Understanding the Economic Crisis

November 13, 2008

Writing in the latest Vanity Fair, Niall Ferguson does an unusually good job of putting this whole economic mess into an understandable historic context.

“This hunt for scapegoats is futile. To understand the downfall of Planet Finance, you need to take several steps back and locate this crisis in the long run of financial history. Only then will you see that we have all played a part in this latest sorry example of what the Victorian journalist Charles Mackay described in his 1841 book, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.”