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Risk + Greed = Catastrophe

Michael Lewis has been called the funniest serious writer in America.  He casts a wide net, as evidenced by the books Liar's Poker (bond traders in the late 80's), The New New Thing (Silicon Valley), The Real Price of Everything (economic classics), and Moneyball (the economic aspects of baseball), among others.

His latest book (Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity) is scheduled for publication in early December '08.  Beginning with the crash of '87, he looks at the distinctive elements of that and each subsequent financial upheaval.  He also makes some attempt to consolidate what we should have learned from each event into an estimation of root cause.  But, as he sadly jokes:  "Not only does financial history seldom repeat itself, it seldom even rhymes."

An interview with the author and an excerpt from his book can be found on the NPR web site.  And if Black-Scholes sounds to you like the name of a sanitary landfill, visit the site and find out that it's something even less attractive and sweet smelling.


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