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Empire of Debt: The Rise of an Epic Financial Crisisby William Bonner
Synopses & Reviews
A piercing look at Uncle Sam, financial hubris, and a world headed down a disastrous financial path
In no-nonsense prose, Empire of Debt confronts head-on critical concerns about the position of the United States as the world s leading economy and its great military might. For many years, the United States has been the country from which others sought advice, money, and a high return on investment. At the same time, Uncle Sam has descended from being the world s largest creditor to its greatest debtor. Why the paradox?
Empire of Debt reunites the team that conceived the international bestseller Financial Reckoning Day, and is the first in-depth look at how Americans abandoned their sound traditions of economic freedom, personal liberty, and fiscal restraint, favoring instead government control of the economy, unfettered deficit spending, gluttonous consumption, and fearless military adventurism, all of which have ravaged the business environment, devastated personal balance sheets, and led the global economy to the brink of its greatest financial crisis ever. Empire of Debt argues there will be a dramatic change in the economic power of the United States in the coming years that will inevitably impact every American. Understanding these trends is critical for a wide range of readers, from lawmakers and corporate leaders to individual investors seeking the safest places to invest their retirement funds. Despite all this, the authors irreverent style is entertaining as they manage to find humor in an otherwise precarious financial situation.
Bill Bonner (Paris, France) is President and CEO of Agora, Inc., one of the world s largest financial newslettercompanies. Agora is headquartered in Baltimore and has offices overseas in London, Paris, Ireland, Bonn, Madrid, Sydney, and Johannesburg. Mr. Bonner is the creator of The Daily Reckoning, a contrarian financial newsletter sent via e-mail (www.dailyreckoning.com). Bonner and Wiggin are the authors of the international bestseller, Financial Reckoning Day (cloth: 0-471-44973-3; paper: 0-471-69658-7).
Addison Wiggin (Baltimore, MD) is the Editorial Director and Publisher of The Daily Reckoning. The newsletter now has more than 500,000 readers in the United States and Great Britain and is translated daily into French, German, and Spanish. It has received praise from mainstream publications, including Money. Bonner and Wiggin are the authors of the international bestseller Financial Reckoning Day.
In no-nonsense prose, the authors confront critical concerns about the position of the United States as the world's leading economy and its great military might.
There was a time when being a "conservative" meant you were a stodgy old curmudgeon; an isolationist, closed to new ideas. Now, the conservatives are leading the charge—promising to make the entire world "safe for democracy!" Never has such a bold plan been put into action—that is, not since the "liberal" democrat Woodrow Wilson coined the phrase nearly a century ago!
How could such a shift in the politics and economy of the United States have come about in a span of less than 100 years?
In Empire of Debt, maverick financial writers Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin—the team that brought you the international bestseller Financial Reckoning Day—reunite to provide you with the first in-depth look at how the American character has shifted to accommodate its new imperial role; how we have abandoned the private virtues of personal liberty, economic freedom, and fiscal restraint; and how the "guv'mint" has gained control of public life and the economy. The result has been, among other horrors, unfettered deficit spending, gluttonous consumption, and fearless military adventurism. All the while, the nation slouches ever more precipitously towards bankruptcy.
Empire of Debt is a wry, witty, and erudite look at the state of the empire. To the delight of many, Bonner and Wiggin do not spare the political icons of either national political party. Casting a wide-angle lens through history and into the next century, the authors suggest a "great empire" is to the world of geopolitics what a great bubble is to the world of economics—it is attractive at first but will eventually end in catastrophe.
Unfortunately for some, the Empire of Debt will be received like an unwelcome guest who intends to spend the night. But for those who open the door to the often uproarious, but always sensible, wisdom within these pages, the future will be bright, indeed.
"They've done it again!" says financial commentator Eric Fry, "Once more, Bonner and Wiggin have weaved together the disparate worlds of politics, economics, and personal finance to produce an enormously entertaining snapshot of modern American life." We entreat you to sit back, relax, and drink in the splendor that is America's Empire of Debt.
In Empire of Debt, maverick financial writers Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin provide you with the first in-depth look at how the American character has shifted to accommodate its new imperial role; how we have abandoned the private virtues of personal liberty, economic freedom, and fiscal restraint; and how the government has gained control of public life and the economy.
About the Author
BILL BONNER is President and CEO of Agora Inc., one of the world's largest financial newsletter companies. Agora is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, and has offices overseas in London, Paris, Ireland, Bonn, Madrid, Melbourne, and Johannesburg. Bonner is the creator of the Daily Reckoning, a contrarian financial newsletter sent via e-mail (www.dailyreckoning.com). Mr. Bonner is the author, with Addison Wiggin, of the international bestseller, Financial Reckoning Day (Wiley).
ADDISON WIGGIN is the Editorial Director and Publisher of the Daily Reckoning. The newsletter now has more than 500,000 readers in the United States and Great Britain and is translated into French, German, and Spanish. It has received praise from mainstream publications, including Money, Dow Jones' MarketWatch.com, and the New York Times Magazine. Mr. Wiggin is the author of The Demise of the Dollar . . .and Why It's Great for Your Investments (Wiley).
Table of Contents
Introduction: Slouching toward Empire.
I. Imperia Absurdum.
1. Dead Men Talking.
2. Empires of Dirt.
3. How Empires Work.
4. As We Go Marching.
II. Woodrow Crosses the Rubicon.
5. The Road to Hell.
6. The Revolution of 1913 and the Great Depression.
7. MacNamara’s War.
8. Nixon’s the One.
III. Evening in America.
9. Reagan’s Legacy.
10. America’s Glorious Empire of Debt.
11. Modern Imperial Finance.
12. Something Wicked This Way Comes.
IV. The Essential Investor.
13. Welcome to Squanderville.
14. Still Turning Japanese.
15. The Wall Street Fandango.
16. Subversive Investing.
Appendix: The Essentialist Glossary.
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