- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (February 9, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 047031043X
- ISBN-13: 978-0470310434
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,857,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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When Giants Fall: An Economic Roadmap for the End of the American Era 1st Edition
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Panzner is a 25-year veteran of the global stock, bond, and currency markets and has worked for leading financial companies such as HSBC and JPMorgan Chase. He sees the current financial crisis as a watershed event in our nation’s history that will lead to unprecedented, possibly devastating changes in our economy and lifestyle. Just as other empires have done in the past, he asserts, we have stretched ourselves too thin both militarily and economically, and we are rapidly running out of the resources and global goodwill that will sustain our dominance. Our massive national deficit means we are at the mercy of foreign interests such as China, which holds a large proportion of our bonds, while enormous government bailout and “stimulus” spending programs create black holes of debt that threaten to create hyperinflation. Thankfully, Panzner lays out a road map to navigate these turbulent waters, and he argues convincingly that following his plan will help individuals to maintain wealth and security during the troubled times ahead. Recommended for all those trying to make sense of the economy. --David Siegfried
From the Inside Flap
Once the embodiment of prosperity, the United States now finds itself in a precarious position. With its financial system in shambles and global standing on the wane, many believe we are witnessing the end of the American era. In When Giants Fall, author Michael Panzner puts the coming age of post-American dominance in perspective, and addresses the far-reaching effects it will have on our lives, as well as the economic opportunities that will arise from it.
With this timely guide, Panzner describes how widespread economic changes—the product of growing conflict and wars, shortages, logistical disruptions, and a breakdown of the established political and monetary order—will impact businesses as well as investors, and discusses why individuals will be forced to rethink livelihoods, lifestyles, and living arrangements. He makes the case that for many people this will be nothing short of a modern Dark Ages, where each day brings fresh anxieties, unfamiliar risks, and a sense of foreboding.
However, for those enlightened few who understand what is really going on and what will likely happen next, the chaotic years ahead may well represent a singular opportunity—a time when you can realize goals you never thought possible and achieve a level of wealth and security that leaves you head-and-shoulders above everyone else. But to do this, you will have to understand how things got to where they are today and, more importantly, how they will play out in the future. When Giants Fall answers these and many other essential questions. From an examination of key economic, political, geopolitical, and social issues to the realities of earning a living, protecting and preserving wealth, running a business, and looking after loved ones, this practical guide provides a straightforward and comprehensive game plan for surviving—and thriving—in the uniquely unsettling years ahead.
The road ahead will be fraught with challenges that will be impossible for anyone to ignore or avoid—regardless of their current circumstances. But if you understand what's going on, set out a viable plan, and remain focused, you can get through these troubled times unscathed. Engaging and informative, When Giants Fall offers cutting-edge strategies and much-needed direction that will allow you to achieve financial security and stability in an increasingly uncertain and dangerous world.
Top customer reviews
going to do any good. Our mainstream media and our national government needs a wake up call. Michael gives everyone who reads this book a chance to get ahead of the reality that faces our nation today. Michael is not my relative nor have I ever met him so plese know that this one is from the heart for a nation that is struggling. Listen well to Mr. Panzer's sincere book.
To support the inevitability of this dire future, Panzer cites Malthus, Paul Kennedy's book "The Rise and Fall of Great Powers," various fairly current news accounts, and less frequently, historic events. However, his rather strident argument of inevitable decline and collapse appears conclusory at best, and a critic might argue that the book itself represents a cynical attempt to capitalize upon the prevalent dour sentiments concerning the economy and America's position in the world.
Moreover, at times the tone of the book risks falling into condescending tongue clucking of the elite who, of course, saw this coming and are shocked, shocked, that we could ever allow this to happen. Take this quote from page 9, drawing parallels between the US and Rome as it was collapsing: "Instead of bread lines and circuses, we have NASCAR, video games and reality TV." 45 years ago, many Americans may have told you how the US was collapsing because of its softness in the face of communism, the Beatles, etc.
On the plus side, Panzner is well read, and he recounts a string of recent and several more remote historical events in great detail. My issue is not that he cites Malthus and Kennedy - it's that he comes up with quite specific predictions based upon a smattering of self-selected news and historical accounts. While the dire future he predicts may come into being, I'm not sure I agree that it WILL come to pass.
A second issue I take with this book is that it promises "cutting edge strategies and much needed direction that will allow you to achieve financial security and stability in an increasingly uncertain and dangerous world." I guess I missed this section other than some advice to invest in commodity producers. Moreover, given that the book essentially predicts a real-live "Road Warrior" world, I am skeptical whether any book could provide such "cutting edge" strategies, unless you consider building a bomb shelter and preparing for a survivalist future to be worthwhile.
On the plus side, the book is a fairly easy read, and the author has clearly spent much time combing the news media for information that appears to support his conclusions. Anyone wishing for a refresher about various international mishaps, primarily of the US, will find this book enjoyable.
Personally, I prefer Paul Kennedy's book "The Rise and Fall of Great Powers," which is truly a landmark book about the dangers of imperial over-reach. Another interesting, although not necessarily persuasive, read is Dent's "The Great Depression Ahead," which is distinguishable from "When Giants Fall" by its narrow focus upon demographics and provision of a bit more tangible financial planning advice.
In summary, I can't say that Panzner is wrong - his projections for the future might well be right. That being said, his book purports to predict the future with a certainty that does not appear supported by the data provided (keep in mind that the actual text of this book is slightly less than 190 pages, exclusive of the extensive bibliography). It is possible that Panzner sought to keep the book "readable," and hence cut down on the detail, but in this regard, I would have preferred to have more information supporting Panzner's conclusions, and some more hints about how to survive the collapse we are supposedly about to face.
It looks like Panzner assembled a lot of liberal loonie literature, grabbed a catchline, then expanded with a paragraph or two. The contradictions are astounding: Big cities will gain from the energy crisis and mass unemployment; big cities will fall because of their high energy demand, crime and social unrest.
This is a roadmap all right - of a cul-de-sac. Anyone who takes any of this baloney seriously should be suicidal by the third chapter.
Okay, the author made a lucky guess in his previous book, but even a five year-old knows that every joyride comes to an end. Doom and gloom sells. Yes, the markets are in turmoil. The world economy is changing. But the United States is still the only game in town because it's the only reliable place to put your money. In one his most most blatant errors, Panzner says that other countries can't wait to get back at the U.S. for our arrogance and free-spending ways. On the next page he cries about how foreigners are flocking here to buy companies and real estate. Hey, get a clue! Do you buy houses and then burn them down?!