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Money Mania: Booms, Panics, and Busts from Ancient Rome to the Great Meltdown is a sweeping account of financial speculation and its consequences, from ancient Rome to the Meltdown of 2008. Acclaimed journalist and investor Bob Swarup tracks the history of speculative fevers caused by the appearance of new profitable investment opportunities; the new assets created and the increasing self-congratulatory euphoria that drives them to unsustainable highs, all fed by an illusion of insight and newly minted experts; the unexpected catalysts that eventually lead to panic; the inevitable crash as investors scramble to withdraw their funds from the original market and any other that might resemble it; and finally, the brevity of financial memory that allows us to repeat the cycle without ever critically evaluating the drivers of this endless cycle. In short, it is the story of what makes us human.
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Press (February 25, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1608198413
- ISBN-13: 978-1608198412
– Larry Elliott, The Guardian[Swarup] traces the same foibles of human nature that caused financial disaster in the Roman Empire to those that contributed to the most recent global economic woes. …[His] analysis of the human elements make his work compelling and comprehensible, as he expertly surfs the crests and troughs of the economy and examines the behavior that contributes to the bumpy ride. …If Swarup’s analysis didn’t hit so close to home, this title would be a cozier read…well worth reading for its engaging and long-reaching investigation of what fuels money mania and why it matters. – Library JournalSwarup discusses the recent financial debacle of 2008, noting that “as defaults soared …the finger-pointing began.” The biggest surprise is why this crisis was a surprise at all, given recent credit crunches, and he reaches back through the centuries to report that banking bailouts even occurred in ancient Greece and Rome. … [His] final commentary includes “No One Is Too Big to Fail,” “We Need to Restore Failure as an Option at All Levels,” and “We Need to Create the Right Incentives.” An enlightening book. – Booklist
Swarup’s book is a rich, anecdote-driven account … It’s a much needed dose of common sense and old-school philosophy… a great romp through the history of financial crises…a strikingly original writer.” – Bethany McLean, BookForum