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Devil Take the Hindmost a History of Financial Speculationby Edward Chancellor
Synopses & Reviews
A lively and authoritative look at speculation from early modern times to the present.
Focusing on speculation as it developed in the world's leading stock markets, Edward Chancellor's story starts with the tulipomania in seventeenth-century Holland, then moves to Britain with accounts of speculative manias such as the South Sea Bubble and the Railway Mania. From the mid-nineteenth century, the narrative turns to the United States, with chapters on the Gilded Age, the Roaring Twenties, and the revival of speculation since the early 1970s, then portrays the disastrous Bubble Economy of Japan in the 1980s. Chancellor shows that the impulses that have shaped speculative behavior are at odds with the orthodox theory of efficient markets. His comprehensive history is interspersed with trenchant commentary on speculation in the 1990s, including such current issues as emerging markets, Internet and foreign-currency speculation, rogue traders, the great U.S. bull market, and our current financial predicament.
Book News Annotation:
A historian with a background in financial affairs, Chancellor looks at stock-market speculation from the 17th century to the end of the 20th, from Daniel Defoe to Hilary Rodham Clinton. He posits that people engage in the activity not just to make money, but from a wider range of human compulsions and aspirations.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Includes bibliographical references (p. -370) and index.
About the Author
Edward Chancellor studied history at both Cambridge and Oxford. In the early 1990s he worked for the investment bank Lazard Frères. He is a freelance contributor to the Financial Times and The Economist. This is his first book.
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