The day Planet Finance fell to Earth

The Inquiring Mind

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Vanity Fair carries a lengthy, but absorbing article by Niall Ferguson, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford, and the author of The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West. The article is entitled Wall Street Lays Another Egg.

As the lead in says:-

Not so long ago, the dollar stood for a sum of gold, and bankers knew the people they lent to. The author charts the emergence of an abstract, even absurd world—call it Planet Finance—where mathematical models ignored both history and human nature, and value had no meaning.

The author discusses the collapse of Planet Finance and the return to the real world of Planet Earth. Along the way he points out that bubbles and crashes have been with us since time immemorial. He writes with a historian’s perspective.

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