Charles Poor "Charlie" Kindleberger (October 12, 1910 – July 7, 2003) was a historical economist and author of over 30 books. His 1978 book Manias, Panics, and Crashes, about speculative stock market bubbles, was reprinted in 2000 after the dot-com bubble. He is well known for hegemonic stability theory.
His earliest book was International Short-Term Capital Movements (1937).
Although mainly an academic at MIT after 1948, Kindleberger during the course of his life worked for several American institutions, such as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (1936–1939), the Bank of International Settlements in Switzerland (1939–1940), and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (1940–1942).
Kindleberger was a leading architect of the Marshall Plan. In 1945-1947 he served at the Department of State (Acting Director, Office of Economic Security Policy), and shortly (1947–1948) as counselor for the European Recovery Program.
As a 'historical' economist (or economic historian), Kindleberger relied on narrative exposition and knowledge of history rather than mathematical models to prove his point. His book, Manias, Panics, and Crashes is still required reading at many Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programs in the United States.
Kindleberger described his around-the-clock work to develop and launch the Marshall Plan with singular passion in a 1973 interview.
'We were conscious of a great sense of excitement about the plan. Marshall himself was a great, great man—funny, odd but great—Olympian in his moral quality. We'd stay up all night, night after night. The first work ever done that I know about in economics on computers used the Pentagon's computers at night for the Marshall Plan. I had a tremendous sense of gratification from working so hard on it,' Kindleberger said.
Kindleberger was on familiar terms with noted economists and was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University (A.M., Ph. D.), later rising to the eminent position of Ford International Professor of Economics at MIT.