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The Crash of the Millennium: Surviving the Coming Inflationary Depression Hardcover – September 7, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1st edition (September 7, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609605127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609605127
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,752,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Anyone who collects a wage will appreciate the premise behind Crash of the Millennium: Wages are too low, relative to the growth of productivity, and thus we're in for a global economic disaster. Who would've thought that being underpaid would have such awful repercussions? Batra, an economics professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, has a long history of mostly accurate predictions. He predicted a major depression in 1990, which turned out to be just a recession, but also had quite a few hits: the rising stock market in the '80s, falling inflation and real-estate crashes in the '90s, and assorted wars and other upheavals.

As the 20th century comes to a close, he avers, a handful of long-term trends are coming to a disastrous climax: too much government spending, too much consumer credit, too many monopolistic industries, too much wealth staying at the top in the form of high corporate profits and unprecedented stock prices, and too little trickling down in the form of wages. He also tells you what to do to minimize your losses in this disaster: Sell stocks and bonds. Forget about real estate as an inflation shelter. Park your money in bank certificates of deposit. If you have to speculate, buy gold, silver, or platinum. It's radical advice, but Batra backs it all up with numerous charts showing historical patterns of inflation and speculative bubbles. And he candidly admits he has no idea where all this will end up; his advice merely applies to late 1999 and the first two years of the new millennium. Is he right? We'll know soon enough. --Lou Schuler

From Publishers Weekly

Remember the Great Depression of 1990? If not, it's because it didn't happen. That year ushered in a decade of prosperity for the United States. Ravi Batra, the author of not one but two bestsellers predicting that depression, is back with The Crash of the Millennium. Why do so many readers listen to Professor Batra when the economy ignores him? One reason is that he is a serious professional economist with well-reasoned arguments for his positions. His combination of demand-side neoclassical market theory with neutral interventionist government is old-fashioned but respectable. He is also a gifted writer, which makes the dense mathematical parts of his discussion painless and the apocalyptic crescendos breathtaking. Finally, he has the breadth of vision to incorporate history and spirituality into his analysis, and the market savvy to add a happy ending to his most calamitous forecasts. His analyses are perfect, except that they're so often wrong. Taken in that spirit, this is a valuable book. Readers will learn a lot of economics. They will find ammunition to deflate the popular "the stock market only goes up" theories of their friends. And they can have the thrill of a summer disaster thriller while learning something about economics. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By George Knittel on January 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The other 12 reviews existing at the time of this writing indicate that most reviewers think Batra's work is either great or trash. I suspect our views are strongly influenced by our predisposition.
This is a great book. First, it gives the layman an overview of how economies work -- how employment, debt, deficit, inflation, interest rates, stock prices, etc. are all related. I have long been looking for that and appreciate finally having a satisfying "big picture".
Second, Batra summarizes historical statistics which show a cyclic behavior of inflation and money growth, and imply that we are due for a decade of strong inflation, something useful to know.
Third, he presents a nice summary of what happened to other faltering countries in the world in the decade of the 1990s, whose stories I have desired to know but not seen in the media.
Fourth, he predicts a USA stock market crash in the period late 1999 to early 2000, followed by a long-term inflationary depression.
I was indifferent to or in disagreement with some parts of the book, but his insights into how economics works, national economic histories, and his warning about the US economic "bubble" about to burst make it a valuable book. I believe his analysis, and have taken his advice to heart. Only time will tell whether this is a great book or trash.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "jonsig" on June 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Anyone faulting Ravi Batra for occasional failed or half-failed predictions, should give him his due. Here is a man that correctly called:
--the collapse of Soviet Communism (in 1978) , --the rise of the stock market bubble (in 1984) , --the drop in inflation in the 1990s (in 1983) , --the start of Iran-Iraq war in 1980 (1979) , --the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1987 (1979) , --the US banking crisis of 1990 (1985) , --the Japanese stock market crash in 1990 (1985)
He has also called for (repeatedly, but without luck)
--US stock market crash , --global economic depression , --collapse of Capitalism (age of aquisitors) , --a coming golden age, lead by a class of warriors , --the re-mergence of inflation ,
I would think, someone making these calls should be taken seriously, even if the timing is difficult. There are so many changes that have occurred in the world in the past few decades that could have postponed these developments. These could include:
(i) virtually unlimited domestic bank insurance , (ii) responsive and efficacious macropolicies , (iii) structural shifts in the global economy , (iv) the present international monetary , system, with its ample 'fiat' money liquidity, (v) the morally hazardous practice of governments and the IMF bailing out large investors when their bets in risky international markets go wrong .
All these things have surely played a role in bringing about and extending the present but fragile world prosperity. I say fragile, because stock markets are still at exorbitant levels (lest we forget), while interest rates are moving up -- a truly lethal combination.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is scary. Ordinarily this would be, because the author predicts tough times ahead. However, the real scary part is that he "cried wolf" before and now many are likely to turn a deaf ear to a real warning. This book deonstrates that capitalism is at a cross-roads. The share price euphoria in the US has been achieved through exceptional factors that are in the process of being reversed. The massive foreign lending to the US of the past two decades is rapidly coming to an end. Oil prices have jumped from their lows. The dollar is in a slow motion fall which will raise the price of imports. These factors will lead to higher interest rates and then the curtains will come down on the roaring 90s (or early 00s) in a big way. No one will be left untouched by the ensuing calamaity. If you think the stock market is only headed higher, never mind....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Ravi Batra writes with the kind of ease and clarity that most economists can only dream of. While Robert Heilbroner is also a brilliant writer in this field, with his deep sociological insights, no one can match Batra's deeper social science insights still. His is the world of a thinker posessed with a spirit and view of life that transcends time, place and person, but is at home in the here and now. He grasps the inner meaning of complex processes rooted in human nature and makes them clear to the reader. Those type of insights are usually absent in the works of the run of the mill specialists. For instance, the well known mainstream economist, Paul Krugman, professes an oversight of his field. But, sorry to say, he falls victim to the details of the superfical analytical trivia he seeks to explain. Because he writes to history, Batra's books have a life that will keep them fresh, long after the hardnosed mathematical proofs of modern economic rectitude, and their interpreters, are shriveled piles of dust. Ravi Batra is not only a superb economist, but a veritable mystic. There has never been his like, and there probably never will. His genius recalls the likes of Thorstein Veblen and Joseph Schumpeter, economist-writers earlier this century, who also wrote best sellers that stirred at the foundations of their discipline. This book is for people who want a new understanding of the economy they inhabit, as living, breathing people, and what the future may hold. It is full of the unexpected. If Batra is right, there may be difficulties ahead. But just over the horizon awaits a good future indeed, and very different from what the unimaginative linear minds project. His is, by far, the more profound and meaningful understanding of the human historical process, and where it is taking us. Although in a group of books listed as a must read, it is superbly enjoyable from start to finish.
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