Panic!: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity

Panic!: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity

by Michael Lewis
     
 

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The New York Times bestseller: A masterful account of today’s money culture, showing how the underpricing of risk leads to catastrophe.
When it comes to markets, the first deadly sin is greed. In this New York Times bestseller, Michael Lewis is our jungle guide through five of the most violent and costly upheavals in recent financial history. With his

Overview

The New York Times bestseller: A masterful account of today’s money culture, showing how the underpricing of risk leads to catastrophe.
When it comes to markets, the first deadly sin is greed. In this New York Times bestseller, Michael Lewis is our jungle guide through five of the most violent and costly upheavals in recent financial history. With his trademark humor and brilliant anecdotes, Lewis paints the mood and market factors leading up to each event, weaves contemporary accounts to show what people thought was happening at the time, and, with the luxury of hindsight, analyzes what actually happened and what we should have learned from experience.

Editorial Reviews

Janet Maslin
…an anthology of work by Mr. Lewis and many others rather than a single narrative, and in some ways that structure is liberating. By drawing on pre-existing journalism, Mr. Lewis…need not feign naivete to capture the conditions leading up to this and each successive money meltdown. Nor need he pretend to be surprised at the paucity of useful lessons that these crises have brought. Though he only edited Panic…Mr. Lewis has thoroughly invested himself in presenting its stories. Some of his own work is excerpted here. And he has written illuminating introductions to the book's separate sections.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Lewis (Liar's Poker) takes readers on a spin through notable recent financial catastrophes including the stock market's 1987 crash, the Russian default and related failure of hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management, the Asian currency crisis, the Internet bust and the recent subprime debacle. While the collection is comprehensive and contains varied and learned commentary, the presented crises beg for more thorough treatment. Lewis is content to rehash the past with (undeniably compelling) previously published analysis by the likes of economists Joseph Stieglitz and Paul Krugman and Wall Street Journal reporters Gregory Zuckerman and Roger Lowenstein. The author wisely includes excerpts from his books and articles, including an account of his time as a trader at Salomon Brothers in the midst of the junk bond crash of 1987 and his observations on the Internet boom and bust. The narrative is certainly elegant and the arguments are on-target; the author lambastes shoddy risk management at financial firms, the "foolish principles that have guided the behavior of sophisticated Wall Street traders" and the common man in this current crisis, and the problems caused "by the new complexities of the financial markets," but readers seeking serious solutions to our current woes will be disappointed. (Jan.)

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Library Journal

Lewis (Liar's Poker) has compiled an anthology of articles related to five major financial crises in recent decades: the 1987 stock market crash, the Russian default, the Asian currency crisis, the Internet bubble and, most recently, the subprime mortgage collapse (the final article included is from January 2008). For each crisis, Lewis offers articles from journals, books, transcripts, and newspapers, all written immediately before, during, or after the event. He provides an introduction to each group of articles on a specific crisis and analyzes the crisis in hindsight. Articles included are from such estimable writers as Paul Krugman, Tim Metz, Joseph Stiglitz, Robert Shiller, Lester C. Thurow, and Gregory Zuckerman, with Lewis's own articles appearing as well. He also provides biographies of the contributors and a glossary of terms. Timely and highly readable, this work includes in one accessible source two decades' worth of some of the best writing on the various crises and panics. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ8/08.]
—Lucy Heckman

BusinessWeek
“It’s hard to imagine a more timely book.”
Details
“In this enlightening (and frightening) anthology, the Moneyball and Liar’s Poker author collects the best reporting and analysis of every Wall Street crisis of the past twenty years. As a source of aid in these troubled times, the book’s only competition is a bottle of Scotch.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393065145
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
12/01/2008
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
1,250,961
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)

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Meet the Author

Michael Lewis, the best-selling author of The Undoing Project, Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, The Blind Side, andThe Big Short, among other works, lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and three children.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
October 15, 1960
Place of Birth:
New Orleans, LA
Education:
Princeton University, B.A. in Art History, 1982; London School of Economics, 1985

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