A History of the United States in Five Crashes : Stock Market Meltdowns That Defined A Nation

A History of the United States in Five Crashes : Stock Market Meltdowns That Defined A Nation

eBook - 2017
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Baker & Taylor
A financial executive and CNBC contributor examines the five most significant stock market crashes over the past century to reveal how they happened and shaped the present-day United States.


In this absorbing, smart, and accessible blend of economic and cultural history, Scott Nations, a longtime trader, financial engineer, and CNBC contributor, takes us on a journey through the five significant stock market crashes in the past century to reveal how they defined the United States today

The Panic of 1907: When the Knickerbocker Trust Company failed, after a brazen attempt to manipulate the stock market led to a disastrous run on the banks, the Dow lost nearly half its value in weeks. Only billionaire J.P. Morgan was able to save the stock market.

Black Tuesday (1929): As the newly created Federal Reserve System repeatedly adjusted interest rates in all the wrong ways, investment trusts, the darlings of that decade, became the catalyst that caused the bubble to burst, and the Dow fell dramatically, leading swiftly to the Great Depression.

Black Monday (1987): When "portfolio insurance," a new tool meant to protect investments, instead led to increased losses, and corporate raiders drove stock prices above their real values, the Dow dropped an astonishing 22.6 percent in one day.

The Great Recession (2008): As homeowners began defaulting on mortgages, investment portfolios that contained them collapsed, bringing the nation's largest banks, much of the economy, and the stock market down with them.

The Flash Crash (2010): When one investment manager, using a runaway computer algorithm that was dangerously unstable and poorly understood, reacted to the economic turmoil in Greece, the stock market took an unprecedentedly sudden plunge, with the Dow shedding 998.5 points (roughly a trillion dollars in valuation) in just minutes.

The stories behind the great crashes are filled with drama, human foibles, and heroic rescues. Taken together they tell the larger story of a nation reaching enormous heights of financial power while experiencing precipitous dips that alter and reset a market where millions of Americans invest their savings, and on which they depend for their futures. Scott Nations vividly shows how each of these major crashes played a role in America's political and cultural fabric, each providing painful lessons that have strengthened us and helped us to build the nation we know today.

A History of the United States in Five Crashes clearly and compellingly illustrates the connections between these major financial collapses and examines the solid, clear-cut lessons they offer for preventing the next one.

Publisher: William Morrow & Co.,, 2017
ISBN: 9780062467294
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks


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IndyPL_SteveB Nov 16, 2018

A fascinating look at American economic history of the past 110 years, with a focus on five of the great failures of attempted financial engineering. While this could have been a dry, technical manual, Nations is a lively writer who considers the personalities and fallibilities of the humans involved. If you have little knowledge of the vocabulary of markets, you will have to work at this a little bit; but the author is actually quite good at explaining the concepts without too much jargon. The “Five Crashes” that Nations examines in his book are:

*The Panic of October, 1907
*Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929 – the crash that started the Great Depression
*Black Monday, October 19 and 20, 1987
*The Great Recession, the mortgage market collapse in September-November, 2008
*The Flash Crash, May 6, 2010

Nations points out the multiple causes for each crash and finds the surprising similarities between each. NOT surprisingly, greed and short-term thinking are common factors. In addition to the interesting history, this is a good look at the risks of the stock market.


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