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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 11 November 2013
This is an excellent book about the current economic climate of exceptional action by central bankers with quantitative easing and the suppression of interest rates.

It's written in a very easy to read and understand style and will help anyone gain a better understanding of how the economic situation could play out.

Conditions are generally deflationary as over-indebted consumers, companies and even governments look at how they can live within their incomes. But central banks are doing their best to cause some inflation and weaken interest rates.

It's a dangerous game.

After all, central bankers showed that they couldn't be relied on to do the right things when the economic situation was playing out on conventional rules. It's very optimistic to think that they will get it right when we are no longer playing to the rules.

The sub-title "How To Protect Your Savings From The Current Crisis" may mislead you into thinking that you're going to get much clearer advice and ideas than you do.

It introduces Harry Browne's Permanent Portfolio idea which I like
The Permanent Portfolio: Harry Browne's Long-Term Investment Strategy
and explains the importance of diversification but the message I got was...

You're likely to lose money, whatever you do as a saver and investor.

That's because the past and future actions of the authorities mean cash and bonds are likely to lose value under inflationary conditions and asset prices have been driven into bubble territory.

i.e. if you sit on the sidelines in cash you're in trouble and if you stay invested, you're also likely to be in trouble.

Of course, you could time things exactly right, get out in time and make a lot of money as investments rebound after the crash but what are the odds? In fact the book provides a warning against thinking you can time the markets.

Basically governments around the world are in a mess because of the high debts and to get themselves out of trouble, the majority of savers have to incur losses.

I've docked it a star because it doesn't live up to the sub-title but I can't imagine anything that can.

Forewarned is forearmed and if the book makes you think clearly about what you're doing with your savings and pensions, then I think it's well worth the money to buy it and the time to read it. It's time to make some decisions rather than sitting back and hoping...
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on 19 January 2014
This is a great book for anyone wanting to understand the causes behind the current financial crisis and why the deep rooted problems of debt have not gone away. It explains with well researched and relevant data to suggest that the current approach taken by the Fed and other central banks to monetise their debt with QE is not solving the problem just kicking it down the road.
The place where it fails is the "How to protect your savings from the coming crisis" bit. I found nothing revealing or novel in the proposed Diversify and Buy good companies response. Duhhh. That said this is still worth buying as it's well written and has plenty of support for it central argument which is "We are still in very deep do-do"
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on 14 October 2014
Excellent on the causes and effects of the crash of 2007-8 and particularly good on Quantitative Easing and its (long-term) risks. The case that it makes, i.e. that QE is deliberate theft from savers to save the banks, is, in my opinion incontrovertible. The case that "fiat money" - that is Government backed currency is now an illusion (just pieces of paper in your hand - or, worse, only digits in a computer) is frankly terrifying. Years of saving, work, thrift and prudence can vanish instantly (see Weimar and what followed).

Sadly it does not offer the prudent middle class investor or saver a afe real choice. Shares ("stocks" in US) are over-priced because of easy money. Governments and companies may have to default - and higher interest rates would slash their price. So are we back to gold? Well, in a crisis - like in the US in the 30s - the government will steal that too. Great analysis, but no solution offered that I can see
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on 2 January 2014
This book is very very good easy to understand and makes you really think. It gives you such a good out look and as I said it's very easy reading a book you need to put post it notes to remind you of quotes etc. It's a very difficult book to put down as it keeps you interested.
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on 8 January 2014
This is a very readable resume of where we are now in economic terms and what instability there is likely to be in the near future. It is pretty scary stuff.
It concentrates very much on the US economy in global terms but doesn't say tooo much about the UK. What it does say does not make pleasant reading.
It certainly broadened my understanding of present day economics but didn't give me too much help on how to protect my own position...but what can any individual do?
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on 16 February 2014
I read Endgame at Christmas and this one last week, I also signed up to John's e mails, it's good to get a blow by blow account of how this un-folds. The difficulty is still how you manage your personal finances in this situation. But at least this gives you an understanding of what's going on.
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on 2 February 2014
I bought the hardback edition of this book and it is so riddled with errors that I assume it has not been given even a once-over by a competent proof-reader. I am not clever with graphs and found some of those in the book unreadable because of poor reproduction. It also has very few references to sources and no bibliography.
Apart from that it was an easy and interesting read and added quite a lot to my understanding and knowledge of the times we are living through.
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on 5 May 2014
Seems to be two books joined in the middle. The first part explains the messed up world, but the second part just gives general investing advice such as buy when there is blood on the streets etc.
Dead tree version is very annoying as most of the graphs are incomprehensible having been produced in monochrome when the original artwork was obviously in colour. Hence different countries etc, are represented by a uniform grey!
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on 20 November 2013
If you do nothing else, read the first few chapters and understand Japan's predicament as that could be what is facing other developed economies under current central bank policies. I haven't finished the book yet, but I intend to!
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on 1 February 2014
Yet another work that makes no mention of the elephant-in-the-room: that the kernel of the problem with the financial world is private control of the central banks - via the Bank of International Settlements. The malign influence that this private control of the issuance of money and interest rates is not even mentioned, let alone discussed. The world will continue along the path of boom-and-bust as long as this situation is allowed to continue - to the detriment of the 99.99% - an iniquitous situation that is enabled by the control of the mainstream media by the 0.01% - the banking dynasties - with one well-known one at the very top. It will not last forever.......
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