The Great Depression of 1990

The Great Depression of 1990

by Raveendra N. Batra

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Southern Methodist University economics professor Batra bases his prediction of a ``great depression'' around 1990 on a pattern of 30- and 60-year recession-depression cycles in the U.S. dating back to the 1780s. He cites factors leading to the stock market crash of 1929 that also are present today: intense concentration of wealth, a depressed farm economy, heavy speculation, bank vulnerability, protectionist trade sentiment and fiscal corruption. The author relates all this to a theory of India's social scientist Prabhat Sarkar who divides human experience into ages of ``laborers, warriors, intellectuals and acquisitors,'' the latter with their ``merger mania'' being dominant today. Batra's defensive formula for weathering the next slump includes such steps as converting one's assets (home and all) into cash, which, if widely followed, could bring on recession all the sooner. He does, however, propose a tax plan, admittedly unlikely to be adopted, which could puncture the Federal deficit and make a true depression virtually impossible. (June)
Library Journal
Doomsayers have always been part of the landscape of economic forecasting. Batra, international trade economist, has ventured a bit afield from his specialty to predict that the economic sky will fall in late 1989 or early 1990. Using P.R. Sarkar's theory of historical determinism, Batra projects a collapse of the Western economies and a world depression that will arrive in 1990 and plague us for seven years. He analyzes the historical cycles of monetary growth, inflation, and regulation to extrapolate a confluence of cycles in 1990 reminiscent of the crash of 1929. Will it happen? The majority of economists think not. For those who are convinced, chapter 8 recommends financial strategies prior to and during the depression. Not recommended.Gene R. Laczniak, Coll. of Business, Marquette Univ., Milwaukee

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Random House Publishing Group
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