Monday, November 1, 2010

Panic by Michael Lewis

The full title of this book is Panic, The Story of Modern Financial Insanity. In this book, Michael Lewis talks about the financial panic from 1987 to the current one. So this is all about the most recent insane market gyrations. This book is not really written my Michael Lewis; in fact, it is collection of articles published at the time of the recent panics that include 1987 stock market crash; the Russian default (including the failure of Long-Term Capital Management Hedge Fund); the Asian currency crisis; the Internet stock bubble and the latest subprime debacle.

It is a fairly light read and it is interesting because you can read what people were saying at the time of the financial problems. The down fall of this is that there is no historical perspective to help with our current financial difficulties. It might be helpful for people who had never been in a financial panic before. And, as it said, this book is a light read.

The most interesting thing that Michael Lewis says is that “The man on the street, for the first time, acted on the same foolish principles that have guided the behavior of sophisticated Wall Street traders for the past few decades.” To read more about Michael Lewis, see Michael_Lewis_(author) in wikipedia. I read this book recently and I did understand more about the financial panics he was talking about, but this is not the best book to read about financial panics.

To really understand what financial panics are all about, you might be better off reading a classic like “Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds” by Charles Mackay. See a review of this at

My other book reviews are on my site at Also on my site is information on where to find this book on See Panic by Michael Lewis.

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