Markets, Mobs & Mayhem. How to Profit From the Madness of Crowds

  • ID: 2326479
  • Book
  • 226 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Praise for Markets, Mobs & Mayhem

"It′s easy to understand investing excesses by reading Bob Menschel′s captivating, well–written history of the ways investors have been victimized by greed, folly, and chicanery."
Arthur Levitt, former chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission

"Menschel′s timeless anthology on the madness of crowds is full of worldly wisdom, anecdotes, and quotations, with the light touch of our finest cartoonists. It is a useful reminder of what we all knew, deep down, but were afraid to admit: When the perception of stock prices loses its linkage to the reality of corporate values, a day of reckoning always follows."
John C. Bogle, founder and former CEO, The Vanguard Group

"This book′s lighthearted, level–headed insights may be directed at the business world, but they ring equally true for government and public officials. Robert Menschel gives a valuable perspective on the power of the crowd."
Senator Charles E. Schumer

"This wonderfully witty and wise book by one of the most successful investors I′ve ever known is a must–read. He reminds us that trees do not grow in the sky and that if it looks too good to be true, it is."
John C. Whitehead, former chairman, Goldman Sachs & Co. and Chairman, Lower Manhattan Development Corp.

"This highly entertaining book is for everyone, regardless of age, wealth, or political persuasion. Menschel′s delectable stories expose the roots of human behavior in a variety of fascinating situations, familiar and unfamiliar. Don′t skim; read every word."
Peter Bernstein, author of The Power of Gold and Against the Gods

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Preface: An Epidemic of Fear xv

Introduction 3

The Bulb That Ate Holland: Tulipmania 10

Booms & Bubbles 16

New Lands, New Schemes: The South Sea and Mississippi Companies 18

Panics & Runs 25

Crash: The Great Depression 27

He Said/She Said 34

Bernard Baruch on Basic Math & Eternal Truths 37

Making the Play: The Internet and the "New" Economy 40

A Bubble Is a Bubble Is a Bubble 47

Keeping Your Head When All About You Are Losing Theirs 49

2 Rumors & Suggestions

Introduction 55

Chicken Licken s Apocalypse Now 61

Something from Nothing: The Alchemy of Suggestion 66

Tom Wolfe on the Beatles 76

Waiting for Godot 81

Roswell, New Mexico: Things That Go Bump in the Night 84

James Thurber on the Day the Dam Broke 88

Keeping Your Head When All About You Are Losing Theirs 94

3 Fear & Panic

Introduction 99

Worst–Case Scenario: The Martians Are Coming! 104

Life Imitates Art, Art Imitates Life 110

The Iroquois Theater Fire: "They Had Gone Mad" 116

The Mechanics of Disintegration 120

The Fall of Saigon: "If You Have Time, Pray for Us" 123

Russell Baker: Roar of the Crowd, Inc. 126

Harry Truman on the "Harvest of Shame": What Hysteria Does to Us 130

Keeping Your Head When All About You Are Losing Theirs 135

4 Violence & Vigilantes

Introduction 139

Los Angeles, April 29 to May 1, 1992: Dance of Destruction 144

Riffraff or Resister? 149

The Beast Within 151

Lynching: Thinking About the Unthinkable 155

An Outcome "Altogether Predictable" 158

Mark Twain: "The Pitifulest Thing Out Is a Mob" 162

"The Men Snarled and Shouted

As They Flung Their Stones" 167

Rwanda: When the Mob Is the State, Horror Becomes Ordinary 171

Keeping Your Head When All About You Are Losing Theirs 176

5 Leaders & Followers

Introduction 181

Der Führer: The Voice of the Mob 187

Lemming See, Lemming Do 192

Following the Leader: The Violence of Nonviolence 194

Leading the Followers: Fire Within Fire 196

Off with Their Heads 200

A Little Knowledge Is a Dangerous Thing 204

Hans Christian Andersen′s Tale of Leaders & Yes–Men 205

The Mind of the Mob: Stupidity Accumulates, but Also Heroism 210

Rudyard Kipling on Leading and Following 215

Keeping Your Head When All About You Are Losing Theirs 217

Acknowledgments 219

Text Credits 221

Illustration and Photo Credits 225

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ROBERT MENSCHEL is a Wall Street investing legend, and has over forty years of experience as an insider at the top of the world′s financial markets. He is Senior Director of The Goldman Sachs Group, and serves on the Board of Trustees of The New York Public Library, The Museum of Modern Art, and New York Presbyterian Hospital.

WILLIAM SAFIRE writes about language, politics, and society for the New York Times.

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