Fav books about crashes

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coachz
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Fav books about crashes

Post by coachz » Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:34 pm

Do you all have any favorite books about the biggest crashes and worst economic times? I'm interested in learning what the signs were indicating that they were about to occur, the psychology of investors during and after the crash and what pulled us out of them. Thanks in advance. :beer

longinvest
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Re: Fav books about crashes

Post by longinvest » Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:11 pm

A must read: The Great Depression: A Diary by Benjamin Roth.

Here's the Amazon description: When the stock market crashed in 1929, Benjamin Roth was a young lawyer in Youngstown, Ohio. After he began to grasp the magnitude of what had happened to American economic life, he decided to set down his impressions in his diary.
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Stonebr
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Re: Fav books about crashes

Post by Stonebr » Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:44 pm

The 1929 Crash is a particularly rich source of classic economic literature:

The Great Crash by John K. Galbraith
Only Yesterday by Frederick Lewis Allen -- chapters 11 through 14 on the Florida Land Boom and the 1929 Crash.
Once in Golconda by John Brooks
"have more than thou showest, | speak less than thou knowest" -- The Fool in King Lear

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nisiprius
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Re: Fav books about crashes

Post by nisiprius » Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:51 pm

longinvest wrote:A must read: The Great Depression: A Diary by Benjamin Roth.

Here's the Amazon description: When the stock market crashed in 1929, Benjamin Roth was a young lawyer in Youngstown, Ohio. After he began to grasp the magnitude of what had happened to American economic life, he decided to set down his impressions in his diary.
I agree. I learned more from this book than from any modern "history." You get so many insights into the world-view from inside the world of the time.

Some high points for me: that even banks that didn't fail frequently froze all deposits; the observation that Roth believes in gold as the source of monetary value yet has no interest at all in direct ownership of physical gold; and that after-the-fact simulations of what would have happened if you "simply" continued to invest $15 a month into good common stock are nonsense in a world where nobody has the money with which to buy stock. (Roth is constantly lamenting his personal inability to snap up obvious bargains in both stock and real estate, and, while not unemployed and selling apples, is constantly lamenting how brutal the depression is for "professional men.")
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

Rickardo
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Re: Fav books about crashes

Post by Rickardo » Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:59 am

The Great Crash by Selwyn Parker is good. It gives a very detailed picture of the stock market history and how it affected millions of life across the globe.

cpw84
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Re: Fav books about crashes

Post by cpw84 » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:59 am

nisiprius wrote:
longinvest wrote:A must read: The Great Depression: A Diary by Benjamin Roth.

Here's the Amazon description: When the stock market crashed in 1929, Benjamin Roth was a young lawyer in Youngstown, Ohio. After he began to grasp the magnitude of what had happened to American economic life, he decided to set down his impressions in his diary.
I agree. I learned more from this book than from any modern "history." You get so many insights into the world-view from inside the world of the time.

Some high points for me: that even banks that didn't fail frequently froze all deposits; the observation that Roth believes in gold as the source of monetary value yet has no interest at all in direct ownership of physical gold; and that after-the-fact simulations of what would have happened if you "simply" continued to invest $15 a month into good common stock are nonsense in a world where nobody has the money with which to buy stock. (Roth is constantly lamenting his personal inability to snap up obvious bargains in both stock and real estate, and, while not unemployed and selling apples, is constantly lamenting how brutal the depression is for "professional men.")
I also enjoyed this book. I was born in Youngstown, so it hit home for me especially.

One observation I made was that during the crash, as smaller local companies went out of business, larger chain businesses swooped in and bought out their locations. Having cash on hand during a downturn benefits businesses as much as consumers. It made me start wondering if there is more consolidation of businesses after a downturn. I'll have to do some research.

2retire
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Re: Fav books about crashes

Post by 2retire » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:09 am

Dr. Bernstein turned me onto Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay. It was written in 1841, but contains some of the biggest crashes in history. The good news is it is available for free at Project Gutenberg.org.

letsgobobby
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Re: Fav books about crashes

Post by letsgobobby » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:20 am

Agree with Roth and Galbraith. Also Kindleberger's Manias, Panics, and Crashes.

Tigermoose
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Re: Fav books about crashes

Post by Tigermoose » Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:07 am

Any good books on inflationary periods, like the 70s? I think the Fed is erring on the side of avoiding a crash, so instead I think they will attempt a controlled inflation that causes a negative real return on savings and bonds. I wonder if they can control it. So I want to see some accounts of other periods where inflation took hold and got out of control.
Institutions matter

HomoLudens
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Re: Fav books about crashes

Post by HomoLudens » Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:17 am

coachz wrote:Do you all have any favorite books about the biggest crashes and worst economic times? I'm interested in learning what the signs were indicating that they were about to occur, the psychology of investors during and after the crash and what pulled us out of them. Thanks in advance. :beer
Two books:
1. "Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises" by Charles Kindleberger. It's an obvious classic, I am sure many people here have read it.
2. "When Money Dies" by Adam Fergusson. Unlike the first book, this one isn't popular and that's a pity. He is a former British MP and a gifted writer who produced this account of the hyperinflation in Germany in the 1920s. It's not a typical financial history. It has the financial component built into it, but intertwined with the social history of the hyperinflation and how ordinary people coped with it. Fascinating! I really hope that we will never use it as "how-to survive" manual.
"'Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind." Immanuel Kant

WildBill
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Re: Fav books about crashes

Post by WildBill » Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:06 pm

Devil Take the Hindmost by Edward Chancellor. It is excellent.

I also second the recommendation on The Great Depression by Benjamin Roth. I saw it recommended on this board and got it from the library. It is superb - I sat down and read it in one sitting. Mr. Roth relates many instances of people who created wealth either through business or investment, then went bankrupt through over leveraging or speculating.

After reading it you will likely bump up your allocation to Treasuries. I did. 8-)

Happy reading. :P

W B
"Through chances various, through all vicissitudes, we make our way." Virgil, The Aeneid

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