Financial Folly, Religious Frenzy and the Delusions of Crowds

Laurence Articles

What do financial folly and religious frenzy have in common? This question has not been carefully explored since Charles Mackay’s spectacular 1852 study, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

But, in a recent book, William Bernstein, a well-known economic historian, neurologist, and investment manager, makes the connection even more strongly than Mackay. The title of his book, The Delusions of Crowds, explicitly pays homage to Mackay’s classic. Bernstein’s delightfully written book is as worthy a read as Mackay’s.

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