The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market's 'Perfect Storm'

The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market's 'Perfect Storm'

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by Robert F. Bruner, Sean D. Carr
     
 

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Why do markets crash and bank panics happen? Conventional wisdom has gathered, like iron filings, at two intellectual poles: at one extreme is a hodge-podge of idiosyncratic, period-specific causes and at the other is a host of all-encompassing "single bullet" theories. In The Panic of 1907, authors Robert Bruner and Sean Carr offer an alternate perspective

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Overview

Why do markets crash and bank panics happen? Conventional wisdom has gathered, like iron filings, at two intellectual poles: at one extreme is a hodge-podge of idiosyncratic, period-specific causes and at the other is a host of all-encompassing "single bullet" theories. In The Panic of 1907, authors Robert Bruner and Sean Carr offer an alternate perspective through a detailed narrative of one of the worst crises in modern financial history—one which ultimately transformed the American financial system and resulted in the establishment of the modern Federal Reserve.

Drawing from rare source materials, Bruner and Carr take you day by day through the crisis in 1907, revealing what happened, why it matters, and what we can learn from it. Beginning with a catastrophic earthquake in San Francisco and culminating in the shocking suicide of the deposed president of one of New York's leading financial institutions, this book will draw you into the central issues surrounding the panic of 1907. Throughout this journey, you'll not only become familiar with the events of the crisis, but you'll also discover how larger-than-life figures, such as the inestimable J. Pierpont Morgan, took it upon themselves to provide leadership—and inspire confidence—at a time of great uncertainty and instability.

Filled with in-depth insights, The Panic of 1907 offers a deeper understanding of what influences financial markets—both then and now. Through this engaging case study of the panic and crash, Bruner and Carr provide a useful framework for understanding these events, suggesting that major financial crises can be the result of a convergence of certain, unique forces—the forces of the market's "perfect storm"—that can cause investors to react with alarm.

When the many elements of the next financial storm converge, will you be ready? With The Panic of 1907 as your guide, you'll be prepared to assess, understand, and anticipate the factors that can lead to a crisis.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Last year, on the 100th anniversary of their book's subject, Robert F. Bruner and Sean D. Carr published The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market's Perfect Storm (John Wiley & Sons). A year later, as we weather a far greater financial storm, the book's lessons are more relevant than ever. From their analysis of one of the worst banking panics in U.S. history, when dozens of banks and trust companies failed, Bruner and Carr conclude that financial crises typically result from the convergence of certain elements into a 'perfect storm.' The book is an engrossing read, featuring characters such as Augustus Heinze, the brash entrepreneur; Charles Barney, the tragic trust president; and, above all, J.P. Morgan, Wall Street's indispensable man." (Edward Teach, CFO Magazine, December 1, 2008)

"The Panic of 1907 is a great tale, and I recommend it to any investor with an interest in history. I also recommend it to any investor who wants to understand what is happening right now." (Cliff Ransom, Ransom Research, Inc., October 31, 2008)

"There is a great book that came out last year, by Robert F. Bruner and Sean D. Carr, entitled The Panic of 1907. It details the fear that gripped the market during that time a century ago. Fear bred mistrust, and mistrust bred repeated runs on the bank. Only when J. Pierpont Morgan himself stepped in to assert authority in the crisis was confidence restored and the downward slide and expanding wave of panic halted. The events of that time are remarkably similar to what is occurring today." (Steven M. Davidoff, The Deal Professor, New York Times, September 18, 2008)

"...a great academic study, which was meant to be a warning. Instead, it reads like a description of what has just happened." (Financial Times)

"A dull textbook it's not: Most chapters amount to six or seven pages of storytelling with cliffhangers… entertaining read..." (Bloomberg News)

"…the definitive guide to the stock market panic of ‘07" (The TImes)

"an important read..." (thestreet.com)

"Bruner, dean of the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, and Carr, director of the school's Batten Institute, tell the gripping tale of one of the worst financial panics in modern history, where greed and lack of liquidity (sound familiar, people?) dragged stocks down 37 percent." (U.S. News & World Report)

"When The Business Press Maven first cast his eye for business journalism onto business books, it was with the ultimate hope of familiarizing investors with historical insight, which is more common in books than what is demonstrated in newsrooms and trading floors--where yesterday's news and trades qualify as fixtures from a bygone era . . . . That is why I am going to grant The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market’s Perfect Storm, a resounding "Help" label from The Business Press Maven, putting it in the probable running for Top 10 Business Press Maven Books of 2007. In case you still don't get it, this is very high praise." (Marek Fuchs, The Business Press Maven, TheStreet.com)

"This retelling of Morgan's bravura performance is a page-turning mix of high finance and high drama" (Barron's)

"…the definitive guide to the stock market panic of ‘07” (The Times, Thursday 13th September 2007)

"Well worth reading" (The Business, Saturday 15th September 2007)

"With this book as their guide, readers will take away important insights...developing a deeper understanding of financial markets" (What Investment?, November 2007)

"A very worthwhile book for advisors who, having just lived through a financial crisis of global implications, are casting about for a larger conceptual framework regarding such events." (Financial Advisor)

"Steering clear of the extremes, the authors dissect the ‘perfect storm’ that blew through the financial system in 1907 and identify seven elements that converge to cause financial crisis . . . Timely read." (The Hindu Business Line, October 19, 2007)

"a useful book on market contagion" (bloomberg.com, Wednesday 5th December 2007)

"Anyone who needs convincing that financial history is constantly repeating itself should pursue this timely tome."  (Spear's Wealth & Management Survey, January 2008)

"My column today quotes from one of the most insightful books I have ever read, “The Panic of 1907.” When I read it last year, I thought it had lessons for today, but I did not realize just how quickly those lessons would become crucial." (Floyd Norris, New York Times)

"A very relevant read in today's subprime infested financial environment." (Gulf Business, February 2008)

"Bruner and Carr deliver more than just a good story." (Risk, February 2008)

"Robert Bruner and Sean Carr, both scholars from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, have written a very important book titled The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market’s Perfect Storm.
The value of Bruner and Carr’s book is not only the detailed historical examination of the 1907 financial panic but the scholarly work they did in examining the financial panics that have occurred over the past one hundred years. It was by examining numerous panics that Bruner and Carr were able to develop an outline of how panics begin, spread, and how they are ultimately resolved." (Roger G. Hagstrom, Legg Mason Growth Trust, Investment Commentary and Quarterly Report to Shareholders, March 31, 2008)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470152638
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
08/31/2007
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Robert F. Bruner is the Dean of the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and Charles C. Abbott Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia. He is the author or coauthor of more than 400 case studies and notes as well as the author of two other Wiley titles, Applied Mergers and Acquisitions and Deals from Hell. Bruner specializes in the areas of corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and investing in emerging markets. Bruner holds a BA from Yale University and an MBA and DBA from Harvard University.

Sean D. Carr is the Director of Corporate Innovation Programs at the Darden School's Batten Institute, University of Virginia. His applied research in new ventures and corporate finance has been published in numerous award-winning case studies, books, and digital media. Previously, Carr spent a decade as a journalist, having served as a producer for both CNN and ABC News's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. He holds a BA from Northwestern University, an MS from Columbia University, and an MBA from the University of Virginia.

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