Digital Deflation: The Productivity Revolution and How It Will Ignite the Economy / Edition 1

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New York, NY 2003 Hard cover New. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 418 p. Contains: Illustrations.

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Praise for Digital Deflation:

"Technology, productivity, deflation, and wealth creation. It's all here, and Graham Tanaka is right on target!"

—Lawrence Kudlow, CNBC's "Kudlow & Cramer."

"Whether you're bullish, bearish or in between, this is an important book for all investors to read!"

—Dr. Edward Yardeni, Chief Investment Strategist, Prudential Securities

"Once in a great while, an original and thought-provoking book comes along. Digital Deflation is it—a must read!"

—Thomas R. Schwarz, former president and COO, Dunkin' Donuts, Inc.

"Graham Tanaka has sensed, well ahead of most, the issues surrounding the possible emergence of 'deflation.' He demonstrates that our measurement processes, tuned as they are to inflation, are not picking up the declines in real prices that are occurring—and that we are missing the implications for our economy and corporate strategies."

—William C. Dunkelberg, chief economist,

National Federation of Independent Business

"Consumers spend on goods and services with the greatest quality improvement rather than merely responding to price information. Thank Graham Tanaka for laying out this and other valuable insights in Digital Deflation. Read it."

—Wayne Angell, former Federal Reserve Governor

How the "digital revolution" is driving today's economy—and its impact on corporations, government policy, and the stock market

New technologies have transformed how today's economy works. Digital Deflationexamines this new economic environment, from how we got here to where we are going. Eye-opening yet solidly grounded, it explains how low inflation and interest rates, coupled with technology-driven productivity gains, will create massive wealth in the coming decades, and benefit stock market P/E multiples over the long term.

Combining insightful analyses with convincing charts and graphs, Digital Deflationprovides a clear understanding of how digital technologies will continue to alter every aspect of business. Readers will discover:

  • Why inflation declined so dramatically in the 1980s and 1990s, and is likely to head even lower
  • New measures of economic activity and how they will affect policy
  • The laws of digital deflation—how they work and what they mean for corporate decision makers
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Editorial Reviews

We usually don't want to hear economists talk about deflation because it reminds us of what happened during the Depression, when prices and wages went into a downward spiral and jobs evaporated. But there is another type of deflation that economists rarely talk about, and that is when the quality of goods rises, yet prices remain stable-in other words, you get more for your money. This is an effect that has been unique to digital technologies, and these 'cheaper, better, faster' products are what drove the so-called New Economy of the late 1990s. Tanka has studied these trends and developed the theory of digital deflation, a phenomenon that he says the government has failed to account for in its economic data. Tanaka believes that digital deflation will allow the prosperity of the 1990s to continue, as digital technology pervades every aspect of our lives to increase both standards of living and job productivity at low cost. This optimistic view of the decade ahead includes some enlightening interviews with tech giants, such as Michael Dell and Gordon Moore.
Publishers Weekly
Today's world of rapidly advancing digital technology, Tanaka argues, has created a rare phenomenon in the economy: superior products are being delivered to consumers at the same or lower prices than in years past. Tanaka, an economist and money manager, presents his theory of "digital deflation," which converts the improvement in performance and quality of a product or service into an annual percentage increase in real economic value for the consumer. If the government would combine this phenomenon with fiscal policy reforms and a more accurate counting of economic growth, Tanaka says, we would see higher employment rates, declining interest rates and rising stock prices. The book has the intensive, highly technical detail of a doctoral dissertation and is probably too dense for general readers, but those with expertise and interest in the field will find Tanaka's theory stimulating and thoroughly researched. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071376174
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 9/4/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 418
  • Product dimensions: 6.29 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 1.49 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2004


    Imagine that companies throughout the economy had access to new, better technology every year, and made better products without raising prices ¿ in fact, while cutting prices. Now imagine that the regulators and policymakers used outmoded measurements and models that ignored these quality improvements and this downward price trend. Imagine that the Federal Reserve saw a risk of rising prices even when prices were falling. Imagine that the Fed kept tightening the economy unnecessarily, sending interest rates up, slowing growth, inducing stock market crashes and recessions, and doing the opposite of what it should. If you can imagine all this, you have a picture of U.S. economic reality as seen by author Graham Tanaka. It¿s a picture no one, especially investors, should disregard. We found his book immensely interesting ¿ too long by half, with too many repetitious references to his previous publications (perhaps just his way of saying, ¿I told you so¿), often tendentious and labored, but not to be ignored. Just be cautioned: this sounds somewhat like the bubble speak we heard at the end of 1999 and the beginning of 2000 ¿ other times of strong growth without inflation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2003

    Difference of Opinion

    According to Jeremy Grantham, founder of GMO and manager of $48 billion (that¿s billion with a ¿B¿) in assets, the market is currently overpriced with a trailing P/E of 24. The trendline P/E is about 16 and Tanaka suggests in his book that it should be even higher than 24. In fact, Grantham reasons that the expected annual returns on large cap and small cap U.S. stocks over the next 7 years to be 1.4% and 2.5%, not some ultra bull market that Tanaka is suggesting that is driven by growing PE¿s. Why should we listen to Grantham? Simply put, he is respected in the investment community and has $48 billion to prove it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2003

    Counter Argument

    The growing significance of extra fees means that inflation is understated. Surprisingly, many add-on charges are not reflected in the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index. One reason is that many companies, especially in airlines and telecom, haven't provided the BLS with a full breakdown of their charges. In addition, fees for such things as credit-card late payments and airline-ticket changes -- both rising -- are not included in the government's figures. The implication: Fears of deflation may be overblown. Instead, the true rate of inflation, so important for setting monetary policy, is probably higher than the 2% or so that the BLS is reporting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

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