on 24 November 2006
This book examines the American economy in a clear and straightforward way and is a valuable learning tool for investors who wish to understand the likely impact of economic changes in the U.S. and it takes into account America's closest trading partners, and offers basic solutions for observant investors to protect and defend our assets.
Normally, most of us get our information about financial investments from excellent business dailies, our brokers, and friends who pay attention. On the rare occasion that I actually check out or buy a book on the subject, I am mindful that the authors point of view is expressed either to confirm their stations as experts or to illuminate one aspect of the economy, whether it be macro or micro-focused, and offer specialized analysis. What is refreshing about this book, is that the authors are unafraid to tackle a very big subject, America's cluster of deficits and the bubbles that have become manifest because of them, and are willing to define and summarize a dangerous situation and offer a prognosis and a few thoughtful solutions. The tone is less WSJ and FT, and more Economist.
The authors predict that while it may look great today with an expanding stock market and continually inflating real estate values, we should all be mindful of history and not get caught up in the hubris of todays earnings which might quite literally disappear tomorrow. Eric Janszen's clear eyed view (albeit coloured by his families good fortune) about gold
"for those who hate gold" were particularly riveting. The book uses a kind of "you know this, but what if" Socratic method to make you think about the interconnected "bubbles" and how we can "profit when they pop."
I enjoyed the book very much and it was extremely well written. There is humor (and funny illustrations to illustrate the points which can be inherently dry) and a confidence about their facts and conclusions. Chapters Two, "How we Got Ourselves Into this Mess" and Chapter Five, "How to Cover Your Assets and Make Big Profits with Alternative Investments when the Bubbles Burst" are particularly stimulating. And the conclusions in Chapter Eight (which was long and a tad repetitive) are sound and very thought-provoking. The authors are not just "crying wolf" they seem to understand how in a few years time, transition and upheaval can become stability and wealth creation for "the rest of us." Sandra Halin-Adams, Barnes, Richmond, UK
on 20 November 2006
Whilst Tony Blair and those crazy Americans are savaged, for foreign incursions and the mistakes of a president that no one will admit voting for, and American un-popularity-- (no pun here) on a global scale, seems at an all time high, things in merrie olde England seem rather rosy (OK, more puns) at least in economic terms. The strength of the pound sterling and the emergence of London as the undisputed heavyweight of world trade (witness the inflow of private equity and the success of English banks, trading and innovative businesses to make even the empires of yesteryear seem tame) the "win" on the London Olympics; the popularity of all things English, and Scottish, (are you listening Andy Murray?) and all about the UK, there is growth and optimism. Well, if David Cameron can be considered-- an optimist if there ever was one, why not? Why should we care about a scary book from three unknown authors who've penned: America's Bubble Economy; Profit When it Pops!? Well, I'll tell you why. They are spot on.
The bubbles of which the authors speak are as real as mid-century British architecture is abominable. The three auteurs and their i-tulip-loving cameo-colleague have constructed an highly readable assessment of the state of the American economy and its increasingly inter-dependent sister economies round the globe. When the inevitable short-term slump is upon us, its pops will be heard o'er the wake of the "bubblequake" from the LSE to the newly minted tiger-exchanges of China and India. The authors have written a primer for those (such as your dear reviewer) who are not Nobel economists, nor ponderous academicians. They present however a thoroughly researched thesis that America's suffocating national debt, massive trade-deficit and highly inflated real estate market-- not to mention vastly over-hoarded currency--especially among some of the aforementioned Asian tigers-- has put the worlds largest economy on a rather shaky footing. This is highly relevant to English investors, but most particularly to those who own stocks in the US, and own investments elsewhere which are so closely tied to US fortunes. But they offer hope! And their suggestions are not pedantic or overweening. They very simply and clearly tell us, "regular joes" as they say--how to protect our assets and what specific things might be done to grow them, when, not if these carefully defined bubbles pop. The solutions offered are pragmatic.
The authors have not only succeeded in writing a clear and simple book (praised by highly respected economists and analysts and simpletons such as yours truly alike) but they have managed to make it short, sweet, highly entertaining and readable as well. I have given copies and recommended it to my friends in the UK, and in Europe (tho only in the English version.) One wag said it was more appropo Halloween than as a Christmas gift, but he nodded. "I read it though." And further, he said in his inimitable American way: "And it was a damned good read too." George London
on 13 November 2008
This simple book with a catchy title explains how the U.S. became susceptible to a variety of rapidly popping financial bubbles that will all have unhappy endings. David Wiedemer, Robert A. Wiedemer, Cindy Spitzer and Eric Janszen have made their book easy to read, and it certainly describes the current forces at work on Wall Street. Yet, like other predictive books, it goes into more speculative detail than needed in the first section, which considers what factors could trigger a multistage bubble collapse. Readers may find the details in the book's second half more useful. It explains the investment vehicles that the authors believe could provide some upside protection when the bubbles burst. getAbstract recommends this intriguing, start-up introduction as an accessible first course on market survival, though it seems to need more extensive source citations. Such notes would have made this even more authoritative.
on 5 December 2006
A very useful and easy to read book. I've got some spare cash looking for a home, but have been worried about investing, as the market looks overheated to me. This book has given me some new ideas on where to invest, that should be "bust" proof. I'm no economist and not a regular investor, and I found the book easy to understand, unlike the other investment books I've read recently.