Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Money Mania: Booms, Panics, and Busts From Ancient Rome to the Great Meltdown (Bob Swarup)

This book is about financial crises throughout history as the title suggests.

Swarup writes about crises from times including the Roman empire, the Japanese modern crash, Tulipmania, the German hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic etc. In between chapters, there are comments on psychology and how money works. However, the recent GFC is not covered in detail as the author correctly points out that other books have covered it in greater detail. The author's conclusion is that after thousands of years, the reasons for crises are always the same: human nature.

The book is obviously well researched. I have read books covering Tulipmania and other examples mentioned by Swarup, but Swarup gives the most detailed backgroundand he gives very good explanations which are not draggy and are not mentioned in other books. There are also elements of unexpected humour which were very funny. The non-historical portions were more touch-and-go and I believe that it was not the focus of the author.

This book is good for people who like reading about the history of money and understanding more about society's interactions with it.

Recommended: Yes

Found in NLB: Yes