Wall Street and other casinos
in Mad Money
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History and the media between them have spread the idea far and wide that Wall Street, or perhaps stock exchanges generally, are the weakest point in the international financial system. If there is going to be trouble in the world market economy, that is where it will start. This chapter examines whether this is a correct reading of history and the right conclusion to draw from the developments. Besides the quick recovery of the American and world economy after Black Monday, the other argument on the side of optimism has been that of geography. Economic factors alone cannot explain why in the space of few years the optimism of the speculative boom turned to the pessimism of the depression. The chapter suggests the main points of similarity and of difference between the international financial and economic system in the 1990s as compared with the 1930s.

Mad Money

With an introduction by Benjamin J. Cohen


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