Top critical review
Astonishing Hubris and Arrogance
on 28 August 2017
The arrogance and hubris of these authors is unprecedented, to say they suffer from the god complex would be a gross understatement of the highest order; this is rather typical of those within the financial markets industry though.
This is an excruciatingly embarrassing read as the numerous predictions of these ‘masters of the universe’ have NOT happened, yet they spend the entire book stating that all their predictions in the past have been right (they haven’t been) and all their predictions now are right. They even have a chapter dedicated to how accurate they’ve been and a chapter on how everyone that disagrees with them is wrong. They even attack all other books on this subject matter claiming they’ve all got it either completely or partially wrong, but not them, they’re absolutely right on everything – except they’ve been absolutely wrong on everything. Sadly had anyone purchased this book when printed in 2011 and followed the investment advice within they’d have made huge losses, I’m wondering if these authors have been sued.
In summary their main predictions are a collapse in bubbles in real estate, stock market, private debt, discretionary spending, dollar, and government debt by no later than 2016.
There are many incorrect arguments in this book, one is that these bubbles can’t be reinflated, but they’re wrong these bubbles have absolutely been reinflated with most of them at all-time highs. Tragically they advised readers to sell stock, real estate, fine art, and certain businesses and instead, primarily, to buy gold. Had readers done so they would have lost a huge volume of money as those asset prices have increased, in some cases exponentially, and the gold price has fallen since this book was printed – double whammy loss.
They’re able to assess other disciplines (physics, medicine) accurately but fail to examine their own discipline through the same microscope. They claim that smart people didn’t see the collapse of 07/08 coming and are bemused as to why. This is utter nonsense and suggests a clear reluctance to accept the deliberate criminal behaviour of their industry. Liar loans and suicide loans were destined to collapse, the bankers knew this but didn’t care, they were making personal fortunes so they didn’t want any change to the status quo. You don’t wrap up loans that had already defaulted several months prior into a CDO and fraudulently get a triple A rating on them and not expect them to collapse – there are numerous other examples I could provide of the rampant criminality the bankers willingly engaged in but I digress, the authors seem to want to conveniently forget all of that (I wonder if they were part of it).
They also make a disingenuous correlation between not jailing bankers to save the economy; not stated directly but absolutely implied. There is no correlation. The bankers committed insane levels of criminality and should have gone to jail for many many years (along with the politicians). These people knowingly destroyed the global economy for personal gain. Asking these people to fix the global economy they destroyed is like giving a can of beer to an alcoholic and asking them not to drink it. Needless to say the criminality hasn’t stopped, in fact it’s just as bad if not worse. Again the authors refused to see their industry for what it is.
I could go on with many other examples of such gibberish and incorrect assumptions but there’s little point because, as already stated, none of their predictions have occurred, however that does not mean this book is completely without merit. In all likelihood some of their predictions will happen, the problem is they gave a timescale of no later than 2016. The three chapters on how to protect yourself are certainly interesting and have given me reason for further research – these chapters will be invaluable if you can get the timing right (they didn’t). I also enjoyed their discussion of economists and their resistance to change.
The book is also interspersed with references to their website and services they can offer you. I don’t like reading such plugs as I feel that I’m being led up the garden path; that the purpose of the book and all its doom is really to convince me to purchase their services.
Now the crux of the issue. This edition is out of date. As their many predictions didn’t materialise in the time given they’ve written a third edition (yep the first edition was wrong too). The thing is the third edition didn’t get it right either so now there’s a fourth edition. Will there be a fifth? Probably, unless their credibility is all used up.