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Famous Financial Fiascos

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Foreword by Professor C. Northcote Parkinson. Illustrated by Pierre Le-Tan. A classic study on different ways not to succeed. Everything from Mr. Ponzi, Tulipomania, the Kuwait Stock Exchange Explosion, Bernie Cornfeld, Ivan Krueger, and others. Shows the confusion of purpose, overgenerous investments, mistakes in timing and many other ways where investors have gone wrong. As Parkinson says, "It is better to learn from a book than to learn in a bankruptcy court.

112 pages, Paperback

First published November 28, 1984

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John Train

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Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
566 reviews4 followers
June 26, 2022
I picked this up from a library book sale. I don't often read books about finance, but this was short and looked accessible. It is a collection of anecdotes describing financial catastrophes around the world. I had a passing familiarity with only a few of these, but there were themes that ran throughout.

I found the book quite interesting. I found especially interesting the stories about a "bigger fool" economy. Someone purchases something (shares, bonds, even tulips) for a price known to be foolish, but with the intention of finding and reselling to a bigger fool. Eventually the house of cards falls. This hits close to him right now with crypto, but it also applies to any other form of hyperinflation.
25 reviews4 followers
November 5, 2017
Quick read about some of the historic examples of human folly. Good inspiration for deeper exploration of topics discussed in individual chapters.
Profile Image for Keith.
824 reviews59 followers
June 1, 2011
I was trying to remember what book was a modern version of "Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds". Digging through my old notes I found it - this book. Here are my notes from when I read it in 2002.

August 6, 2002
Causes of Financial Fiascos
One, further investment of capital when it is no longer needed.
Second cause of disaster, overstaffing - nothing gets done because everyone thinks someone else is doing it.
Being too early or too late to market. The same words, but the pauses are wrong.

Readers should learn at least one lesson, the lesson of humility.
Profile Image for Leonardo.
19 reviews
March 14, 2010
It's a fairly comical view of historic economic events but kind of a downer as well.

I feel that a lot of the situations had people that really benefited from it and maybe didn't learn from the situation and of course there were the people that suffered horrible losses from it.

A lot of the losses and gains though had to do with borrowing, over extending, and deceit. It's concerning to think that is how the world works but one can't be naive and think otherwise. It gave great examples but also at the end of the day could be thought of as useless information if not relevant to your life.
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews

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