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Revisiting a classic book on investment bubbles

Cover of  by Charles Mackay

Listed by the Financial Times as one of the 10 best books ever written on investment, Charles Mackay’s study of how manias start, develop and eventually pass is as relevant today as it was nearly 170 years ago.

In his own words, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is ‘a miscellany of delusions’, some financial, others social or moral.

It includes the history of alchemy, belief in relics, prophecies, astrology, devil worship, the burning of witches and even slow poisoning, which became strangely fashionable among well-to-do ladies in 17th century France.

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