What is the arrogance cycle? We’ve just lived through it. As market bubbles build, our confidence level rises (dis)proportionately. Everyone wants in on the action. We want to believe Wall Street, and once we do, the inevitable happens. Like Dr. Frankenstein breathing life into inanimate flesh, investment professionals sought ever more novel ways to create wealth. The only problem was that it was all artificial. In this book, Michael Farr examines the forces at work on individuals and markets and explains in clear, concise, layman’s terms how we got to where we are.
Farr focuses on individual factors—such as rampant consumerism, a sense of entitlement, narcissism, resentment toward the upper class—that combined to create the perfect economic storm. By consulting with leading psychologists and relaying first-hand experience with investment clients, he provides a case study of the arrogant investor. In reviewing failed enterprises like Enron, AIG, Lehman Brothers, and Bear Stearns, as well as the illegal activities of Bernie Madoff and others through the lens of arrogance, the book sheds light on those disasters and offers a means to detect the insidious presence of arrogance so that in the future we can contain the damage before it spreads.
Michael Farr is President and majority owner of Farr, Miller & Washington, LLC. He is Chairman of the Investment Committee and is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day activities of the firm. Prior to founding FM&W, he spent six years with Alex. Brown & Sons where he was a Principal. He began his career in the financial industry at Wheat First Securities. In addition, Mr. Farr is a regular commentator and guest host for CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, Reuters, and the Nightly Business Report. He is heard on Associated Press Radio, ABC Radio News, and National Public Radio. Mr. Farr is quoted regularly in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Washington Post, USA Today, and many other publications. Mr. Farr is the Chairman of the Sibley Memorial Hospital Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Trustees at Sibley Hospital. His first book, A Million Is Not Enough was published in 2008
Michael K. Farr’s The Arrogance Cycle is not just a valuable story about investing today, but also lessons and principles rooted in human history that portend to how we live and life’s outcome. Indeed, if our generation leaves our kids with this country’s deficit, we will justifiably be judged history’s most arrogant. —Michael Armstrong, former Chairman and CEO AT&T
“The Arrogance Cycle is a must read cautionary tale. The book provides important insights into not just how to be a better investor but, more importantly, the value of humility as a human virtue.” —Robert S. Silberman, Chairman and CEO, Strayer University
A provocative new take on the perfect economic storm--with a preface by P. J. O'Rourke