Monday, August 9, 2021

Review of Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity by Michael Lewis

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Economics, Finance
Intriguing Connections = What Goes Into An Economic Crisis?

Short Description

Elaborate Description

Bubbles, panics, and crisis occur because of an underestimation of unlikely events.  Benefits of particular model, stock, or asset are promoted while their problems and limitations are ignored until after the panic.  Anyone arguing against the espoused models or assets during their rise, becomes a claim against their own intelligence.  Although some provide general contours of a future crisis, predicting the unexpected is fraught cautions.  Many people claim to have seen the crises coming after the crisis, but wrote history books about the crisis rather than use their knowledge to make money.  During some crises there are perpetrators.  During other crises there are no perpetrators.  The question is what can be learned about any given crisis, if anything can be learned at all.  

This book showcases an anthology of articles before, during, and after four financial crisis which occurred late 1980s, late, late 1990s (Asian Crisis), early 2000s (Tech or Dot-Com Crisis), and the 2007-09 Crisis.  Although the articles are by different people showing different ways to think about each crisis, it seems insufficient.  The transition between each article is poor.  To understand each crisis, if that is possible, would require alternative books about each.  

Questions to Consider while Reading the Book
•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?
•Why do crisis occur?
•Can a crisis be predicted?
•How do models shape financial decisions? 
•Why do people claim to have seen a crisis coming? 
•What are the views held before, during, and after each crisis? 
Book Details
Edition ISBN:  9780393337983
Pages to read:   363
Publication:     2009
1st Edition:      2009
Format:            Paperback

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    3
Content          2
Overall           2