When Crowds Go Mad

by Joakim Book
The American Institute for Economic Research

Fad, craze, fluke, mania, insanity, chaos, exuberance, stupidity, foolish, irrational – we have many words for people losing their minds, individually and collectively. Ostensibly, these are fueled by deep-rooted emotions that all of us latently carry with us, or so is the message of the new book The Delusions of Crowds: Why People Go Mad in Groups by the prolific writer, financial theorist and neurologist William Bernstein.

While most familiar to an audience of personal finance and the world of investing, Bernstein has successfully ventured into other topics too, such as economic history through his 2004 book The Birth of Plenty and A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World from Prehistory to Today a few years later. To top that, he holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry, is retired from neurology, and has won awards from the CFA Institute, where he regularly writes book reviews.

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