Starred Review. Amid all the handwringing on the downward trajectory of the global economy comes this cool, collected, and sensible view of forthcoming economic trends. Altman (Connected), professor at NYU's Stern School of Business, looks at deeper factors--geography, culture, government policies--to challenge conventional (or simply much touted) wisdom: he predicts China's economic supremacy will be short, undermined by its own central government's heavy-handedness and Confucian cultural influences. He offers an unflinching examination of the merits and flaws of capitalism and socialism and resets archaic perceptions about how to encourage or inhibit growth. In his analysis, capitalism comes out on top, but succeeds best and for a longer period of time with government intervention and redistributive policies. Altman predicts global migratory shifts that will make today's world financial centers obsolete and foresees the pitfalls of a unified European currency. Altman delivers more than mere analysis or foreshadowing: this is revelatory reading for even the most casual observer of economics, and an invaluable tool for reconsidering how the world makes money. (Jan.) (c)
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"Informative and accessible, penetrating and provocative, his book is a first-rate guide to global trends… Readers of Outrageous Fortunes are likely to conclude that they have learned some important things about a global economy that will have an ever-more profound impact on their lives."—NPR.org
"Bold… Interesting."—The Economist
"Amid all the handwringing on the downward trajectory of the global economy comes this cool, collected, and sensible view of forthcoming economic trends… Altman delivers more than mere analysis or foreshadowing: this is revelatory reading for even the most casual observer of economics, and an invaluable tool for reconsidering how the world makes money."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Interesting thought experiments."—Kirkus Reviews
"If the past two years have taught us anything, it is the importance of counterintuitive thinking. Daniel Altman boldly ventures into the deep drivers of global change to uncover the unintended consequences of our current policies—regarding China, global trade, American jobs, and much more. Anyone who wants to get smart on globalization’s fate must read this book."
--Parag Khanna, author of The Second World and How to Run the World
"With so many new books offering autopsies of the financial crisis and the deepest recession since World War II, it’s a blessing that Daniel Altman has his eyes firmly fixed on risks and opportunities in the road ahead. He brings together a series of compelling predictions, and though readers may not agree with every element of his forecasts, all will be better informed for having read his book."
--Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and author of The End of the Free Market and The J Curve
"With all the attention being lavished on the short-run gyrations of the economy, it is refreshing to see a book that focuses on the long run. Daniel Altman is brave enough to make predictions about what will happen to the world economy twenty or thirty years from now. His analysis is thoughtful and compelling and should be required reading for those interested in creating a better world for our offspring."
--Hal R. Varian, chief economist at Google and professor of business, economics, and information management at the University of California, Berkeley
"Daniel Altman has something to tell you: the world may not turn out the way Thomas Friedman expects. Outrageous Fortunes is provocative, fast-moving, authoritative, and imaginative. Expect the unexpected."
--Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist and The Logic of Life