- Copertina flessibile: 463 pagine
- Editore: Princeton Univ Pr; Reprint edizione (18 luglio 2011)
- Collana: Princeton University Press
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 0691152640
- ISBN-13: 978-0691152646
- Peso di spedizione: 499 g
- Media recensioni: 3.8 su 5 stelle Visualizza tutte le recensioni (4 recensioni clienti)
- Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon:
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This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 18 lug 2011
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I would say that her [Carmen Reinhart's] book with Ken Rogoff on debt crises and financial crises is an extraordinary piece of work. -- eral Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, speaking before the House Budget Committee (6/9/2010)
[E]ssential reading . . . both for its originality and for the sobering patterns of financial behaviour it reveals. -- Economist
Reinhart and Rogoff have compiled an impressive database, which covers eight centuries of government debt defaults from around the world. They have also collected statistics on inflation rates from every country where information is available and on banking crises and international capital flows over the past couple of centuries. This lengthy historical study gives what they call a 'panoramic view' of the unending cycle of boom and bust, showing how claims that 'this time is different' are invariably proven wrong. . . . This Time Is Different doesn't simply explain what went wrong in our most recent crisis. This book also provides a roadmap of how things are likely to pan out in the years to come. . . . This Time Is Different is an important addition to the literature of financial history. -- Edward Chancellor, Wall Street Journal
Everyone working on economic policy should own This Time is Different and open it for a bracing blast of sobriety when things seem to be going well. -- Greg Ip, Washington Post
[A] terrific book. -- Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times
The authors use copious amounts of data . . . to make the compelling case that any well-informed person should have seen the Great Recession coming. The essence of their book is that while financial crises come in different varieties, they are not mysteriously born of undersea earthquakes, but frequently occurring events that can be spotted and even controlled if politicians and regulators know what to look for. -- Devin Leonard, New York Times
This Time is Different takes a Sergeant Friday, just-the-facts-ma'am approach: before we start theorizing, let's take a hard look at what history tells us. One side benefit of this approach is that the current book manages to be both extremely useful to professional economists and accessible to the intelligent lay reader. The Reinhart-Rogoff approach has already paid off handsomely in making sense of current events. -- Robin Wells and Paul Krugman, New York Review of Books
Professor Rogoff and his longtime collaborator Carmen Reinhart . . . know more about the history of financial crises than anyone alive. The pair have just published their broad survey of financial crises, This Time is Different. In an era when most 'analysts' rely on maybe 30 or 40 years' worth of financial history--and then only that of the U.S.--the authors' knowledge of financial crises and government bond defaults going back to the Spanish empire and before offers a richer perspective. -- Brett Arends, Wall Street Journal
[O]ne of the most important economic books of 2009. -- Jon Hilsenrath, Wall Street Journal
[T]he definitive book on financial crises. -- Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post
Two top-notch economists provide a clear and interesting explanation of why economic crises keep occurring. Broadly speaking, downturns such as the one we are recovering from are historically associated with characteristics that should sound quite familiar to today's investors. -- David Schwartz, Financial Times
[A] masterpiece. -- Martin Wolf, Financial Times
The four most dangerous words in finance are 'this time is different.' Thanks to this masterpiece by Carmen Reinhart at the University of Maryland and Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard, no one can doubt this again. . . . The authors have put an immense amount of work into collecting the data financial institutions --Andrew Allentuck, National Post
Carmen M. Reinhart is the Dennis Weatherstone Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. She was previously professor of economics at the University of Maryland. Kenneth S. Rogoff is the Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy and professor of economics at Harvard University. He is a frequent commentator for "NPR", the "Wall Street Journal", and the "Financial Times".
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This book is both fascinating and flawed. Starting with the flaws:
First, the book is mistitled. It covers the last 200 years not the last 800.
Second, their crisis framework is convoluted relative to the crystal clear framework of Charles Kindleberger in Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises (Wiley Investment Classics). The latter leans on the seminal work of Irving Fisher The Debt-Deflation Theory of Great Depressions and Hyman Minsky (the credit cycle exacerbates the business cycle) that the authors completely ignore.
Third, some of their analyses are obfuscating. They baffle the reader on how frequently emerging market countries default with surprisingly low external debt levels. Later, the authors clarify that debt levels are far higher when including domestic debt; then the baffling turns into the self-evident.
Fourth, in Chapter 16, their development of a crisis index measure is weak with no predictive power. The first two graphs capturing this index (ranging from 1 to 5) over the past 100 years have the wrong y-axis (ranging from 0 to 180?) rendering the graph incomprehensible (pg. 253, 254). Two pages later, they use the correct scale (1 - 5).
Fifth, the graph on page 267 denoting the % collapse of exports during the Great Depression has the wrong sign.
Sixth, some of their conclusions are already outdated. They advance that Greece, Portugal, Italy, and Spain are all doing better than in recent years. The book came out in 2009; didn't those countries show signs of fiscal stress? Since 1800, Greece suffered external debt defaults or rescheduling in over 50% of the years.
Seventh, their argument that large Current Account Deficits (CADs) fuel housing bubbles is not supported. When they show the magnitude of the rise in housing prices over 2002 - 2006 for many countries (Fig. 15.1), it is unclear if there are any relationship between high CAD and housing Bubbles. The housing bubble was far greater in many former USSR satellites than anywhere else (unclear if they had high CADs).
Moving on to the ambivalent OK parts:
1) Their early warning indicators of banking and currency crises (Table 17.1) are interesting. They indicate that 12 month changes in real housing and stock prices are good early signals for banking crises. They mention other metrics such as CAD levels. But, those indicators are unsupported by any statistical analysis.
Moving on to the good parts:
1) Their prototype sequencing of crises represents their best work. It shows how a nation can experience in succession financial deregulation, banking crisis, currency crash, inflation spike, and ultimately default. The tipping point is when a government faces an untenable choice between defending its currency (restrictive policies) and shoring up its financial sector (expansive policies). Governments invariably abandon supporting their currency.
2) Their historical data facilitate interesting observations:
2a) Crisis related to sovereign risks are so frequent, you wonder how countries ever manage to raise debt. While developed countries have "graduated" from defaults, they have not from banking crises. Since 1800, the UK, US, and France have experienced 12, 13, and 15 episodes of banking crises. Banking crises have been frequent since the 1980s. Developed countries are prone to banking crises because financial deregulation is a causal factor. In 18 of 26 banking crises observed since 1970, the financial sector had been liberalized within the preceding 5 years.
2b) Post WWII financial crises have been severe. On average, real housing prices decline by 35% over 6 years; stocks crash by 56% over 3.5 years; unemployment rate increases by 7 percentage points; GDP contracts by 9%; and, public debt rises by 86%.
2c) The US Subprime crisis was more severe than any other post WWII financial crisis. Its housing and stock market bubbles were more pronounced. The US CAD as a % of GDP was larger. The downturn in GDP was more severe. The resulting increase in public debt was faster. The ramp up of all mentioned indicators suggested a financial crisis was imminent. The authors remark that if the US had been an emerging market relying on external debt (in foreign currency), the US dollar value would have plummeted and interest rates soared.
3) When the authors move on to the US Subprime crisis, they note how the majority of experts, including Bernanke and Greenspan, were not concerned regarding the rising US Current Account Deficit (CAD) and rising housing prices. These experts stated the CAD and home price increases were associated with a World savings glut resulting from Asian export led economies. Meanwhile others (Rubini, Krugman, and the authors) were concerned about the CAD sustainability (absorbing 2/3d of World savings), housing prices (in real term rose by 92% between 1996 and 2006 or more than 3 x the 27% increase from 1890 to 1996! See graph pg. 207) and the massive increase in US household debt (rose from a norm of 80% of personal income to 130% by 2006).
If you are interested in this subject, I also recommend Raghuram Rajan's Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy [New in Paper].
The real point of the authors, is that every era thinks "This Time Is Different" and the truth is almost always otherwise. Debt, deficits, and default have been recurring themes throughout human history. They have happened many times before. They will happen many times again. The countries you think will never default, frequently do. Germany is generally regarded as one of the safest creditors in the world (these days). German history suggests otherwise. Greece has been in ruins (economic ruins) for almost 200 years.
The idea that Greece was ever a reasonable credit risk was (is) absurd. Yet, Greece could borrow at rock bottom interest rates for years after it joined the Euro system. Even now, Europe's leaders are trying to prevent a final default (wipe out) on Greek debt. History says that they will lose.
2. In the sense that the authors' discussions and conclusions are well researched, this book is scholarly. It is not light reading, although the intelligent lay reader will do fine.
3. The authors have a sense of humor, which makes reading this book a little easier. Their humor starts with the title of the book, which is not to be taken literally.
4. With the various forms of financial crisis present in many parts of the world, the book is clearly topical.
5. The main part of the book, which is only about 290 pages, can be read and understood in a reasonable amount of time.
6. The book's charts and tables distill a lot of information into relatively short spaces. The charts and tables are imbedded into the main text and into detailed, separate data appendixes.
7. The book does not promote simplistic, one size fits all, solutions. The economic world, after all, is complicated.
8. The roots of the present lie deep in the past. An understanding of the common problems and policy mistakes of earlier financial crises can help citizens and policymakers make better policy choices.
9. The book is blessedly non-partisan.
10. It is too early to tell for sure, but I suspect that this book, alongside works that have stood the test of time, will become a classic in the field of financial crises.
The content is a bit intellectual, which isn't bad per se. Maybe because I mainly read before bed, I found it took more concentration to follow then the typical finance/economics stuff I read.
I give this book one star for its Kindle Paperwhite presentation. There are many charts and graphs supporting the text and they are very difficult to read, mainly due to contrast and shades of gray rendering. Perhaps on a color Kindle like Fire this won't be a problem but on the Paperwhite, it is a disaster. If you own a Paperwhite or probably any non-color Kindle, I would avoid buying this book. I feel I wasted my money.
While the charts/graphs are not critical to understanding the points he makes, they are copious and not having them to ponder as you read makes the book less fun.
I recommend the book(content), just not the Paperwhite presentation.