Summary of Devil Take the Hindmost

A History of Financial Speculation

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Devil Take the Hindmost book summary
The history of financial speculation: From the Roman Coliseum to the Internet bubble.


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This is a thoroughly engaging book about the world of financial speculation. Edward Chancellor discusses the origins of financial markets from the time of the Roman Empire through the modern Internet bubble. The book offers great insights about stock exchanges, outbreaks of speculation mania, and the fraud and greed that accompany any human endeavor. He presents in-depth reviews of many well-known "speculative manias" and several of the lesser-known ones. getAbstract recommends this book to anyone who wants a thoughtful treatment of a subject that touches all our lives.

In this summary, you will learn

  • The history of financial markets and speculation
  • The stories behind the biggest speculative bubbles


Speculation and Human Nature
What is speculation? Some modern, intense examples include Internet companies, day trading, and the 1990s rise of the U.S. economy. Adam Smith believed the speculator " defined by his readiness to pursue short-term opportunities." John Maynard...
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About the Author

Edward Chancellor studied history at Cambridge and Oxford. In the early 1990s, he worked for the investment bank Lazard Brothers. He is a freelance contributor to the Financial Times and The Economist.

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