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Skyscraper Curse - Audiobook

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The Skyscraper Curse is Dr. Mark Thornton's definitive work on booms and busts, and it explains why only Austrian economists really understand them. It makes business cycle theory accessible to a whole new 21st-century audience.

And they need it, especially those under 40. Many of the brilliant quants working on Wall Street and at the Fed barely remember the Crash of 2008, much less understand it.

But Mark Thornton does, and his book is a warning about overheated equity markets, over-inflated housing prices, and clueless central bankers. Given the shaky stock markets lately, 2018 may be the year the Fed’s latest bubble bursts. And when it does, it will be even more painful than 10 years ago. In fact, US household and business debt is now one trillion dollars higher than 2008.

Mark is well known as an expert on bubbles and Fed malfeasance. His work appears in outlets like Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Forbes, The Economist, Barron’s, and Investor’s Business Daily. His now-infamous Skyscraper Index theory draws the connection between loose monetary policy, artificially low interest rates, and vanity construction projects. Put the three together and it doesn’t turn out well.

And let’s not forget that Dr. Thornton was among only a handful of economists to warn about the dangerous housing bubble in 2004, and again in 2006. Cabbies and waiters bought up condos with no money down in places like Las Vegas. Prices rose 25 percent or more every year in some coastal markets. Even people with terrible credit financed houses at five or seven times their annual income. All of it was made possible by the Fed and its mania for low interest rates.

So when the experts said “Nobody could have seen this coming,” the Mises Institute had Mark’s articles and papers ready to go. The housing crash, and the meltdown in equity markets less than a year later, were thoroughly explained by Austrian business cycle theory. And Mark was the capable face of the Mises Institute during it all.

Without a lay-friendly book like The Skyscraper Curse, millions more Americans will be duped by the next crash.

Dr. Thornton’s book tells the story that needs to be told. It will be among the only alternative explanations available when the next crisis comes.


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Foreword by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.


Section 1: The Skyscraper Curse

1. What Is the Skyscraper Curse?

2. The History of the Skyscraper Curse Reexamined

3. Do You Have a Theory?

4. How To Get Milk

5. Cantillon Effects

6. Cantillon Effects in Skyscrapers

7. The Curse Misses New York. Is Auburn, Alabama, Next?

8. When Will the Next Skyscraper Curse Come?

9. It Is Not the Skyscrapers Fault

10. Should I Stay, or Should I Go?

11. Razorbacks and Wolverines

12. The Curse of the Federal Reserve

Section 2: And How Austrian Economists Predicted Every Major Economic Crisis of the Last Century

13. Who Predicted the Great Depression?

14. The New Economists and the Depression of the 1970s

15. The Return of the Austrians

16. Bubble-Bust in Japan

17. Who Predicted the Bubble? Who Predicted the Crash?

Bubble Predictions


Appendix: Some Other Predictions

18. Bull Market?

19. Housing: Too Good To Be True

More Greenspan

The Housing Bubble

Price Inflation Follows Monetary Inflation

The Dirty Secret

Do Housing Bubbles Burst?

20. The Economics of Housing Bubbles

What Causes Housing Bubbles?

What Goes Up…

… Must Come Down

Summary and Conclusions

Postscript—August 8, 2009

21. Is the Housing Bubble Popping?


22. Making Depressions Great Again

23. String Theories

24. What Is Wrong with ABCT?

Criticisms of the Hydraulic Version of ABCT

The Rational-Expectations Critique—Why Can’t Entrepreneurs Learn?

What about Nineteenth-Century Panics?

What about Robert Murphy’s Prediction of Double-Digit Inflation?

25. Summary and Conclusion: End the Fed



Publisher Ludwig von Mises Institute
Publication Date 8/22/2018
Edition Audiobook
Page Length 275
Run Time 6.7 hours
Read by Graham Wright

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