Book Review: Manias, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises by Charles Kindleberger
July 23, 2012
Manias, Panics and Crashes by Charles Kindleberger is hands down the best financial crises book published. Ever! Be warned though, it’s pretty geeky. The amount of data is impressive and overwhelming. Professor Kindleberger covers centuries of financial crises and explains in detail each instance. I read this book in late 2007, and it helped me to prepare myself for the 2008 financial meltdown. What impressed me most is that the events seemed to be repeating even though we lost Professor Kindleberger in 2003. The book presented clearly to me in 2007 that we were in for a rough ride.
Professor Kindleberger meticulously lays out his case, starting from the Dutch tulip bulb bubble in 1636 and going until the tech bubble of 2000. An updated version picks up where Dr. Kindleberger left off, and discusses the Financial Crises of 2007 and 2008. I can’t wait to read this one. (Yes, I am a proud nerd.)
This work is worth a read even if is not "your cup of tea." Read it even if you get bored and have to skip pages. It is 355 pages long and worth every bit of your time.
South Independence Branch