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Great Start, Conclusion Comes Up a Little Short
on June 3, 2010
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.