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When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence Hardcover – June 25, 2013
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"A 'powerful' and 'convincing' book. Overall, as Charles Moore notes in The Daily Telegraph, 'it’s alarmingly difficult to disagree' with this book."—Matthew Partridge, Money Week. (Matthew Partridge Money Week 2013-06-28)
“A thoughtful and convincing assessment of what happens when the rich world becomes over-accustomed to rising standards of living but cannot afford the benefits its governments have promised, by the chief-economist at HSBC. Serious scaremongering; worthy of Stephen King’s horror-writing namesake.”—The Economist, (named a 2013 Book of the Year) (The Economist 2013-12-07)
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Top Customer Reviews
But what if both sides are wrong, suffering from 'optimism bias?' Many of the factors behind high growth rates in the 20th-century's second half cannot be repeated - substantial increases in consumer credit, globalization (before Asian nations turned trade surpluses into deficits), increased inclusion of women in the workforce, increased levels of education. The U.S. faces headwinds from globalization, increasing inequality, increasing energy and environmental costs, and the overhang of consumer and government debt, as do other Western nations.Read more ›
In the West, persistent progress is most often perceived as a given. This West's economic tenet was best reflected in the beliefs of persistent increases in asset prices relative to the size of economies before 2007-2008. These beliefs went hand in hand with substantial increases in debt during this period (pp. 62-63; 66-67; 130-131; 134-135; 139). However, many of the factors behind the continuous increase in Western living standards in the second half of the 20th century seem to be one-offs. Think for example about healthcare, social security systems, world trade, financial innovation, quality of education, the further increase in women's labor participation, or the sharp decline in back-breaking housework (pp. 11-13).
Growth in most of the Western industrialized world has been anemic since the beginning of the 21st century. Mr. King identifies four key drivers behind this underwhelming performance:
1) The negative effects of the success of emerging nations on Western growth;
2) The over-investment in the U.S. housing market in the 2000s after the collapse of the 1990s technological revolution in 2000;
3) The financial crisis of 2007-2008;
4) The arrogance of Western policy-makers who thought after the last-named crisis that they were smarter than their Japanese counterparts.Read more ›
King first looks at how Progress has been taken for Granted and in particular how the very high growth rates for the three decades following the Second World War may have been exception. The period 1945-1975 had the rebuilding of countries that were previously economically strong in Europe and Japan, the arrival of a plethora of new technologies in nuclear power, jet engines, containerisation, computers and a big expansion of the work force due to women entering the formal workforce.
The book then describes the pain of stagnation and looks at Japan since 1990 and Argentina and how everyone in the west believes they should be better off than previous generations and how social security spending has massively increased. In the UK in 1950 it was 4% of GDP but today it is 14% of a much larger GDP. Essentially social spending could easily increase for many years as growth allowed people to get richer and to have more taken by the government. However, with lower growth incomes are growing more slowly than social spending.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great book that aptly exposed the political nature of central bankers who keep insisting they are independant do-gooders that have the greater good of the nation in mind when... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Björn
Quote: "Few would argue that Damien Hirst is a superior artist to Van Gogh."
Anyone who knows anything about art will realize that the author is a complete... Read more
I haven't read this book yet but I am Very anxious to read it Very Soon.Published 10 months ago by Barbara Starkey
If you do, you will know what I now know and the people in the know don't want you to know. If you are in the dark about the current financial systems, you won't know what's coming... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
The author believes that economic decisions will start to drive politics, as debt and deficits erode growth. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Chad M
I don't understand the positive reviews of this book. The author does not make a clear analysis of the problems of Western economies nor does he offer coherent solutions. Read morePublished 16 months ago by doug k
Recommended to all those who would like to understand WHAT is going on in todays economy and - even more important! - WHY is it going so.Published on May 7, 2014 by piwecki