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When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Stephen D. King
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4. März 2014
The Western world has experienced extraordinary economic progress throughout the last six decades, a prosperous period so extended that continuous economic growth has come to seem normal. But such an era of continuously rising living standards is an historical anomaly, economist Stephen D. King warns, and the current stagnation of Western economies threatens to reach crisis proportions in the not-so-distant future. Praised for the "dose of realism" he provided in his book Losing Control, King follows up in this volume with a plain-spoken assessment of where the West stands today. It's not just the end of an age of affluence, he shows. We have made promises to ourselves that are only achievable through ongoing economic expansion. The future benefits we expect - pensions, healthcare and social security, for example - may be larger than tomorrow's resources. And if we reach that point, which promises will be broken and who will lose out? The lessons of history offer compelling evidence that political and social upheaval are often born of economic stagnation. King addresses these lessons with a multifaceted plan that involves painful - but necessary - steps toward a stable and just economic future.

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When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence + The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die
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  • Taschenbuch: 287 Seiten
  • Verlag: Yale Univ Pr; Auflage: Reprint (4. März 2014)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0300205236
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300205237
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 19,6 x 13 x 2,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.7 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 276.248 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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"'For many, the financial crisis is a temporary interruption in the rise of western prosperity that is due to easily remedied policy mistakes. The Keynesians believe this, as do anti-Keynesians on the free-market right. King argues, instead, that the future is not what it used to be. We have made promises to ourselves we cannot afford to keep. The argument is important.' (Martin Wolf, Financial Times) 'Well-written, thoughtful and highly convincing... King's clear-eyed assessment of the problems ahead makes the book essential reading.' (The Economist) 'The conclusions are clear and compelling... The book should appeal to a wider audience than economists. The author is a newspaper columnist as well as a professional economist, and it shows in the crisp and easy style of his prose. I recommend it heartily.' (Erik Britton, Management Today) 'an interesting and well-written book' (Paul Ormerod, City AM) 'The book is jammed full of history and is highly readable - being rich in the economic history that he argues was lacking in pre-crisis economic analysis. It is accompanied by some wonderful anecdotes and provides a good mix of economics and politics in addition to its historical detail.' (George Buckley, Financial World) 'Overall, as Charles Moore notes in The Daily Telegraph, 'it's alarmingly difficult to disagree' with this book.' (Matthew Partridge, Money Week)"

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Stephen D. King is Group Chief Economist and Global Head of Economics and Asset Allocation research at HSBC. He lives in London.

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Sehr interessantes Buch 14. April 2014
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Wer sich fragt, wie das eigentlich noch alles funktioniert mit den Unmengen Schulden und dem Geld, der ist hier gut beraten. Wird leicht und verständlich erklärt, und manche Zusammenhänge, die einem beim großen Überblick fehlen, erklärt. Kann ich jedem empfehlen, der mehr von der heutigen Situation verstehen will.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Zum Nachdenken 31. Januar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Ich habe das Buch aufgrund einer Empfehlung im Economist gekauft. Zusammengefasst ist die Botschaft ziemlich ernüchternd. Die westliche Welt, speziell die zweite Nachkriegsgeneration, ging davon aus, dass alles immer besser und größer wird. Dass die Wirtschaft in Europa massiv weiterwächst und sich der Wohlstand mehrt. Dieses Buch stellt die Möglichkeit in den Raum, dass dem nicht so sein könnte und liefert zahlreiche Begründungen dafür.

Das Buch ist zudem flüssig geschrieben und auch ohne akademischen Abschluss in Wirtschaft gut zu lesen.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen When the Money Runs Out 1. Juni 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Gute Zusammenfassung der wirtschaftlichen Lage und deren Folgen in den nächsten Jahren. Absolut lesenswert auch wenn man vieles davon schon gekannt ist
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 von 5 Sternen  30 Rezensionen
41 von 42 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Dose of Reality - 17. Juni 2013
Von Loyd E. Eskildson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The baby boomer generation has enjoyed extraordinary increases in living standards. Over the last decade, however, per capita incomes have risen little and the West is in danger of entering its second 'lost decade,' no longer able to view recessions and stagnation as annoying interruptions but rather a way of life. Wages are being squeezed by competition from emerging superpowers and their demand for a big share of scare resources is also forcing us to pay more for food and energy. In the 1990s it looked as though new technology would bring continued economic expansion, but that bubble burst in 2000. Western policy-makers than cut taxes, dropped interest rates, and boosted public spending - creating the subprime crisis in 2007 and too much money pouring into housing and financial services instead of productive investment. Growth rates of old are now a distant memory, and economic activity is between 7 - 15% lower than forecast before the 'Great Recession.' Meanwhile, protagonists on both sides of the 'stimulus vs. austerity' debate still believe that appropriate macroeconomic policies will deliver a return to the growth rates of old.

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. Meanwhile, we arrogantly ignore Japan's persistent economic stagnation, arguing it somehow is a special case - reality, the U.S. and Japan are remarkably similar, with private companies not wanting to invest, a stressed/aging population not wanting to spend, and government being pressured to spend more. The U.S. has become dependent on serial bailouts, beginning with those promulgated by Alan Greenspan.

Author King believes the West has lost the ability to grow, and that without that growth, social and political strains will worsen.
34 von 36 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen How to Overcome the Feared End of Western Affluence 23. Juni 2013
Von Serge J. Van Steenkiste - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Stephen King convincingly demonstrates that the once successful economies can suddenly and unexpectedly decelerate and then decline. The financial, political, and social ramifications of this reversal of fortune can be profound. Think for example about Argentina and Japan (pp. 13-26; 39; 135; 161). What has been observed in these two countries for decades could be a foreboding of what could happen in much of the Western industrialized world.

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. Their collective underperformance is especially striking compared to the performance of their Asian counterparts in the aftermath of the late 1990s Asian crisis (pp. 28-34; 58; 67; 192-204; 209).

Like too many of their Western alter egos, the U.S. central bankers alongside politicians suffer from what Mr. King calls a collective delusional `optimism bias' (p. 89). Year after year, they claim they have unlocked the secrets of future economic success, but ultimately fail to deliver on their forecasts. Quantitative easing and other associated macroeconomic quick fixes redistribute the spoils of past economic success and failure rather than kick start a real recovery (pp. 67-68; 71-77; 79-84; 89-90; 115; 118-120; 181; 218).

Furthermore, these quick fixes undermine the trust that people have to have in each other and their public and private institutions for powering economic growth (pp. 147; 149). As trust in institutions shrinks, the gap between our entitlements and our new, stagnant economic reality is widening under the pressure of income inequality, the ageing of the population, and the declining trust between (foreign) creditors and debtors (pp. 54; 158-177; 217-221; 243-245).

Like most Western countries, the U.S. has not shown a willingness to accept a temporary, sudden loss in living standards as an inevitable consequence of the financial crisis of 2007-2008. An obvious sense of entitlement stands in the way between this reduction in living standards and a subsequent real recovery (pp. 178; 204). Neither austerity nor stimulus can solve this conundrum without much hard work and considerable self-sacrifice (pp. 67; 205-206; 211; 220; 238).

The widespread lack of trust and the sub-par economic growth that most of the Western industrialized world is experiencing, have far-reaching consequences:

1) Entrepreneurial spirit evaporates, replaced by a battle for the spoils driven by a culture of entitlement that pervades the public and private sectors, healthcare, or the elderly;
2) Infrastructure projects get further slashed because they benefit future rather than current voters;
3) In the absence of a concomitant rise in prosperity, reforms are too often perceived as a zero-sum game and therefore opposed;
4) Lack of sustained economic growth leads to ever-increasing social fracturing, resulting in more racism, sexism, and other undesirable `-isms' (pp. 40-43; 48; 50; 149; 181; 226-229).

Mr. King makes a number of recommendations to tackle the structural problems that threaten all our economic futures:

1) Force rating agencies to issue a judgment on not only those who issue debt, but also those who acquire it;
2) Vote for a fiscal union that would go hand in hand with a monetary union in the Eurozone;
3) Establish a government's process that would automatically reduce the deficit year by year with an automatic suspension in years of economic contraction. The Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act of 1985 in the U.S. accomplished it during the late 1980s and early 1990s;
4) Introduce a new social contract between the generations. This compact means continued support for education, infrastructure, and children's health, as well as a serious reduction in public spending elsewhere, including a substantial reduction in, say, defense spending and / or social benefits;
5) Implement a monetary policy that focuses on nominal GDP targeting, i.e., a policy that focuses on the rate of growth of nominal activity, not on stabilizing the inflation rate;
6) Encourage labor and capital mobility;
7) Impose macro-prudential rules on banks, treat national branches of international banks as subsidiaries, and stop the cross-subsidization of services;
8) Encourage education about the financial world (pp. 234-235; 237-239; 242; 244-245; 247-250; 256-259).

In summary, Mr. King warns his readers that the current malaise is not a cyclical dip, but a structural challenge that requires a drastic rethinking about our future.
19 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A fine study of the consequences of Western growth slowing down 1. Juli 2013
Von sien - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
When the Money Runs Out (2013) by Stephen D. King looks at the dull horror of possible lower growth rates and the implications for the West. This Stephen King is the Group Chief Economist at HSBC but he has written a book that is really scary. The book looks at how the recovery from the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) has been slow enough to suggest that developed world growth rates are going to be substantially lower than those of the period between 1945 and 2000. He argues that this will lead to a crisis of sovereign insolvency as entitlement spending will not be affordable and that the financial and monetary games that are being played are starting to hurt more than help.
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.
King spends the next chapters looking at financial and monetary attempts to fix stagnating economies. He looks at the depression and the responses to it and suggests that Keynesian and monetary manipulation are a bit like drugs, useful for some relief but dangerous when they become to be relied on.
King describes three schisms, income inequality, aging and distrust between creditors and debtors that will affect the ability of economies to grow. He goes further and suggests that economic dissatisfaction will lead to radical politics such as the rise of the far right in Greece. King describes a chaotic dystopia that could result if a slowdown in growth is handled poorly.
Finally King gives recommendations for how to avoid dystopia; he wants a central financial authority in the Eurozone, reductions in government spending, coming up with ways of handling generational conflict and calls for a new monetary framework to be constructed.
The book is dense and full of senior economist's observations of historical crises and their impacts. There is also extensive exposition of major economists' responses to them with a lot of quotation. It would be considerable improved with more graphical exposition of historical trends. King also does not explore multiple solutions to the problems he sees and attempts to unify the problems of Japan, the US and Europe that perhaps have critical differences mean that the responses should be different.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Some ideas that haven't been fleshed out elsewhere 31. Januar 2014
Von Laocoon143 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
King's discussion of the role of trust as it underlies the economy and social interaction is timely and important, not much discussed generally in conjunction with economics and nice to see here. His discussion of the three schisms currently facing western economies is apropos and worrisome as a perfect storm might arise. There are major shortcomings in this book, however. His historical examples are helpful but limited, as is the scope of his bibliography limited to conventional contemporary sources. His prescriptions are also limited. Overall, I wish he had done his own research, rather than relying on prevailing opinion from a limited number of already well-known economists, and fleshed out his own ideas more forcefully. As a result, this book reads more like another polemic than the substantive contribution to moving forward that it otherwise could have been.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Target Economic Growth 15. Dezember 2013
Von William A. Thayer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Why 5 stars?
1. He correctly says that western governments are living above their means. When this "borrowing from the future" ends, there will be a painful adjustment downward.
2. He correctly says that the true solution is not inflation targeting, debt targeting or deficit targeting but rather GROWTH TARGETING.

Another great 5 star observation
He says that the study of economics is too focussed on regression analysis, stochastic processes etc. and should put more emphasis on "economic history". In fact, it should be more than economic history as I explain below.

5 star discussion
He talks about Quantitative Easing, inflation and deflation and cites many historical cases (I agree with most but not all of his analysis, but it is so much better than the usual books).

What he misses
1. What actually causes growth.
He obviously doesn't understand what causes economic growth. Here are three common sources of economic growth: (1) exploiting a commodity like oil (example: Norway is rich because of its oil), (2) making "more" of essentially the same thing (example: China has sucked in most of the world's textile production with its Special Economic Zones) and (3) innovation (example: Britain's tremendous 19th century growth due to the Industrial Revolution). For the Eurozone and US, which is the most focus of his book, the key is item (3) innovation. The West is not growing in the 21st century like it did in the 20th century because it is not innovating (the case of the EZ) or not innovating enough (the US). What are examples of innovation. After reading about 300 books on economic history and innovation, I will list the two best:

"Creating the Twentieth Century" by Vaclav Smil
"Transforming the Twentieth Century" by Vaclav Smil

Underlying most economic growth in the West is technical innovation. Mr. King, with his limited training as an economist, doesn't have this technical side so he is mystified by the lack of good return investments. Well, the truth is that you have to "make your luck like Thomas Edison", and, if you are lazy (applies mostly to the EZ but to the US as well), you come up with lackluster economic performance.

2. How the banks (HSBC too) have corrupted true banking
The business plan of past banks (for the most part) was to lend to the most promising economic projects (i.e., allocate capital wisely for the best return). However, most of the large banks have had "lenders" replaced by "traders". Thus "lending" is not what is important. Making that quick profit is. This has led to Casino Banking. The most egregious example of this is the absurd $600 Trillion of Derivatives (the word Derivative is mentioned only once in his book). Let me refer you to my Youtube.com video: "Euro Crisis Video 3 Derivatives. After a mere $2 Tril of Mortgage Derivatives crashed the world's economy in 2008, one would think that a bank economist might be able to figure this out (but then again, he might state the truth about derivatives and get fired). Synthetic Derivatives do not create economic growth. They are simply gambling.
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