A Bankruptcy History of Manias & Panics (in 80 pages)

514 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2020 Last revised: 9 Jul 2020

Date Written: May 25, 2020


Fraud and irrationality are often blamed for financial manias and panics. Investor euphoria can unleash social and technological breakthroughs, but the subsequent failures can destroy value and radicalize the political sphere. Are these events random, idiosyncratic, or driven by some force? The ex-post answers —be they monetary, criminal, or international contagion— have a profound impact on the role of government in society, but have questionable predictive power. The history of bankruptcy law is intertwined with that of crises and banking law, and —as illustrated using over 50 case studies— is a consistent cause, accelerant, and reaction of financial manias and crises.

Keywords: Bankruptcy, Business and Securities Law, Financial Crisis, Mania, Panic

JEL Classification: K35, K22, N21, N22, N11, N12, N41, N42, P12

Suggested Citation

Perelman, Mark, A Bankruptcy History of Manias & Panics (in 80 pages) (May 25, 2020). Yale Law School, Public Law Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3554155 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3554155

Mark Perelman (Contact Author)

Yale School of Management ( email )

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States

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