Irrational Exuberance

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9780691123356: Irrational Exuberance


This first edition of this book was a broad study, drawing on a wide range of published research and historical evidence, of the enormous stock market boom that started around 1982 and picked up incredible speed after 1995. Although it took as its specific starting point this ongoing boom, it placed it in the context of stock market booms generally, and it also made concrete suggestions regarding policy changes that should be initiated in response to this and other such booms. The book argued that the boom represents a speculative bubble, not grounded in sensible economic fundamentals. Part one of the book considered structural factors behind the boom. A list of twelve precipitating factors that appear to be its ultimate causes was given. Amplification mechanisms, naturally-occurring Ponzi processes, that enlarge the effects of these precipitating factors, were described. Part Two discussed cultural factors, the effects of the news media, and of "new era" economic thinking. Part Three discussed psychological factors, psychological anchors for the market and herd behavior. Part Four discussed attempts to rationalize exuberance: efficient markets theory and theories that investors are learning. Part Five presented policy options and actions that should be taken.


The second edition, 2005, added an analysis of the real estate bubble as similar to the stock market bubble that preceded it, and warned that "Significant further rises in these markets could lead, eventually, to even more significant declines. The bad outcome could be that eventual declines would result in a substantial increase in the rate of personal bankruptcies, which could lead to a secondary string of bankruptcies of financial institutions as well. Another long-run consequence could be a decline in consumer and business confidence, and another, possibly worldwide, recession." Thus, the second edition of this book was among the first to warn of the global financial crisis that began with the subprime mortgage debacle in 2007


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Review:

Sequels often disappoint when compared to their predecessors, but author Robert Shiller has proved the exception to the rule with his second edition of Irrational Exuberance. When the original book released in 2000, Shiller's prescient analysis of bubble-like market behavior provided perspective on the painful meltdown of stock-price valuations that subsequently occurred. Five years later, the Yale professor's bearish predictions about real-estate valuations are enough to give any savvy investor or homebuyer pause.

Shiller is one of several well-known economists and pundits who've begun a running dialogue in the last few years around the drawbacks of unchecked free markets. Few writers, though, dissect the phenomenon of bubble behavior as clearly and thoroughly as Shiller does. As with the first edition of his book, Shiller begins this one with reams of quantitative data around the late 1990s stock-market runup. This new edition adds data on real-estate price trends in the early 2000s, and points out the striking parallels between the earlier stock-market boom and bust, and current trends with housing prices in the United States. Shiller actually believes the two phenomena are related; as investors lost confidence in the stock market and moved their money into real estate, one asset class fell while the other rose. According to Shiller's analysis, the pattern is destined to repeat itself.

Aside from the initial data, the real strength of Irrational Exuberance is the straightforward, almost clinical way in which it explains why things happen as they do. The book walks readers through structural reasons for market bubbles, then ventures into "softer" analyses which professional economists less confident than Shiller would be scared to touch. It examines cultural factors behind market bubbles, such as hype-mongering news media, and psychological factors, such as herd behavior.

Another improvement in this latest edition of Shiller's book is his inclusion of more personal commentary, and he mentions the influence that his wife, herself a clinical psychologist, has had on his intellectual development and his view of psychological impacts on economic behavior. Other personal insights from Shiller center on experiences he had while touring and lecturing around the first book, and some of the most interesting passages are those in which he describes common questions or feedback from his audience, and what he thought in reaction--but didn't voice while on his tour.

In the end, Shiller closes his book with an intriguing set of policy proposals. He argues for a revamping of the U.S. social security system, a new system of house-price insurance for homeowners, and risk reduction through portfolio diversification. Fans of the brainy academic will note with approval that Shiller practices what he preaches: he has begun trying to implement some of his ideas in the real world through two private consulting firms he has founded, Macro Securities Research and Macro Financial. The hope is if Shiller's as correct with this second book as he was with his first, readers will all learn something from these new companies. --Peter Han

About the Author:

Robert J. Shiller is the Stanley B. Resor Professor of Economics at Yale University. He is author of "The New Financial Order: Risk in the 21st Century" (Princeton) and "Market Volatility and Macro Markets", which won the 1996 Paul A. Samuelson Award.

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Book Description Princeton Univers. Press, 2005. Gebundene Ausgabe. Book Condition: Neu. Neu Neuware, Importqualität, auf Lager, Sofortversand - This first edition of this book was a broad study, drawing on a wide range of published research and historical evidence, of the enormous stock market boom that started around 1982 and picked up incredible speed after 1995. Although it took as its specific starting point this ongoing boom, it placed it in the context of stock market booms generally, and it also made concrete suggestions regarding policy changes that should be initiated in response to this and other such booms. The book argued that the boom represents a speculative bubble, not grounded in sensible economic fundamentals. The second edition, 2005, added an analysis of the real estate bubble as similar to the stock market bubble that preceded it, and warned that 'Significant further rises in these markets could lead, eventually, to even more significant declines. The bad outcome could be that eventual declines would result in a substantial increase in the rate of personal bankruptcies, which could lead to a secondary string of bankruptcies of financial institutions as well. Another long-run consequence could be a decline in consumer and business confidence, and another, possibly worldwide, recession.' Thus, the second edition of this book was among the first to warn of the global financial crisis that began with the subprime mortgage debacle in 2007. 304 pp. Englisch. Bookseller Inventory # INF1000310586

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Book Description Princeton Univers. Press, 2005. Gebundene Ausgabe. Book Condition: Neu. Neu Neuware, Importqualität, auf Lager, Sofortversand - This first edition of this book was a broad study, drawing on a wide range of published research and historical evidence, of the enormous stock market boom that started around 1982 and picked up incredible speed after 1995. Although it took as its specific starting point this ongoing boom, it placed it in the context of stock market booms generally, and it also made concrete suggestions regarding policy changes that should be initiated in response to this and other such booms. The book argued that the boom represents a speculative bubble, not grounded in sensible economic fundamentals. The second edition, 2005, added an analysis of the real estate bubble as similar to the stock market bubble that preceded it, and warned that 'Significant further rises in these markets could lead, eventually, to even more significant declines. The bad outcome could be that eventual declines would result in a substantial increase in the rate of personal bankruptcies, which could lead to a secondary string of bankruptcies of financial institutions as well. Another long-run consequence could be a decline in consumer and business confidence, and another, possibly worldwide, recession.' Thus, the second edition of this book was among the first to warn of the global financial crisis that began with the subprime mortgage debacle in 2007. 304 pp. Englisch. Bookseller Inventory # INF1000310586

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