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The great crash, by John Kenneth Galbraith; 15 editions; First published in ; Subjects: Depressions, Stock Market Crash, Great Crash With A New Introduction By The Author Ebook Download, Free The. Great Crash With A New Introduction By The Author Download Pdf. Click link bellow and free register to download ebook: THE GREAT CRASH BY JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH. DOWNLOAD FROM OUR ONLINE.
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Galbraith had a great mind and a great writing style, but was highly invested in New Deal politics and socialist ideology of the s, and while I believe he was an honest man, he hardly mentions the tremendous sovereign debt accumulated during WWI and its eventual collapse. Is neglect of sovereign debt issues not a problem today, when governments prefer to blame financial turmoil on everyone but themselves?
See 1 question about The Great Crash of …. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. To regard the people of any time as particularly obtuse seems vaguely improper, and it also establishes a precedent which members of this generation might regret. The strength of this book is its sharp focus. I read Lords of Finance which covers, broadly speaking, the same topic, but that was one of those fashionably long books that shows the reader plenty of trees, but leaves no sense of the shape of the forest.
How different Galbraith's book. The very narrowness and interest in precise details To regard the people of any time as particularly obtuse seems vaguely improper, and it also establishes a precedent which members of this generation might regret. The very narrowness and interest in precise details of Galbraith's book allows the reader to draw their own comparisons with our own times and develop a sense of general patterns and tendencies whether of regulatory bodies to become over time branches of the industries they are meant to regulate or how unequal income distribution makes the whole economy weak and vulnerable.
Galbraith starts with the enormous optimism of the s in the USA and runs through the excitement in investment opportunities from Florida land speculation to leverage investment trusts and loans to support investment by margin purchase in the stock market. The sense that Galbraith describes in those times that growth was inevitable and the that the rollercoaster could only ever climb higher, despite a structure built of insolvent companies, an inadequate customer base and a certain amount of sharp if not technically illegal practice, which seemed for some odd reason curiously familiar.
In the droll discussion of the business meeting to do no-business, or of the rites of leading figures making theatrical interventions to support the market there is a sense of the author as anthropologist, all economic activity is above all human interaction and as such about confidence, hopes and fears. If the dream of wealth drove the market upwards, the nightmare fear of insolvency drove it down.
Once the crash came, the intensity of trading left investors at the mercy of their fears as the stock market ticker couldn't keep up and had clerks working near continuously as they failed to keep up with recording the trades. Short, precise and very readable and as Galbraith points out in his introduction this is not the kind of book to be sold at airports - so make sure you buy your copy before you go to fly.
View all 7 comments. Apr 24, Trevor rated it really liked it Shelves: Even though he said that he would eventually get to talk about the causes of the great depression I have to admit that for much of this book I thought we would be just getting a series of increasingly horrible stories about the crash. But this turned out to be an infinitely better book than I anticipated. There is the dismantling of myths, particularly the myth of the streets of New York piled high with the crumpled corpses of financiers who had thrown themselves from the still gaping windows of the twentieth floor.
In fact, Galbraith has a table of suicides and shows that there was virtually no change in the suicide rate in the US or in New York in particular in this year at all and even that the suicide rate was higher in some of the months before the crash than in October.
Like alcoholics and gamblers, broken speculators are supposed to have a propensity for self destruction. At a time when broken speculators were plentiful, the newspapers and the public may have simply supplied the corollary.
The Great Crash of 1929
Urban myths like this always amaze me — but we have been raised to believe that these stories — like the Greek Myths — have somehow grown from a kernel of truth. It is nice to have confirmed once again that the human imagination is not so limited. I only know bits and pieces about the Stock Market, but I did find his explanation for why, in times of a crash, bad stocks chaise out of the market good stocks very interesting.
Say you are a prudent investor and have borrowed a thousand dollars to buy stocks. You decide that you are going to be clever and rather than spend all of your thousand on risky stocks, because that would be just like gambolling you will instead buy five hundred dollars worth of first rate, blue ribbon stocks and with the other five hundred dollars you will buy high risk stocks which you expect to provide huge returns.
But all of a sudden things turn bad. Everyone knows the problem with this stock and will assiduously keep away from it. But now your creditors smell blood in the water and start circling to try to get their money back. This then forces down the value of blue ribbon stock. So, bad stock, in a round about way, forces good stock to lose value. Perhaps economics is the last bastion of mysticism.
Galbraith repeatedly makes the point that those in the know had already guessed early in the year that the bubble was set to burst. Those in government and acting as financial regulators had two much less than optimum choices to make — they could put a pin in the bubble and burst it immediately, or they could wait around for it to burst of its own accord.
The point is that bursting the bubble might well have been the best thing to do, saving the market from further overheating. The problem with doing this, even if your intention was to stop further hardship, is that it will be clear to everyone that you were the person that caused the bubble to burst. So, the temptation is to allow the bubble to burst of its own accord, even if this makes matters a thousand times worse. That way it can seem like an act of God, rather than of the regulating bodies and therefore they might just get re-elected.
It is a sobering idea. Or my favourite, that the market needed a bit of a rest after working so hard in the twenties that it needed to have the thirties off altogether. It is clear that for capitalism to continue to grow it needs ever expanding markets.
But the US at the time was actually doing everything in its power to contract its markets. It had become a creditor nation to Europe after the first world war, it increased tariffs and thereby denied other countries a means of repaying debt owed to the US in a way that might encourage them to buy more US goods and most interesting, despite a 40 odd per cent increase in productivity of labour, wages barely increased at all.
As Marx pointed out nearly a century before Galbraith, under capitalism, and for the first time in human history, we have crisis due to producing too much, rather than too little.
The wholesale destruction of capital due to the depression that followed the crash was necessary not because there was no one who wanted what could have been produced by this capital, but because there was no profit to be made from producing it. And greed was the key determining feature that decided there would be no market — stopping pay increases for workers through a decade of growth and thereby directing the wealth of society disproportionately towards the rich only meant they would use it to further speculate on the stock market — which only made the situation worse for everyone.
It is what causes men who know that things are going quite wrong to say that things are fundamentally sound. This is an important book to read now and always. View all 13 comments. View 2 comments.
Jul 15, Mikey B. Sanjay Varma. For a book on economic issues this is entertaining! It has sardonic wit. Galbraith Canadian born by the way explores the before, then the dark days of October , and the devastating aftermath. Doomsayers, and there were not many, were dismissed as charlatans. The eternal optimists, even af For a book on economic issues this is entertaining!
The eternal optimists, even after the crash, were wildly so, intent on perpetuating that good times were still ahead. Galbraith also discusses how times became particularly bad by The stock exchange plunged in October — and never recovered with stock prices descending further and further — and the entire economy followed.
We have not, so far, had a similar depression. It has been almost ten years since the economic downslide of With the current U. This book, at less than pages, was almost readable. Some of the passages utilizing economic terminology were beyond me! View 1 comment. Although this book was published almost sixty years ago, and it describes an event over eighty years in the past, it seems only too familiar. Galbraith describes with clarity and thoroughness the events which preceded the great crash.
For example: Thousands of speculators were bidding for the chance to set a price on the land, not even the land itself. Charles Ponzi was also heavily involved in the buzz, selling dozens of plots of real estate per acre of Florida Although this book was published almost sixty years ago, and it describes an event over eighty years in the past, it seems only too familiar.
Charles Ponzi was also heavily involved in the buzz, selling dozens of plots of real estate per acre of Florida swamp land.
If the stock value goes up, all well and good. When it goes down, you're heavily in debt. Furthermore, the issue of debt was compounded upon by high interest rates on loans. Advertisements promised quick easy money from this, too. Wealth was imagined to come out of thin air. A large section of the wealthy's consumption is of luxury goods, and demand for these is highly variable. Holding companies and investment trusts had led to multiple structural failures, including the lack of operational investment in an attempt to guarantee dividends.
When income and prices fell as a result of the depression, collapses mushroomed. The US at this time was a creditor, not a debtor nation, but it made loans to nations which frankly were not stable or economically capable enough to pay for them.
Policy suggestions until only contributed to worsening the depression. In addition to these main problems, Galbraith also lists some ancillary causes. It directly contributed to the crash by lessening demand, preventing any trust in investment or banking, and made many people suspicious of the entire financial system -Furthermore, in many areas of the financial sector, it involved a creation of bad incentives - a system where it is an incentive to lie.
Galbraith is incisive, quick, but also thorough. He even takes care to dispel the myths about a spike in suicides after His final counsel is to study the circumstances surrounding this crisis, so that it would be easier to identify similar patterns and prevent a recurrence of events on a similar scale from happening.
Although there are noticeable differences between now and then The actions of the Federal Reserve in the years after, the European focus on inflation Well, here we are.
Long-run salvation by men of business has never been highly regarded if it means disturbance of orderly life and convenience in the present. So inaction will be advocated in the present even though it means deep trouble in the future.
Here, at least equally with communism, lies the threat to capitalism. May 04, John Gurney rated it really liked it. I first read John Kenneth Galbraith's The Great Crash of in college or was it high school- so many years ago and rereading it now, it retains its crisp narration and wittiness. It is not a long book, reflecting that Galbraith concisely covers the build-up to the crash and its aftermath. Dec 24, Tim Pendry rated it really liked it Shelves: Galbraith produced his short book on the Great Stock Market Crash of in late in an atmosphere that still recalled recent witch hunts over communism a fact that will help an early twenty-first century reader with some of the few obscure political references.
The current Penguin edition adds the short Foreword to the edition that urged 'memory' as a necessary corrective to over-enthusiasm within the financial system. One can only guess what this grand old man of liberal econ J.
One can only guess what this grand old man of liberal economics would have written in Galbraith's book is not the last word on the subject of the causes and consequences of - how could it be: But it is succinct on the facts, very witty albeit in that dry professorial way affected by an older generation of intellectuals but oddly conservative in its overall message. Galbraith does not judge capitalism - he could scarcely do so in the middle of the most conservative phase of the Cold War.
His model is of a crisis in the equity markets built on the greedy and deluded behaviour of a surprisingly small number of Americans, exploited and managed by a yet-smaller group in positions of financial power and influence.
A stand-offish government allowed a burst bubble to hit a downturn in the wider business cycle and so triggered something that was much worse than it need have been. Whether he is right or not is not for me to judge.
This book is interesting not because of its ability to tell us the 'truth' but because it helps us to understand our own predicament through contrasts as much as similarities. I do not accept the implicit moralism of either Galbraith or today's commentators - people do bad or silly things but it is our responsibility as much as theirs if we have not constructed the political or regulatory framework that will set limits to political or economic collective hysteria. His defence of bankers has to be seen in the context of his dislike of William Jennings Bryan's country populism with its roots in creationist Christianity and its ascription of all the nation's ills to East Coast elites.
He clearly enjoys pointing out that Bryan was complicit in the promotion of inflated land values in Florida that, in retrospect, should have indicated that American popular interest in a 'fast buck' was getting out of hand. The Florida land speculation of the mid-twenties brought us the original Ponzi scheme.
Perhaps a million or so Americans out of a population many, many times as large were speculators on the stock market - either with enough money to burn or enough credit to burn other people's money.
In some ways, the consequent economic crisis is the story of the loss of an upper middle class surplus available to purchases the good and services that would have kept the rest of America working. And this is where we see the similarities and differences from today. Our crisis also starts in the US but it does not derive from the upper middle classes getting over-excited by speculation in industrial growth. It starts with bankers getting over-excited by what can be done in packaging or securitising massive debt both for wealthier investors and themselves.
The collusion between bankers and investors in 'sure thing' economics is what marks out the latest crisis as similar to the collusion between trust promoters and investors in the earlier case. The first crisis involved a disconnect from the fundamentals of American industrial strength and the international trading economy. Our current crisis derives from a lack of due diligence on the returns that could reasonably be expected from a whole range of instruments.
Similarly, the crisis was a domestic national crisis which spread around the world because of other instabilities in the trading system. Our crisis is a global one arising to the degree that financial activity is integrated into Wall Street and the City of London.
The UK, for example, is being hit as hard and probably harder than the US not because of a collapse of trade yet but because its entire polity is based on the privileging of a financial sector that is now going into as sharp a decline as any inter-war steelmaker.
There are coincidences in the tale - some amusing. Goldman Sachs is the broker behind two of the most egregiously speculative and ultimately failed investment trusts - Shenandoah Corporation and Blue Ridge. Its humiliation was to turn it into one of the most conservative broking houses by the time Galbraith was putting pen to paper. The rest is history. Lehmann Corporation, meanwhile, gets rare praise as a rarely well managed investment trust appearing in - another neat little historical irony.
Just as conventional property-based retailing today is the first line of collapse evidenced by the closure of the British Woolworths so, in a neat mirroring of history, the belief that industrial expansion would go on forever was based, in part, on vigorous programmes of retail consolidation and expansion that created the Montgomery Ward and Woolworths' chains in the US. Investors could see new stores with lots of stock in most major towns by the late s and wanted a slice of the action.
The similarities do not lie in the causes or incidents of the crisis - although investment trusts built on sand perhaps have their parallel in today's hedge funds and private equity groups - as in the attitudes of those caught up in it.
Galbraith has a great deal of fun at the expense of the 'boosters' of the stock market which seemed to have included just about everyone - including the almost comically wrong Harvard Economic Society. Galbraith was Paul M. Warburg Emeritus Professor of Economics at Harvard but this does not stop him from detailing proof positive that a group of experts engaged in group-think are more than likely to persist in their errors long after the rest of us are staring the facts in the face.
The Harvard Economic Society should be remembered whenever any school of public intellectuals and experts purports to tell us what is right and proper in any area of public policy.
Those who were seduced by the neo-conservatives before the recent round of incompetent foreign policies, take note. On the other hand, Galbraith points out that the specialist financial Press saw through the house of cards and warned investors of the risks in Unfortunately, professional investors on Wall Street who would read this material were making serious money out of the speculation, while the people providing cash on margin were not interested in research and analysis - only in profiting from the 'sure thing'.
This is in marked contrast to the role of the media in the current crisis - see http: Sadly, the financial press, pace the important reporting of Robert Peston of the BBC and the critiques of a few individuals like Larry Elliott of The Guardian in London, signally failed to advise the public of the trajectory of bank lending and of the 'toxicity' within the financial system.
The media in at least tried to educate the public and policymakers The very differences between the two crises show, paradoxically, what is wrong with the system as a whole. The common denominators are weak laissez-faire governments, the fact that the wealthiest are not necessarily the brightest and the existence of a cadre of insiders within the financial system who are expert at relieving the relatively rich of their funds in mutually profitable in the short to medium term adventures.
If the super-rich and their middle class hangers-on are relieved of their funds by cleverer and more devious professionals, then why should the rest of us worry. But, of course, the nature of capitalism in the s and at the beginning of the Twenty-First Century means that nothing is so simple or so morally satisfying.
If the wealthy are cutting back because their assets have halved in value and continue to fall or they have lost everything to some over-clever fraudster, then innovative businesses or businesses employing thousands do not get the cash they need.
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The ordinary Joe's money also, aggregated, fails to go back into the system to sustain the wider economy. The whole bloody thing starts to wind down and even go into reverse. Banks and the wealthy have now lost a great deal of money and want to make the rest safe and claw it back. Galbraith will not criticise the system because he cannot. But there are fundamental questions to ask about how it is that innovation and employment are allowed to depend so much on hysterical decision-making by a tiny minority of the population in a collusive herd relationship with an even smaller group of 'technical experts'.
More, how can they be allowed to continue to set the agenda after they have almost brought the system to its knees? It may be time for Americans to ask a few questions about whether free markets and the American system of capitalism created by the likes of J P Morgan, centred on Wall Street, actually works for America. They won't, of course. Even Prof. Galbraith seemed unable to ask such questions.
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View all 4 comments. Aug 11, Greg rated it it was amazing Shelves: First published in the U. The Great Crash is clearly explained.
The question that I keep asking throughout is, how could this be allowed t First published in the U. The question that I keep asking throughout is, how could this be allowed to happen? There are sound explanations in the last chapter of the cause of the crash and the consequent Great Depression which lasted for a decade up to World War II, and also in the brilliant last paragraph why it can't be prevented from happening again in the future.
Chapter X Cause and Consequence. They are: I would have thought that the economy is supposed to be important in a capitalist system. It will not come to pass. This is not because the instinct for self-preservation in Wall Street is poorly developed. On the contrary, it is probably normal and may be above. But now, as throughout history, financial capacity and political perspicacity are inversely correlated.
Dec 22, Sagar Jethani rated it it was amazing Shelves: Saw this at Foyle's in London and thought it would be a nice continuation of Lefevre's "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator" and Krugman's "Return of Depression Economics", which I was in the process of finishing. Galbraith's account of the Great Crash is gripping, and reads more like the work of a slightly-removed journalist than an economic historian.
Discussions about discount rates and public pronouncements are interwoven with samples of other news of the day-- Lindbergh's flight across the Atl Saw this at Foyle's in London and thought it would be a nice continuation of Lefevre's "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator" and Krugman's "Return of Depression Economics", which I was in the process of finishing. Discussions about discount rates and public pronouncements are interwoven with samples of other news of the day-- Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic, the skylarking of stock clerks in Central Park, etc.
The effect is to place the reader inside the world of just as the rug was being pulled out from under him. No one who has been paying attention to the events of the past three years can fail to see disturbing similarities between the market crash of and Why, therefore, was the same dynamic allowed to play out? Galbraith explains from with an eerie prescience: But during any future boom some newly rediscovered virtuosity of the free enterprise system will be cited.
It will be pointed out that people are justified in paying the present prices-- indeed, almost any price-- to have an equity position in the system.
Among the first to accept these rationalizations will be some of those responsible for invoking the controls. They will say firmly that controls are not needed. The newspapers, some of them, will agree and speak harshly of those who think action might be in order. They will be called men of little faith. Bush's White House could proceed along so destructive a path with so rich history before them.
Galbraith offers at least this hope for the future, however: The ensuing collapse automatically destroys the very mood speculation requires. It follows that an outbreak of speculation provides a reasonable assurance that another outbreak will not immediately occur.
With time and the dimming of memory, the immunity wears off. A recurrence becomes possible. Jan 14, Jeff rated it really liked it Shelves: A few pages of Galbraith's writing reveals the man as a genius. In my fairly limited experience, the only modern native English writer with a comparable voice for non-fiction prose was Bertrand Russell. The book is a reply to the canonical history of the crash, and its relation to the succeeding Depression. Galbraith shows in a handsome variety of ways, how that history contradicts many easily observed facts.
A better history is set out in parallel. Most satisfying is the way in which Galbraith A few pages of Galbraith's writing reveals the man as a genius. Most satisfying is the way in which Galbraith assures the reader that the stupidity of policymakers of the twenties won't be repeated, since too much was learned from what happened. He insists that, in the face of high unemployment, they will not demand a freeze in spending, call for budget cuts, or advocate for a balanced budget; he claims that there will not be near-unanimous insistence on measures that will make matters worse.
Of course, had he lived to see , he would have found that today's fiscal hawks are the professional charlatans of the twenties come back to life.
May heaven help us. Jun 03, Greg Strandberg rated it liked it. I read half of this book before taking it back to the library. I suspect the reason why most talk-up this book and Galbraith in general is that he served in the FDR administration, was educated at Harvard, and takes a Keynsian approach to economics. He'd later serve in the Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations. The book is short and slanted too much toward the bankers, in my mind. Galbraith I read half of this book before taking it back to the library.
Galbraith isn't hard enough on a group of scoundrels that nearly ruined the country. The great crash, , Houghton Mifflin.
The great crash, , Deutsch.
The great crash, , Avon. The great crash, The great crash, , Time. The great crash, , Penguin. The great crash, , Hamish Hamilton. History Created October 8, 9 revisions Download catalog record: Libraries near you: WorldCat Library.
The Great crash, , Houghton Mifflin in English. The great crash, , Houghton Mifflin in English - 50th anniversary ed. The great crash, , Deutsch in English - 50th Anniversary ed. The great crash, , Avon in English - 50th anniversary ed. The great crash, , Time in English - Time reading program special ed. The great crash, , Penguin in English. The great crash, , Hamish Hamilton in English. November 23, Edited by Anand Chitipothu. November 22, Edited by May 23,
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