Bootle was very prescient in writing this book at the time that he did, foreseeing the collapse of wage inflation, as The Chinese and Indian continents unleashed their cheaper labour production output onto global markets. If you wish to appreciate hindsight, this book is recommended.
At the time that Roger Bootle published this book the UK had suffered two decades of interest rates when interest rates averaged more than 10%. An entire generation regarded 10% rates as the norm and similar levels of inflation as a fact of life. To suggest that rates could go as low as 4% (never mind 2%) for even a brief period was regarded as eccentric. To everyone working in the financial markets at the time (myself included) this prediction looked outlandish at first sight, but only on reading the book or seeing Bootle speak did you understand that his case was solid.
It is easy to say with the benefit of hindsight that Bootle was wrong on house price inflation. But he was exactly right on interest rates, inflation and the direction and structure of the world economy for the next 20 years. As they say "two out of three ain't bad". No other economist at the time even came close.
The main prediction in this book is that "house prices will do nothing more than creep up and in many years will fall", but they MORE THAN TREBLED over the next ten years (from £51,400 when this book was published in early 1996 to £160,000 in 2006: Nationwide UK average house prices). They rose further in 2007, and even after all the financial disasters of the last five years stand at £163,000 (early 2012). Yet Bootle's website currently boasts of his skill in "Perceiving that real estate markets were caught up in a bubble". The secret of becoming an economic "guru" appears to be claiming you were right even when you were terribly wrong. I feel sorry for anyone who took this book seriously and acted on its forecasts - they will have lost out massively as a result.