.,."extremely timely...irreverent but thought-provoking examination of the goings on in international finance today... packs a serious punch." ("The Independent") "To say that this book is skeptical or contrarian is like saying Warren Buffett has money....entertaining criticism of anything and everything...I read the full 400 pages in just a few days.."-Rob May at "Business Pundit (Top 10 business site) http: //www.businesspundit.com/50226711/mobs_messiahs_and_markets.php"(Nov. 2007) .,."the recent market instability stemming out of subprime woes makes this book extremely timely." ("Gulf Business," February 2008) ""Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets" by William Bonner and Lila Rajiva is a fascinating work....downright hilarious...a serious look at an important phenomenon in the human condition."- Dr. Jonathan Dolhenty of the highly rated philosophy site, Radical Academy (Oct. 2007) "a sharp-witted jaunt through the mass hysteria that's defined markets and people through the ages" -Money Week (Sept. 2007) "William Bonner and Lila Rajiva provide the answers in this exhilarating -- if somewhat depressing -- book. Although their insights will often make readers laugh out loud, they will also find themselves wriggling uncomfortably at the manifold idiocies of human behaviour." -The National Post, Canada (Nov. 07) "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay would be a better choice to begin. Without that context for this book, you'll find yourself gobbling caviar without knowing what it is." - Donald Mitchell, author of The 2000 Percent Solution, December 18, 2007 "A fascinating book," - Alan Caruba in Book Views, December, 2007 "Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets is a tragi-comedy, full of sharp observations, delivered with equally sharp wit. This book's dark and disturbing revelations could leave one depressed and disillusioned, were it not so damn funny." -- Adam Bergen at Blog Critics, December 31, 2007
From the Inside Flap
Collectively, people think and act in ways that are different from how they think and act as individuals. Understanding these differences, says William (Bill) Bonnera longtime maverick observer of the financial world and the vagaries of the investing publicis vital to preserving your wealth and personal dignity. From the witch hunts of the early modern world to the war on terror, from the dot-com mania to the real estate bubble, people have always been caught up in frauds, conceits, and wild guessesoften with devastating results. In Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets, Bonner and coauthor Lila Rajiva show groupthink at work in an improbable array of instances throughout history and reveal why swimming against the current pays. They explain why people so often abandon good sense and good behavior to "follow the crowd" and show you how to avoid getting caught up in the public spectacles around you.
If an investor merely recognizes the way mob sentiment works, the authors point out, he is far ahead of most others. Ordinary people, for example, turn over billions of dollars' worth of their hard-earned money to brokers and mutual fund managers every dayimmediate, tangible, personal moneybelieving that strangers will give them back even more. Whatever would make them think so?
Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets demonstrates that investors are in fact caught between a rock and a soft placebetween the private world they can understand and master and the misleading public spectacle of the markets. "The further away you get from your investments, and the less you suffer the consequences if they go bad, the worse your performance will be," say Bonner and Rajiva. "That's why 'collective' investments like index-linked funds,mutual funds, hedge funds, insurance funds, and pension funds are usually so bad. The investors are too far from the factsand the managers are too far from the consequences."
The authors' cautionary tale of the current bubble economy warns that the gush of credit let loose by Alan Greenspan is fraught with perils for the unwarybut their thoughtful and always entertaining approach also offers some sound investing principles for avoiding the pitfalls of the public spectacle, thinking for yourself, and protecting your money, your sanity, and your soul.
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