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The Coming Economic Collapse: How You Can Thrive When Oil Costs $200 a Barrel Paperback – February 21, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Business Plus; Reprint edition (February 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446699004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446699006
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,421,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Glen Strathy is a freelance financial writer who writes from a secluded lake in Ontario, Canada. He holds an MA in English, a BA in English and drama, and a BEd.

Customer Reviews

In this book, Stephen Leeb makes the point that we are there now!
L. Craig
Dr. Leeb makes a very strong case about an impending oil shortage and the damage it would cause.
Jeffry Kinzbach
All the money in the world won't save you when the barbarians are at the gates.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am giving this book a 5 instead of a 3 or 4 because I believe that it does a superb job of laying out some facts that every normal adult needs to understand, and I want to encourage everyone to buy and read this book.

That having been said, I also found it disappointing. The author's main points can be summed up in this review, and take less than an hour to absorb in the actual book:

1) Peak oil and the need for alternative energies are being over-shadowed by myopic media and lack-luster academics that focus on poverty, climate change, terrorism, everything but the core Achilles heel of the Western world, its addiction to cheap oil which is no more.

2) Cheap oil is made possible by blatant political and financial maneuvers that enrich a few and set the rest of us up for life long poverty. Government subsidies and tax breaks purchases by expensive lobbyists giving expensive gifts and cash bribes to our politicians are directly responsible for pre-determined failure of our energy policy and the lack of an energy strategy.

3) The catastrophic nature of the collapse of cheap oil is dramatically enhanced by the combination of the *huge* U.S. deficit and by the increased prospects of war over oil.

The author concludes with some bottom line advice for investors: get out quickly from stocks associated with high oil usage (airlines, autos, chemicals; followed by cosmetics, food requiring processing and transport, and retail dependent on far away factories and raw materials).

I disagree with one key point he makes. He assumes that Wall Street and the media have been ignoring this problem because of "group think.
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68 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Bstone on March 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The only disappointing thing about this book is the title. If I had not already read Leeb's previous book, 'The Oil Factor', I probably would have passed on this. Instead, I bought it immediately. The title puts it in the same crackpot category as Ravi Batra's rantings and the old gold bug diatribes from the 1970s, and that's a shame.

The book itself is an interesting sequel to the 'Oil Factor', but not quite as eye-opening since I've had 2 years to get into Peak Oil literature and energy investing. Leeb is an investment advisor, and his books are clearly biased toward the profit motive. His best contribution in the new book is his neat explanation of why Peak Oil isn't all over the media. Leeb's background is in psychology (a PhD), and he explains the psychological theory of "groupthink" where the best and brightest in government, industry, and academia simply go along with a consensus way past the point where it makes sense. In this case, the idea that there's plenty of oil out there is the groupthink chant coming from the likes of Rex Tillerson (Exxon CEO) and Daniel Yergin. The rest of the world then follows along. On the other hand, Leeb's investment advice is conservative enough that if Rex and Dan turn out to be right, you will end up owning some fairly conventional large cap investments like GE, Exxon, Schlumberger, P&G, and a few utilities, as well as some gold. Not a bad portfolio.

Leeb also differs from James Kunstler ('The Long Emergency') in his optimism for alternative energy sources. Kunstler would call this "cargo cult" mentality, where those technological/free market demigods will come down from the sky and give us the great gift of a cheap, non-polluting replacement for oil/gas/coal.
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157 of 176 people found the following review helpful By Mark K. Mcdonough VINE VOICE on February 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a funny book. I am quite interested in the subject of peak oil, and for a non-geologist, fairly well acquainted with the science behind it.

What's funny about this book is that the title and the cover lead one to think that it's another "How to profit from the coming asteroid strike!" investment books. I picked it up expecting little more than a good laugh, and ended up shelling out hard cash for a full price copy -- something I rarely do, and I have the receipts from Amazon to prove it.

I find much to agree with in the review written by "a diplomatic historian," but here's the nub of the problem:

"This book is based upon the major notion that growing energy demands from China and India will squeeze us and propel oil prices into the stratosphere. This is self-correcting through normal economic processes."

No, it isn't self-correcting through normal economic processes, unless one includes stratospheric oil prices as a normal economic process.

Almost 30 years ago, a song by the band Tower of Power warned that "there's only so much oil in the ground." The song was written during the first oil crisis, which as Leeb points out was really a political crisis rather than a supply crisis. It turned out that there was considerably more oil in the ground than most people would have thought in the late 1970s. However, Tower of Power basically had it right. Natural economic processes hold great sway over natural resources -- up to a point. But if a resource is truly in short supply, economic processes cannot conjure more of it out of thin air. If they could, we would be buried in cod, what with the prices having gone up manyfold in the last decade or so.
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