What to read about financial bubbles and crashes?

So asks @TimHarford today, linking to a reading list proposed by Noah Smith

“Panics and Bubbles” reading list

itself a comment on another proposed reading list by Tony Yates,

If I was devising a panics and bubbles course…

which, while commended, is criticised for being too focused on ‘macro and money-based models, usually with rational expectations’.

And Tony Yates’ piece is in turn a commentary on another proposed reading list:

In a recent FT article, Claire Jones reported on the decision by Manchester University to reject a proposal for a course on ‘Panics and bubbles’, the initiative of the Manchester students’ pressure group ‘Post Crash Economics‘ and sympathetic academics.

Enough already.  The Noah Smith article includes five links to authors he’d recommend in common with Tony Yates, but 22 more.  The Tony Yates article has a few more links, but many more authors mentioned without links – and I’ve not bothered counting them.  One of the links was to the Post Crash Economics reading list, but that was broken.  I am almost relieved.

So here am I, nearly forty years on from when, as a fresh maths graduate, I first started working in finance.  From the moment I first tried to engage with economics, I’ve had an ambivalent relationship with the subject. On the positive side – and enough to justify anyone studying it, and learning some maths – there is supply and demand.  On the negative, there is the cost, in hours, days, even years, to be lost in following all these links and lines of thought.

Just for now, I’m succeeding in resisting the urge to add my own additional lines of thought.

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