Thursday, May 6, 2010

Common-Place on Hard Times

The latest number of the on-line journal Common-Place is a special issue on "Hard Times." As Cathy Matson writes in her essay on "Flimsy Fortunes":
Americans' fascination with making their dollars grow through paper speculating, and their fortunes and failures resulting from it, has been a subject of scholarly interest for a long time. Historians have chronicled credit and investment schemes beginning in the late-colonial years and continuing in every era of American history. In the two hundred years between the Revolution and the 1980s, over a dozen episodes of overextended credit or speculative frenzies grew into full-fledged financial panics, some followed by years of depression.
The richly illustrated issue includes:
Michael Zakim
The Best of Times and the Worst of Times

Thomas Augst
A Drunkard's Story

Edward E. Baptist
Toxic Debt, Liar Loans, and Securitized Human Beings

Oz Frankel
Hard Facts for Hard Times

Pierre Gervais
A Game of Claims and Expectations

Roy Kreitner
When Banks Fail

Jessica Lepler
Pictures of Panic

Noam Maggor
Hard Times
[An essay on "Bubbles, Panics, & Crashes: A Century of Financial Crises," Baker Library Historical Collections, HBS]

Cathy Matson
Flimsy Fortunes

Sharon Ann Murphy
"Doomed … to eat the bread of dependency"?

Jonathan Prude
Images of Want