Crashes and Crises:
Lessons from a History of Financial Disasters
by Connel Fullenkamp 2018
Read by the author 11h 16m
Rating – 9.5 / econ lectures & PDF
That’s what this book is about – the economic crashes and the crises of the west from the Tulip Bubble of the 17th century to the German post-WWI hyper-inflation, the US stock market crash of 1929 and the housing loans of 1990s – as well as much more. I suppose the focus is mostly on 20th century topics from New York’s Lehman Brothers to the Silicon Valley dot com boom and Orange County’s bankruptcy. I loved it! I might read it again because there’s a wonderful pdf chock full of lecture notes. (I should give it a 10 for doing that!)
Professor Connel Fullenkamp of Duke University guides listeners through four centuries of economic disasters – from tulip mania in the 1600s to the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Each of his 24 lectures covers a notable incident of financial misfortune or folly that is worthy of a Hollywood thriller. You hear how Charles Ponzi conducted the moneymaking scam that bears his name; how mining companies in the Old West sprang up like Internet start-ups, with a similar imbalance of winners and losers; how hyperinflation destroyed Germany’s economy at the beginning of 1920s and how its resulting stock market crash nearly sank America’s stock market.
You also hear how the Great Depression deepened through a wave of bank panics; how, in more recent times, the US savings and loan industry went belly-up; how Orange County in California went bankrupt, how Japan’s hard-charging economy came to a screeching halt; how currency crises swept the globe; how subprime mortgages nearly sparked a second Great Depression; and much more. You also learn how technology has transformed stock trading, how cryptocurrencies work, and why we live in an era of financial instability.
As well as entertaining you with riveting stories, Professor Fullenkamp inoculates you against the gullibility, overconfidence, and herd mentality that have trapped even Wall Street professionals in misguided investments that lost billions. You won’t have any trouble staying awake through these stimulating lectures. And, armed with the knowledge of how to stay out of harm’s way, you may even sleep better at night.