Confronting the ever-increasing challenges of globalism and the economic problems plaguing the U.S. from a downward spiraling value of the dollar to the subprime mortgage crisis, Smick argues again and again that the solution to the problem is deregulation and encouraging entrepreneurship. While he examines the U.S. in relation to other emerging and potentially powerful markets (China and India, in particular), Smick argues weakly against Thomas Friedman's more utopian or opportunistic points of view. Jim Bond delivers the book in an accessible and gentle tone. Smick's prose can be a bit inundating, but Bond balances speed with emphasis to keep listeners' attention. A Portfolio hardcover (reviewed online). (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The World Is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economyby David M. Smick
David Smick keeps a low profile, but experts consider him one of the most insightful financial market strategists in the world. For more than two decades, he has conferred with central bankers (such as Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke) and advised top Wall Street executives and investors, from George Soros to Michael Steinhardt to Stan Druckenmiller. Political leaders (from Bill Bradley to Jack Kemp) have regularly sought his policy advice.
The World Is Curved picks up where Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat left off, taking readers on an insider’s tour through the private offices of central bankers, finance ministers, even prime ministers. Smick reveals how today’s risky environment came to be—and why the mortgage mess is a symptom of potentially far more devastating trouble. He wrestles with the two questions on everyone’s mind: How bad could things really get in today’s volatile economy? And what can we do about it?
Drawing on riveting anecdotes in language anyone can understand, Smick explains:
- Why the churning cauldron we call China (the next great bubble to burst) represents a powerful threat to everyone’s pocketbook
- How Japanese housewives have taken control of their nation’s savings, and why it matters to us
- How greed-driven bankers and investment bankers have put everyone’s pensions and 401(k)s at risk
- Why today’s “incredible shrinking central banks” may not be able to save us when the next crisis hits
- Why the big-money Russian, Chinese, Saudi, and Dubai sovereign wealth funds represent a tectonic shift in global financial power, away from the United States, Europe, and Japan
- Why the world desperately needs a “big think” financial doctrine to guide today’s dangerous ocean of money
The 2007-08 subprime financial crisis is the jumping-off point for Smick's (Johnson Smick International) examination of current threats to global prosperity. He explains that although the subprime losses are small in the context of world financial markets, a lack of transparency has diminished investor confidence, dried up financial liquidity, and threatened the very foundations of our world financial system. He says that the growth of global financial markets has made it more difficult for central banks like the U.S. Federal Reserve to intercede effectively in times of crisis. Smick compares the subprime crisis to past events like the UK's forced devaluation of the pound in 1992 and Japan's economic stagnation in the 1990s. He warns of pending dangers like an overheating of the Chinese development juggernaut and the present calls for protectionism by U.S. politicians. He favors a global financial system built on transparency and trust. Smick's role for some 30 years as an economic adviser to central bankers and legislators of all stripes gives him a solid perspective on the global financial system. This summing-up of the subprime debacle and other global financial threats, aimed at general readers, is first rate; highly recommended for all public and academic libraries.-Lawrence Maxted, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA
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Meet the Author
David Smick advises some of the world’s most successful money managers through his investment and strategic consulting firm Johnson Smick International, Inc. He is also the founder, editor, and publisher of The International Economy, an acclaimed quarterly. He has served as an adviser to both Republican and Democratic presidential candidates and has written for publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Mr. Smick and his family live in Washington, D.C.
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