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The Great Bust Ahead: The Greatest Depression in American and UK History is Just Several Short Years Away. This is your Concise Reference Guide to Understanding Why and How Best to Survive It Paperback – CLV, November 25, 2002

3.7 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


October 2007 Update:
In 2002 when this book was published, in addition to the massive depression beginning around the end of the decade, it forecast:
1. The economy, as reflected by the DJIA, would resume its upwards march in late 2002 or 2003. This is exactly what happened.
2. The DJIA would have a snapback to 13,000 to 14,000 and the FTSE to 6,000 to 7,000 by 2004, but delayed possibly by wars/politics/terrorism/scandals. This is exactly what happened. The full snapback was delayed for the reasons described, but the DJIA has closed over 14,100 and the FTSE over 6,700.
3. The DJIA returns from 2003 to 2012 would average a historically long-term normal of 7% to 8%. So far, with the delayed full snapback for the reasons described, DJIA actual returns have averaged a more modest 5.8%, as would be expected.
4. Interest rates would increase from 2003 onwards. This is exactly what has happened. --author

From the Publisher

If there ever was a book that should be read by the entire adult population, this is it. The events described in The Great Bust Ahead will be the greatest story of the first quarter of the twenty-first century, if not the century. All of our lives are going to be dramatically affected beginning in just a few years from now. The depression of epic proportions that is predicted has THIRTY MILLION unemployed and stock market losses of over eighteen TRILLION dollars. The book leaves you with the conviction that for the first time you understand what the economy is all about. Everything presented in the book is so factual, so unchallengeable, it is hard to know what to say other than "go read it" and then start preparing as best you can.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Vorago-US; First, 1st printing edition (November 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159196153X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591961536
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,412,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. M. Armstrong on January 15, 2007
This book, written specifically for citizens of the US and the UK, is one of the most sobering I have ever read. To the layman at least, it appears to be argued logically enough, the basic idea being that in the western economies the spending of individuals constitute the lion's share of GDP. In the next few years some 100m baby boomers in the US will start to leave the highest spending age group (45-54). As people nearing retirement tend to reduce their spending and start to withdraw their savings from more risky investments such as the stock market, this will cause a depression even deeper than the 1930s and stock markets to dive. The book forecasts that some 30m may become unemployed in the US alone. (A similar picture emerges in Japan though the age band is lower.) Almost every major stock market move in the last century or so can be accounted for by such demographics. These apocalyptic events are forecast to happen any time from 2009-2013 and it is recommended people be out of the stock markets by 2010 at the latest. The depression may last to the mid 2020s.

I just wonder how globalisation may affect the situation, both in terms of increased exposure of western companies to Asian markets and the vast numbers of increasingly wealthy Asian middle class who might invest some of their spare cash (and there may be an awful lot of it) in foreign markets. It must have been somewhat difficult for western individuals to invest directly in Asian markets, and vice versa, even in 1987 but in 1929 it must have been all but impossible.

I cannot agree either with some of the steps recommended to protect oneself either. If currencies weaken then treasury bonds may not quite be the saviour they are portrayed.
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Mr. Arnold's title attracted my attention because I, like many financial observers, do see a depression on the horizon. His use of the 45-54 year old baby boomer demographic is interesting and echos certain ideas of Elliott Wave Theory and Socionomics.

The author's conclusions, formed using a relationship between U.S. population growth and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, support a coming financial crisis of tsunami proportions, but his optimism that things will not erupt until the beginning of the next decade and his investment recommendations for the immediate future are arguable.

A purchaser of this hour-long read would be advised to immerse himself in Robert Prechter's, Conquer the Crash and Fiancial Reckoning Day by Bonner and Wiggin. These books better illustrate the world as it is, bringing together the influence of world money supplies, gold, interest rates, world politics and, very importantly, social mood.

Where Daniel Arnold sees the correlation of the population and the Dow Jones, Prechter documents the predictive value of the Dow in measuring social mood. I would allow that Mr. Arnold has accurately pegged the 45-54 year olds as the alpha group that leads the population's mood, or herd mentality, as a result of its purchasing and investing power.

Read this book. Look at the charts. Just don't make any immediate investment decisions without considering that our world is on the verge of a massive "asset devaluation" that will transcend stocks, bonds, real estate, and for a time, precious metals. The looming possibility of a world-wide liquidity crisis triggering liquidation of assets to cover the costs of mounting debt, should be of greater concern.
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3 Comments 68 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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The author is actually bullish on the markets from 2003-2011. He then foresees a massive crash bigger and longer than what we experienced in the 1930s, as the demographic makeup of the West also collapses.

But like so many prognosticators, this one makes a big, tenuous assumption: that investors have NOT priced in the alleged precipitating event (demographics) and won't until it's too late. It could be that the market already knows that our coming demographic decline and huge debt load will eventually constrain stock market returns. That information might be discounted in current and future stock prices, and they therefore may never reach the heights the author forecasts they will before the Great Bust ensues.

While I do expect a major bust within the next decade, it may not be as severe as the author thinks, precisely because people will be anticipating the trends he lays out. In other words, while the Dow does seem likely to crash to 5,000, it may be from a top of around 15,000 rather than 30,000. And instead of crashing after the precise demographic top in 2012, it might begin crashing much earlier, as our huge debts prematurely "age" the population and hamper our spending power, and investors begin to see the writing on the wall. (I plan on turning bearish in 2008, when the first wave of Baby Boomers begin to retire.)

You'd be taking a huge gamble by piling in to stocks now and planning to time your exit point based on this book or your expectation of a "bubble boom" to occur within some other author's time-frame. If the stock market will ultimately be much lower than it is now, you'd be wise to build cash and accumulate gold coins now. If you're more aggressive-minded and long-term oriented, use major market rallies as opportunities to ease your way into bear funds.
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