The Arrogance Cycle: Think You Can't Lose, Think Again

Overview

What is the Arrogance Cycle? We’ve just lived through it. As market bubbles build, our confidence level rises (dis)proportionately. Everyone wants in on the action. We want to believe Wall Street, and once we do, the inevitable happens. Like Dr. Frankenstein who breathed life into inanimate flesh, investment professionals sought ever more novel ways to create wealth. The only problem was that it was all artificial. In this book, Michael K. Farr examines the forces at work on individuals and markets and explains ...

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Overview

What is the Arrogance Cycle? We’ve just lived through it. As market bubbles build, our confidence level rises (dis)proportionately. Everyone wants in on the action. We want to believe Wall Street, and once we do, the inevitable happens. Like Dr. Frankenstein who breathed life into inanimate flesh, investment professionals sought ever more novel ways to create wealth. The only problem was that it was all artificial. In this book, Michael K. Farr examines the forces at work on individuals and markets and explains in clear, concise layman’s terms how we got where we are.
 
Farr focuses on individual factors—such as
rampant consumerism, a sense of entitlement, narcissism, resentment toward the upper class—that combined to create the perfect economic storm. By consulting with leading psychologists and relaying first-hand experience with investment clients, he provides a case study of the arrogant investor.
Farr reviews such failed enterprises as Enron, AIG, Lehman Brothers, and Bear Stearns and the illegal activities of Bernie Madoff and others through the lens of arrogance. By shedding light on those disasters, he offers a means to detect the insidious presence of arrogance so that in the future we can contain the damage before it spreads.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Michael K. Farr’s The Arrogance Cycle is not just a valuable story about investing today, but also lessons and principles rooted in human history that portend to how we live and life’s outcome.  Indeed, if our generation leaves our kids with this country’s deficit, we will justifiably be judged history’s most arrogant. 
 —Michael Armstrong, former Chairman and CEO AT&T

Michael Farr is one of the smartest people I know, and in The Arrogance Cycle he’s put forward a terrifying thesis: Markets aren’t always as rational as we assume. What can you do to protect yourself? Read it. This is a genuinely deep book. 
 —Tucker Carlson

“The Arrogance Cycle is a must read cautionary tale. The book provides important insights into not just how to be a better investor but, more importantly, the value of humility as a human virtue.”
—Robert S. Silberman, Chairman and CEO, Strayer University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762764358
  • Publisher: Lyons Press, The
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Edition description: First
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,053,997
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Farr is president and majority owner of Farr, Miller & Washington, LLC.  The author of A Million Is Not Enough, he is a regular commentator and guest host for CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, Reuters, and the Nightly Business Report.  

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Table of Contents

Foreword P. J. O'Rourke ix

Introduction xii

Chapter 1 A Climate of Arrogance 1

Chapter 2 Arrogance in Investing 27

Chapter 3 Pyrite 51

Chapter 4 They Are in Our Midst 79

Chapter 5 Reality Detachment 95

Chapter 6 Insider Arrogance 118

Chapter 7 Arrogant Watchdogs Sleep 144

Chapter 8 Runaway Arrogance and the Bubble Machine 170

Chapter 9 Your Humility Index 188

Acknowledgments 197

Notes 199

Index 211

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