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This Time Is Different:
Eight Centuries of Financial Folly
Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff

Winner of the 2011 Gold Medal Arthur Ross Book Award, Council on Foreign Relations
Winner of the 2010 Paul A. Samuelson Award, TIAA-CREF
One of USA Today's "Year's Best Business Books To Make Sense of Financial Crisis"
Listed on by James Pressley as one of "our favorite financial-crisis books this year"
Shortlisted for the 2010 Spear's Book of the Year Award in Financial History
Runner-Up for the Book of the Year, The Atlantic
Finalist for the 2011 Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize
Finalist for the 2009 Business Book Award ("Best of the Rest") in Current Interest, 800-CEO-READ
Kenneth Rogoff, Recipient of the 2011 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics, Center for Financial Studies
One of Library Journal Best Business Books - Economics/U.S. Economy category

Paperback | 2011 | $19.95 | £14.95 | ISBN: 9780691152646
512 pp. | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | 62 line illus. 30 tables.
Hardcover | 2009 | $35.00 | £27.95 | ISBN: 9780691142166
512 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4 | 62 line illus. 30 tables.
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Appendix A.1 [PDF]

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Throughout history, rich and poor countries alike have been lending, borrowing, crashing--and recovering--their way through an extraordinary range of financial crises. Each time, the experts have chimed, "this time is different"--claiming that the old rules of valuation no longer apply and that the new situation bears little similarity to past disasters. With this breakthrough study, leading economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff definitively prove them wrong. Covering sixty-six countries across five continents, This Time Is Different presents a comprehensive look at the varieties of financial crises, and guides us through eight astonishing centuries of government defaults, banking panics, and inflationary spikes--from medieval currency debasements to today's subprime catastrophe. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, leading economists whose work has been influential in the policy debate concerning the current financial crisis, provocatively argue that financial combustions are universal rites of passage for emerging and established market nations. The authors draw important lessons from history to show us how much--or how little--we have learned.

Using clear, sharp analysis and comprehensive data, Reinhart and Rogoff document that financial fallouts occur in clusters and strike with surprisingly consistent frequency, duration, and ferocity. They examine the patterns of currency crashes, high and hyperinflation, and government defaults on international and domestic debts--as well as the cycles in housing and equity prices, capital flows, unemployment, and government revenues around these crises. While countries do weather their financial storms, Reinhart and Rogoff prove that short memories make it all too easy for crises to recur.

An important book that will affect policy discussions for a long time to come, This Time Is Different exposes centuries of financial missteps.


"Mr. Rogoff, a professor of economics at Harvard University, accurately predicted the eurozone debt crisis and for years has been telling anyone who would listen that China posed the next big threat to the global economy. He is starting to look right, again. . . . 'China is the classic "This time is different" story,' Mr. Rogoff said."--Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times

"[E]ssential reading . . . both for its originality and for the sobering patterns of financial behaviour it reveals."--Economist

"Reinhart and Rogoff have compiled an impressive database, which covers eight centuries of government debt defaults from around the world. They have also collected statistics on inflation rates from every country where information is available and on banking crises and international capital flows over the past couple of centuries. This lengthy historical study gives what they call a 'panoramic view' of the unending cycle of boom and bust, showing how claims that 'this time is different' are invariably proven wrong. . . . This Time Is Different doesn't simply explain what went wrong in our most recent crisis. This book also provides a roadmap of how things are likely to pan out in the years to come. . . . This Time Is Different is an important addition to the literature of financial history."--Edward Chancellor, Wall Street Journal

"Everyone working on economic policy should own This Time is Different and open it for a bracing blast of sobriety when things seem to be going well."--Greg Ip, Washington Post

"[T]he most comprehensive study of financial crises and their aftermath."--Eduardo Porter, New York Times

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Table of Contents

This book has been translated into:

  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Japanese
  • German
  • Italian
  • Chinese (Complex)
  • Swedish
  • French
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Croatian

Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Carmen M. Reinhart:

Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Kenneth S. Rogoff:

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