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The World Is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy

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The World Is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy Cover

ISBN13: 9781591842187
ISBN10: 1591842182
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

David Smick keeps a low profile, but experts consider him one of the most insightful financial market strategists in the world. For more than two decades, he has conferred with central bankers (such as Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke) and advised top Wall Street executives and investors, from George Soros to Michael Steinhardt to Stan Druckenmiller. Political leaders (from Bill Bradley to Jack Kemp) have regularly sought his policy advice.

The World Is Curved picks up where Thomas Friedmans The World Is Flat left off, taking readers on an insiders tour through the private offices of central bankers, finance ministers, even prime ministers. Smick reveals how todays risky environment came to be—and why the mortgage mess is a symptom of potentially far more devastating trouble. He wrestles with the two questions on everyones mind: How bad could things really get in todays volatile economy? And what can we do about it?

Drawing on riveting anecdotes in language anyone can understand, Smick explains:

  • Why the churning cauldron we call China (the next great bubble to burst) represents a powerful threat to everyones pocketbook
  • How Japanese housewives have taken control of their nations savings, and why it matters to us
  • How greed-driven bankers and investment bankers have put everyones pensions and 401(k)s at risk
  • Why todays “incredible shrinking central banks” may not be able to save us when the next crisis hits
  • Why the big-money Russian, Chinese, Saudi, and Dubai sovereign wealth funds represent a tectonic shift in global financial power, away from the United States, Europe, and Japan
  • Why the world desperately needs a “big think” financial doctrine to guide todays dangerous ocean of money
The World Is Curved is the rare book that speaks simultaneously to the Wall Street, Washington, and London elite, yet its apt storytelling shows Main Street readers how to survive in these turbulent times.

Review:

"With this illuminating book, Smick revisits Thomas Friedman's description of the 'flat' world produced by globalization, arguing instead that the uncertainty produced by globalized financial markets has created a world that is curved, where events and their consequences are unpredictable. Smick begins with a puzzle: why did the subprime mortgage crisis, an event that directly impacted a relatively small piece of the global market, have such a catastrophic impact on the world market as a whole? From there, the author turns to topics as complex and varied as the potential 21st Century Chinese financial bubble and the policy dilemmas currently facing the Fed. Throughout the book, the author returns to the argument that political trends are increasingly at odds with the forces driving the globalized world economy. Smick brings expertise and lucidity to many difficult subjects, and while his book's appeal will likely be limited to those with some background in the field, it will undoubtedly stir interest and debate amongst investors, policymakers and strategists alike." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

A consultant and founder of the International Economy quarterly, David M. Smick takes his title from Thomas J. Friedman's "The World Is Flat." "For the financial markets," Smick argues, "the world is curved. We can't see over the horizon. ... That is why the world has become such a dangerous place."

Smick built his career through the classic Washington practice of networking and... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

One of Washington's premier insiders ("Financial Times") describes how today's risky mortgage environment came to be--and why the mortgage mess is a symptom of future trouble.

About the Author

David Smick advises some of the worlds most successful money managers through his investment and strategic consulting firm Johnson Smick International, Inc. He is also the founder, editor, and publisher of The International Economy, an acclaimed quarterly. He has served as an adviser to both Republican and Democratic presidential candidates and has written for publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Mr. Smick and his family live in Washington, D.C.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

jon.berg, September 30, 2008 (view all comments by jon.berg)
I bought this book because of all the glowing endorsements by people like Alan Greenspan promising that this book will shed light on what's going on financially.

It doesn't. It's mostly fluff, and will not add to your understanding of the mysteries of high finance. Worse, it'll probably discourage you from further investigation.

Rather than shed light on things, the author basically keeps repeating that the economy is so complex that even the experts don't understand it (wait - I thought YOU were an expert, and we're going to explain it to us, no?) and also very fragile, so we peons better not try to mess with it or all hell will break loose we'd best leave it to the big boys to take care of.

Well excuse me, but the big boys (the individuals who run the Fed and Treasury departments, Fannie & Freddie, the regulatory agencies, the credit rating agencies, the investment banks, the mortgage lenders, etc.) are the ones who created this mess, not we little people, and they created it deliberately in order to screw the middle class by transferring even more wealth from our pockets to theirs.

The author also repeatedly warns about the dangers of 'class warfare'. But we're already in a class war - the elite started it about 25 years ago, when they began systematically dismantling the middle class. Since that time real wages for the vast majority of Americans have either stagnated or actually fallen. Only the top 5% (people making over ~$300,000/yr) have seen any real gains, because they're the only ones who can afford significant stock investments. And the real gains have all gone to the top one tenth of 1% - people who make HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS or even BILLIONS in salary every year - these are your investment bankers, hedge fund managers, private equity guys, etc.

Meanwhile, the middle class, including most doctors, lawyers and other professionals have been getting squeezed big-time: stagnant or falling real wages, competition from much cheaper foreign labor at all skill levels (either immigrants or due to off-shoring), a falling dollar, skyrocketing inflation in education and health care expenses, food, oil, etc. Not that long ago, mom could stay home and raise the kids 'and cook delicious, nutritious meals, socialize with other moms, etc'. Now, most families HAVE to have two earners just to get by, everyone's stressed out, everybody's fat because of junk food, divorce rates have skyrocketed, etc.

Even Warren Buffet says 'there is a class war, but my class started it, and my class is winning'.

The author is right about one thing: middle class people do not hate the rich - we do not begrudge anyone their achievement and resulting wealth. What we do resent is that the system is unfair that we do not in fact have much of a 'meritocracy' at all. So much depends on luck - who your parents were, what schools they sent you to, how much love and support and guidance they gave you, the contacts they set you up with (or that you made at the elite schools your parents got you into), etc.

That means that the average American is pretty much screwed from birth to wage-slavery and never had a chance of participating in this fabulous creation of wealth. Instead, we work longer hours for less money, pay more for everything, and are constantly told that social security, Medicare and even our pensions will most likely not be there for us. This is all bad enough. But then to be told that WE'RE at fault for the mess we're in, and need to cough up trillions of dollars in taxes to bail out the billionaires? That's infuriating.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781591842187
Subtitle:
Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy
Author:
Smick, David M
Author:
Alexander, Greg
Author:
Smick, David M.
Publisher:
Portfolio Hardcover
Subject:
Economics - General
Subject:
Sales management
Subject:
Sales personnel
Subject:
Sales & Selling - Management
Subject:
International economic relations
Subject:
International finance
Subject:
International - Economics
Subject:
Globalization - Economic aspects
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20080904
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Pull au photo from back flap of hc jacke
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.3 x 6.24 x 1.1 in 1.13 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Business » Accounting and Finance
History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Economics » Global Economics

The World Is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.48 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Portfolio - English 9781591842187 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "With this illuminating book, Smick revisits Thomas Friedman's description of the 'flat' world produced by globalization, arguing instead that the uncertainty produced by globalized financial markets has created a world that is curved, where events and their consequences are unpredictable. Smick begins with a puzzle: why did the subprime mortgage crisis, an event that directly impacted a relatively small piece of the global market, have such a catastrophic impact on the world market as a whole? From there, the author turns to topics as complex and varied as the potential 21st Century Chinese financial bubble and the policy dilemmas currently facing the Fed. Throughout the book, the author returns to the argument that political trends are increasingly at odds with the forces driving the globalized world economy. Smick brings expertise and lucidity to many difficult subjects, and while his book's appeal will likely be limited to those with some background in the field, it will undoubtedly stir interest and debate amongst investors, policymakers and strategists alike." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , One of Washington's premier insiders ("Financial Times") describes how today's risky mortgage environment came to be--and why the mortgage mess is a symptom of future trouble.
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