Now in paperback--James Grant's comprehensive view of the 1980s, the least-inhibited decade in modern financial history, culled from the pages of his literate and incisive Interest Rate Observer. "A splendid work . . . filled with lucid observations."--Publishers Weekly.
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Though he's written two well-received financial histories, Grant (Money of the Mind, 1992; Bernard M. Baruch, 1983) is best known in financial circles for his twice-monthly newsletter, Grant's Interest Rate Observer. Here--marking that influential journal's tenth anniversary--are nearly one hundred of its myriad short essays, sandwiched between an introduction that looks frankly at Grant's first decade (``not a few of the nickels we spurned turned out to be speculative gold pieces'')--as well as wisely (``Two underappreciated forces in financial markets are irony and paradox'')--and an epilogue that peers into the markets' futures (Grant's bottom line: ``Down with paper [stocks and bonds]. Up with things [commodities]''). In between, the author, a ``self-styled contrarian,'' employs rubrics like ``Mr. Market Changes his Mind,'' ``Foreigners in Debt,'' and ``The Fine Art of Corporate Finance'' to group the essays, which invariably reflect his customary blend of humorous commentary and savvy advice: ``In 1913,'' begins a 1986 piece, ``the Woolworth Building...was completed for $13.5 million, the price including gold mosaic, spectacular vaulted ceilings, and gargoyles. In 1986 the American Express world headquarters...is expected to be finished at a cost of $690 million. That is without the gargoyles.'' Solid bedside reading, then, for those who believe, as Grant does, that ``in financial markets, progress is cyclical, not cumulative.'' -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Booklist:
Grant is publisher of Grant's Interest Rate Observer, an investment newsletter with influence far beyond its relatively small subscription base of 3,000. Rather than offering stock picks, Grant provides economic analysis based on credit market activity and fluctuations in interest rates. Last year his noteworthy Money of the Mind railed against a century of credit recklessness, tracing "borrowing and lending in America from the Civil War to Michael Milken." Since its inception 10 years ago, Grant's bearish newsletter has often been wrong, but Grant's contrarian views have been much sought on financial panels and news commentaries. Here he reprints more than 80 essays that appeared in the newsletter over the last decade. Grant writes well; these pieces are always incisive and often entertaining. Cartoons by Hank Blaustein will be added to the finished book. David Rouse
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