Panic by Michael Lewis

Panic is the simplest of books: a compilation of newspaper and magazine articles about recent economic “crises” (from 1987 on.) The technique is very effective: it’s surprisingly refreshing — and oddly comforting at the same time — to read dark predictions about the stock market made in the wake of the 1987 “Black Friday” that read just like the ones written today. About a third into the book I must admit I got a bit bored. The pundits who pretend to predict the future are clearly not as clairvoyant as they’d like us to know, and with hindsight it shows.

And it’s most sobering to read again about the tech bubble, including many of my customers…

Overall, a good antidote to getting sucked in by today’s analyses, made in the same chaos as earlier crises.

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