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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Foundation, But Read Around
This book is written by "Dr Doom", whose story is a take on the impending collapse of the US economy in the context of a fictional economy based on the value of fish. It is an amusing tale, highlights of which include an obvious allusion to George W Bush and his southern drawl. It's a quick read, and I finished it in a day (but I am a quick reader). For somebody who knew...
Published on 13 July 2010 by Jack

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2.0 out of 5 stars Folksy but facile, disappointing
This work starts off with an apologetic which could really do with a little more candour for it is an unashamedly simplistic attack on certain economic theories. It starts out as a folksy tale of how a barter economy based on fish slowly grows to grander things. Some of the basic elements of Economics 101 are here and well explained. But it's what is left out and...
Published 10 months ago by Alastair Ross


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Economics stripped of nonsense, 22 July 2010
By 
Peter Hirsch - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes: Two Tales of the Economy (Hardcover)
Economics is a subject that confuses people and economists most of all. They turn it into an arcane and difficult subject - more difficult to understand than quantum mechanics. Its not.

Peter Schiff and his brother strip away the unnecessary complexity and show how one exactly what an "economy" is, how it comes into existence, how its participants benefit and how it grows. In this book, by means of simple examples and entertaining cartoons, they explain the growth of the United States economy from the very beginning, how interference with the market has warped it, how the current crisis came to be and give useful pointers as to how it might be dealt with.

And they do it with fish. Not only will you learn a lot - especially if you are an economist - but it will make you laugh.

The best of entertainment that you won't put down until you reach the last page. Five stars is not enough: I give it six.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A clear and simple description of Economy, 3 Mar. 2011
This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes: Two Tales of the Economy (Hardcover)
By using a simple story, the book provides a clear understanding of the coplex mechanisms of the world economy and finance. It provides an effective metaphore by which it explains the recent (the last 20 years, roughly) economic events. It considers the analysis from the point of view of the US and significant developing countries such as China, by providing an exaustive explanation of the role and the importance of the latter for American economy.
Moreover, I found it very stimulating the message of not trusting unconditionally the economists as they always seem to have to make up an explanation even when they don't have any, in order to please the ruling class of politicians that embarked into wrong economic measures.
I strongly recommend this book to all of those that are not into the typical technical language of economy professionals.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alistair Wesley, 1 April 2012
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This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes: Two Tales of the Economy (Hardcover)
An economics textbook presented in the style of a cartoon book for children. An excellent way of putting the argument across clearly and a style that others might look to copy as it has the advantage of being potentially easy to rebut as it's so clear. The fact that the argument comes across as thoroughly convincing makes a strong case for the Austrian school of economics. I wonder if the 21st century advocates of ever greater government spending would dare to expose their arguments in the same way. Although they call it Keynesian, I think Keynes himself would have been appalled as my understanding is that he advocated government spending around 25% of GDP and not the 50% plus we have seen and are seeing in Europe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, fantastic intro to financial market, 20 Dec. 2010
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This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes: Two Tales of the Economy (Hardcover)
This book is a fantastic introduction to how the markets work, how US economy has evolved, how it relates to china and clearly explains what makes the market work, and MOST importantly , using a story of a country called Usonia.... very cleverly written, humorous, with illustrations. The author managed to turn a boring topic into a book that i couldnt put down as soon as i got one.

I have never studied finance and didnt know how the markets worked. This works as a fantastic intro to the markets, although if you are looking for an indepth guide, i dont think its for you.

HIghly recommended as an intro, great read.

5/5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable and Light, 6 Aug. 2011
This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes: Two Tales of the Economy (Hardcover)
Considering the author is trying to make a weighty subject such as economics light and simple, I really commend this book. I could almost imagine it being useful for 13-year-olds at school to read to understand how economics really works, but I guess "they" don't want us to ever find out how economics really works, do they? It might come across as contrived in places, but the basic point that economics is all about freedom to earn, make our own choices and live free of state interference is made clearly and honestly, as is the fact that we all live in anything like such a world today. Highly recommended!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Folksy but facile, disappointing, 21 May 2014
By 
Alastair Ross (Aberdeenshire, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes: Two Tales of the Economy (Hardcover)
This work starts off with an apologetic which could really do with a little more candour for it is an unashamedly simplistic attack on certain economic theories. It starts out as a folksy tale of how a barter economy based on fish slowly grows to grander things. Some of the basic elements of Economics 101 are here and well explained. But it's what is left out and glossed over that ultimately fails to deliver any sense of balance worth the name.

Economics, they say, is the "dismal science". And perhaps it is worthy of that name for it's dismal failures to predict and prevent so much that has cost our world a great deal. And perhaps, as with this book, it is because we have lost sight of what an economy is. For the economy is not the same as money. Money is how we measure an economy, but the economy itself is actually all the things that we do for each other - hopefully as efficiently and effectively as we can. Yet the very policies which they advocate led us to the abyss so it is a tad disingenuous to cast aspersions on the ideas of others trying to lead the world out of that abyss. Are any of these competing ideas right? This book won't reveal that though it does make strong assertions.

At the end I felt cheated by the one-sided perspective. Buy something else.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting take on economic development and disaster - illustrated!, 25 Sept. 2010
By 
J Sheppard - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes: Two Tales of the Economy (Hardcover)
This is a great little book, containing exactly what it says on the cover. The fundamentals of economic boom and bust are rendered into simple, illustrated examples and the simple style of the book is a great help in grasping some of the most important concepts of this sort of economics. I particularly enjoy the Schiff brothers' cheeky satire. Engaging, entertaining, and perhaps even educational!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Promising start, underwhelming from chapter 10 onwards, 20 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes: Two Tales of the Economy (Hardcover)
The book aims to explain macroeconomics using a simplified island economy as a model. This is very well done, especially in the early chapters in order to explain the dynamics of consumption vs investment and resulting productivity gains.

Unfortunately the model has al flaw in that it does not replicate the monetary system adequately. In the real world the money supply (cash plus deposits) is largely determined by commercial banks making loans (and thereby creating deposits) as they wish, regardless of the underlying base money (cash plus CB reserves) and without ANY gold backing. The crucial points are that debt = money and so a deleveraging results in a contraction of the money supply and related recessionary hoarding effects and that QE mainly impacts base money but not necessarily the money supply which would be more inflationary.

The simplified model used in the book is based on an outdated monetary system (gold backing + state control of the money supply) and is therefore not sophisticated enough to illuminate on current inflationary dynamics and make sensible predictions about the future. This is a shame given the promising start and the importance of the topic.

You would have thought that someone who has been warning of hyperinflation for the past three years and published several books would have done their homework.
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5.0 out of 5 stars loved this haul..., 31 Oct. 2012
This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes: Two Tales of the Economy (Hardcover)
this is one of those incredibly rare books; that takes an incredibly complex, tricky, messy subject and explains it in a way that a child could understand - it literally does. it describes how an economy grew and crashed (using the usa as an example) in a graphic, illustrated format.

the story itself is very one sided in its argument; using a theme that politicians meddling, amassing debt and outsourcing jobs overseas is the way in which the economy will crash - but by following the story's tone; it's very easy to see why the authors have come to this conclusion. it's very persuasive but commonsense should tell you the same outcome is going to happen...

i absolutely loved this book because it gives a great account to what has happened over the years with u.s. economy and the dangers of what may happen - the pictures are fantastic and i only wish more finance related books could be communicated in this way. 5 stars all the way...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book - Highly recommend, 28 Jun. 2010
By 
Mr (WIRRAL, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes: Two Tales of the Economy (Hardcover)
For those of you who want a clear and easily explained background on Economics this book is a must. It debunks a large number of common myths preached by Governments everywhere.

It also explains why metal and other solid items represent a safe haven against inflation...

Highly recommend this book.
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How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes: Two Tales of the Economy
How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes: Two Tales of the Economy by Andrew J. Schiff (Hardcover - 18 May 2010)
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