Lessons for a Deglobalizing World from the Last 25 Centuries of Financial Crisis
November 10 · 6-7PM
Columbia University, 513 Fayerweather Hall
- Bob Swarup, Author, Money Mania; Senior Visiting Fellow, Cass Business School, London; Fellow, Institute of Economic Affairs, London
- Perry Mehrling, Professor of Economics, Barnard College; Member, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University
About the Discussion
Dr. Bob Swarup and Professor Perry Mehrling see economic and political performance under deglobalization as a warning about what lies ahead. Yet perhaps we can learn from the past to avoid this grim future?
What are the emerging tensions between growth and financial stability? Dr. Swarup and Professor Mehrling look to the case of Europe in the 1920s to examine the perils of autarky and too much debt. History teaches us that economies do not exist in isolation but rather have political and social dimensions; when policymakers ignore this reality, it comes back to haunt us as the specter of populism.
Furthermore, what can we learn from the past about contemporary issues of redistribution, inequality, fiscal vs. monetary policy, and beyond? Dr. Swarup will guide participants through his book, Money Mania, noting some of the themes that reemerge throughout history, particularly with respect to behavioral biases. He will also assess the risks we don’t think about enough today, such as the impact on savings pools, social cohesion, and the Fetish of GDP.
About Money Mania
Money Mania is a sweeping account of financial speculation and its consequences, from ancient Rome to the Meltdown of 2008. Acclaimed journalist and investor Bob Swarup tracks the history of speculative fevers caused by the appearance of new profitable investment opportunities; the new assets created and the increasing self-congratulatory euphoria that drives them to unsustainable highs, all fed by an illusion of insight and newly minted experts; the unexpected catalysts that eventually lead to panic; the inevitable crash as investors scramble to withdraw their funds from the original market and any other that might resemble it; and finally, the brevity of financial memory that allows us to repeat the cycle without ever critically evaluating the drivers of this endless cycle.
In short, it is the story of what makes us human.
“Unusually well-told, and expansive in scope. Similarities between different episodes are breath-taking… His framework provides interesting pointers.” – Financial Times
“[An] excellent new book, which looks at booms, panics and busts down the ages. … Swarup’s book comes out at an opportune moment.” – The Guardian
“[An] erudite history of financial speculation.” – The Economist