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Beating the Business Cycle: How to Predict and Profit From Turning Points in the Economy [Kindle Edition]

Lakshman Achuthan , Anirvan Banerji
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $10.99
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

How can you make wise decisions about your company and your personal future when you have no idea where the economy is headed?
The answer is, you can’t. But you can learn how to accurately predict turns in the economy so that you can see the road ahead. And

In BEATING THE BUSINESS CYCLE, Lakshman Achuthan and Anirvan Banerji, the directors of the renowned Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) show how anyone can predict and profit from the inevitable booms and busts of the economy.

Why should we believe them? Because while so many economists and financial gurus have failed to predict recessions in the past, ECRI’s forecasts are known for being uncannily accurate. The institute successfully predicted the U.S. recession of 2001 many months before the economists did; the 1990 recession and later recovery; and most recently, the weak U.S. recovery in 2002. ECRI is in constant demand by corporate America and the media. It is the “secret weapon” of companies from Disney to DuPont, the major fund managers, and many central banks.

BEATING THE BUSINESS CYCLE is the first book to reveal how decision makers at all levels–managers, small business owners, and individuals–can see into the economy’s future when making key decisions. Should a large company search out new clients and build new factories or stores, or should it consider cost cutting and layoffs? Is it the right time for you to splurge on that luxury vacation or addition to your house, or would it be more prudent to cut back on big expenditures and save money for a rainy day?
Written in an easy-to-understand, accessible style, BEATING THE BUSINESS CYCLE reveals which of the hundreds of economic indicators to trust and which ones to trash. It will give you the tools and confidence you need to make the right decisions at the right times–even when the rest of the investing and business world would persuade you otherwise. Whether you are a corporate manager or the owner of a small business, whether you have your money invested in stocks or in your home, BEATING THE BUSINESS CYCLE will give you the edge you need to trump the competition and stay ahead of the crowd.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Reading this thin volume on business cycles feels like riding the economic roller coaster itself. Beginning with some engaging chapters on the how and why of business cycles, it plummets into a dull trough about identifying and analyzing economic indicators and levels off with advice about using cyclical information to plan financial moves. Directors of the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI), a New York-based think tank specializing in cyclical research, the authors stress their affiliation with this "secret weapon" of corporate America throughout the text. But given the track record of most economic prognosticators—in March 2001, for example, 95 percent of American economists thought there would not be a recession, although one had already begun—some crowing about ECRI’s success in predicting recessions and recoveries may be justified. Numbers could easily overwhelm the message here, but Achuthan and Banerji avoid a statistical tar pit. They use numbers judiciously and effectively and write in a style accessible to professionals and amateurs alike. They also exhibit a surprising sensitivity to the real consequences of business cycles. "Wile E. Coyote," they write, "after scraping himself off the canyon floor, again gives chase, heedless of the dangers ahead, oblivious to any lessons he might learn. Because he is only a cartoon character, no matter how many times he gets splattered, he never really gets hurt. But life is not a cartoon. And if you are the one to take a nose dive when the economy makes an unexpected turn, the pain is real. It may not be so easy to peel yourself off the canyon floor." What’s ultimately disappointing about the book, though, is that its promise to provide readers with an economic dashboard to navigate the financial peaks and valleys of business cycles appears to be a pumped-up advertisement for ECRI.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



“Would it help you decide when to leave a job, buy a house or step up your investing, if you had a good feel for when business was about to turn up (or down)? It sure will help me. This easy-to-read book tells you how the respected ECRI calls turning points, and how you can, too.”
—Jane Bryant Quinn, Newsweek columnist

“While 95% of economists failed to predict the start and end of the last recession, Lakshman Achuthan and Anirvan Banerji got both right.  Beating the Business Cycle shows just how far the state of the art in cycle forecasting has advanced, and how investors can profit from it.”
—Jon Markman, award-winning CNBC/MSN financial columnist

“Read this jewel of a book and enter your own personal cyclical upswing.”
—James Grant, editor, Grant's Interest Rate Observer

Acclaim for the Economic Cycle Research Institute

“The dismal scientists have a dismal record in predicting recessions… The Economic Cycle Research Institute, a private research group, has been more successful. … ECRI was one of the few firms to forecast both of the past two American recessions.”
—The Economist

Product Details

  • File Size: 1044 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business (May 18, 2004)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1MZK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #602,613 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
No doubt this book could have been an oversized pamphlet or brochure. I have tracked ECRI for a bunch of years and they have made some great calls. Ultimately this book is different from most economic tomes, not nearly as dry as most, shorter in length, but also lacking much meat. It reads as an advertisement for subscribing to their services, just enticing you enough, but not giving away any secrets. That may be for the best, as only statisticians, economists and PH.d's would really be interested in the minutiae. I hope they keep up their great calls though I was sensing some overconfidence in their abilities, and having worked in the investment business for many years, it seems humility is the best posture, no matter who you are.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When to make major household decisions May 20, 2004
This book gives guidelines on when to buy a car, home, invest in stocks, etc... Its a good handbook for such major decisions at home. It gives a long-term view, and not the quick and dirty ways to make money. And the best part is that they focus in various sectors so you can have an overall idea of the economy's performance or even real estate if that's all you are interested in!
I recommend it highly! Puts such major personal decisions in perspective.
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These Guys Have a Great Record! May 19, 2004
Lakshman Achuthan and Anirvan Banerji have been answering questions about the business cycles and the Economic Cycle Research Institute's (ECRI) leading indicators for many years at their discussion forum I moderate at [[...]
I can vouch that they called for the 2001 recession before it occurred on CNBC as well as on our very forum. They also correctly called for a slow turn in the economy which is what we have seen. Their most recent accurate prediction was for muted and delayed job growth. Many skeptics called Lakshman and Anirvan of the ECRI crazy for predicting jobs returning. Their skeptics said ECRI was wrong, that nobody can accurately predict the economy and we would fall back into a recession. Sure enough, we have now had several months of good job growth and the economy has continued to improve, at a moderate pace, just as predicted by the gentlemen from ECRI. Just today in answer to a question about a potential real estate bubble they posted:
"The Leading Home Price Index (LHPI) is part of the "economic dashboard" that we present in "Beating the Business Cycle." The latest readings show the LHPI holding up quite well. The implication is that the home prices are not about to collapse. In fact, they're more likely to continue to edge up."
Any book that gives you insight into their "black magic" is a must read for investors as well as anyone who makes decisions based on the future direction of the economy including those contemplating a home purchase!
Kirk Lindstrom
Editor "Investing - Personal Finance" at
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gives economists a better name February 8, 2005
After getting sick and tired of all the hot air that economists spew, this book gave me some hope for the dismal science. Yes the authors discuss how their calls were correct, but I see this as a necessary part of the story being told, i.e., that through the prism of good leading indexes for growth, inflation and jobs, the wild a crazy path that the economy has taken over the past few years is understandable, and more importantly, not a surprise. I'm torn as I write this review as I might be better off as an investor if others did not read this book! Still, their advice on how to use the Weekly Leading Index to make better decisions is an important gift to society.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! May 20, 2004
What an excellent book. It is clear and consise and extremely well written for such tough and complex topics. The authors have done a fantastic job in making the area of cyclical forecasting fasinating. If you are an investor or someone trying to understand what is happening in an economy that seems to be inconsistent with its previous behavior, this book is worth reading.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beating the business cycle May 19, 2004
well...i pre ordered this book and was happy to get it. i have to say first off that i've listened to mr. achuthan and mr. banerji on bloomberg radio several times, that's why i bought this. they have a very good way of explaining things which for me means in a non buisness speak. i work in real estate so im interested in the economy but not economics, if you know what i mean. that said, this book (which i have not yet read through) does several things well in the two chapters i have read.
chapter one: it give an historical overview to the theroy that the two authors espouse. i like that since i don't have the business background.
chapter eight: i really like the idea of the "economic dashboard" (this is what was discussed on the radio and in this chapter). in a nutshell it provides a way for me to understand the economic indicators and apply them to my business and also assist my clients by being able to determine pricing AND stay ahead of the curve.
i'm looking forward to reading the rest of the book, and reccomend it to anyone interested in better understanding how to assess what you see and hear in all the business reports out there.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Have you ever PAID for a brochure? January 27, 2006
Look. They got tired of trying to explain to their customers exactly what their products are and how they work, so they wrote a book to educate and sell them. It's basically a hardback brochure. I'm sure they give it to all their hot prospects. But we the little people get to PAY for it.

There is some useful info on leading indicators but nothing you couldn't find elsewhere free. And once they teach you which of their magic proprietary indicators to keep an eye on, guess what? You're supposed to sign up for a subscription to get them, not even the simplest of the data is available free althought the book implies they are.

Booksellers need to stop carrying this kind of 'gotcha' book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Beating the Business Cycle
Not expensive but not worth the time to read. A book of this size should clarify how they calculate their indexes. Jest of the book was trust our indicators because we are smart. Read more
Published on August 17, 2012 by FastJack
2.0 out of 5 stars Little more than an advertisment for online services.
I expected to get to understand something about the business cycle, its stages and how to find the signs of where we are in the business cycle by reading this book. Read more
Published on February 18, 2012 by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Didnt like it
Just talk about how their system performed in the past, no useful insights for those interested on business cycle models
Published on January 25, 2012 by FRANCISCO V P MACHADO
3.0 out of 5 stars Bait and Switch
While I find the subject matter to be quite interesting, and I believe the authors are quite knowledgeable and sincere, at the end of the day, the book is nothing more than an... Read more
Published on January 23, 2012 by Slugeaux
5.0 out of 5 stars A Useful Book for Investors and Business People
As an economist I have followed the work of Moore and others involved in developing indicators trying to help us understand the global economy and hopefully predicting when... Read more
Published on December 30, 2011 by pbk63
4.0 out of 5 stars Advertising literature sold as a book.
This is a good book though it repeats itself and does not go very deep. It tells which of their main indicators to watch but does not give away much of the secret to their system. Read more
Published on February 18, 2009 by Jack Bert
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is a commercial
Agreed that they may have a great record in forecasting business cycles, but when i buy a book that is titled "how to predict and profit from turning points in the business cycle",... Read more
Published on February 15, 2009 by citruschill
3.0 out of 5 stars What are they doing writing books??
Authors seems to know their subject well and have looked up the concept of Leading Indicators well. Combine that with a good marketing idea. Read more
Published on February 2, 2009 by Yours Truly
1.0 out of 5 stars How to use our proprietary indicators to beat the business cycle
There is nothing new or interesting in this book that other books will not give you. I agree with other reviewers, this is basically an expensive marketing brochure for their paid... Read more
Published on May 4, 2008 by Neil F. Sambol
1.0 out of 5 stars No explanation of business cycles
I bought this book assuming I would learn tools and techniques to do my own forecasting, and really hoped it would delve into the details of how individual business sectors fare... Read more
Published on February 15, 2008 by Example: Mark Twain
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