Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving the Soft Depression of the 21st Century


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"History shows that people who save and invest grow and prosper, and the others deteriorate and collapse.
As Financial Reckoning Day demonstrates, artificially low interest rates and rapid credit creation policies set by Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve caused the bubble in U.S. stocks of the late '90s. . . . Now, policies being pursued at the Fed are making the bubble worse. They are changing it from a stock market bubble to a consumption and housing bubble.
And when those bubbles burst, it's going to be worse than the stock market bubble . . .
No one, of course, wants to hear it. They want the quick fix. They want to buy the stock and watch it go up twenty-five percent because that's what happened last year, and that's what they say on TV."
—Jim Rogers, author of the bestseller Adventure Capitalist
from the Foreword to Financial Reckoning Day

Advanced praise from bestselling authors

"An investment book that will not only enlarge your investment horizon, but also make you laugh and thoroughly entertain you for a few hours."
—Dr. Marc Faber, author of the bestseller Tomorrow's Gold

"Financial Reckoning Day is . . . in the category of scintillating sex or good vision, something to be savored and enjoyed-before it is too late."
—James Dale Davidson, author of the bestseller The Great Reckoning and The Sovereign Individual

"A powerful and insightful vision . . . each paragraph stimulates a new rush of thoughts that fills in gaping holes in the investor's understanding of what has happened to their dreams . . . while prepping them to confront any new confusion thatmay arrive."
—Martin D. Weiss, author of the bestseller Crash Profits

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471449737
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/10/2003
  • Series: Agora Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

WILLIAM BONNER is President and CEO of Agora Publishing, one of the largest financial newsletter companies. Headquartered in Baltimore, Agora now has offices overseas in London, Paris, Ireland, Bonn, and Johannesburg. Mr. Bonner is also the creator of the Daily Reckoning, a contrarian financial newsletter sent via e-mail ( The newsletter now has more than 500,000 readers in the United States and Great Britain and is translated daily into German and French. It has received praise from mainstream publications, including Money.

ADDISON WIGGIN is the Managing Editor for the Daily Reckoning. A contributor to Strategic Investment, Mr. Wiggin is also the author of the Daily Reckoning Weekend Edition (, a weekly wrap-up of contrarian investment analysis. Before joining the team, he served at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., and earned his master’s in philosophy from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Read an Excerpt

Financial Reckoning Day

Surviving the Soft Depression of the 21st Century

By William Bonner Addison Wiggin

John Wiley & Sons

Copyright © 2003

William Bonner, Addison Wiggin
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-471-44973-3

Chapter One

The Gildered Age

The real trouble with this world of ours is not that it is an unreasonable
world, nor even that it is a reasonable one. The commonest kind of
trouble is that it is nearly reasonable, but not quite. Life is not an illogicality;
yet it is a trap for logicians. It looks just a little more mathematical
and regular than it is; its exactitude is obvious, but its inexactitude
is hidden; its wildness lies in wait.

-G. K. Chesterton

Sometime in the late 1990s, Gary Winnick-chairman of the then $47
billion enterprise, Global Crossing (GC)-did something unusual.
He decided to take time off from touring art galleries with David
Rockefeller, playing golf with Bill Clinton, and enjoying the Malibu
beach to learn a little about the business he was in: He bought a video
describing how undersea cable was laid. The video was all Winnick
needed to know about laying cable. For he understood what business he
was really in, and ithad nothing to do with ships or optic fiber. Winnick
was doing nature's work: separating fools from their money. And he was
good at it.

Supposedly, Winnick knew the undersea cable business well. Likewise,
the people from whom he raised money were the "best pros" on Wall
Street and were supposed to be capable of managing big bucks. After all,
if they did not know how to place money to get a decent return, what did
they know? And those who provided these "best pros" with money were
also supposed to know what they were doing. As it turned out, no one
had a clue.

One of the great marvels of life is not that fools and their money are
soon parted, but that they ever get together in the first place. Life goes
on, we note, for no particular reason other than the vanity of it all. One
lie replaces another like cars along a Paris street (where a parking spot
rarely remains vacant for long).

Not only does life imitate art, but it slavishly tries to model itself on
science, too. In the course of the 20th century, a simple idea had become
stuck in investors' minds. Everything worked like a machine, they
thought, especially the economy. If the economy was growing too fast,
Alan Greenspan would "put on the brakes" by raising interest rates. If it
was growing too slowly, he would "open up the throttle" by lowering interest
rates. It was so simple. The mechanical image seemed to describe
perfectly how the Fed worked. There was no experience in the last two
decades to contradict it. It had worked so well for so long: It was almost
as if it were true.

In his book, A Random Walk Down Wall Street, Burton Malkiel popularized
the efficient market hypothesis, claiming that stock prices moved in a
random fashion. The best you can do, he proposed, was to buy the indexes
and stay in the market. Over time, the market goes up ... and you
get rich. According to this view, the market is a benign, mechanistic instrument
that merely distributes wealth evenly to those who participate:
As long as you are "in the market," all the riches of capitalism will flow
in your direction.

The trouble is that the market may look mechanistic, but it is not. The
market is an unbounded, organic system; mastering it is a human science,
not a hard science. The financial markets reflect the activity of the
human economy; they are unbounded chaotic systems. The best metaphor
for understanding such a system is the nature of which they are a part-infinitely
complex and ultimately uncontrollable. Markets are neither
kind nor forgiving. If markets do the work of God, as has been suggested,
it is the God of the Old Testament, not the New.

But in the late 1990s, we lived in a wonderful world. It was rich and
lush ... the sun shone every day. Progress seemed inevitable and unstoppable,
and compiling information in digital form was thought to hold
the secret to an ever-increasing abundance of resources for mankind. It
seemed so simple: Computers and telecommunications would provide
people with increasing amounts of information, and this in turn would
allow goods to be produced faster and at lower costs. Humans, hitherto
Neanderthals in a low cave hunched in ignorance and darkness, would
now be able to stand upright and edge a little closer to perfection every
day. There was no chance that they would slip up, as they had always
done in the past, we were told, for this was a more fully evolved species,
better adapted to the Information Age. This really was a "New Era," we
were assured.

At the dawn of the 21st century, a half-century of progress and a
25-year-long bull market had created a race of geniuses. Americans were
on top of the world. Their armies were unbeatable. Their currency was
accepted everywhere as though it had real value. Dollars were the United
States' most successful export, with a net outflow of nearly $1.5 billion
per day. And dollars were the product on which the nation enjoyed its
biggest profit margin. It cost less than a cent to produce one, and each
one was valued at par.

But America's greatest strength was its economy. It was not only the
strongest in the world, but the strongest the world had ever seen. The
United States had increased its economic lead over the competition in
the 10 years running up to the end of the century. In the minds of
many, the U.S. economy was unstoppable, and its continued success inevitable.
They believed that the nation's leadership position was not
merely cyclical, but eternal. It had achieved a state so nearly perfect
that improvement was hardly imaginable. American music, art, films,
democracy, and American-style market capitalism were everywhere

"America is the world's only surviving model of human progress,"
President George W. Bush told the graduating class of West Point in June
2002. America has its faults, wrote Thomas L. Friedman in the New York
at about the same time, but without it, "nothing good happens."

Oddly, during this golden era of silicon chips and Internet domain
names, no one was able to explain why the Information Age never made
its way across the Pacific to Japan. No one even bothered to ask the question.
But that is one of the comforts of a great boom; question marks disappear.
Societies, like markets and individual humans, are infinitely
complex. The harder you look, the more you see. When things go well,
people are content not to ask questions and not to look too hard. They
think they know how the world works and are happy with the jingles and
simple metaphors that explain it.

The new information technology, it was claimed, would boost productivity
and the growth rate. Few people doubted it. More information
would make things better; it seemed as simple as that. For question
marks, like winter clothes after Easter, get packed away during a bull
market. Not until a chill autumn wind blows do they come back out.

And at the end of September 2001, the drafts of cold weather were just
beginning. The Nasdaq was down 73 percent from its high. The Dow was
down 32 percent. A recession had begun in March. Although, at first it
was reported to have ended after a single quarter, later revisions showed
that it lasted through the end of the year. Investors had no way of knowing,
for they had no crystal balls, but they were in for a spell of bad
weather. Yet only a few people began rummaging through their cupboards
for their coats and mittens.

We humans understand things by analogy. Indeed, since before Noah
built his Ark, humans have tried to understand the world by extrapolating
from the known to the unknown. Comparison was the only tool they
had to explain what they observed. Once upon a time, a bear might have
been said to run "as fast as a lion," for example, or "like a holy hellcat"
because it was not possible to time an animal's running speed precisely.
After a period without rain, villagers might have remarked that it "was
just like the Great Drought" of a few years earlier. They had no way of
knowing what might happen, of course, but the analogy warned them to
conserve their food. By comparing one thing we don't really understand
to another we understand only slightly better, we think we understand
both. We imagine Alan Greenspan, for example, pulling levers and turning
knobs as if the economy really could be run like a machine.

Yet, strangely, in the new world at the close of the 20th century, the
analogies from years ago or from across the wide Pacific did not seem to
matter. Things were different. Not only did the old rules and old lessons
no longer apply, analogies themselves were now out of fashion. The New
Era was "digital." It was widely presumed that nearly all of life would
soon be digitized and that mankind would grow better informed, richer,
and morally superior every day. That was ... until the weather changed.

Gurus of the New Era

The history of the New Era will record that it was Robert Metcalfe and
Gordon Moore who, like Moses and Aaron, led their followers out of
the bondage of the Old Economy and into the land of stock options and
caffe lattes. Metcalfe and Moore handed down the laws by which the people
of Silicon Valley in the 1990s lived.

Metcalfe described a well-known phenomenon: Each element of a system
or collectivity becomes more valuable as it expands. You can see this
by thinking about the phone system. When the Bell Telephone Company
was founded in May 1877, its products were almost useless. Subscribers
could not call anyone because no one had a telephone. But three years
later, there were 30,000 phones in use.

This led to the further insight that the company could afford to spend
a great deal of money selling and installing telephones because it would
earn a profit later on. What's more, it was critical that people purchased
Bell telephones rather than a competitor's. Ultimately, the most valuable,
and presumably the most profitable, service would be the one that was
most ubiquitous.

This insight cleared the way for the popular Internet business plan:
Do not worry about profits-fight for market share. Few noticed the f law:
The telephone system was a quasi-monopoly. It made sense to pay a lot of
money to put it in place, because the company could expect monopoly-level
profits for a very long time. Bell Telephone and its derivatives are
still in business. But, the,, and
thousands of other Internet start-ups had no hope of ever getting a monopoly
or anything close to it.

Moore, meanwhile, handed down his own law: He stated that computational
power would double every 18 months-which, thus far, it had.
This growth rate astonished everyone and led to the other major delusion
of Internet investors-that just because computer power increases
exponentially, so should Internet businesses and stock prices. Moore's
law only applies to the speed at which computers process information.
Government quants assumed, wrongly, that this was equivalent to an increase
in the nation's wealth, as expressed by gross domestic product
(GDP). As we'll see later on, this in turn led to distortions in other measures,
such as productivity and inflation levels.

If Moore and Metcalfe were the Old Testament prophets of the New
Era, George Gilder was its messiah. Every revolution needs its intellectuals,
its firebrands, its executioners, and its victims. One-third visionary,
one-third fool, one-third incomprehensible-Gilder was all of these
things, and more. A speechwriter for Romney, Rockefeller, and Nixon,
he authored several well-read books, including Wealth and Poverty and The
Spirit of Enterprise
. He was quoted more often by Ronald Reagan, the
record shows, than any other writer. His book, Microcosm, took him farther
than anyone had ever gone into the distant reaches of new technology
and the enterprising spirit. Since then, some would say he has
drifted a bit too far.

Gilder's articles in Forbes ASAP were not merely hard to read; they
were incomprehensible. But never mind. He was a genius, and he was
right about a great many things. His reports were followed by many of
the shrewdest investors of our time ... to such an extent that this "pale,
nervous Yankee" was seen as a semi-god or "John the Baptist of the Digital
Age," as one article put it. But he had worked himself into such a state
of rapture over the possibilities of the Internet that he seemed to have
gone a little mad.

One caveat, "I don't do price," Gilder commented. Too bad. Because,
as investors would discover later, prices are important. A technology may
be spectacular; the company that owns it may be a great company; but
the stock is only a good investment at the right price.


"Listen to the technology!" Gilder's Caltech physics professor, Carver
Mead, had advised the New Era messiah. Listening carefully, Gilder had
believed that, if he strained his ears enough, he could almost hear the
cosmos speaking. "Buy Global Crossing!" he thought he had heard.

Gilder did not usually buy, and judging from the press reports, he had
little interest in picking stocks. But this Ulysses of the Telecosm had forgotten
to plug his ears or have himself lashed to the mast. Thus, the
sirens at Global Crossing got him ... and drove him crazy. Nowhere was
this more manifest than in his book, Telecosm, in which he announced the
emergence of a new economy, "based on a new sphere of cornucopian radiance
-reality unmassed and unmasked, leaving only the promethean
light." To this day, we do not know what that sentence was supposed to
mean. It was all very well to blather about how Global Crossing helped to
bring "a new epoch of spirit and faith" with its "majestic cumulative
power, truth, and transcendence of contemporary science and wealth."
But with a profit/earnings (P/E) ratio of negative 130, an investor would
have been a fool to bet money on it. Yet even in June 2001, George Gilder
continued to praise Global Crossing, qualifying the stock as "no surer
bet in the Telecosm."

Oh, but we forgot-Gilder didn't "do price."

Master of the Bandwidth Universe

Gary Winnick had been a former Drexel Burnham bond trader before he
got into the optic-fiber business almost by accident. He had seen the possibilities
of bandwidth after financing an undersea cable for AT&T in
1997. His first cable took 14 months to lay, but it was extremely profitable.

Thus, did the simple business plan for Global Crossing emerge-raise
money and lay fiber-optic cable! Early estimates of construction costs were
around $2.7 billion. The money was soon coming into the Hamilton,
Bermuda, headquarters of Global Crossing at the speed of light. The stock
went public in August 1998 at $9.50. Eight months later, it hit $60 a share,
giving the company a market capitalization of $54 billion. Winnick's personal
stake in the company rose to $4.7 billion.


Excerpted from Financial Reckoning Day
by William Bonner Addison Wiggin
Copyright © 2003 by William Bonner, Addison Wiggin.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 The Gildered Age 5
2 Progress, Perfectibility, and the End of History 37
3 John Law and the Origins of a Bad Idea 69
4 Turning Japanese 92
5 The Fabulous Destiny of Alan Greenspan 125
6 The Era of Crowds 160
7 The Hard Math of Demography 192
8 Reckoning Day: The Deleveraging of America 223
9 Moral Hazards 256
Notes 277
Bibliography 285
Index 291
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2004

    Boring with a capital B

    A compendium of outdated daily reckoning and agora publishing articles that are outdated and only of historical value. Most of the rants are cute, so if you like some ironic comedy attached to your old financial rants, then great. It is completely void of any useful investing information. So it is a dust gatherer for sure. maybe I can sell it to some other sucker?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2004

    Highly Recommended!

    This book is an intellectual tour de force. The breadth of the authors¿ accomplishment is impressive, drawing on sources from Emerson to Einstein to Freud to Adam Smith and more. Whether their analysis is correct, however, is highly debatable. One could build a small mountain out of books that have declared prematurely that the American economic miracle is over. This volume draws heavily on the Japanese model to predict continued economic doldrums in the U.S., and the comparison seems a poor fit. Its over-reliance on a continental historical perspective ¿ Americans are naïve, overly optimistic fools whose prosperity is the result of dumb luck ¿ seems fairly dubious. None of that takes away from the authors¿ keen perspective. Right or wrong, they bring intellectual light to the question, `Just what is going on with the American economy?¿ Because of this volume¿s range and insight, we very strongly recommends it, especially to those seeking historical and cross-cultural context for alternative views about the U.S. economy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2003

    Valid economics with a bad attitude

    This book does a fairly good job of tracing the effects of phony government money in Japan and America over the last few decades, as viewed from an Austrian Economics perspective. It is worth reading for the light it throws on that tragic history. Ludwig Von Mises, Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard and other fine thinkers introduced and promoted Libertarian Politics and Austrian economics to Americans some decades ago. Their clear moral vision of liberty and their understanding of the moral and practical importance of a sound currency inspired and taught many thousands of Americans and Europeans. Their influence today is vast and continues to grow and enlighten. Now here come Bonner and Wiggin adding nothing new, failing to say it better, and leaving Von Mises unmentioned, while insulting and misrepresenting Rand and dismissing Rothbard with a single smear-line. These two authors seem to delight in insulting all of humankind a la H. L. Mencken, though without Mencken¿s wit, humor, insight, or humanity. Their vilification of Alan Greenspan¿s actions at the FED are valid, but in the process they manage to hint around that Greenspan is choosing to advance his own personal interests by knowingly destroying the currency and is inspired to do so by Ayn Rand¿s ¿Virtue of Selfishness¿. However Rand was an advocate of ethical self-interest just as the nation¿s founders were supporters of the ¿pursuit of happiness¿ and Rand would never have approved of Greenspan¿s role or the institution of the FED. She died before Greenspan even became FED chairman. She was a hard money advocate and promoted the works of Von Mises. These authors pretend to see what no one else has seen because all others are such fools They make explicit their contempt for ¿man¿s reason¿ (no wonder they despise Rand). They repeatedly catalog the sins of fools while claiming that ¿no one objected or noticed¿ (except themselves, of course). The truth is that lots of people have and are noticing and objecting to the destruction of the currency and its effects. The entire book is a rather shallow and cynical rant, built on some good ideas that they did not originate and do not credit. It is like reading Don Rickles on economics. If you want to learn about the economy and the market, try some of Rothbard¿s voluminous work on the history of banking, central banking, and the manipulation of the money supply and its inevitable bad consequences. Or try his teacher, Ludwig Von Mises. And, of course, read Rand. But Bonner and Wiggin? They write, ¿So much of the satisfaction in life comes from feeling superior to other people.¿ I think they mean it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2003

    Another perspective worth exploring

    Financial Reckoning Day makes you evaluate/re-evaluate your financial strategies. Within a pessimistic context, the author brings up some crucial issues. His comparison between the U.S. and Japanese economies is provocative to say the least. Read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2003

    Read It!

    I expected Financial Reckoning Day to be a good read, but I did not expect to become terrified! Today is indeed, a scary time. Bonner & Wiggins have written a 'must read' book for those of us who wish to try to come to grips with what is occurring in the U.S. economy, and what the possible consequences may be. This book includes a wonderful survey and history of the creation of money and of centralized banking. To me they brought these historical developments to life as never before. I was thoroughly enjoying this read, and then I reached their discussion about Japan. By the time I finished reading about Japan(having witnessed their 'buying' firsthand when I was there in 1986), and of the parallels between Japan's stock market bubble, and the 2000 stock market bubble in the U.S., I was becoming downright uncomfortable. But this book is a compulsive read, and so on I went, enjoying their interesting description and formation of the Fed, and the role the Fed has played in the U.S., raising or lowering interest rates as it saw fit. They focus on the interventions made by Greenspan, and the resulting consequences of his actions. My discomfort increased immeasurably by the time I read about the changing demographics in Japan, and of how an aging population (where the now headed), changes spending patterns, and sells off stocks it bought for retirement. It appears that the U.S. is about 10 years behind Japan in this regard. The authors describe the consumptive behavior of Americans, fostered by the interventions of the Fed, especially Greenspan. 'By 2002', they assert,' Americans were buying 60% of the world's exports.' They posit that with U.S. stocks and the U.S. dollar falling, foreigners heavily invested might decide to cash in some of their holdings. Doing so could be devastating to the U.S. economy. They point towards the necessity for a new economic model to deal with the structural changes occurring in the U.S. economy. Their writing is thoughtful, provocative, and accessible. For example, following a discussion of some comments made by others re the U.S and the Iraqi war, they write, ' A man cannot get rich by borrowing and spending, we observed that earlier. Can he by killing people? Few people bothered to ask'. I hope that someone from the Bush administration reads this book. Enough said - read it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2003

    Buy the book and have fun !

    The 'style' Bill Bonner, very lively, personal, fun to read etc., seduces. You find this personal and lively style in everyone of his financial newsletters and I have tried quite a lot of them. My latest experience was 'D-Wave': We were told to buy cheap options with little time value. I myself would have never bought them, but since they are the 'experts', one pays to see whether they can really do it. Well, they can't ! These totally unnecessary trades produced in less than a month a loss of $ 992.70 plus the subscription price of $ 995.-- wherelse an option with a life-span of at least 2 or 3 months would have given enough possibilities to handle the situation. But who cares ? For every lost client there will be at least 10 new ones. All you need is an excellent copy-writer for the sales letter and a first class lay-out. And - oh boy - their's are really unbelievably good ! And how we love them ! So, if you want to have some fun you read 'Surviving the Soft Depression of the 21st Century' After all, it's written by the publisher himself who says: 'The only sure way we know to make money is getting up early in the morning and working hard until late at night.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2003

    Troubling times ahead?

    Bonner and Wiggin have produced an 'easy read'. If you have either investments over $100 or children under 40, this scenario deserves serious examination. Not gloomy or unreasonable, it's a continuation of Jim Roger's essay and not far from Paul Krugman's really scary view. This is a 'wake-up call' for the U.S. Does anyone else think we might be on the wrong road? Bonner & Co. make a persuasive case.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2003

    Contrarian to the contrarians

    What worries me about Bonner and Co. is the aside advertising they include in the Daily Reckoning: I agree with just about all the premises they use and conclusions they draw but, when they then go on to say, 'Make $15,000 by this time tomorrow on one simple deal', or 'Buy this, that or the other book by a, b or c and we show you how to make 110% profit on little known scams in ten weeks', I will not buy it; the book either. 'If it looks too good, it IS too good'. I do like the wide view on issues; these wizz kids with their computer programmes for running the stock market and their lives make me go weak at the knees. 'My programme plots the rise and fall of the Maple tree sap and correlates it to all major indices, thus allowing you to invest by just cutting a Maple tree bark'. What idiot nonsence! People/countries who work, save and invest/re-invest get richer safely. There is no substitute for hard work. Anybody who invested in '.com' got all they deserved. I never forgot the lesson of the 'South Sea Bubble' when I was at school. We have all known for years that the Yanks pay themselves too much; consume too much of everything in the World; rate themselves too highly and are heading for a great fall. IT WILL HAPPEN. It is also conceivable that, one day, there will be a war between Europe and the USA. I don't need to read the book to know I will agree with most of the contrarian issues but not the offers made to make me a millionaire overnight: in any case, I am a millionaire already. If these guys on Bonner's list are so good at prognosticating events/stock markets etc., why don't they just do it for themselves? They would become Warren Buffets within weeks. Why do they want to let me have all their secrets of success for $99-99?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2003

    If you care for your children !!

    There is knowledge and warnings in 'FRD'. But even 'GOD' gave knowledge and warnings. It is written in the Talmud (Jewish book on life), 'THOU SHALT HAVE AN HONEST HEN AND A PEN'. After years of search I pass on my knowledge-----'HEN' AN ANCIENT UNIT OF MEASURMENT----'PEN' THE SAME. And when you cheat and 'clip the coin of the realm' you go to jail (or worse) and become the 'leader'. WE are in a war being waged by other means. We have been this way before and will do so again and again until we cease building to-day and leaving our children with the bill!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2003

    Same Old Same Old

    This is Bill Bonner at his most depressing - well, depressing for the reader, Bill's doing OK, thanks very much.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2003

    Best financial book I've read in a long time...

    So Bonner and Wiggin make a case that our level of debt is to high; that our politicians are reckless; that morality applies as well to economics; and that character and principles are on the wane. So they argue for prudence in financial doings and caution around government; they make the case that we've all been down this road before; and that entrusting our future to the stock market, the analysts, and people stumping their beliefs on the campaign trail might be not so wise. So they make the case that the late 1990s boom was just a bubble; that, contrary to Greenspan's view, a bubble can be identified in progress rather than just after the fact; and that hubris and finance together make for a deadly brew. Gloomy it might be. But were they wrong? Are they wrong? I see no justification for killing the messenger. They both do this and do it well, with self- deprecating humour, charm, and some damn fine writing. I would have liked to see some of the other writers for the letter in the book. But all in all, I'm not sure how I see how anyone could take the message of this thing as anything but generous. Just because it's a hard pill to swallow doesn't mean it's not worth hearing. And in this case, it's still easy to hear. This is the most readable and enjoy able financial book I've read in a long time. Bravo. I'm a long time reader of Bill's online etter, the Daily Recokoning. I'm an investor. I've seen the advertisements they're talking about in the reviews above. Big deal. It's true they're all over the map. But I've read a lot more in between the ads... for no charge... and it's been an education I gladly would have paid for. Excellent stuff. Wiggin, Bonner, AND Fry. It's one of the few e-mailed letters I open an read every time. There's nobody out there doing what you do, in my experience. I hope you keep it up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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