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The economic tipping point for the United States is no longer theoretical. It is a reality today. The country has gone from the world's largest creditor to its greatest debtor; the value of the dollar is sinking; domestic manufacturing is winding down - and these trends don't seem to be slowing. Peter Schiff casts a sharp, clear-sighted eye on these factors and explains wh The economic tipping point for the United States is no longer theoretical. It is a reality today. The country has gone from the world's largest creditor to its greatest debtor; the value of the dollar is sinking; domestic manufacturing is winding down - and these trends don't seem to be slowing. Peter Schiff casts a sharp, clear-sighted eye on these factors and explains what the possible effects may be and how investors can protect themselves. For more than a decade, Schiff has not only observed the U.S. economy, but also helped his clients reposition their portfolios to reflect his outlook. What he sees is a nation facing an economic storm brought on by growing federal, personal, and corporate debt, too-little savings, a declining dollar, and lack of domestic manufacturing. Crash-Proof is an informed and informative warning of a looming period marked by sizeable tax hikes, loss of retirement benefits, double digit inflation, even - as happened recently in Argentina - the possible collapse of the middle class. However, Schiff does have a survival plan that can provide the protection that readers will need in the coming years.


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The economic tipping point for the United States is no longer theoretical. It is a reality today. The country has gone from the world's largest creditor to its greatest debtor; the value of the dollar is sinking; domestic manufacturing is winding down - and these trends don't seem to be slowing. Peter Schiff casts a sharp, clear-sighted eye on these factors and explains wh The economic tipping point for the United States is no longer theoretical. It is a reality today. The country has gone from the world's largest creditor to its greatest debtor; the value of the dollar is sinking; domestic manufacturing is winding down - and these trends don't seem to be slowing. Peter Schiff casts a sharp, clear-sighted eye on these factors and explains what the possible effects may be and how investors can protect themselves. For more than a decade, Schiff has not only observed the U.S. economy, but also helped his clients reposition their portfolios to reflect his outlook. What he sees is a nation facing an economic storm brought on by growing federal, personal, and corporate debt, too-little savings, a declining dollar, and lack of domestic manufacturing. Crash-Proof is an informed and informative warning of a looming period marked by sizeable tax hikes, loss of retirement benefits, double digit inflation, even - as happened recently in Argentina - the possible collapse of the middle class. However, Schiff does have a survival plan that can provide the protection that readers will need in the coming years.

30 review for Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse

  1. 4 out of 5

    David

    The first two thirds of Crash Proof is a persuasive argument that there are (in 2006) impending dark times for the United States. The last third is a set of explicit steps you can take to protect yourself (or even profit) if the first two thirds are right. Reading this book in 2011, it's even easier to be convinced that Schiff may be right because some of what he predicted has already happened. He was right about the housing market and he was right about gold prices. So far, his biggest prediction The first two thirds of Crash Proof is a persuasive argument that there are (in 2006) impending dark times for the United States. The last third is a set of explicit steps you can take to protect yourself (or even profit) if the first two thirds are right. Reading this book in 2011, it's even easier to be convinced that Schiff may be right because some of what he predicted has already happened. He was right about the housing market and he was right about gold prices. So far, his biggest prediction, the collapse of the dollar in comparison with the other currencies of the world, has not come to pass. But Schiff is not arguing that this collapse will come in a day or even a year. Just that it will someday happen because it is inevitable. As he says near the end of the book, "...there's an awful lot of money yet to be printed" and: There's simply no way future promises can be met except with a printing press. Our country's funded debt, astronomical as it is, represents the tip of an iceberg [...] Unfunded liabilities of the U.S. government are estimated to equal some $50 trillion, including not just the obvious Social Security, Medicare, and veteran's benefits, but all the government's loan guarantees as well. I didn't find ALL of Schiff's predictions to be 100% compelling. Some of his arguments seemed to imply a causation from correlation (gold and the Dow have had a 1:1 ratio twice in history, so they will do so again). But I found most of it to be convincing. Even better, he takes a "what if" tone throughout the book which I found much more enjoyable to read than the "we're all going to die!" style I was half expecting. I definitely feel more well educated about some of the most basic inflation calculation and reporting facts. For example, I had no idea that the "core inflation" figure which is often quoted in the media excludes items such as food and energy! A much more useful number for non-economists is the "headline inflation", which is based on the Consumer Price Index. The warning portion is good, but the advice portion of the book is the most valuable. Schiff is a strong advocate of using foreign investment to hedge against dollar trouble. He doesn't waste any opportunities to mention his own brokerage, Euro Pacific Capital, which does get a bit tiring. But at least he does mention some tips if you choose another company/method for purchasing foreign stocks, bonds, etc. In addition, he has some suggestions regarding the purchase of gold, owning real estate, and how much cash to keep around. He doesn't delve too much into Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome-style scenarios, so most of the advice won't steer you too wrong even if things turn out rosy. The foreign investment advice is what really made me sit up and pay attention. The power of investments made in foreign currencies is brilliantly summed up in this paragraph: ...For example, let's say you have $1 million in foreign stocks that now produce the U.S. equivalent of $80,000 a year in dividends. When you get your dividends, say they're in Swiss francs, your American broker converts them into U.S. dollars, which you can then withdraw with a debit card or a check. If the dollar declined by 90 percent, that $1 million becomes $10 million and the $80,000 in income becomes $800,000. You're getting checks that are 10 times as big. So you can go to the grocery store and pay $1,000 at the checkout counter for what used to cost $100. So there you go, if you're afraid of Wiemar-style hyperinflation, just get some conservative foreign stocks that pay decent dividends in several different stable currencies. Problem solved. I did catch some things which suggested the book had been rushed to the printers. There were some grammatical errors and occasionally a paragraph would repeat nearly word-for-word a paragraph on a previous page. These should have been caught in editing. There was also some investor lingo which could have used some explanation or translation for those of us who don't work in the field. Otherwise, Schiff is a capable writer who is very good at putting his ideas on paper. Reading this book is a breeze. Crash Proof isn't perfect, but then again it's not a treatise on economic theory. It needs only to be clear and instructive, which it is. UPDATE: After some research, I concluded that an attractive way to get into foreign markets is through low-fee foreign index funds. Vanguard's Total International Index, for example, has very low fees and will expose you to a lot of foreign stocks. It may not be exactly what Schiff would recommend, but it seems like a good alternative to his expensive services.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Rare five star rating. Peter's book gives you a blue print to protect and grow your wealth by moving your assets out of the dollar and into other foreign currencies. If you read just one book this year, make it this one, and then act! Peter Schiff predicted the failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the housing bubble bust, and the decrease in the value of the dollar. No, he's not a magician, he takes what a reasonably educated person can see: the 'fake' economic growth the US has experienced the Rare five star rating. Peter's book gives you a blue print to protect and grow your wealth by moving your assets out of the dollar and into other foreign currencies. If you read just one book this year, make it this one, and then act! Peter Schiff predicted the failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the housing bubble bust, and the decrease in the value of the dollar. No, he's not a magician, he takes what a reasonably educated person can see: the 'fake' economic growth the US has experienced the past 15 years was/is unsustainable. The incredible debt obligations the federal government has on its books will inevitably lead to the dollar losing much of its value should the Fed monetize this debt and begin printing money like crazy...which they have already begun (wonder where they got $700 billion for the bailout? That's right, printed money.) Despite all of this, you can protect your wealth basically by moving it out of dollar dominated assets; that's right, Asia beckons, as well as gold. Act now, and don't say you weren't warned.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I think Schiff makes some sense, but there's a lot of his logic that seems flawed to me. Some of the book seemed like just an advertisement for his firm. Somehow, I expected more than his recommended strategies: buy gold, buy foreign stocks with little US exposure, hold foreign currencies instead of the dollar, and don't incur debt to support personal consumption.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rick Bohm

    This guy messes up simple economics many times throughout the book, and even though he comes to the same conclusion as everyone else has by now (and much less eloquently) I can't say it was worth reading at all.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Peterson

    Started out OK. The Audio CD reader is not bad, but not great. I was a little confused by the trade deficit accounting discussion. Will need to listen to that section again. Great presentation on the all too common, but still pernicious, myth that "consumer spending drives the economy." He really slams that idea and for good reasons. He wrote this book in 2006 and it was first published in 2007, so he was very prescient (&/or very lucky on the timing) to see the gathering economic storm of the 2008 Started out OK. The Audio CD reader is not bad, but not great. I was a little confused by the trade deficit accounting discussion. Will need to listen to that section again. Great presentation on the all too common, but still pernicious, myth that "consumer spending drives the economy." He really slams that idea and for good reasons. He wrote this book in 2006 and it was first published in 2007, so he was very prescient (&/or very lucky on the timing) to see the gathering economic storm of the 2008 crisis. He thought the dollar would become worthless in the coming (2008?) crisis, but that didn't quite happen, so he was not 100% on the mark. But he did use Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle analysis to figure out that there were lots of mal-investments in the economy, a bubble boom, ready to pop. And, he did specifically call out housing as one of the big boom areas, so another kudo to him. He is inconsistent on descriptions (and definitions) of "inflation." In the beginning he used the common but misleading definition of "rising prices." But later he takes pains to explain how rising prices are the RESULT of inflation, which is really an increase in the money supply. He nails the really pernicious typical/common economic explanations of the "causes" of inflation: "wage price spiral," "cost push," "demand pull," etc. This mid-section part of the book is a good complement to Ron Paul's End the Fed and Tom Woods' Meltdown, since he describes the mainstream mis-definitions a bit differently than they do. Similarly he is not as careful about defining money as he should be. He's mostly right, but not quite, so open to some further errors and critiques. But I love the repeated ways that Schiff describes the importance of savings and capital formation for a better life and a sound future. He rages on the opposite, the idea that consumption and borrowing for consumption "helps the economy" or is a good way to behave personally. That is a very good thing for him to do, considering all the political and foolishly for-profit calls for people to get into debt or just to "spend." Some other early statements he makes that are not quite right (or worse), but then he later on clarifies and actually gets much more clearly right: "The info/service economy is a sham." "Service economy jobs pay less than manufacturing jobs." "Growth is [only] in the low end jobs in this sector... jobs like flipping burgers..." "There is nothing creative about it [the service economy or jobs]. I also am not too happy about his using typically anti-capitalist type words to describe perfectly reasonable jobs or sectors of the economy. For instance he said the financial industry "foisted" credit cards, car loans, etc. [consumer borrowing vehicles] onto the "unsuspecting" public. (Disc 1, track7). He also attacks "pro-forma" earnings accounting, not dealing with the legitimate reasons why Silicon Valley tech companies with different accounting needs than more conventional companies used them, and that the investors in such companies wanted that type of presentation of the financial data. (Disc 2) Why does he stoop to that level? That is very foolish in my view. Another goofy statement is when on Disc 4 he says "Asians did not notice the $ [they were accepting for their goods] were not backed by gold). Well, they may not have noticed it, but they did not EXPECT the dollar to be backed by gold either. And just after that he offhandedly characterized the US as a "wasteland" compared to Asia. Geez. He uses some sarcasm and ad hominem attacks on his enemies, such as calling them "idiotic." (Disc 1, track 7) This too is not persuasive or helpful in the long-run. He is better than Tom Woods' Meltdown by not stooping to these attacks as often) but not nearly as gentlemanly as Ron Paul in his End the Fed book. Small mistake - Disc 2, Track 5 he called Mises and Hayek "classical economists." Not quite right. Adam Smith, David Ricardo, J B Say, etc. are all classical economists. But Mises, Hayek and others fall in the "Austrian" or "Neo-Classical (not as well) or "Marginal Revolution" label all of whom come AFTER the great subjective theory of value and marginal revolution of Carl Menger (as well as William Stanley Jevons and Leon Walras) in 1871-3. I liked Schiff's exposing the scam of the "core CPI" calculation, which excludes food and energy and is designed to hide those two important sector increases in the general price level. But even more important is his clear communication of an understanding of price rises being the result of money increases (and other factors). I loved his advocacy of the importance of having liquidity in times of economic difficulty, as well as staying within one's means, primarily when it comes to personal finance (as opposed to business strategy, where one is actively seeking remuneration or investment returns.) Schiff's theme of the importance of saving and producing vs. spending and borrowing are grossly (and sadly) out of fashion these days. I'm very glad to hear the many different angles and repetitions of his statements on this crucial difference. His initial and too general opposition to (any) borrowing or (virtually any) debt came across as far too simplistic and contrary to a balanced view. But his later detailed clarifications of the difference between consumer borrowing and debt for the purpose of consuming vs. investment/business borrowing with purpose of producing profitable products (or services???) was well done and worthwhile. He even clarified the difference between what he meant by his characterization of the difference between the US as a "nation of borrowers" in the worst sense, now, since (he says) we are primarily borrowing for consumption, vs. the US during most of the 1800s when we were also a nation of borrowers, but it was for (mostly) productive investments, NOT for consumption purposes. He does a wonderful job of explaining some of the government policies which lead citizens to be so weak on savings and big on consuming. Social Security and the home owners tax deductions being two of the biggest. I think he talked about Student Debt too, which is also a HUGE problem. He made several arguments that consumer credit comes at the expense of other borrowing activities which he would prefer it go for - for capital used to produce more, better and cheaper things. He also explains his view that "homes and stock are NOT legitimate savings." (Disc 5) He may need even more explanations of these points to convince most folks. But his point that "anything that diminishes savings, diminishes our [the economy's] growth." is a great point. Ludwig Mises made this same point with his emphasis that savings is the key to capital formation and capital formation is the key to production growth, technological improvements, and then ultimately a better standard of living: consumption and a better civilization. Disc 5, Track 4 has a wonderful summary of Mr. Ponzi and his famous fraud scheme and then compares that to Social Security and how much bigger and more pernicious it is. Since I have been noting that very thing for many years, I of course applaud Schiff here. MANY more people need to know about Ponzi and this comparison. Another funky statement was on Disc 5 Track 6 - "the US is unique in it's dire economic circumstances." Well, perhaps. But there sure are many other countries out there now, and almost always, that have equally or far more "dire circumstances." Syria, Ukraine, Libya, Burma, N. Korea... the list goes on and on. He made more good observations about how China in particular, but other asian countries too, were increasing their economic freedom and hence production for exports to the US vs. the US has been focusing more on regulating our own economy and on more "democracy" (reforms). That is indeed partially true, but overlooks how China and Japan have also been implementing "democratic" reforms (regulations, subsidies, etc.) and many in those countries have had "Democracy" as a goal, VS. Freedom and free markets too. The last two Discs have lots of good specific info about actual investments he recommends to take advantage of his political/economic insights and analysis of the US economy. He's very big on owning gold and foreign stocks and virtually totally de-investing in the US, due to his seeing a major crash coming ("the bubble looking for a pin"), as well as hyper-inflation wiping out the dollar. He was certainly right on the 2008 crash, but the hyperinflation and crash of the dollar he predicted still have not yet come, 8 years after his prediction (book publish date), and the stock market is now at all time highs, recovering from the crash of late 2008 - early 2009. I liked listening to this book, 8 or so years after it was published, to see how well his analysis actually held up. But I'm also curious what he says in his updated book: Crash-Proof II.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    This is book gives a quick lesson on what's happening to the economy, what's going to happen, and what to do to prepare for it. He's a good writer and he explains exactly and succinctly what's going on unlike those talking monkeys on CNBC and other money channels. If you ever wonder why things are never getting better, why exactly does the "business cycle" happen, why the banks are losing money and the government is bailing them out... you need to read this book. The United States is heading towar This is book gives a quick lesson on what's happening to the economy, what's going to happen, and what to do to prepare for it. He's a good writer and he explains exactly and succinctly what's going on unlike those talking monkeys on CNBC and other money channels. If you ever wonder why things are never getting better, why exactly does the "business cycle" happen, why the banks are losing money and the government is bailing them out... you need to read this book. The United States is heading towards financial and economic oblivion. American manufacturing is a mere shadow of what it used to be, the currency is inflating and the government is lying about it, everybody lives by the credit card until they start living by food stamps, and foreigners are going to start eating our lunch/drinking our milkshake/whatever euphemism you'd like to substitute. One more thing, ever wonder why those 3rd world African nations are always so poor? Crushing national debt from IMF/World Bank loans. Imagine what happens when the creditors of the United States start calling in their markers?

  7. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    This quick and easy read discusses the current state of financial affairs in the Western world today. It mostly details what's problematic with our financial situation in the United States, and doesn't offer as many solutions to this as the title implies. It seems to be an advertisement for the author's foreign brokerage firm, since that's the main solution presented to surviving the coming economic collapse. However, it's worth reading to get an understanding of the current challenges facing ou This quick and easy read discusses the current state of financial affairs in the Western world today. It mostly details what's problematic with our financial situation in the United States, and doesn't offer as many solutions to this as the title implies. It seems to be an advertisement for the author's foreign brokerage firm, since that's the main solution presented to surviving the coming economic collapse. However, it's worth reading to get an understanding of the current challenges facing our economy and some ways to avoid financial hardship in the future.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Todd

    As the markets crash a lot of finger-pointing has been going on. Many people are wondering how in the world we got to a place with this big of a mess in the first place... Unfortunately, this guys seems to have some answers as to why and they are not fun to hear. The book was written sometime in 2005 and his predictions (financially speaking) have been coming true.... Not fun to hear but good to know.... avaiable on Audiobooks also....

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Ugh. Like so many of these types of books, there are important ideas in here. Even if none of the dire predictions come to pass, I think it is a valuable thought exercise. Unfortunately, you have to read through so much rubbish, to get to the important parts, that it becomes redundant and the impact is lost.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lydia

    The most interesting economics book I've read. It actually made economics more enjoyable. Interesting for what we are going through right now in our economy too.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brad Matthews

    A little dated (though I think there's a v2 now), but otherwise sage advice and economically sound analysis of the impending dollar crash. No one can say when it will happen, but the reasons outlined in this book are the why and it highlights the inevitability of it. Government and central banksters can only kick the can down the road for so long.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Howard Olsen

    First, Schiff deserves a round of applause from anyone serious about the future of the USA and its economy. He was one of the few people (the excellent Karl Denninger is another) who accurately predicted the scope and scale of the credit crisis, and then sent a year and a half trying to get his message out to virtually no avail. Schiff is not a professional Cassandra like Paul Krugman, who has spent the last 8 years issuing vague declarations of impending doom (and who has been engaging in Enron First, Schiff deserves a round of applause from anyone serious about the future of the USA and its economy. He was one of the few people (the excellent Karl Denninger is another) who accurately predicted the scope and scale of the credit crisis, and then sent a year and a half trying to get his message out to virtually no avail. Schiff is not a professional Cassandra like Paul Krugman, who has spent the last 8 years issuing vague declarations of impending doom (and who has been engaging in Enron-esque analysis to "prove" that entitlements are fully funded into the foreseeable future). Schiff named names and accurately predicted how and why the crisis would unfold. he said early and often that Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Citibank, Fannie, Freddie, and Countrywide were all doomed because they were engaging is a massive ponzi-scheme that was winked at by ratings agencies, ignored by regulators, and flatly misunderstood by investors. it was the financial equivalent of the intelligence failures that led to 9/11. But, as with the lonely voices who vainly warned of the dangers of jihad and the complaisance of US intelligence agencies, Schiff was ignored until it was too late. He truly spoke truth to power, and this book is a document of that. This book is not just Schiff's warning of the dangers in the financial system; it is also set out his investment advice on how to protect yourself, and profit from the collapse. But, while Schiff's analysis of the credit crisis was accurate, his financial advice is of middling value. Some is what you would expect from a bear: buy gold and gold mining stock; become as liquid as possible; and keep plenty of cash on hand. Schiff's best advice (which you can no longer take due to the passage of time) is to get out of US stocks. Schiff was urging people to do this in 2007, and anyone who followed this advice would have been spared this fall's chaos. The piece of advice that is most problematic is Schiff's advice as to what to do after you have cashed out your US stocks: namely, buy international stocks. If you had followed this advice, you would have lost more than if you had stayed in US stocks, or just kept the cash: international exchanges have been hit worse than the US. This actually should come as no surprise. While US markets can be criticized for their free wheeling boom-bust cycles (and by the arrogance of the bankers and regulators who think they can control such cycles), US markets are also remarkable for their open-ness. Publicly traded companies must make their financials freely available to the public. Such information is easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection. By contrast, places like China, Russia, and the EU are quite opaque and business is decidedly advantaged towards protecting governments and selected insiders. While much of Schiff's predictions have come depressingly true, one has not: Schiff prophesied a catastrophic collapse of the dollar as the world's reserve currency (thus the impetus to invest in gold and internationals). As it turned out, the opposite has happened. The dollar has strengthened in value as desperate investors have seen everything fall in value. The credit crisis has yet to run its course; but, short of war or a second american revolution, it is hard to see an outcome in which the dollar is still not the lead currency. of course, you are not obliged to follow Schiff's advice. The fact that it is not 100% accurate does not mean you should ignore him. If he has any prescriptions for the way forward from this mess, I would trust him more than I would trust the Rubins, Paulsons, Franks, Dodds, etc who led us into this hole, and now propose to lead us out.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alberto Lopez

    While a few years old, still a very good source for information. Most relevant is that Social Security is still a Ponzi scheme. Also, in the book Peter describes having bank accounts where gold, rather than currency, is the means for holding value. Well, he now offers such accounts through his company. All one needs is an ATM card to make the value of gold truly portable. Too bad this is not available to US citizens due to US banking regulations. Only foreign nationals can take advantage of this While a few years old, still a very good source for information. Most relevant is that Social Security is still a Ponzi scheme. Also, in the book Peter describes having bank accounts where gold, rather than currency, is the means for holding value. Well, he now offers such accounts through his company. All one needs is an ATM card to make the value of gold truly portable. Too bad this is not available to US citizens due to US banking regulations. Only foreign nationals can take advantage of this great service... a real shame.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kascha

    This is a really good book full of insight about what's happening right now from a very smart man who wrote it years ago. Nearly everything he talks about in this book is happening, and for the very reasons he said it would. I haven't read 2.0 yet, which is the sequel to this book, but I imagine that one is very similar with more discussion of things taking into account the current situation and what in the first book already has come true. Hopefully though, in the new book he makes a more seriou This is a really good book full of insight about what's happening right now from a very smart man who wrote it years ago. Nearly everything he talks about in this book is happening, and for the very reasons he said it would. I haven't read 2.0 yet, which is the sequel to this book, but I imagine that one is very similar with more discussion of things taking into account the current situation and what in the first book already has come true. Hopefully though, in the new book he makes a more serious commitment to outlining exactly what we're supposed to do to survive what's happening. I mean sure - precious metals investing. Gold in particular, although I've heard that silver may be even more pragmatic and useful aside from being cheaper and easier to get started in without being loaded. But he doesn't go very far into the specifics of how one should go about making these investments. Like pitfalls perhaps. Or what the differences are between different types of gold assets (bullion/bars, gold stocks, gold mining company stocks) or whether investing through something like a 401K fund actually helps or is nothing like what he's talking about and thus is useless. These are arguably topics beyond the scope of this particular book and better suited for a dedicated investment book but he could have met us more in the middle. I have to add that I never understood how Peter managed to (even though a lot of mainstream financial tools with vested interests in him being wrong like to discount him) obtain enough respect and legitimacy to escape the stigma of being Irwin R. Schiff's son. I was interested in Irwin's tax stuff too, but then too many people, including he himself, were taken to task for following the strategies and he was made out to be a tax cheat. Peter though is a legitimate successful businessman and financial genius who has already made quite a number of pompous experts eat crow and even had one guy getting his you know what knocked in the dirt about Schiff on Bill Mahr's show. There are a bunch more books and videos like this seeing the light of day now that the reality of the world's financial situation is becoming unavoidable. But this one is still a good one, and Schiff was one of the first and loudest making this call. Worth a read or three definitely.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    The title says it all: this book forecasts a drastic fall in the economic worth and viability of America and what to do to protect your assets. Is it wrong? No, but this is an extreme view. Any rationale person can/could see that the "party" of American finance and debt could not go on forever. Because it was written just as the initial wave of turmoil was hitting the markets, there is a lot of conjecture and prediction about the shape of things to come. But, it's pretty close. Sure the obvious ta The title says it all: this book forecasts a drastic fall in the economic worth and viability of America and what to do to protect your assets. Is it wrong? No, but this is an extreme view. Any rationale person can/could see that the "party" of American finance and debt could not go on forever. Because it was written just as the initial wave of turmoil was hitting the markets, there is a lot of conjecture and prediction about the shape of things to come. But, it's pretty close. Sure the obvious targets like home financing and extreme "derivative" instruments were fairly easy targets, but not many were out there announcing how they would lead to problems before the markets began to tank. So, on that aspect this author gets a shining star. As for what is going to happen post-crash (and how the American economy needs to change) that's more up in the air, still. It's not the most popular of views. And, I am sure that there will be plenty of arguments against some of the expectations/predictions. I'm not qualified to rate them, but there is a lot of "sense" in some of what is proposed. Can everyone take part in the suggested methods? No. Probably less than 20% of people could. Having a (relatively) small stake means that many avenues are closed off to some investors. But many of the suggestions can be done. Whether or not they are used is a very personal choice. I haven't specifically set out to use these strategies, but I am also unusual for most "small" investors in that a large percentage (possibly even the majority) of my investments are and have been in overseas or truly international firms/funds. But because all of that is basically dollar-denominated, according to the author, I am at risk, also. He just released an updated version of this book (2.0). I am going to be looking to it for new ideas now that the crisis has hit.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Void lon iXaarii

    Not only does the author make some quite strong and sensible points, but more than that I am impressed by the fact that he manages to do it while staying away from the temptations of being alarmist and sensationalist in his techniques, on the contrary taking a very rational calculating approach and proposing what one could do to protect themselves, even having the courage to add "if he was right" assigning probabilities to different outcomes. I much more trust somebody who assigns a calculated p Not only does the author make some quite strong and sensible points, but more than that I am impressed by the fact that he manages to do it while staying away from the temptations of being alarmist and sensationalist in his techniques, on the contrary taking a very rational calculating approach and proposing what one could do to protect themselves, even having the courage to add "if he was right" assigning probabilities to different outcomes. I much more trust somebody who assigns a calculated probability to something than one who says it will SURELY be that way. He makes a very convincing point that the US is heading for some really bad times at least in terms of inflation/hyperinflation advising how one could protect themselves, even anticipating confiscatory popular and government actions against the usual scapegoats. With the book written (i believe) before the big effects of the housing bust one could even call it prophetic but with stimulus actions taken since it seems to me like he would argue the balloon has been similarly inflated since, not stabilized. I strongly remember his metaphor of a balloon looking for a needle in a world where there are many out there. Of the ones that I wouldn't be surprised if they manifested that come to my mind: some big incident, war type expenses, loss of lender confidence or even the afaik soon to expire monetary stimulus or the some say overdue and under preparedness for a big earthquake. I'm not saying he's right... but I wouldn't be too surprised if he was, at least on a bigger 10-50 year scale.

  17. 5 out of 5

    John Boettcher

    This book was written and published by Schiff BEFORE the crash of 2008-2009, and he completely and utterly predicts how and why the recession we had would transpire. How? Through the Austrian School of Economics. When you start printing money like the Fed and artificially manipulating interest rates, you are not promoting stability, you are causing mis-information to be given to businesses and consumers, instigating them to make decisions they normally wouldn't make. Schiff makes the case that d This book was written and published by Schiff BEFORE the crash of 2008-2009, and he completely and utterly predicts how and why the recession we had would transpire. How? Through the Austrian School of Economics. When you start printing money like the Fed and artificially manipulating interest rates, you are not promoting stability, you are causing mis-information to be given to businesses and consumers, instigating them to make decisions they normally wouldn't make. Schiff makes the case that different sectors, industries, and regions worldwide will stand to gain or loose from these interventions into the economy by central banks and world governments. If you have any doubt of the validity of this book, just YouTube "Peter Schiff was right" and watch his on camera comments on all the major news and financial networks in the years heading up to the crash. Everyone laughed at him, literally, on screen. But in the end, he was vindicated and validated in the most extravagant way when the crash did happen.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Zinger

    This was the first investing book that I actually was interested in while reading. The reason is, it was the first investing book that I have read that approaches Federal Reserve with the understanding that it is a counterfeiting cartel protected by government and that Social Security is the biggest Ponzi scam ever done in all of human history. The book also is upfront in pointing out that excessive government spending, dept, and regulations of the economy is the cause of the inevitable downfall This was the first investing book that I actually was interested in while reading. The reason is, it was the first investing book that I have read that approaches Federal Reserve with the understanding that it is a counterfeiting cartel protected by government and that Social Security is the biggest Ponzi scam ever done in all of human history. The book also is upfront in pointing out that excessive government spending, dept, and regulations of the economy is the cause of the inevitable downfall of the US. If an investing book or financial adviser does not recognize those facts, I just don't click with them nor trust them. The first 7 chapters were a basic review of the state of the economy and how we got here. The last 3 chapters had some suggestions on what to do financially to be prepared for the coming crash. I would also recommend survivalblog.com as another source for those interested in the subject of surviving the coming economic collapse and being prepared.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Meh. While I agree in general with the author that the U.S. is in a horrible place economically, and the policies this country is enacting with respect to, well, everything, is quite detrimental to our economic future, he seems to discount that the rest of the world is actually far worse off than we are. He comes across as overly paranoid. Maybe he's right. I don't honestly know. I agree, precious metals do play a part in any portfolio and it's also wise to diversify investments into things non- Meh. While I agree in general with the author that the U.S. is in a horrible place economically, and the policies this country is enacting with respect to, well, everything, is quite detrimental to our economic future, he seems to discount that the rest of the world is actually far worse off than we are. He comes across as overly paranoid. Maybe he's right. I don't honestly know. I agree, precious metals do play a part in any portfolio and it's also wise to diversify investments into things non-U.S. dollar denominated as well as into accounts not accessible by the IRS. But his whole approach seems a little off the deep-end. I trust Warren Buffet's investment acumen far more than this guy. In short, it's a decent read, and he provides a lot to think about, but I wouldn't take is advice exclusively.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jesse

    Reading this book a couple year's after it was published shows that many of Schiff's preditiction were correct although not all to the extreme that he has predicted. This may mean that it will never happen or maybe it just hasn't happened yet. Either way, I think he makes a very compelling argument to place part of your portfolio in gold and foreign stocks with a high dividen yield. The gold as a speculative bet against the value of the dollar and the foreign investement as an income producing i Reading this book a couple year's after it was published shows that many of Schiff's preditiction were correct although not all to the extreme that he has predicted. This may mean that it will never happen or maybe it just hasn't happened yet. Either way, I think he makes a very compelling argument to place part of your portfolio in gold and foreign stocks with a high dividen yield. The gold as a speculative bet against the value of the dollar and the foreign investement as an income producing investment which would be hedged against a weakening dollar. Unfortunately, it could also be taken as marketing for his investment firm that specializes in foreign investment. It will take a lot of analysis of foreign investments and a willingness to bet against the US dollar to find out.

  21. 4 out of 5

    William

    This book provides very common sense answers to the financial problems that are currently plaguing our country. Schiff brilliantly analyzes the current situation and gives a very thorough explanation about how we got ourselves into the mess we are in. Schiff explains that we have gone from the worlds biggest creditor nation to the worlds biggest debtor nation and what our trade deficits mean for the future of the US dollar. His GDP and inflation explanations are particularly disturbing when you This book provides very common sense answers to the financial problems that are currently plaguing our country. Schiff brilliantly analyzes the current situation and gives a very thorough explanation about how we got ourselves into the mess we are in. Schiff explains that we have gone from the worlds biggest creditor nation to the worlds biggest debtor nation and what our trade deficits mean for the future of the US dollar. His GDP and inflation explanations are particularly disturbing when you learn just how manipulated the government numbers really are. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how to protect your wealth and stay competitive in a world of a worthless dollar.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    The amazing thing about this book is that it was published in 2006, a full year at least before the mainstream media began to notice cracks in the facade of the nation's economy. The book is written in very plain language (sometimes the analogies are a bit hokey) but with the intent of making the information completely accessible to everyone. I give Peter Schiff four stars for this endeavor because he was pretty much right on the money with his predictions of the circumstances that would soon ex The amazing thing about this book is that it was published in 2006, a full year at least before the mainstream media began to notice cracks in the facade of the nation's economy. The book is written in very plain language (sometimes the analogies are a bit hokey) but with the intent of making the information completely accessible to everyone. I give Peter Schiff four stars for this endeavor because he was pretty much right on the money with his predictions of the circumstances that would soon expose weakness in the economy. Furthermore, while many books out there explain the "how" the economy unraveled in 2007 and 2008, this book tries very hard to explain "why". It should be mandatory reading for anyone holding public office.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kfhoz

    Read what famous economists such as Paul Krugman and Robert Shiller say about the impending doom as predicted by Schiff before you sell all your US stock. In 2006 Schiff does a clear and accurate job of explaining what was wrong with the housing market predicting the crash. But what he has predicted to come afterwards has not materialized. The book is fairly well written, but a bit of raving hype sneaks through somehow. I feel that I really should give this book only one star, but I am impressed a Read what famous economists such as Paul Krugman and Robert Shiller say about the impending doom as predicted by Schiff before you sell all your US stock. In 2006 Schiff does a clear and accurate job of explaining what was wrong with the housing market predicting the crash. But what he has predicted to come afterwards has not materialized. The book is fairly well written, but a bit of raving hype sneaks through somehow. I feel that I really should give this book only one star, but I am impressed about anticipating the housing crash so eloquently. The advice has proven to be bad so far, and I suggest that you put this book way at the end of your investing and economics want-to-read list or remove it altogether.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    A great insight into the US economy and the half-truths we've been told. Schiff does an excellent job of educating the reader in basic economics, and then confronts the current myths of our markets head-on. This book is well-organized and actually very easy to read. About a quarter of the way through I thought, "Wow I've heard Ron Paul say a lot of this stuff." and then I looked up Schiff online and found out he was Paul's head economic advisor. The things these guys have been saying about the U A great insight into the US economy and the half-truths we've been told. Schiff does an excellent job of educating the reader in basic economics, and then confronts the current myths of our markets head-on. This book is well-organized and actually very easy to read. About a quarter of the way through I thought, "Wow I've heard Ron Paul say a lot of this stuff." and then I looked up Schiff online and found out he was Paul's head economic advisor. The things these guys have been saying about the US monetary policy, housing market, inflation, etc for the past few years have ALL come true. I really wish I would have read this book when it first hit the shelves. Great advice in it!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    I read this book back to back with The Revolution by Ron Paul (woot Amazon 2-1 deals!) after my 401k melted into thin air (10k vested into mortgage backed securites through Lehman Brothers>

  26. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Jordan

    Why did I not discover this book in 2006 or 2007? Schiff understands basic economics (unlike most people), and he knows his stuff well enough that in 2006 he predicted the bursting of the housing bubble and the rise in gold prices, both of which predictions have come true. He also predicted the collapse of the dollar, which has not yet fully taken place but is well underway. The U.S. economy is a house of cards, its support beams all rotted away by socialism, Keynesianism, and the excesses of de Why did I not discover this book in 2006 or 2007? Schiff understands basic economics (unlike most people), and he knows his stuff well enough that in 2006 he predicted the bursting of the housing bubble and the rise in gold prices, both of which predictions have come true. He also predicted the collapse of the dollar, which has not yet fully taken place but is well underway. The U.S. economy is a house of cards, its support beams all rotted away by socialism, Keynesianism, and the excesses of democracy. Schiff hits the nail on the head in this book. I tremble to think what could happen if the American government does not get its act together soon.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alan

    Peter Schiff writes with confidence but that doesn't make him right in predicting a global economic crash. I learned a lot about monetary policy but Schiff put up a straw man just to knock it down. Yes, there is a lot of debt in America and we don't produce as many products as we used to, but Schiff makes it sound like we are like Brazil and produce only a few exports. That is a gross exaggeration and over-simplification. HIs investment ideas were interesting but the bottom line was he thinks yo Peter Schiff writes with confidence but that doesn't make him right in predicting a global economic crash. I learned a lot about monetary policy but Schiff put up a straw man just to knock it down. Yes, there is a lot of debt in America and we don't produce as many products as we used to, but Schiff makes it sound like we are like Brazil and produce only a few exports. That is a gross exaggeration and over-simplification. HIs investment ideas were interesting but the bottom line was he thinks you should just let his company invest for you.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jaw

    He pretty much predicted the financial times we are currently seeing save the explicit means the government would attempt to save the economy. If I had large sums of investment money outside my company 401k I would definitely follow his advice, and plan to do so with all future discretionary funds. If you know me and you have money, read this (now absolved of possible future guilt relative to economic doomsday).

  29. 5 out of 5

    Karl

    This is a very timely book that takes a step back and looks at what is happening to the economy. All is not lost. You can take some positive steps to insulate yourself from the coming economic catastrophe. The book is a little pendantic in explaining the economic problem but if you are persistent in following along it makes sense. The last few chapters touch on ways to benefit while the United States deals with its economic problems.

  30. 5 out of 5

    John

    This book, of course, would have been a better and more important read a couple years ago. It holds up well in retrospect, with the collapse already in full swing. Much of what Schiff anticipates has already happened, but much is yet to come. I think he probably saw a more rapid collapse than we now know he should have. This is a good introduction to what is happening, but there are better ones, and shorter ones.

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