Professor Connel Fullenkamp of Duke University guides listeners through four centuries of economic disasters – from tulip mania in the 1600s to the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Each of his 24 lectures covers a notable incident of financial misfortune or folly that is worthy of a Hollywood thriller. You hear how Charles Ponzi conducted the moneymaking scam that bears his name; how mining companies in the Old West sprang up like Internet start-ups, with a similar imbalance of winners and losers; how hyperinflation destroyed Germany’s economy at the beginning of 1920s and how its resulting stock market crash nearly sank America’s stock market.
You also hear how the Great Depression deepened through a wave of bank panics; how, in more recent times, the US savings and loan industry went belly-up; how Orange County in California went bankrupt, how Japan’s hard-charging economy came to a screeching halt; how currency crises swept the globe; how subprime mortgages nearly sparked a second Great Depression; and much more. You also learn how technology has transformed stock trading, how cryptocurrencies work, and why we live in an era of financial instability.
As well as entertaining you with riveting stories, Professor Fullenkamp inoculates you against the gullibility, overconfidence, and herd mentality that have trapped even Wall Street professionals in misguided investments that lost billions. You won’t have any trouble staying awake through these stimulating lectures. And, armed with the knowledge of how to stay out of harm’s way, you may even sleep better at night.