Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst

Vikram Mansharamani

Wiley,  March 2011

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THE WORLD IS in the midst of an accelerating sequence of booms and busts, and despite these developments, no organized multidisciplinary framework exists for thinking about them.

With the increased complexity and volatility surrounding financial bubbles, we need a more effective way to spot, and understand, these events. Based on his popular seminar at Yale University, Boombustology presents Vikram Mansharamani's multi-lens framework for evaluating the extremely elaborate social phenomenon of financial market booms and busts.

Unlike other finance books -- which discuss making day-to-day investment decisions or the optimal strategy for a particular market -- Boombustology will help you identify the "needle-moving" extremes that have the potential to render many traditional investment approaches useless.

Divided into three comprehensive parts, this reliable resource:

  • Develops five lenses -- based upon the findings of various disciplines, from economics and psychology to politics and biology -- that can be combined to evaluate financial extremes
  • Examines the power of the multi-lens framework by applying it to five historical cases -- Tulipomania, the Great Depression, the Japanese "Bubble Economy," the Asian Financial Crisis, and the U.S. Housing Boom and Bust -- and demonstrates how the multi-disciplinary approach might have helped to better understand these events as they took place
  • Illustrates the framework in action by evaluating China as being in the midst of a potentially unsustainable boom

The framework found within these pages offers a robust understanding of the dynamics that precede, fuel, and ultimately reverse financial market extremes. Regardless of your economic or financial background, Boombustology will put you in a better position to spot financial bubbles before they burst.

Hardcover | ISBN: 9780470879467 | Publication Date: March 2011

Reviews:
"Asset class bubbles are by far the most important events in the life of both stock markets and economies. Boombustology is a comprehensive, informative, and entertaining look into how bubbles form, what really constitutes a bubble, and, critically, the causes and circumstances of bubbles breaking. It is essential reading for any bubbliophile."
 -- Jeremy Grantham, Co-founder and Chief Investment Strategist, GMO

"Imaginative, accessible, and blessedly concise, Boombustology is a Baedeker for these boomy and busty times."
 -- James Grant, Grant's Interest Rate Observer

"If there's one thing that cleaves Wall Street's winners from its losers, it's the ability to say, ‘I've seen this movie, and I know how it ends.' Vikram Mansharamani's Boombustology will entertain readers with an entire film festival of past, present, and future investment disaster flicks that will make them laugh, make them cry, and save their bacon."
 -- William J. Bernstein, bestselling author of The Investor's Manifesto: Preparing for Prosperity, Armageddon, and Everything in Between

"Investors are attracted to bubbles. To paraphrase Orwell, they find themselves playing with fire without even knowing that fire is hot. Vikram Mansharamani's highly readable book will set them right. It provides a sound intellectual framework for identifying bubbles before they burst. If you buy only one investment book this year, make it Boombustology."
 -- Edward Chancellor, author of Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation

"Through an artful and accessible melding of theoretical frameworks and historical cases, Boombustology provides the essential tools to identify and navigate the financial booms and busts that can be so hazardous to one's portfolio. Required reading for all investors."
 -- Paul A. Reeder, President, PAR Capital Management

"Who is the better investor: the generalist or the expert specialist? In this spirited book, Vikram Mansharamani brings to life five famous boom-bust episodes and argues for a multidisciplinary, generalist approach. Boombustology is an engaging read for specialists and generalists alike."
 -- John Geanakoplos, James Tobin Professor of Economics at Yale University; External Professor, the Santa Fe Institute; and Partner, Ellington Capital Management