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

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

3.3 12
by Will Bonner, Addison Wiggin

"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


"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 that may arrive."
—Martin D. Weiss, author of the bestseller Crash Profits

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This book is an intellectual tour de force.” (GetAbstract.com)

“…a very level-headed book for adventurous readers.” (Accounting Technician, May 2004)

This worthwhile, well-organized book presents insights into the current U.S. economy by comparing contemporary economic events with historical ones, especially such systems as Japan's in the 1990s and the United States in the 1930s. Find out why high-spending, high-borrowing consumerism leveraged the U.S. economy and also what the "soft depression" means for investors. (Best Business Books 2003, Library Journal, March 15, 2004)

"...The authors...come up with some disturbing conclusions..." (The Journal, Newcastle, 5 February 2004)

"...every serious investor should read this book..." (www.iii.co.uk (AMPLE), 6 January 2004)

"...the book has rattled me enough to prompt further inquiry." (The Telegraph, 13 December 2004)

Product Details

Publication date:
Agora Series
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 (www.dailyreckoning.com). 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 (www.dailyreckoning.com), 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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Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving the Soft Depression of the 21st Century 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
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?
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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 U.S.is 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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is Bill Bonner at his most depressing - well, depressing for the reader, Bill's doing OK, thanks very much.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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?