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The Great Depression Ahead: How to Prosper in the Crash Following the Greatest Boom in History Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 6, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Dent, former strategic consultant at Bain & Company, outlines the features of what he predicts will be the next Great Depression. The author argues that demographic trends were the greatest drivers of our economy, along with radical new technologies, working together to follow a four-stage life cycle of innovation, growth, shakeout, and maturity. While Dent's doomsday predictions are depressing, his theories are persuasive and elaborated in meticulous descriptions of historic economic trends and cycles. The author's candor is refreshing, especially when he discusses how equity investments experience a wide variety of returns, including substantial losses or extraordinary gains—and that the financial press has failed to remind the public of this fact. The book offers welcome portfolio allocation strategies during an economic crisis, as well as the bad news that the worst of the housing downturn will occur between 2010 and 2013. Along with domestic forecasts, Dent addresses terrorism's economic roots and the growth of megacities in South and East Asia with characteristic thoroughness. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Dent, author and consultant, predicts the economy is moving toward a major depression, with the deflation of bubbles in stocks, real estate, and commodities between mid- to late 2009 and mid- to late 2012, and it could last for a decade or more. Rather than offering only a gloomy outlook, Dent presents a road map for the difficult times ahead, suggesting cash and money-market investments initially and then highest quality U.S. Treasury, municipal, and corporate bonds and that same quality of bonds in stable Asian and European economies. When assets eventually fall in value, there will be unprecedented buying opportunities for those who are “lean and mean.” Theories and forecasts abound in the financial turmoil facing the U.S. and global markets in late 2008, and everyone may not agree with Dent. However, he makes a compelling case for his predictions and this is an excellent book to challenge a broad range of library patrons. --Mary Whaley
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Review: Wms (Jack R. Williams)
Mr. Dent opened our eyes to the compelling affect of demographics on the market. His earlier best seller, `The Great Boom Ahead' plotted the future for us based on demographics. This predicted a number of events and tendencies that subsequently occurred. These not only included the market, but the affect on our school system, the weakening dollar, etc. It similarly plotted many of the economic aspects of the future using his demographic assumptions and tools. The results were very informative, establishing him in my mind as a great developer of economic tools.
In this book, `The Great Depression Ahead', he applies the same processes to the present where debt and disaster appear imminent. However, I believe the present since 1980 is an anomalous greed debacle period that will be corrected. This is a matter of faith on my part that will lead us into a brighter future. Mr. Dent is more pessimistic, depending on demographics and various waves and cycles.
This is a good read. He is a gifted writer with a vivid imagination. I bought the book and recommend it to others.
A similar book is 'Did Greed Kill Capitalism'. Check it out.
While I do have some criticism of certain cycle theories in Dent's book (that span centuries)...overall he helps to illuminate how it makes more sense to believe in a cyclical perspective of time as opposed to a linear viewpoint. In fact, this book does a great job of showing the reader where to get additional information on generational theories by referencing the work of William Strauss and Neil Howe.
As you read other comments on Amazon no doubt there is a lot of arrows thrown Dent's way because the Dow didn't get higher in 2008...but Dent has been picking the correct trends based on his demographic studies for a long, long time. Moreover, Dent first called for a Depression after the boom in one of his books published in the early 90s. My point is the book will help the reader to identify possible scenarios on what may be about to happen in the next few years...and few decades based on demographic facts - the Baby Boomers are aging and facing retirement - there's no way around that. I don't care so much if his prediction on the Dow is correct at 3,800...but the overall direction of the market and the economy is more important to me as I try to allocate investment dollars and asset purchase decisions.
As with all cycles, Dent posits that this to shall pass and perhaps my children will enjoy the next wave of prosperity that a boom generates and that an economy needs to facilitate maximum economic experimentation to innovate, adapt, and grow. Dent shows why booms and busts are necessary and "good" for our capitalistic economy. Read this book to have a better understanding of why these things are happening...and what you might expect to see.
I figure if he's right, I'm in good shape, if he's wrong, I'm still in good shape. When you read that a upcoming winter for the economy could go until 2023 it makes you listen...scary just how correct he has been on many things over the years I've been watching him. Talks of the dow at 5500 or lower by end of 2012...ugh...better to have a plan then none, gives a lot of guidance on the direction and magnitude of what is going on. A good read.
When you make the number of bold calls that are in this book, there is no possible way that you can get even most of them right. But its fun(scary type of fun) to read anyway.
I know a lot of people are having an impossible time getting over the Dow 40,000 debacle from the early part of the decade, and I can certainly appreciate that, but Dent openly addresses that issue and does a decent job of explaining why he was so wrong.
I am fairly confident that much of what Dent presents in this book is founded on solid logic so I think its worth reading. I like his investment strategy chapter and you gotta give anyone who's willing to provide a FORWARD LOOKING chart on the DJIA a little lee way.
I'll tell you one thing, if the Dow comes close to hitting 11,000 by May or June we better all read this book again.