovering--their way through an extraordinary range of financial crises. Each time, the experts have chimed, "this time is different"--claiming that the old rules of valuation no longer apply and that the new situation bears little similarity to past disasters. With this breakthrough study, leading economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff definitively prove them wrong. Covering sixty-six countries across five continents, This Time Is Different presents a comprehensive look at the varieties of financial crises, and guides us through eight astonishing centuries of government defaults, banking panics, and inflationary spikes--from medieval currency debasements to today's subprime catastrophe. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, leading economists whose work has been influential in the policy debate concerning the current financial crisis, provocatively argue that financial combustions are universal rites of passage for emerging and established market nations. The authors draw important lessons from history to show us how much--or how little--we have learned.
Using clear, sharp analysis and comprehensive data, Reinhart and Rogoff document that financial fallouts occur in clusters and strike with surprisingly consistent frequency, duration, and ferocity. They examine the patterns of currency crashes, high and hyperinflation, and government defaults on international and domestic debts--as well as the cycles in housing and equity prices, capital flows, unemployment, and government revenues around these crises. While countries do weather their financial storms, Reinhart and Rogoff prove that short memories make it all too easy for crises to recur.
An important book that will affect policy discussions for a long time to come, This Time Is Different exposes centuries of financial missteps.