A Short History of Financial Euphoria (Whittle) by John Kenneth Galbraith

By John Kenneth Galbraith

With the entire monetary knowledge and adventure of the wizards on Wall road and somewhere else, how is it that the industry nonetheless is going increase and bust? How can humans be so prepared to get stuck up within the mania of hypothesis while background tells us cave in is sort of bound to keep on with? during this primer, the well known economist John Kenneth Galbraith stories the key speculative episodes of the final 3 centuries - from the seventeenth century tulip craze to the calamitous junk-bond follies of the Nineteen Eighties. His insights offer very important classes on speculative economics, and display conclusively that money and intelligence will not be unavoidably associated.

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T here is ample reaso~ to be interested in the history of speculative excess and its effects for its own sake. One relishes, especially if from afar, the drama of mass insanity. There is a rewarding sense of personal foresight in knowing of the invariable end of each episode. But there is also a high practical utility in observing how reliably the common features just cited recur. ' chance-a slim chance, to be sure, given the sweeping power of financial euphoria-that otherwise vulnerable individuals will be warned.

More recently, in the United States, prior to the great crash of 1987 (often referred to more benignly as a meltdown), it was the accommodation of the markets to the confident, free-enterprise vision of Ronald Reagan with the companion release of the economy from the heavy hand of government and the associated taxes, antitrust enforcement, and regulation. Contributing was the rediscovery, as reliably before, of leverage, in this case the miracle of high-risk or junk bonds supporting the initiatives of the new generation of corporate raiders and leveragedbuyout specialists.

J4- rr.. "'c:. t. r dcl l·.. «go. ,"&. 1if'orui .. k-c: . P"T'Io,r This map by cartographer Herman Moll was commissioned by the South Sea Company. The entire region displayed, with the exception of Brazil, was claimed as the company's trading territory. Disregarded was the fact that Spain claimed the same territory. Thoughtfully overlooked was the fact that Spain claimed a monopoly over all truck and 4 8 trade with this great region, although there A Short History of Financial Euphoria was some distant hope that treaty negotiations then under way would accord Britain access to the fabled metallic wealth of Mexico, Peru, and the rest.

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