Book Recommendation

As my last post on the subject of the Great Depression, may I recommend a very interesting book that has equal application to the so-called Great Crisis of 2008.

First published in 1955, John Kenneth Galbraith's now classic study has remained in constant print ever since.  The Great Crash 1929 benefits from an easy-going style and too-the-point analysis that reveals the startling similarities between past and present economic crises.

Personally, I continue to be amazed at Galbraith's insightfulness throughout is long career.  Shortly before his death in 2006, he revealed in an interview that the only development in current economics that surprised him was the out-of-control growth in business executive self-aggrandizment through unrestricted bonus payments.  He predicted they would become a significant factor in the economy and criticized them for the removal of significant working capital that they represented.  Today we are seeing this dirty little secret finally coming into the light of day...
reminds me of my economy courses in college, just shows that this
01/14/2010 - 10:58
whole mess we're in today was so predicatble
Predictable yes, but preventable?
01/15/2010 - 04:43
Galbraith describes in some detail how investment bank Goldman Sachs had a major hand in the speculative markets of 1928 and 29 that brought on the Great Depression. In the current economic crisis, Goldman Sachs were again using the same speculative tactics, as described frequently in the business pages of The New York Times.  They were rescued by the US Government just to turn around and pay out nearly the equivalent in bonus pay! Aside from the implicit guarantee from taxpayers in countries that participated in bailouts have now provided to the largest financial institutions that they won't be allowed to fail, there is an ironic side to the whole affair. Currently one hot-button topic in America is universal healthcare.  The argument against such a program that is being put forward by health insurance providers is that government involvement is socialist and un-American.  Apparently the financial sector doesn't mind a good helping of socialism .