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This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Hardcover – Oct 1 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; 1st (first) edition (Oct. 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691142165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691142166
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 16.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 862 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #136,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

  • Winner of the 2011 Gold Medal Arthur Ross Book Award, Council on Foreign Relations


  • Winner of the 2010 Paul A. Samuelson Award, TIAA-CREF


  • One of USA Today's "Year's Best Business Books To Make Sense of Financial Crisis"


  • Listed on Bloomberg.com by James Pressley as one of "our favorite financial-crisis books this year"


  • Shortlisted for the 2010 Spear's Book of the Year Award in Financial History


  • Finalist for the 2011 Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize


  • Runner-Up for the Book of the Year, The Atlantic


  • Finalist for the 2009 Business Book Award ("Best of the Rest") in Current Interest, 800-CEO-READ


  • One of Library Journal Best Business Books - Economics/U.S. Economy category


"[E]ssential reading . . . both for its originality and for the sobering patterns of financial behaviour it reveals."--Economist

"Reinhart and Rogoff have compiled an impressive database, which covers eight centuries of government debt defaults from around the world. They have also collected statistics on inflation rates from every country where information is available and on banking crises and international capital flows over the past couple of centuries. This lengthy historical study gives what they call a 'panoramic view' of the unending cycle of boom and bust, showing how claims that 'this time is different' are invariably proven wrong. . . . This Time Is Different doesn't simply explain what went wrong in our most recent crisis. This book also provides a roadmap of how things are likely to pan out in the years to come. . . . This Time Is Different is an important addition to the literature of financial history."--Edward Chancellor, Wall Street Journal

"Everyonwe working on economic policy should own This Time is Different and open it for a bracing blast of sobriety when things seem to be going well."--Greg Ip, Washington Post

"[A] terrific book."--Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times

"The authors use copious amounts of data . . . to make the compelling case that any well-informed person should have seen the Great Recession coming. The essence of their book is that while financial crises come in different varieties, they are not mysteriously born of undersea earthquakes, but frequently occurring events that can be spotted and even controlled if politicians and regulators know what to look for."--Devin Leonard, New York Times

"[T]he most comprehensive study of financial crises and their aftermath . . ."--Eduardo Porter, New York Times

"This Time is Different takes a Sergeant Friday, just-the-facts-ma'am approach: before we start theorizing, let's take a hard look at what history tells us. One side benefit of this approach is that the current book manages to be both extremely useful to professional economists and accessible to the intelligent lay reader. The Reinhart-Rogoff approach has already paid off handsomely in making sense of current events."--Robin Wells and Paul Krugman, New York Review of Books

"Among policy experts and economists, This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly . . . has become so influential that when somebody says, 'We live in a Reinhart-Rogoff world,' everybody else in the room nods sagely."--Justin Lahart, Wall Street Journal

"Professor Rogoff and his longtime collaborator Carmen Reinhart . . . know more about the history of financial crises than anyone alive. The pair have just published their broad survey of financial crises, This Time is Different. In an era when most 'analysts' rely on maybe 30 or 40 years' worth of financial history--and then only that of the U.S.--the authors' knowledge of financial crises and government bond defaults going back to the Spanish empire and before offers a richer perspective."--Brett Arends, Wall Street Journal

"[O]ne of the most important economic books of 2009."--Jon Hilsenrath, Wall Street Journal

"[T]he definitive book on financial crises."--Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post

"Two top-notch economists provide a clear and interesting explanation of why economic crises keep occurring. Broadly speaking, downturns such as the one we are recovering from are historically associated with characteristics that should sound quite familiar to today's investors."--David Schwartz, Financial Times

"[A] masterpiece."--Martin Wolf, Financial Times

"The four most dangerous words in finance are 'this time is different.' Thanks to this masterpiece by Carmen Reinhart at the University of Maryland and Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard, no one can doubt this again. . . . The authors have put an immense amount of work into collecting the data financial institutions needed if they were to have any chance of making quantitative risk management work."--Martin Wolf, Financial Times

"Here's a deep and rewarding assignment for all of you, young and old, poor and rich, bullish and bearish. Retire to a quiet spot with a copy of This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, by Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff."--Bob Lenzner, Forbes.com

"[A] fine new history of financial debacles."--Daniel Gross, Newsweek

"Wouldn't it be nice to have $1,000 for every time a pundit proclaims an era of endless prosperity, consigning booms and busts to the dumpster of history? The next time you hear that canard (and you will) pour yourself a single malt and dip into Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff's landmark study, This Time Is Different. Wherever you open the book, you'll find proof that debt-fueled expansions have ended in financial ruin for hundreds of years. . . . The result is a visual history laid out in beguilingly simple graphs and tables, making the book both definitive--a must read for professors and investors--and accessible to a wider audience."--James Pressley, Bloomberg News

"Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff have delivered a powerful and eloquent statement. . . . Reinhart and Rogoff have done an extraordinary job in putting together statistics on government debt--a task that economic historians should have done long ago but shied away from because of the difficulties of defining 'government', which is often complex and multi-layered."--Harold James, The American Interest

"Unlike prior narrative accounts of market panics from such finance writers as Charles Kindleberger and Edward Chancellor, Reinhart and Rogoff give us a data-driven study that is global in sweep but also a model of clarity. The authors package their notably nonhysterical analysis of the latest crisis in a large, self-contained section of the book inviting harried readers to skip right ahead to it."--Daniel Akst, CNNMoney.com

"A tour de force of quantitative analysis covering financial crises affecting 66 countries over the past 800 years, the book identifies pre-crisis patterns that recur with eerie consistency. This Time is Different is a must-read for anyone on the lookout for canaries in coal mines."--Barron's

"This is certainly one of the must-read books of the year."--Arnold Kling, Econlog.com

"Rogoff and Reinhart . . . provide an eye-opening look at the cycles of boom and bust and how governments deal with those cycles."--Arkansas Business

"[A] valuable new book."--Idaho Statesman

"Having studied mountains of economic data during the past eight centuries, the authors insightfully point out the highly repetitive nature of financial crises resulted from a dangerous mix of hubris, euphoria and amnesia."--Shanghai Daily

"This Time is Different . . . is an unusually powerful bull detector designed to protect investors and taxpayers alike--eventually, at least, and provided the spirit is willing. . . . The book's most memorable passages--what the authors call its 'core life'--are to be found not in colorful stories about long-ago personalities, but rather in its various tables and figures. They take some time to comprehend, but any responsible citizen can and ought to consider they evidence they present. It is overwhelming."--David Warsh, Harvard Magazine

"Financial folly, economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff show in this groundbreaking book, knows no boundaries and has no expiration date. . . . For a book built around numbers, This Time is Different makes for surprisingly good reading. The authors are well aware that human nature is at the heart of the disasters they document, and they enliven the text with brief and amusing accounts of charlatans and cheats."--Paul Wiseman, USA Today

"The credit crunch of 2007 became the financial crash of 2008 and the recession of 2009. But there has been much debate about the scale of this crisis, and how it ranks against previous events. Reinhart and Rogoff have produced the most detailed study yet of financial crises, going back as far as 12th-century China. . . . [This Time is Different] will be a vital source of reference in debates on the causes and consequences of financial crises. By cataloguing so thoroughly every known instance of financial crisis, it performs a significant service and opens up new lines of inquiry."--Andrew Gamble, New Statesman

"[T]his is the kind of economics we desperately need, as it is relevant, fact-based and replete with wisdom from the past--and lessons for the future."--Irish Times

"For those who want to relearn the forgotten lessons of the past, This Time is Different, by economics professors Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, is an excellent place to start. . . . These are lessons worth learning."--Liaquat Ahamed, National Interest

"This book's distinctive strength is that it's built around a massive international database going back as far as twelfth-century China and medieval Europe."--Harvard Business Review

"[S]uperb."--Neil Reynolds, Globe & Mail

"Reinhart and Rogoff have compiled an encyclopedic analysis of the history of financial crises over the last 750 years. But their volume is not merely of historical interest. Rather, it has great relevance for anyone interested in understanding how the current financial crisis is likely to unfold."--Choice

"Reinhart and Rogoff present a sobering reminder that financial crises are a serial phenomenon--caused in no small part by the seductive 'this-time-is-different syndrome,' the prevalent belief that to us, here and now, old economic laws of motion no longer apply. Their ambitious quantitative history of financial crises draws out sweeping parallels between financial crises, across times and continents; and between inflating away domestic debt, currency debasements, and defaults on external debt."--Finance & Development

"[I]nstant classic tome on debt crises."--Alen Mattich, Dow Jones Newswires

"[A]wesome."--William Easterly, AidWatch

"One book in particular has been circulating among economists and market insiders. This Time is Different analyzes vast amounts of historical data on financial debacles, including state failures around the world, bank crises, currency woes and high inflation. The title satirizes those who fail to learn from past blunders and repeat them while insisting, 'This time is different.'"--Hideo Tsuchiya, Nikkei Weekly

"Reinhart and Rogoff have produced a splendid book detailing the massive self-destructive behavior that all states have been undergoing over the past several centuries. . . . Reading this excellent book on the paths of previous economic cycles could help avoid some of the worst results of our self-destructive financial acts."--Lloyd Demause, Journal of Psychohistory

"Anyone looking for a more academic take on where this meltdown places in the history of financial folly should turn to This Time is Different, a magisterial work on the causes and consequences of crises stretching back 800 years."--Matthew Valencia, Economist.com

"I couldn't put it down until I had gone all the way through it, and then I immediately ordered it as an assigned text for my Spring 2010 MBA course, 'The Development of Financial Institutions and Markets.' My students are finding it useful and engaging."--Richard Sylla, EH.Net

"Easily the most useful, and arguably the best, is this splendid piece of research and analysis on, as the subtitle says, 800 years' worth of booms and busts."--Bill Emmott, Survival

"This Time Is Different changes the way we can study financial crises. It is the start of a truly comprehensive approach to the subject. . . . It adds new ideas that will be useful for gauging the risk of future crises and perhaps even reducing their impact, if investors and policymakers are willing to learn from other people's mistakes, not just their own mistakes."--Kurt Schuler, CATO Journal

"[T]he book will be essential reading for anyone who wants to put the recent crisis into some historical perspective--and get some ideas on how to prevent, or at least delay, the next one."--David Orrell, Foresight

"It's the only book I have seen that provides, with great detail and over 800 years, clearly defined, analytical, data-driven evidence of what the impact of a post-financial crisis period is and hence what we can anticipate. . . . I've never seen anything that comes close in terms of being comprehensive. It's a tour de force."--Dambisa Moyo, The Browser

"[T]his Time is Different [is a] landmark work on financial crises . . ."--Megan McArdle, TheAtlantic.com

"Readable, shocking, and vital, this is a book that every investor who has been tempted by a hefty interest rate in a faraway land should study."--Andrew Allentuck, National Post

"[This Time is Different] is perhaps the finest study of financial crises ever published."--Ezra Klein, Washington Post

"[A] modern classic. . . . In their landmark study of hundreds of financial crises in 66 countries over 800 years, Reinhart and Rogoff find oft-repeated patterns that ought to alert economists when trouble is on the way. One thing stops them waking up in time: their perpetual belief that 'this time is different.'"--Ross Gittins, Sydney Morning Herald

"[S]eminal . . ."--Rana Faroohar and Bill Saporito, Time

"[T]he pre-eminent history of financial crises . . ."--Adam Davidson, New York Times Magazine

"The book by Reinhart and Rogoff is one for the ages, and it will be remembered as a landmark event, not least given the coincidence of its publication of such a deep and broad historical analysis of economic crises with the very moment when the world was entering a massive 'hundred year flood' type of calamity. The authors' empirical work is encyclopedic and much of the data are highly original and the result of intense effort. The necessary theoretical framing is provided, but in terms that all target readers should be able to absorb. The overall view is panoramic and the message carried is an important one for all to hear--policymakers, commentators, and researchers. Crises are still with us, they are very painful indeed, and perhaps it will always be so. It is up to us to figure out why and how crises happen, and to figure out what, if anything, can and should be done to mitigate their devastating effects in future. This book is therefore, above all, a call to action."--Journal of Economic Literature

"[E]conomists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff take a much-needed longer view, placing the current crisis, with a focus on the U.S. housing bubble, into historical perspective."--Anil Hira, Perspectives on Politics

"Reinhart and Rogoff's book belongs to the tradition of studies that appear in the middle of a crisis but it manages to keep its spine above water because of its historical depth and systematic rigour."--Sakis Gekas, Dublin Review of Books

From the Inside Flap

"This Time Is Different is a tremendously exciting, topical, and controversial book on the history of debt and default. This one belongs on everyone's shelf."--Barry Eichengreen, author of The European Economy since 1945

"This is quite simply the best empirical investigation of financial crises ever published. Covering hundreds of years and bringing together a dizzying array of data, Reinhart and Rogoff have made a truly heroic contribution to financial history. This single marvelous volume is worth a thousand mathematical models."--Niall Ferguson, author of The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

"This Time is Different is terrific, for it gives just the perspective we need on the current world economic crisis. People can't expect to understand the current crisis without some in-depth look at past crises. That is exactly what this excellent and timely book provides."--Robert J. Shiller, author of Irrational Exuberance and coauthor of Animal Spirits

"You will be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive and insightful analysis of financial crises. Reinhart and Rogoff's superb book is a must-read for anyone looking to understand past and present crises, as well as navigate those of tomorrow."--Mohamed El-Erian, author of When Markets Collide

"I would say that her [Carmen Reinhart's] book with Ken Rogoff on debt crises and financial crises is an extraordinary piece of work."--Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, speaking before the House Budget Committee (6/9/2010)

"A classic."--Nouriel Roubini

"The most important authorities probably in the world now on financial crashes are Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart. . . . And I read it [This Time is Different]."--Former President Bill Clinton, speech at Youngstown, OH, October 31, 2012


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Sullivan TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 3 2010
Format: Hardcover
Riennart and Rogoff list all sorts of financial data. They attempt to identify various financial upheavals, that have occurred throughout the ages. There is information on; banking crises, inflation , deflation , currency crashes, asset prices, and countries defaulting on their debts.
Riennart and Rogoff then list a number of reoccurring themes, that are common to most banking and debt collapse episodes.
After the reader has digested all the historical data. There is quite an anticipation on the analysis on the current Subprime Crisis. I would have liked a detailed breakdown of the US debt levels. There are all sorts of implied government debts such as Social Security, that are not officially listed as a liability. There are also high levels of personal debt such as; credit card debts, student loans, mortgages, and pay day loans, that should have been examined in detail. It would seem the US economy is in a far deeper debt situation, then anything we have seen before. Instead, Reinnart and Rogoff simply refer to US government accounting practices as "opaque".

Reinnart and Rogoff also concluded that a new independent international regulator, would help prevent future banking problems. Personally I laughed at that conclusion, but I am sure some people would agree with the idea.
This book is worth reading. However, the discussion on the current Suprime Crisis should have been more comprehensive.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Winfried Fruehauf on Jan. 17 2010
Format: Hardcover
The book "This time is different" is well-researched, so well that it could be viewed as a scholarly entertaining, educational textbook. It is not easily read cover-to-cover in one or even a few sittings. Indeed, it is very demanding on the reader.

The book identifies excessive use of debt as the root cause of some of the most severe economic and financial ills of governments, societies and the business-world over many centuries. Lack of spending discipline, caused by ignorance, greed, lack of foresight, massive governmental intervention and/or acts of Dutch courage, is the driver of excesssive indebtedness. On the flip side of borrowers' inability to repay debt in full and on time is the damage visited upon lenders from the fall-out of insolvency. It could be argued that some or most of the causes of the excessive use of debt are, mutatis mutandis, identical with or similar to the causes of excessive lending. In other words, lack of due diligence is leading both borrowers and lenders into financial quagmires.

There is nothing inherently wrong with the use of debt; however, wrong is excessive use of debt.

The book's title is probably chosen to be facetious. It could, perhaps equally well, have read "same old - same old" and it would have hit the nail on the head, and, as such, would have reaffirmed Ecclesiastes 1:2-11: there is nothing new under the sun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trading Central on April 18 2013
Format: Hardcover
Upon receiving the book it was really one so very very different to all the other histories of economic crisis that have been printed that my dismay and shock turned to pleasant surprise. Conditioned to the usual academic rigor of verbose and irrelevant commentary based on borrowed personal commentary from key individuals living during the crisis being reviewed, this book allowed for an easy read supported by solid economic time series presented in a graphical format.

The style is frankly one that takes all the modern tools in the computer age and consolidates the economic information into a useful concordance for the economic historian. The bibliography and references made available are outstanding. The use of graphics and description of relevant time lines for critical events raises the bar for future authors. What is contained between the cover pages is a nicely summarized database that is a useful desk reference for the trader or economic historian.

Most appreciated however is the lack of verbose commentary and personal reflections of personalities who were living through the crises events analyzed. The tone used to describe the events is not the usual PhD scribed analysis or over described rhetoric using obscure economic terms common to other volumes on economic panics. The length of the book also allows for more nights of leisure than the traditional economic history that needs several months or years to get through.

As others have said economic history is not the same read as say Shades of Gray or the latest Stephen King novel of popularized fiction. But this book is by far more readable and allows the reader the opportunity to make their own conclusions of the events and analytical areas under review based on the consolidated economic information presented.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ian Robertson TOP 100 REVIEWER on April 5 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is different; already an important and oft-cited contribution to our understanding of financial crises, it will likely endure as both a turning point and a benchmark for economists and policymakers alike. Reinhart and Rogoff compile and synthesize centuries of economic data, draw both facts and inferences, and offer some predictions as to how the global financial crisis that began in 2006 with the US housing collapse might continue to unfold. A truly remarkable and important work. It requires some effort to read, but at the authors’ suggestion readers can skim or skip some of the more technical parts with no loss of continuity. In fact, those with an interest in only the recent financial crisis can read just the final chapters (13-17) and be well rewarded for their time.

Because it is primary research and because of its analytical rigour, this is first and foremost an academic text. Unlike most academic works, though, it is bereft of formulas and statistical analyses, instead relying on readers’ familiarity with a bit of (economic) history and geography. This is the first work to compile such an extensive set of economic data (sixty six countries over almost eight centuries), and differs substantially from earlier academics’ work such as Charles Kindleberger’s Manias, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises, Sixth Edition, which had previously stood as the best chronicle (i.e. not ‘analysis’) of financial folly. In Reinhart and Rogoff’s book, successive sets of historical data are explained and inferences or lessons drawn.
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