This Time Is Different:
Eight Centuries of Financial Folly
by Carmen Reinhart & Kenneth Rogoff
HB3722 .R45 2009
New Book Island, 2nd floor
The financial crisis that we are experiencing: it’s unlike every other economic crash that we’ve ever known, right? The chain of events leading up to the current moment had created a situation like we’d never seen before, right? This week’s featured book might have something different to say.
Reinhart and Rogoff, economics professors at University of Maryland and Harvard, respectively, scoured through eight centuries of financial data and found this time isn’t really all that much different. As they state in the preface, “Our basic message is simple: We’ve been here before.” They contend that these sorts of events actually occur pretty consistently over time. The authors cover varying types of fallouts, from sovereign defaults to banking sector crashes. As scholars, Reinhart and Rogoff provide plenty of support for their argument, not only their analysis, but also with data appendices – an excellent source for further research.
If anything, it should give one hope: we’ve recovered from previous crises, so we can do it again.
Side note: the quote from the cover features Niall Ferguson, author of The Ascent of Money (New Stuff Tuesday – 24 March 2009).