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It's Not as Bad as You Think: Why Capitalism Trumps Fear and the Economy Will Thrive Hardcover – November 9, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1st edition (November 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047023833X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470238332
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #891,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Compared with most of his peers, Brian Wesbury. . . looks like a raging bull. The economy, he boldly predicts, will grow . . . the stock market remains grossly . . . This is the opportunity of a lifetime for those buying a house. . . The author rightly makes the case that the current financial crisis was totally unnecessary. Its prime cause was the imposition of mark-to-market accounting rules. . . Wesbury also explains that the potential losses from subprime mortgages and exotic financial instruments in 2007 were less threatening to the system than was the banking crisis of some 20 years ago. . . Wesbury deals decisively and persuasively with other misconceptions. The big one: that it was the collapse of the housing bubble that led to panic in the fall of 2008 . . .As for the economy's current growth, Wesbury makes it clear that he doesn't think it's soundly based. In other words, investors have opportunities for big gains, but they'd better be nimble. Expansions fueled by excesses of Fed credit always end badly."
—Forbes magazine

From the Inside Flap

Even with the economy feeling a little bit better, there is a real fear that markets will stay down and things won't ever get back to normal. But a few brave voices say that this attitude is just too pessimistic.

Capitalism has not failed. And it's not time to just give up—on free markets or a better tomorrow. History shows that every time the economy was thought to be done, worn out, finished, it bounced back. The economy is not as fragile as the pessimists think. In fact, things are already improving. Even housing is showing signs of life.

With It's Not as Bad as You Think, Brian Wesbury, ranked as one of the top economic forecasters by the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, shows you that the future is much brighter than you think. A great confluence of negativity and government mistakes dragged attitudes and the economy down, but this won't last. With this easy-to-follow analysis of tomorrow and guide through yesterday, Wesbury debunks the pouting pundits of pessimism to show you how to prosper now and in the future.

Page by page, It's Not as Bad as You Think:

  • Reveals the real reasons behind the "Panic of 2008" and why it seems so much more severe than past crises
  • Uncovers a history of entrepreneurship that you should trust
  • Explains how a V-shaped recovery can take place and how wealth you had thought you lost can be found again
  • Calls out the press for being overly negative about capitalism and shows how government policy compounded economic problems in 2008
  • And much more

A breath of fresh air, Wesbury's objectivity and optimism provide welcome relief to the daily bad news stories. So if you need an antidote to conventional wisdom and are willing to look beyond the events that have already occurred, pick up It's Not as Bad as You Think and discover how you can capitalize on the profitable possibilities of tomorrow.

Customer Reviews

Do yourself a favor and just read the book.
Amazon Customer
This book is an excellent read; easy to follow charts, language and analogies.
Highly recommended and is a very easy read!!
B Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By David Bahnsen on March 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My ongoing series reviewing the major books written on the economic crisis of 2008 has hit an important stride. Some pivotal books on the subject have been released, or are nearing release, and I think more of the mechanical causes of the crisis are finally being discussed. Former Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson, has written On the Brink, and I will have the book completed and reviewed in the next day or two. Michael Lewis, the most highly acclaimed writer to address this topic so far, releases his work this week (and expectations are high, at least for this reviewer). But the subject of my review today, Brian Wesbury's It's Not as Bad as You Think: Why Capitalism Trumps Fear and the Economy Will Thrive also belongs in the list of the truly important books to come out on the subject. This book is deeply ideological, has already proven to be prescient beyond belief, and most significantly, contains a larger perspective on the future of our economy that many other books have not concerned themselves with at all.

Wesbury is an important voice in the national conversation about the economic crisis of 2008. Unlike media talking heads, op-ed pundits, politicians, and most self-identified "authors", Wesbury actually runs money, which means he has skin in this game as it pertains to identifying what took place in 2008 and where things will go from here. That is not to say that the cadre of authors who have written about the crisis thus far are less credible; it is just to say that there are more impactful consequences for Wesbury if he gets something wrong than there is for most authors.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Erik Eisel on November 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The "Buy and Hold" strategy of investing has taken a lot of hard knocks during the past year. If you are bullish on the domestic stock market long term and don't have the time or interest in following the daily gyrations of the DJIA, NASDAQ, S&P 500, etc., the "buy and hold" investment strategy is the only game out there for you. "Market timing" is for suckers. But, during the last year, the bears, short sellers, and market timers looked pretty smart. The bulls, who stayed invested in the market, were left high and dry with their "buy and hope" strategy. One year ago (November 2008), "buy and hold" investors couldn't find too many voices who were still beating the "buy and hold" drum. The lone voice in the wilderness was Brian Wesbury. Some heeded his advice and stayed all in, after hearing his arguments that the recent economic crisis was the "Panic of 2008," not the "Great Depression of 2008." All of the pain we experienced was self-inflicted, and could easily be remedied with minor changes to accounting rules, such as, for example, mark-to-market accounting. Instead, conservatives jettisoned their faith in free-market principles at the first sign of trouble, and liberals saw an opportunity to introduce government solutions. The result has been a longer, deeper recession.

Fast forward one year later, Brian Wesbury has released his book, It's Not as Bad as you Think, which encapsulates the arguments behind his initial diagnosis of the economic crisis. But, this time around, his argument is bolstered by the "real events" of 2009, described as a V-shaped recovery in the stock market. Of course, we're not at 14K yet, but the domestic stock market has come a long way from the dark days of March 2009, when everyone saw black.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Kenney on April 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Wesbury's book is a thorough and detailed look at the recent market crisis of 2008. Each chapter will lead you through what he feels was the ultimate culprit for the panic and the good news is you won't get lost in all of the rhetoric. Wesbury has a humble and wise voice that is easy to follow. And I think if you give this book a fare shake you may just change many of your widely held beliefs. And while it's true that even now in 2010 (when I wrote this review) there is still massive unemployment and bleak outlooks for some there are still "tremendous opportunities available for those who can look at what appears to be chaos from a different perspective than the conventional wisdom."

Wesbury explains the federal reserve, inflation, capitalism and the role government(should)play in a healthy economy. So if you are still pessimistic about the future of America, stocks, the economy or the housing market then I implore you to read this book and begin to change the negative narrative that seems to be rampant right now.

There are people out there that want you to believe that this all happened because of "market failure. They want you to believe that capitalism is unstable, that the entire U.S. economy is built upon shifting sand. They want you to believe that business can't be trusted but government can be." But these things are all systems - and systems left to their own devices can not cause good nor evil.

Ultimately it is people who are responsible - people who make poor choices and people who follow poor decision makers. Capitalism is not to blame for this - capitalism is an "organic method of arranging the economy that has proven itself over the centuries."

"Capitalism did not fail - it never fails." The United States is "a very resilient country" and in the end it will be the optimists and the entrepreneurs who are left still standing when the smoke clears - and chances are - they will be standing on a huge pile of money.
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More About the Author

Brian S. Wesbury is Chief Economist at First TrustAdvisors LP, a financial services firm with over $23 billion under management. He writes frequently for the American Spectator magazine, serves as the magazine's Economics Editor, and is often a contributor to the Wall Street Journal editorial page. Wesbury was ranked as the nation's number one forecaster by the Wall Street Journal in 2001, and USA Today ranked him as one of the nation's top ten forecasters in 2004. Wesbury received an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a BA in economics from the University of Montana. His most recent writings can be found at

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