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Empire of Debt: The Rise of an Epic Financial Crisis (Agora Series)
 
 
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Empire of Debt: The Rise of an Epic Financial Crisis (Agora Series) [Hardcover]

Will Bonner , Addison Wiggin
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Many Americans have resisted the notion that their country is an imperial power. The idea seems to contradict the values of the Republic and its Founding Fathers. But in Empire of Debt, prominent financial analysts Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin argue passionately that not only is the United States an empire, but it is also one whose end is coming soon. Bonner and Wiggin are the brains behind www.dailyreckoning.com, an iconoclastic and irreverent market advisory service that has long raised concerns about American indebtedness and warned of a looming dollar crisis. In Empire of Debt, a sequel to their earlier doom-and-gloom book Financial Reckoning Day, they elaborate on their argument that the U.S. economy is about to implode.

Bonner and Wiggin enumerate a long list of chronic ailments that imperil the American financial system--a massive trade deficit, soaring personal and government debt, a housing bubble, runaway military expenditures. These problems "hardly disturb the sleep of the imperial race," the authors write. "[But] all empires must pass away." Bonner and Wiggin argue that American imperial delusions are similar to the fantasies that fueled the dot-com market mania. They recommend readers buy gold as insurance in the event of a financial crisis. Empire of Debt flounders when discussing how America indebted itself; the authors blame the Federal Reserve Board's low interest rates but gloss over the fact that rates were slashed because the U.S. teetered on the brink of deflation in 2002 and 2003 (a topic they give more attention to in Financial Reckoning Day). As hardcore free-marketeers, Bonner and Wiggin also seem to long for the pre-welfare days of the 1920s but forget how that period's policies led to the Great Depression. That said, Empire of Debt contains many revelations that will open eyes. --Alex Roslin

Review

“The doom mongering is leavened with some waspishly witty writing” (Daily Telegraph, 6th December 2005)

From the Inside Flap

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.

From the Back Cover

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.

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

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).

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