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306 of 322 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat breathless treatise that essentially says "Be Prepared"
Highly summarized version: "Unload your debt, sell your stocks, sell all your real estate, buy all the gold you can afford, and hire us to give you this advice but using more and longer words--oh, and economists are stupid (except for us)."

The early chapters in this book explain why the authors believe that the global economic failure that was made visible...
Published on October 30, 2011 by J. M. Lowe

versus
1,462 of 1,554 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reads like an arrogant info-commercial, but entertaining nonetheless...
If you would like to visit the author's website, hire them to financially advise you, or simply buy their friend's books, then you'll have plenty of opportunities during this read. Shameless plugs and weblinks are littered throughout so many of these pages you'll probably catch yourself laughing in spite of it all.

And seriously, I have never encountered a...
Published on August 23, 2011 by Amazon Customer


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1,462 of 1,554 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reads like an arrogant info-commercial, but entertaining nonetheless..., August 23, 2011
By 
Amazon Customer "jjr" (Nashville, TN United States) - See all my reviews
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If you would like to visit the author's website, hire them to financially advise you, or simply buy their friend's books, then you'll have plenty of opportunities during this read. Shameless plugs and weblinks are littered throughout so many of these pages you'll probably catch yourself laughing in spite of it all.

And seriously, I have never encountered a more pretentious self-congratulatory pat-themselves-on-the-back-and-then-do-it-again group of authors in my life. Ever. It's tolerable at first, annoying next, unbelievable, and finally comical. Is it entertaining? Oh ok, you'll finally be entertained by their level of arrogance... but probably because you suspect these guys (and gal) don't even realize it.

Their message is simple and never approaches the more erudite levels of their contemporaries. They even complain about their failure at publishing in peer reviewed journals at one point. More sour grapes appear when they devote a huge section of the book (probably about 35%) to attacking practically every economist in the known world. At least they explicitly reveal to the reader exactly where each economist makes their mistake and how they should proceed down the path of redemption. Hell, they even take on the entire SCIENCE of economics at one point.

It's a fun read though and I enjoyed it. It's a serious topic and these guys are probably pretty damn close to predicting what will happen in the next few years despite their sophomoric approach. Go ahead and buy it if you are interested, but in case the Aftershock has already left you penniless, here's the summary:

The U.S. will hit their credit limit when foreign entities quit buying our T-bills. The Fed will continue to buy bonds to manipulate the market, massive inflation will occur, so you better have stocked up on gold because nothing else will protect you.
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306 of 322 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat breathless treatise that essentially says "Be Prepared", October 30, 2011
By 
J. M. Lowe (Houston, TX, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown (Hardcover)
Highly summarized version: "Unload your debt, sell your stocks, sell all your real estate, buy all the gold you can afford, and hire us to give you this advice but using more and longer words--oh, and economists are stupid (except for us)."

The early chapters in this book explain why the authors believe that the global economic failure that was made visible through the failure of Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers, and led to a material collapse of the U.S. housing market, is fundamentally different than a cyclical expansion/contraction phase. And we see the word "bubble" so many times that we yearn for a more comprehensive thesaurus that might have provided the authors with different word choices.

Later chapters make the case that the worst is yet to come, with the most significant risk to the U.S. being the astonishing accelerated accumulation of U.S. federal debt, reaching the point that we'll never pay it off. Yes, the U.S. government is headed for default. That will create a level of inflation high enough to decimate the value of most of our investments, sending that value to to "Money Heaven", in their words. They advise getting out of stocks, selling our real estate (because they believe we're nowhere near the bottom of the housing slump), unloading any high-interest debt we have (up to and including defaulting), and staying away from any long-term commitments.

Given this future state, the authors explain why they believe gold is clearly the investment vehicle of choice and they anticipate a future price of gold so high that they don't actually state it in the book for fear of losing credibility. They suggest that those of us with any substantive asset base should at least subscribe to their newsletter (free for a two-month trial basis!), and they just happen to run a consulting business and would be happy to work with us to provide more specific advice.

And lastly, the end of the book is spent explaining why the field of economics has failed all of us in a number of ways. First: No one else seems to have been able to predict the situation we're in now; Second: no one else seems be able to see what the authors see coming in the future; Third: economists have failed because they haven't had a bright idea since they introduced computer modeling. I'm no economist, but I have to say I'm skeptical when three people (the authors) tell me that every living economist on the planet has failed. And more curiously...I don't know why they even bothered to include that chapter in the book, as it has no bearing on explaining the problem nor in determining solutions.

To their credit, these authors have successfully predicted, in advance and in writing, many of the events we've seen in the past four years, and because of that they deserve an open-minded but critical audience. If we get nothing else from this book, we see the authors' views on what the global economic future could look like, and based on how much we've been persuaded they're right, we can start taking steps to protect ourselves.
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423 of 455 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why are we writing this book?, September 8, 2011
By 
G. H. Goodwin (Near Cleveland, OH) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown (Hardcover)
After reading this book I can't decide if it was written as an educational piece or for self-promotion and aggrandizement. Granted the economic theory and facts are correct but about a third of the way through I was tired of the continued "patting ourselves on the back" by the authors. I was even more disenchanted with the authors when I found that they are promoting a free and "secret filled" final chapter that is only available if you order directly from their website. In my eyes this gives them major credibility issues. I would also argue that this books theories and facts could have been plainly stated in about a hundred pages which, without the emotional hysteria, would would provide us with a better basis for discussion.
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408 of 440 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sell house and rent at 300% inflation???!!!, July 12, 2012
By 
This review is from: Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown (Hardcover)
OK. I sell my house because real estate values will fall. My house is in a sought-after neighborhood and it is tough to find one that has been maintained well. I go rent a house for $1,800 a month, it is not as nice as the one I sold. After 300% inflation my landlord wants $6,000 a month. My employer has not increased my salary 300% and even if he did I would be paying so many taxes I still could not pay the new rent.
Let's see, I could buy a house! But interest rates are 100% per year and the $100,000 I got in my pocket out of selling my house has disappeared paying for rent and food and utilities that are 300% higher.
Get my drift? If you have a nice home at a low interest rate do not sell it. Plant a big garden, get chickens, prepare for relatives to move in. See if you can make the home energy efficient. Make your next car a gas sipper.
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268 of 295 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No real solutions here, December 2, 2011
By 
M. Wood (Chicago, IL) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown (Hardcover)
This is just self-praise for predicting the '08 crash, which had already been predicted by many economists - including economists who were much better trained (i.e. people who had earned a PhD in economics, like Paul Krugman, who they criticize - solely for political reasons - and without any evidence to back it up).

Let me save you some time & money by summarizing this book for you...

A guide for protecting yourself:
1) We predicted the '08 crash.
2) There's another crash coming (more on that later).
3) Buy gold.
4) Go to step 1.

This is repeated throughout the whole book, in a very clumsy writing style that's chock full of errors. There's no data or evidence. It reads like an infomercial written by a high school student.

Their real goal for this "free" book is to get you to pay for an online newsletter which is nearly impossible to cancel. I'm surprised they haven't been convicted of mail fraud by now.
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785 of 875 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very informative, August 17, 2011
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This review is from: Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown (Hardcover)
This is an excellent book. I have already lent it on my kindle and bought a friend a hard copy, I was so impressed with it. Am hoping the scenario doesn't happen, but will not be surprised if it does. Warning: Do not get a 'free' copy from Newsmax Corp (they have a video and offer a 'free' copy) as the offer includes 3 trial subscriptions that you cannot cancel until they are due to expire and if you forget you will be charged hundred of dollars on the credit card you give them for the shipping and handling of the book. Just buy the book from Amazon, you won't regret it.
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663 of 744 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Let's make economics into a REAL science!, August 30, 2011
By 
TraderF (Rochester, Mn USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown (Hardcover)
Here we have yet another book claiming that its authors alone have discovered the key to our economic problems and offers as proof the fact that they got it right once, in their previous book. And to make sure that you understand that, they remind you every few pages.

The history of economic & stock market predictions is filled with the names of people who got it right once, then proceeded to crash and burn. I could name some of them but out of kindness will not do so here.

Is there going to be an "aftershock" equal to or greater than the 2008-2009 downturn in terms of economic devastation, beginning sometime in 2013-2015 or so, as the authors claim? Darned if I know. Darned if anyone else knows for sure, either. A number of things do point in that direction, and the authors may be proven correct. But bear in mind that in 1946 a lot of things pointed in the direction of the Great Depression resuming: the stimulus provided by the war spending was ending; the government had accumulated a huge debt load; much of the developed world was devastated and financially broke; all the military personnel would return home to find few if any jobs available.

In Chapter 9 of this book the authors describe how economics can be made more of a science. Specifically, "numerical simulation models" can be developed to make much more accurate economic predictions than can be done today. This works to some extent in weather prediction, but weather lacks the irrational human element which is ever present in economic activity.

Some improvement in economic prediction may be possible, but consider the following. If there were any way to predict the economy with much certainty, that way could be used to predict the course of the stock market with enough accuracy to make a great deal of money. Soon, nearly everyone would be using this method and winning all the money in the stock market. But if nearly everyone is winning, how could there be enough losers to provide money to the winners? Obviously there could not be; that is why there never can be any way to predict the economy significantly better than we are able to right now.

But... what gives with all this economics stuff? What is really going on?

Quite simply, economic activity is a result of the laws of mass human behavior. The authors are correct that there are plenty of bubbles in the economy and the stock market. The term "bubble" is simply another word for a mania, or excessive greed, one of the oldest mass phenomenona known. When a big one one gets going, nearly everyone gets on board, and no one is able to convince the majority that the mass speculation will end badly. Usually it does end badly, but not always. The World War II debt bubble deflated with hardly any effect at all. When the internet bubble ended in 2000, the NASDAQ suffered greatly but the overall economy had a more or less "soft landing".

Will we ever fully understand the laws of mass human behavior? I don't think so. For us to determine and understand these laws would be something like a typical cat, on its own, understanding that riding in a car is safe and fun. The work of R.N. Elliott is probably the best that anyone has ever done in describing these laws, but there are far too many amibiguities and far too little precision in his work for it to be of any practical value. He formulated his laws in the 1930s and no one to my knowledge has been able to improve upon them significantly since then.

Every financial newsletter writer knows that there is a nearly guaranteed profitable market for the purveyor of bad news. Maybe the authors will enjoy a good living by selling to enough people the specific advice that is missing from this book. After all, timing is everything when you are insuring your future by selling your house and buying hoards of gold.

Update Oct. 10, 2011: I should have said something about the authors' claim that gold will skyrocket when stocks tank. A careful study of history will reveal that nearly every time that gold has made big gains, stocks have also. When stocks have tanked, gold almost always has declined. It appears that during a selling panic, people sell even gold to raise cash. I would not bank on that phenomenon reversing.

Update May 11, 2012: The following may be of interest. You can find the article via net search of the following title.
"Fed study rejects standard explanations for housing bubble"
Updated: May 7, 2012 12:33 PM EDT
"The authors, who include senior economists at the Boston Fed, list what they call 12 'facts' about the mortgage market that support their view of the causes of the foreclosure crisis... the authors conclude that the expansion of easy mortgage credit that led to the foreclosure crisis was simply the result of an asset bubble -- the same as occurred with Dutch tulip prices in the 1600s, with U.S. equities and Florida land in the 1920s, and even with Beanie Babies in the 1990s. Prices went up, the authors say, because people believed they would."
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121 of 132 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT ORDER THIS BOOK! SCAM. I'll give you mine, January 9, 2012
Review NEWSMAX online and see the number of complaints on Amazon, Scambook, etc.
They use this as a hook to start subscribing to numerous online newsletters although you refuse the subscription. Contacting their customer service is a runaround. I spent a month trying to get charges reversed and they continue to say "Don't contact your credit card company. This morning ANOTHER charge for another newsletter. I called my CC and they know all about it. Reversed charges instantly without the regular questioning or waiting periods.

You really want this so called book, I'll give you mine.
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140 of 154 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars thoroughly annoyed, September 5, 2011
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This review is from: Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown (Hardcover)
I am by no means an economist. I'm fairly new to investments and dealing with long term money like retirement. I heard about this book through a link on CNN and I found it interesting based on the review that was posted on CNN. I wouldn't normally read something about the economy, it really has to grab my attention. At first this book DID grab my attention and held it.... until about two chapters in when I realized how REDUNDANT it is. It feels like the SAME ideas and sentences are forced down your throat over and over and over. At one point I thought I'd accidentally flipped back a few pages and was re-reading something I had already read, but then I realized they had just inserted an almost identical paragraph a few pages after the first one.

Some of it was insightful. Some of it I could probably utilize in day to day life. But literally half way thru the book I was bored.

I found myself skipping through pages because I was getting so bored by the repetition. There wasn't a really good flow to this book. It feels like they didn't have enough written for it to be taken seriously, so they just kept rewording and repeating themselves as a way of just filling pages.

I think most people are smart enough to realize the economy is not recovering. Also just hearing about the amount of government debt is enough to make anyone nauseated. It's not hard to figure out the basics that they repeat over and over and over in this book. I say skip it, it's not worth the $10 or more dollars that it's being sold for.
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112 of 122 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Self-Promotion!, July 12, 2012
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I fell victim to the hype and purchased the Kindle edition. After a brief read-through, it became quite apparent that this is nothing more than a book of self-promotion (how many times do they direct you to their website??). I agree with one of the other reviewers .... it was like reading a bad informercial. No thanks.
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