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I Wasn't Looking for a Coin Read
December 03, 2007



It is difficult to come back to work after having time off. Sure, with the Internet, I was not as out of touch as in those golden days of yesterday, but nevertheless, I got a good mental and physical rest.

Gold took a header while I was away. The stock market roared and clawed back a few of the losses from earlier in the month of November.

I happened to read a book called, The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market's Perfect Storm. It was written by Robert F. Bruner and Sean D. Carr. I recommend it. I saw it in the airport and knew I had to read it.

One of the marks of good publishing is to have a book on the rack that seems relevant to the headlines. For me, this was it. I have been watching the holdings in my retirement accounts drop dramatically, rise dramatically and then repeat.

It reminds me of the shampoo bottle instructions: "Lather, rinse and repeat." I am not fond of the wide swings, but current market conditions made me a ripe target for the book seller.

It is a relatively brief book. It was not an economics manual at least insofar as the history was concerned. The economics got a little deeper in the lessons section at the end.

This book should be read by coin collectors and paper money collectors because it sets the historical stage for the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. A lot of collectors wonder why the Federal Reserve was created. This will tell you.

We are living currently with the subprime mortgage mess. Politicians are taking positions. People are being hurt. Wall Street has gotten panicky.

Well, cast your mind back 100 years and you can see the same psychology at work. If you read the book, let me know what you think.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News, Bank Note Reporter and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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