Outrageous Fortunes

Outrageous Fortunes

The Twelve Surprising Trends That Will Reshape the Global Economy

Book - 2011
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A Harvard-trained economist's startling predictions reveal critical challenges in the decades ahead, helping individuals, businesses, and governments to make smarter decisions

As individuals, companies, and countries struggle to recover from the economic crisis, many are narrowly focused on forecasts for the next week, month, or quarter. Yet they should be asking what the global economy will look like in the years to come--where will the long-term risks and opportunities arise? These are the questions that Daniel Altman confronts in his provocative and indispensable book.

The fate of the global economy, Altman argues, will be determined by deeper factors than those that move markets from moment to moment. His incisive analysis brings together hidden trends, societal pressures, and policy endgames to make twelve surprising but logical predictions about the years ahead. And his forecasts for the future raise a pressing question for today: With so many challenges awaiting us, are our political and economic institutions up to the task?

Outrageous Fortunes tells which industries will grow, which economies will crumble, which investments will pay off, and where the next big crisis may occur. Altman's carefully reasoned text is an essential guide for the road ahead.

Publisher: New York : Times Books/Henry Holt and Co., 2011.
ISBN: 9780805091021
Characteristics: 257 p. :,ill. ;,22 cm.


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Oct 19, 2011

Bold and original, though not for people who are looking for detailed economic analyses that would flush out these ideas. Altman makes very suggestive thought experiments that take into account things that many economists take for granted: culture, history, technology, and the power of incentive in predicting human behavior.

Some of his ideas are more digestible than others: foreseeing the eventual deflation of China's economic bubble is a lot more palatable and realistic than imagining the rise of "lifestyle hubs", for instance. His discussion of the inevitable end of the European Union as a holistic economic bloc is remarkable for its predictions (which are unfolding as we speak). His weakest chapter--on the triumph of a centrist capitalism vs. socialism--may be grounded on the history we have thus far (the Sino-Soviet experiments, Latin American national socialism experiments, etc), but belies the fact that communism is nowhere near as "complete" an economic theory as capitalism, which is starting to lose favor globally.

Ultimately, this book is recommended for people who already have a basic idea of the most salient trends in the global economy today, and want to see a daring look into where these trends could take us.

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