Synopses & Reviews
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 chargepromising to make the entire world "safe for democracy!" Never has such a bold plan been put into actionthat 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 Wigginthe team that brought you the international bestseller Financial Reckoning Dayreunite 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 economicsit 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 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.
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.
Praise for EMPIRE OF DEBT
In America, we know what we have to do. We have an empire to run. Outlying places to police. People to boss around. Sabres to rattle. And an economy that has to remain Numero Uno. Unfortunately, history shows that running an empire is a disastrously expensive business. You pay in cash. You pay in blood. And you pay with your own soul.
"This is a powerful book. In addition to its depth, it is well written, well documented, and vastly readable. I had the feeling of seeing an X-ray of economic reality with the crust removed. It should be made mandatory reading in most circles. Read it, and your views of the world around you will no longerbe the same."
—Nassim Nicholas Taleb, founder, Empirica Capital, LLC, and author, Fooled by Randomness
"Now perhaps someone will finally listen!"
—Jim Rogers, author, Investment Biker, Adventure Capitalist, and Hot Commodities
"Instead of trade and work, imperialism breeds militarism, inflation, and debt, as Bonner and Wiggin show. Yet there is a golden hope in freedom and honest money."
—Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr., Ludwig von Mises Institute
"[Empire of Debt] is a fantastic book. It's thoughtful, erudite, witty, well written, practical . . . and spot-on. If you value your financial health, you'll read it from cover to cover. Now!"
—Doug Casey, Chairman, Casey Research, LLC, and author, Crisis Investing
"I laughed, I cried, I renewed my passport. . . . Bonner and Wiggin deliver a steady diet of insight and wit that terrifies the reader, even as it amuses. Empire of Debt is not for everyone, only for those of us who hope to enjoy continuing prosperity amidst difficult conditions."
—Eric Fry, Editor, The Rude Awakening
About the Author
is President and CEO of Agora Inc., one of the world's largest financial newsletter companies. Agora is headquartered in Baltimore 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 also the coauthor, with Addison Wiggin, of the international bestseller Financial Reckoning Day
and author of Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets
(both published by Wiley).
ADDISON WIGGIN is the Editorial Director and Publisher of the Daily Reckoning. He is also the author of the international bestseller The Demise of the Dollar And Why It's Great for Your Investments (now in it's second edition), and coauthor, with William Bonner, of the international bestseller Financial Reckoning Day.
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.