My book "America on Strike" is very important in understanding business and management, the stock market and the State and Corporate Capitalistic system we live in. After reading "Devil Take the Hindmost" you might want to consider "America on Strike." Thanks. Click on book cover to the right on this page for more information.
Devil Take the Hindmost
By Edward Chancellor
By Richard Edward Noble
This book makes it extremely clear that the stock market is a dangerous place. The author begins with the speculator and the ethics of speculation.
“Speculation is a divisive topic. Many politicians – several of them in Asia – warn that the global economy is being held hostage by speculators. In their opinion, the speculator is a parasitical figure, driven by greed and fear, who creates and thrives on financial crises … Western economists take a radically different line. They argue that speculation is fundamentally a benign force, essential to the proper functioning of the capitalist system.”
In the last paragraph of the book the author gives us his conclusion on this speculative debate.
“Speculation undermined the Bretton Woods system of fixed currencies and, more recently, it has destroyed the state managed capitalism of Japan and other Asian nations. As an anarchic force, speculation demands continuing government restrictions, but inevitably it will break and chains and run amok. The pendulum swings back and forth between economic liberty and constraint.”
That conclusion in my estimation gets a 10 on the Alan Greenspan scale of economic mumbo-jumbo. But it is standard fare from those versed in economics. After reading the book I actually understand what the author is trying to say in this self-contradictory statement. That’s a little scary, in itself.
But in truth I did not buy this book to get the author’s answers to anything. I bought it to get historical information on panics, bubbles and crises. I got a good deal of information. I’m satisfied.
I was actually looking for a book discussing U.S. panics beginning with colonial times and coming forward to the present. More than half this book discusses pre-colonial panics and countries other than the U.S. So I’m still in the market for something more specific and more detailed.
But what about investing in the stock market? What kinds of people have been involved in this enterprise? And how should an average person look at the stock market for his personal investments.
The answers for me, after reading this book are: Do not invest in the stock market. It is filled with crazies, manipulators and the clinically insane – not to mention outright gangsters and criminals. And an average person would be better off investing their life’s savings in their retarded son-in-law than giving their money to a stock broker.
The author takes his readers on a tour of the many famous speculative bubbles and manias of the past going back to the “Tulipomania” of 1630 and carrying us through the Japanese crisis of the 1980s. He even dabbles into present day derivatives and hedge funds. The book was published in 1999 so it predates the current fiasco. But this book makes it very clear that the historical information was there. Japan should have been an obvious example.
For Alan Greenspan to state before Congress that he couldn’t imagine that prominent bankers and brokers would act in such a “negligent” unprofessional manner is beyond naiveté. Alan was obviously joking. It is difficult to determine when Alan Greenspan is joking.
But Alan was not the criminal. He did nothing wrong. He did nothing right either. As J.K. Galbraith stated in many of his books, the Federal Reserve and its bosses did exactly what they should have done … nothing. If they let the bubble go until it collapsed they are blamed for the collapse. If they put on the brakes and tighten up the money in the middle of a “boom” they will be blamed from killing the growth and crippling the prosperity. For us here at home the big questions are where were the inspectors, the regulatory agencies and the Congress and the Senate with the proper rules? And even bigger question …Where was the moral conscience of all those thousands who participated in all the scamming and falsifying? We had more than an accident here. We had a moral and ethical calamity.
What this book makes clear is that what has happened has happened many times before –not on such a great a scale as today. This current speculative extravaganza was a major moral earthquake.
Galbraith said in his book Money, Whence it Came, Where it Went that the time between speculative insanities or panics is directly proportional to the time it takes for everyone to forget the last speculative bubble or panic.
Galbraith also had much the same confusing type answer as offered by Mr. Chancellor. For the present, rules and regulations need to be put in place but as time goes on these rules or any rules will be undermined. There will then be another collapse and a new need for newer rules. Galbraith suggested a five year term for new rules and new regulators. Then all bureaus should be abolished and new ones established. In other words, the new rules must be kept ahead of the old rule breakers and manipulators. Keep changing the game.
This answer seems to indicate that the problem is endemic to the system. So we need a new system. But is that possible? And what will it be? And will it have other flaws equal to or worse than the present system?
Maybe the same system could be continued and we should concentrate on developing some better human beings.
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Don't Laugh - This Could Have Been Your Life
Funny stories and some strange characters.
Monkey Dishes and Cocktail Fawks
My Harrowing days in the restaurant business. Great Read.
It's a Long Story
Long Short Fiction - Great stories!
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Talking To Myself
This is my third book of poetry.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Come On-A My House
This is # 4 in my Lawrence Hometown series.The old homested at 32 Chelmsford ST is pictured on the cover..
Down By The Old Mill Stream
# 5 in the Lawrence My Hometown series.
Standing on the Corner is # 6 in the lawrence My Hometown series.
The old Howard Playstead on Lawrence St.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
# 7 in the Lawrence my Hometown series.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
All 12 BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND OTHER INTERNET SOURCES OR FROM NOBLE PUBLISHING. ALL 12 OF MY BOOKS ARE NOW ON KINDLE AT BARGAIN PRICES TOO. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS E-MAIL ME. MY EMAIL IS ON MY PROFILE PAGE.