To get some historical perspective on today’s financial crisis — and possibly divine some hint of where things go from here — I’ve been skimming “This Time is Different: 8 Centuries of Financial Folly.”
The co-authors, Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart, are highly pedigreed economics professors; almost half of their exhaustively researched, 500 page book is devoted to various appendices, charts, and tables.
So what do other countries’ experiences with financial crises, going back centuries, suggest for the U.S. now?
According to Rogoff and Reinhart, “the recent U.S. financial crisis . . . will remain in the hands of the fates as of this writing, and probably for some time beyond.” (p. 217)
“Hell if we know.”
At least they’re honest (more than can be said of Jim Cramer and half the yahoo’s on CNBC).