What’s Inside

When the original edition of Financial Reckoning Day was published early in this decade, many felt that maverick financial writers William Bonner and Addison Wiggin were overly critical of the United States’ increasing debt and unfair in their foreshadowing of economic catastrophe. Fast-forward to 2009, and much of what the authors predicted has come true—high unemployment rates, record-setting foreclosures and bankruptcies, as well as the near global collapse of financial institutions once thought to be so secure.

With Financial Reckoning Day Fallout, Bonner and Wiggin return to reveal even more down-to-earth wisdom and help you chart your own financial destiny in the precarious investing climate of today. Expanding upon the ideas they put forth before the current global downturn arrived, the authors discuss what’s behind it all, what’s in store, and what you can do to safeguard your investments.

Written in conjunction with the tenth anniversary of the authors’ popular financial newsletter—The Daily Reckoning (www.dailyreckoning.com)—this fully updated guide effectively explains that the hazards of democratic consumer capitalism and the financial follies of history are not a thing of the past, but an ongoing issue with no end in sight. Along the way, it also explores what’s really going on beneath the surface and outlines the steps you need to take to survive the growing global depression. Topics touched upon throughout these pages include:

  • How the current economic downturn relates to worldwide events from a historical perspective
  • Why high-spending, high-borrowing consumerism “leveraged” the U.S. economy and what you might expect from the global depression ahead
  • What the legacy of Fed chief Alan Greenspan “ought” to be
  • Why Japan’s “miracle economy” unexpectedly collapsed and what this example means for us now

Honest and accurate, Financial Reckoning Day Fallout offers you the best chance to protect your assets and grow your portfolio in these difficult financial times.

Contents

Foreword

Introduction

Chapter 1: The Gildered Age

Chapter 2: Progress, Perfectibility, and the End of History

Chapter 3: John Law and the Origins of a Bad Idea

Chapter 4: The Era of Crowds

Chapter 5: Turning Japanese

Chapter 6: The Fabulous Destiny of Alan Greenspan

Chapter 7: Reckoning Day: The Deleveraging of America

Chapter 8: The Hard Math of Demogrpahy

Chapter 9: Moral Hazards

Excerpt from the Introduction

It had all seemed so logical, obvious, and agreeable in the last five years of the 20th century. Stocks went up year after year. The Cold War had been won. There was a new Information Age making everything and everybody so much smarter—and richer, too. The world was a happy place and Americans were its happiest people. U.S. consumer capitalism was the envy of all mankind. The United States guaranteed the peace and freedom of the entire species, if not with goodness, intelligence, and foresight—at least with its military arsenal, which could blow any adversary to kingdom come. People believed that Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History had indeed arrived, for it scarcely seemed possible that there could be any major improvement.

But “it’s a funny old world,” as Maggie Thatcher once remarked. She might have meant “funny” in the sense that it is more amusing; more likely, she meant that it is peculiar. In both senses, she was right. What makes the world funny is that it refuses to cooperate; it seldom dose what people want or expect it to do. In fact, it often does the exact opposite.