Michael Lewis's new book Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity is fun to read from the sidelines (especially if all your money is in your new kitchen addition, so while there may be some abstract money lost in the housing market, you don't feel it because you're eating at a big table surrounded by windows) but the lesson is that though hind-sight is 20/20, no one really understood exactly why Black Monday or the Foreign Credit Crunch or the Dot.com Bust or The SubPrime Crisis happened in real time (except maybe John Paulson) and even if you did understand it, and wanted to weather the storm, other people in the herd that had mirrored your position could cause a market run anyway-- and if you don't feel like reading the book, which is edited by Michael Lewis and contains articles written by a wide variety of analysts (including himself and Dave Barry) then you could probably reach the same understanding by watching the episode of Thirty Rock where Tracy Jordan, who is being interviewed by Larry King, causes a financial crisis all by himself.

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