Finance is prone to cycles of boom and bust. Turmoil in global banking since the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and the takeover of Credit Suisse naturally raises the question of whether this moment threatens to be as bad as the global financial crisis of 2007-09. So far, it is not. Whereas three American banks have failed this year, 414 collapsed between 2008 and 2012. Studying past crises can help make sense of the present. Once the financial system has stabilised historians and economists have a role, alongside central bankers (who are also prone to writing about their experiences), in assessing what should have been done differently. Our pick of seven such books, and two films, should help you to understand the current–or the next–crisis.