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am 23. März 2012
Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown
In 2008, the world was struck by a devastating financial crisis, a crisis that most financial analysts and economists did not correctly predict or even expect. For the authors of the book Aftershock the financial collapse was not a surprise at all. They had predicted the meltdown in two captivating publications on the development of the US and world economy. Their prophetic estimates published prior to the crisis had come true. In their new revised and updated book, Aftershock - Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown, the authors differentiate themselves from other financial and economic analysts and advisors by following the same logic that led to their extraordinary accurate predictions in 2006 on the "evolving world economy". It is their laser like focus on the evolving nature of economies that enables them to recognize and analyze what the true underlying economic drivers of a single or interlinked economy are. This focus allows the authors to neglect unquestioned assumptions on how economies work and develop. The bold statements of the book Aftershock are thus a continuation of the same arguments submitted in their first book, Americas Bubble Economy, that successfully proved the authors to be true just two years after publishing.
The global financial meltdown that began with the bursting of four economic bubbles (real estate, stock market, private debt, and discretionary spending) is divided into two distinct phases: the first starting in 2008, and the second that is still to come. As such, the examination of the global economic collapse is characterized as a unique, historically incomparable meltdown that has just begun and that will continue to develop thus resulting in an even more disastrous aftershock. The aftershock, according to the authors, will be the result of the rapid deflation of two further bubbles: the dollar, and the government debt bubble.
The book begins by recapitulating the events before, during, and after the 2008 and 2009 financial crisis. The authors support each of their arguments with their economic understanding and association of economic events. They argue that the worldwide economic success of the past three decades is a result of multiple conjoined economic bubbles further referring to their latest predictions that the abrupt deflation of those bubbles were and will be inevitable. Four of the bubbles have already popped in 2008 and 2009, as predicted previously by the authors, giving them an immense amount of credibility. After reading the first part of the book, one might ask themselves the ultimate question: Based on the authors predictions, is it possible to protect or even grow assets in the future?
The protection of private assets is the key recommendation by the writers; however, there are other possible investment opportunities, described in detail in the book, which utilizes a well-balanced risk and prospect approach. These opportunities include shorting stocks using LEAPS or bear funds, buying foreign currency, shorting fixed-rate bonds using ETFs, or investing in gold. The authors also speculate on how jobs, careers, and businesses will experience profound change as the inevitable decay of national and global economies change the world. The "old age" is thus condemned to become a statue of the past and with it seemingly unimpeachable economic attitudes e.g., "house prices always go up and thus represent guaranteed profit."
The book itself is not an academic book and the authors dedicate the last chapter to explaining how they classify their views in the context of an overwhelming monotone discussion that identify cycles (as done by academia) rather than the evolution of the global economy. This is possibly one reason as to why the authors questioning of academia status quo appears, at times, to become a sport without trimming. At some point, the reader gets the impression that the justification for confronting and criticizing the entire scientific world of economists is the core purpose of the book. The accurate predictions of the past serve as a heat shield and ammunition at the same time. An ongoing dissemination of examples where experts were wrong, or where readers did not believe the book's earlier predictions (and thus suffered a financial loss) are given throughout the text. At times, this generates an annoying impression of arrogance by the authors.
Overall, the authors' logical conclusions drawn from recent events and trends urge the reader to grapple with a rather doubtful economic system. These conclusions add to a discussion that has started to take place "after" the crisis of 2008 and 2009. The credibility of the book and its suggestions is, for the most part, increasing with time starting with the assertions made in 2006. Consequently, the best judgment on the quality of the author's theory will be given by the events in the future that will either confirm or disapprove the quality of the book. Until then, the book certainly offers a different viewpoint that challenges many public voices and thus enhances the perspective of any reader.
The book targets largely the American audience but delivers suggestions and advice applicable to the foreign investor as well. Though the authors explicitly distance themselves from Armageddon theories, the topic and predictions seem all too disastrous which creates an enormous amount of fear in the reader, especially if they are very active with private investments. This book distinguishes itself from other bearish finance books on today's market in that it serves the notion that only the authors know the truth and are so kind to present it to the exclusive audience of readers that bought the book. They will belong to the lucky ones that will "survive" the "aftershock".
The book gives the impression that not following the author's advice will lead to financial ruin. By stressing their previously correct predictions, it becomes a foreboding omen of disaster. The impression is that, after all, they were correct predictors once before. In all fairness, the authors do not purely neglect other opinions but continuously address them followed by profound arguments for a different opinion. The authors close with the take-away that all matters of doubt and questioning of their theory is the mistake of only ignorant economic cheerleaders who will be proven wrong once again...?!
am 27. August 2013
Das Buch überzeugt durch ein leicht verständliches English und ist auch als Einstieg in die Wirtschaftsökönomie geeignet, d.h. die Gedankengänge sind auch ohne jegliche fachliche Vorkenntnisse gut nachvollziehbar. Auch wenn man die Schlussfolgerungen der Authoren nicht unbedingt teilen möchte (da es unbequem ist, wie das mit Tatsachen oft der Fall ist), es ist aber in jedem Fall ein anregendes Buch. Mein einziger Minuspunkt gilt den meines Erachtens fehlplazierten Reklameeinlagen, mit dem die Authoren den Service der eigenen Konsultationsfirma mehrfach ins Blickfeld rücken. Andernseits muss sich das Buch ja auch irgendwie finanzieren, schon wegen der Wirtschaftslage.