A Short History of Financial Euphoria

Front Cover
Whittle Books in association with Viking, 1993 - Business & Economics - 113 pages
2 Reviews
How is it that, with all the financial know-how and experience of the wizards on Wall Street and elsewhere, the market still goes boom and bust? How come people are so willing to get caught up in the mania of speculation when history tells us that a collapse is almost sure to follow?
In A Short History of Financial Euphoria, renowned economist John Kenneth Galbraith reviews, with insight and wit, the common features of the great speculative episodes of the last three centuries - the seventeenth-century craze in Western Europe for investing in an unusual commodity: the tulip; Britain's South Sea Bubble and the eighteenth century's fascination with the joint-stock company, now called the corporation; and, more recently, the discovery of leverage in the form of junk bonds. Along the way, Galbraith explains the newfangled types of debt that different generations have dreamt up, and he entertains with anecdotes about the ingenuity with which some of the more notorious charlatans have convinced people to invest in financial ciphers.
Galbraith calls this book "a hymn of caution" for good reason. He warns that the time will come when the public hails yet another financial wizard. In that case, the reader will do well to remember the Galbraithian adage: "Financial genius is before the fall." The appearance of the next John Law, Robert Campeau, or Michael Milken may well be, after all, a harbinger of disaster.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lindap69 - LibraryThing

This short book should be a must read for all those involved in our financial institutions. Galbraith shows how we have repeatedly allowed ourselves to ride the boom/bust roller coaster and how the ... Read full review

A short history of financial euphoria

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

No matter what your political leanings or economic beliefs might be, there is no denying that Galbraith is a brilliant writer. In this humorous and thoughtful book, he traces the investor "herd ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1993)

John Kenneth Galbraith is the Paul M. Wartburg Professor of Economics Emeritus at Harvard University.

Bibliographic information