I love reading financial history and analysis. If you dig through the site archives, you will find reviews to many books that would bore most individuals. Not me. I love the stuff. So when John Mauldin recently praised a book on the history of sovereign debt defaults and financial crises, I knew I had to buy it.
This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly by Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff is a collection of amazing research on eight centuries of global financial data. I am humbled by the depth of the research in this book. However, the writing was extremely dry and purely academic. The authors took a topic that I adore and made it insufferable.
Michael Lewis, John Mauldin, and Roger Lowenstein are all excellent financial researchers and they happen to be engaging writers. It can be done. The writers of This Time Is Different earned my trust with their research but failed on analysis. This Time Is Different will certainly be used as a reference for better financial writers in the future.
May 24, 2010 — 10:42 am
Someone at work gave me a copy of this book today. I thought that you would enjoy it as well since it seems right up your alley 🙂
Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America: http://www.amazon.com/Bright-sided-Relentless-Promotion-Undermined-ebook/dp/B002SKDGQ0/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1274722704&sr=8-3
May 24, 2010 — 3:33 pm
Thanks. I just added it my reading list.
Jul 12, 2010 — 7:38 pm
Was looking for books to read and remembered you sometimes post book reviews. Anyway, I think I might get the above book. I just finished reading “The Failure of Capitalism-Posner” which presents a very easy to understand overview of macroeconomic recessionary trends. He is a federal judge though so it isn’t too easy. Mostly he seems to point to deregulation of the financial industry by conservatives as incentivizing private interests to go crazy with valuation and such. What do you think will happen with the market now that BP might be fixing the leak?
Jul 12, 2010 — 7:53 pm
I think the stock market will tank later this year once it is clear that there is no recovery. I’d be in cash.