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Money Mania: Booms, Panics, and Busts from Ancient Rome to the Great Meltdown (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 27. März 2014

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  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 310 Seiten
  • Verlag: Bloomsbury Press (27. März 2014)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1608198413
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608198412
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,3 x 3 x 24 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 287.126 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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“Swarup's book is a rich, anecdote-driven account … It's a much needed dose of common sense and old-school philosophy… a great romp through the history of financial crises...a strikingly original writer.” ―Bookforum

Money Mania presents a rigorously researched history packed with great stories and insights. Swarup takes the reader through a fascinating and thought provoking analysis of emotional biases, money, credit and social complexity. Financial manias and panics are a rhythmic feature of the collective human experience, with societal consequences correlated to the degree of economic integration and financialization. The vexing question for every serious investor today is whether our uniquely complex modern society is at risk of another systemic crisis. Money Mania is a timely, well written reminder that this question should be given renewed priority.” ―Paul Tudor Jones, founder of the Tudor Investment Corporation and the Robin Hood Foundation

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Bob Swarup is a respected investor, thought leader and commentator on financial markets, investments and regulation. Born in India in 1977, he was educated in England. He holds an MA from the University of Cambridge, two Master degrees, and a Phd in cosmology from Imperial College London. He has managed investments at financial institutions, sat on the boards of hedge funds and private equity firms, worked closely with leading think tanks, advised policymakers and industry alike, and is an award-winning journalist. He lives in London.

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0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Abhishek am 13. Januar 2015
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Poor execution of a good topic. The book is a disappointment and lacks structure and depth of research or content.
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0 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Serge Schouterden am 22. September 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
When I first picked up the physical version of this book i though: "Hey a refreshing new look from a cosmologist. Let's see his perception of money". With all due respect for the man's academic achievements, he should just stick to cosmology. Suffice to say I was sorely disappointed.

Ok let's start the review. The general impression of the book is abysmally bad. I've read fictional books by beginning authors that read better than this book (I've even read better papers from first year university students than this book and that is saying a lot). When reading the book I've got the general impression that, at some points at least, the Bob Swarup was grasping at straws and made a lot of assumptions. These assumptions weren't backed up with credible source material or scientific publications most of the time so this book lost a lot of credibility.

He also made jumps from:the economical to philosophical, to the psychological. To me this seemed like he was trying to confuse the reader because he himself didn't seem to understand. Agreed the finance system of all the different societies have a measure of the economic, social, psychological, etc and yes all these aspects are interconnected and influence each other in one way or another, depending on the setting and time period of said society.

Another thing that sets this book apart form the other scientific publications is the man's writing style and very sloppy academic approach ( I would even go so far that his academic composure isn't present at all). Let us get a closer look shall we? The opening pages he describes breathing " you feel the air on the back of your throat... blah blah blah". This is just idiotic and pointless.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 13 Rezensionen
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von Robert Steven Thomas - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition
This may well be one of the most unusual and interesting non-fiction books you will ever read on financial cycles and economics. The author is not only a successful market analyst, but also holds a PhD in Cosmology. Using his diverse background and wide-ranging research Dr Swarup unveils a unique perspective and well-rounded philosophy to show us how the economic cycles of boom & doom have historically been driven through the instincts of human greed, fear, power and other natural emotive causes. Starting with the Fourth Century B.C Greeks and ending with the 2008 Bear-Stearn's mortgage-bubble collapse, the author will impressively take you on a journey through many other historical incidents which each have many recurring elements in common. This book is powerful lesson for teaching the concept of how to "learn from our historical past."
10 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Like financial euphoria, the book starts out slow, accelerates rapidly and crashes 6. April 2014
Von Aaron C. Brown - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I have the impression that the author wrote this book by sitting down every morning with a historical or scientific example to discuss in a chapter. The account starts out clear and linear, but as the day goes on he appears to have drunk more and more coffee. The ideas flow faster and faster, with less exposition and connection. By the end it's a steam-of-consciousness rant near the border of incoherency.

For example, at the end of the chapter “Birds of a Feather” we get a 200-word paragraph that includes:

“When the disequilibrium beneath the surface comes to the fore, failing to appreciate the complexity of what you are dealing with can cause far more harm despite all the best intentions. The small decisions can accumulate, allowing the herd to grow far larger than it might do otherwise and always too little to right the structural weaknesses when the cycle turns. In time, they crescendo.”

None of the exuberantly mixed metaphors are explained or alluded to before or after. This portion could be inserted pretty much anywhere in the book. If you didn't know the book was titled “Money Mania” you might think this was talking about an epidemic, a volcano, an oil spill, a modern symphony or a power grid blackout. Disequilibria don't come from outside, either underneath or in back, they either make a system unstable or propel it to an equilibrium (if something is unbalanced, it either wobbles or falls). The passage raises questions in the reader's mind: “far more harm” than what?; Whose “intentions” and “decisions”? What is the “herd”? Is it too big or too small? What is it that crescendos?

I can guess what the author is trying to say. I think he means flaws that were minor during good times cause problems during a crash (like bad mortgage underwriting doesn't matter much when house prices are rising, but is fatal when prices fall). People rush in with solutions and bail-outs based on superficial understanding, and end up doing more harm than just letting things crash and cleaning up afterwards. Everyone tries to sell at the same time, making the crash worse, but not so bad that there is political will to fix underlying problems afterwards. I think the crescendo is in the author's head.

But I could be completely wrong, he might be talking about something else altogether. In any case, if you want to guess what the author thinks, you don't have to take the trouble to read his book.

Then the next chapter starts out calm and reasonable again. If you read this for the first two thirds of every chapter, you'll learn a lot of interesting things about history, and science, and the author's personal experiences and financial views. Considered as independent essays, many are well-written and interesting. The one on memory in particular is excellent. Other chapters, such as the one on Tulipmania, are completely off the mark. A common flaw is to start too far back. The chapter on the Great Depression, for example, starts in 1873, spends most of its time discussing German war reparations after WWI and degenerates into speed-induced incoherency before it gets to the Crash of 1929.

There is little connection among the chapters, despite frequent inaccurate claims that topics have been discussed before or will be dealt with afterward. The author thinks they amount to either a discussion of the nature of money or an analysis of financial bubbles (I'm not sure which, he seems to go back and forth on that issue), but I can't see it. Moreover, even if that's what it is, far too much of the account amounts to "people are stupid," and his solution is, unsurprisingly, for people to stop being stupid.

The author believes that all booms and busts are the same. I compare this belief to the claim that all bridge collapses in history result from the same set of causes: designers were overconfident, or construction was too slipshod, or materials were substandard, or plans were made for the average case rather than the extremes. This perspective can be important, and is true as far as it goes. But if you build bridges, the pattern seems different. You study past disasters carefully, and believe you have designed around the problems. You consider not just the collapses but the successful bridges. In this view, every bridge is different, and builds on the accumulated experience of the past.

If you are musing late at night about the role of failure in successful design, the author's approach that all human disasters are the same is useful. If you care about the likely course of future financial disasters and what you can do to affect it, the approach is not useful.

There is enough interesting material in this book to make it worth reading as a collection of essays, but the lack of internal logic and quality control prevent it from being good.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Booms and busts explained with a historic perspective. 1. Juli 2014
Von Joan Enric Torrent Garcia - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Excellent book for understanding the entire of booms and busts from a historical point of view.
From Ancient Rome to the tulip boom in the Netherlands to now.

Worth reding. Easy read.
Interesting if incomplete book on the history of monetary panics 31. Juli 2014
Von Joel Avrunin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book offers a deep and extensive historical perspective on the history of monetary panics in the world. The author himself is actually a cosmologist who works in finance, and his perspective seems to reflect that upringing. He demonstrates that economics boom/bust cycles are not recent inventions but have their history going way back through time in the history of various economies. The book is fun to read and quite instructive. In many chapters, he dispels economic myths, for instance, showing that many economic crashes which we ascribe to a single penultimate event are often years or decades in the making. The classic example is the Great Depression, an event signaled by a stock market crash but not caused by it. In fact, many economic contractions over the years start to sound quite similar as mankind repeats the same mistakes again and again.

My one qualm on the book is that as analytical as the author may be, he sometimes glosses over historical perspective that an erudite economist would feel the need to discuss. I'l present just one example. He accurately portrays many of the economic events that led up to the Great Depression. Then, with a rhetorical wave of the hand, dismisses the rest of the 1930's saying, "By the latter half of the 1930s, almost all economies had recovered strongly, buoyed by a massive Keynesian stimulus. Unfortunately, much of that stimulus had gone on building tanks, battleships, and fighter planes." In an odd stroke, the author both affirms a myth (that WWII ended the depression) and sort of debunks the myth at the same time (the stimulus went into weapons of war). Government interventions in the wartime economy (including price controls) greatly distorted measures of net GDP, but did not improve people's daily lives. Most economic well-being is measured by employment in non-war industries and purchase of economic goods that improve their lives. People want food and furniture, not tanks and bombs. In other words, there was a third phase to the Great Depression - the "recovery" which deserved more than 1 paragraph in a book of this nature. It is possible Swarup also doesn't believe that war brings economic prosperity, but his odd phraseology would leave many readers confused.

Overall, it's a recommended book because despite some possible inaccuracies or clarity issues, it is still an interesting read from both a historical and economic perspective

Note: I received a free copy from the publisher for the purposes of review
4 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
This time it's (no) different. (Same for next time) 4. März 2014
Von David Wineberg - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The joy of Money Mania is in its restating of history in modern economic terms. Going back to ancient Greece, Rome and Japan, Swarup reviews their rises and falls using current economic concepts, complete with pump priming, inflation and defaults. It’s an alternative view of history that says we’ve been here before, and we haven’t seemed to have absorbed (m)any of the lessons.

It starts with the simple premises that financial crises are endemic and “efficient markets are a lie”. Then it’s downhill as he takes us on a tour of errors, mistakes, fumbles and malign stupidity throughout history, such as the Smoot Hawley Act of the USA, in which Congress hobbled 20,000 categories of goods with tariffs. Retaliation from the rest of the world meant that world trade plunged by nearly two thirds. Just when we needed it to rescue us from the Great Depression.

The book smacks of reductionism, though Swarup keeps (at least) reminding us of the complexity of it all. He quotes Schumpeter several times, declaring the very nature of capitalism as creative destruction. He says constant change is necessary, innate and inevitable, and leads to the boom/bust cycle we’re so tired of. The ways booms can turn to bubbles and busts is that every boom builds around some good, like tulips, spices or Florida real estate, and that financialization inevitably follows (Futures contracts can be traced at least to ancient Greece). This allows credit to build, democratizing the field of investors, and expanding well beyond the good’s true value. Ecce bust.

The alternative histories are the high points, as Swarup shows how ancient civilizations have fallen into the same traps, and tried, succeeded and failed with what amount to some of the same economic tools we use today. And which are promptly forgotten by the next go round.

The recommendations at the end are of necessity, dreaming in Technicolor, as the very basis of the book is that we never change. This doesn’t detract from the book itself, which adds hugely to understanding past empires and manias, well beyond the mere dates and players in them. As some wise men once said, it’s accountancy that makes the world go ‘round.

David Wineberg
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