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The Secret Life of Real Estate and Banking: How It Moves and Why Hardcover – 1 Nov 2008
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"Both exciting and timely. It provides detailed insight on how the addiction to land speculation became the foundation of the United States of America" --"Progress Magazine", Australia
"Recounts the history of land speculation and the reasons for it from the early days of American settlement through to the present era." --"Australian Investment Association"
"I recommend you read Phil's book. It's one of the best books ever written on long-term real-estate cycles." --Harry S. Dent Jr., Senior Editor, "Survive & Prosper"
It provides detailed insight on how the addiction to land speculation became the foundation of the United States of America.
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Top customer reviews
I've just finished a second reading of the main historical section. Although the writing is lively and the message clear enough first time around, there is a lot of material and it took me a certain amount of thinking time to mull over and take on a wholly new perspective.
Despite the existence of the cycle there is room for much variety in the basic drama. Each time around has its' own flavour, e.g. the location and type of property speculation is most focused upon, the magnitude of the boom and bust, and how credit is organised and delivered. The existence of non-real estate related busts obscures matters further. It's easy for observers, including 'experts', let alone politicians, to misinterpret the reasons for and inevitability of each bust, but the cycle rolls on and the author nails it down.
Descriptions of the scandals and frauds coming out of the woodwork in each bust are included. One point I found unexpected was how self deception (as well as ordinary deception) and groupthink are integral to the cycle.
This book has been instrumental in changing my own thinking, perhaps typical of someone coming from a hard science background, where markets are constantly teetering on the knife edge of efficiency unless perturbed by a sufficient force, to a more flexible behavioural view, though with its own regularities. Highly recommended for the thoughtful, and the just interested.