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Misunderstanding Financial Crises
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Table of Contents

Preface I. Introduction II. Creating the Quiet Period III. Financial Crises IV. Liquidity and Secrets V. Credit Booms and Manias VI. The Timing of Crises VII. Economic Theory without History VIII. Debt During Crises IX. The Quiet Period and Its End X. Moral Hazard and Too-Big-To-Fail XI. Bank Capital XII. Fat Cats, Crisis Costs, and the Paradox of Financial Crises XIII. The Panic of 2007-2008 XIV. The Theory and Practice of Seeing Bibliographic Notes Notes References Index

About the Author

Gary B. Gorton is the Frederick Frank Class of 1954 Professor of Finance at the Yale School of Management. He is the author of Slapped by the Invisible Hand: The Panic of 2007.

Reviews

"BEN BERNANKE, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, was once asked for his recommended reading on financial crises. He named the work of Gary Gorton, a Yale University professor. Misunderstanding Financial Crises demonstrates why. Mr. Gorton brings to the question a combination of historical perspective, academic expertise and, unlike most academics, personal experience...his book is a refreshing and valuable account that should take its place among the essential reading of any student of crises." --The Economist "The book offers essential insights into the mysteries of the recent financial crisis. Gorton has the rare depth of understanding to explain the elements and similarities of a wide array of historical crises. Fascinating reading."--Robert J. Shiller, Arthur M. Okun Professor of Economics, Yale University, author of Irrational Exuberance and Finance and the Good Society "Professor Gorton has produced an excellent, readable and incisive account of the recent financial crisis in historical perspective. We, as economists, have an obligation to understand our own profession's failings in the policy framework leading up to the financial crisis. Gorton shows us that blind faith in mathematical models of idealized economies can lead to blind spots in regulators' view of economic reality. This phenomenon had disastrous consequences during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, as intricately documented in this book. The book presents important lessons for how financial regulatory reform should be designed and implemented in the future. In addition, it provides a cautionary tale for economists to rethink their approach to policy advice more generally."--Justin Yifu Lin, Chief Economist and Sr. Vice President, World Bank "Financial Crises have been a feature global finance for centuries, but economists and other analysts still struggle with the subject. If anything, since the events of 2007-2009 and the more recent crisis in Europe our fears have only grown larger. In this timely new book Gary Gorton reviews history, theory and evidence concerning financial crises, their causes and possible research and policy responses. It is at the same time very thorough and very interesting, and will no doubt appeal to academics and practitioners." --Arminio Fraga Neto, former President, Central Bank of Brazil, Founder, Gavea Investimentos "An important book." - The Financial Times 3/12/12 "Written in a very accessible style, the book makes the reader not only question what caused the financial crisis of 2008-09 but also think analytically about what made possible the moderation or the 'Quiet Period' from 1934 to 2007, during which time there were 'no systemic financial crises.' His book provides immensely useful information about the policies that led to the crisis. This volume is must reading for undergraduates in economics and finance as well as business leaders and future policy makers. Graduate students, faculty, and general readers will find it a pleasure to read. Essential."--CHOICE

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