Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles

W. W. Norton & Company
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Free sample

International Bestseller
One of Foreign Policy's "21 Books to Read in 2012"
A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Business Book

“The best book on global economic trends I’ve read in a while.”—Fareed Zakaria, CNN GPS To identify the economic stars of the future we should abandon the habit of extrapolating from the recent past and lumping wildly diverse countries together. We need to remember that sustained economic success is a rare phenomenon. After years of rapid growth, the most celebrated emerging markets—Brazil, Russia, India, and China—are about to slow down. Which countries will rise to challenge them? In his best-selling book, writer and investor Ruchir Sharma identifies which countries are most likely to leap ahead and why, drawing insights from time spent on the ground and detailed demographic, political, and economic analysis.

With a new chapter on America’s future economic prospects, Breakout Nations offers a captivating picture of the shifting balance of global economic power among emerging nations and the West.
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About the author

Ruchir Sharmais chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. He is the author of the international bestseller Breakout Nations and a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. He lives in New York City.

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Additional Information

Publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
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Published on
Apr 9, 2012
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780393083835
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Investments & Securities / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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In his most recent New York Times bestselling book, The Great Depression Ahead, Harry S. Dent, Jr., predicted that the stimulus plan created in response to the first crisis would hit demographic and debt saturation headwinds and ultimately fail. In 2010, the stimulus plan had started to fail, and it was already stalling by the first quarter of 2011. The Great Crash Ahead outlines why the next crash and crisis is inevitable, and just around the corner—coming between 2012 and 2014.

With incisive critical analysis and historical examples, this book lays bare the traditional assumptions of economics. Dent shows that the government doesn’t drive our economy, consumers and businesses do; that the Fed does not create most of the money in our economy, the private banking system does; and that the largest generation in history is now saving for or moving into retirement, meaning slowing growth. This is the new normal! Our banking system borrowed to lend for the first time in history with unprecedented leverage and debt levels of $42 trillion, way beyond the massive government debt. But the government’s promises and unfunded liabilities take the cake, at an estimated $66 trillion and growing!

These massive debts will have to be restructured in a time of slowing spending, and this means a deflationary crisis, which is very different from the inflationary crisis of the 1970s and requires very different personal, investment, and business strategies. Dent and Johnson outline these strategies in very practical detail. In the coming years, the greatest surprise will be that the U.S. dollar becomes the safe haven and appreciates just when everyone is calling for it to crash, while the gold and silver bubbles burst along with the stock and commodity bubbles. And real estate will see another round of declines just when everyone thought it could go no lower. The Great Crash Ahead is about making smart, cautious investments—avoiding the sort of high-risk, high-profit investment schemes that sank the world economy.

The road to recovery will be filled with challenges and will require massive change, such as debt restructuring, plans for greater employment, the restructuring of social welfare programs such as social security and health care, budget cuts, and higher taxes—in short, a revision of the kind of lifestyle that characterized the “Roaring 2000s.” The good news is this process will eliminate tens of trillions of dollars of debt and can make way for growth again as the echo boom generation ascends. Or we can continue on our present course and end up like the Japanese, with no growth and high debt two decades later.
Why India's problems won't be solved by rapid economic growth alone

When India became independent in 1947 after two centuries of colonial rule, it immediately adopted a firmly democratic political system, with multiple parties, freedom of speech, and extensive political rights. The famines of the British era disappeared, and steady economic growth replaced the economic stagnation of the Raj. The growth of the Indian economy quickened further over the last three decades and became the second fastest among large economies. Despite a recent dip, it is still one of the highest in the world.

Maintaining rapid as well as environmentally sustainable growth remains an important and achievable goal for India. In An Uncertain Glory, two of India's leading economists argue that the country's main problems lie in the lack of attention paid to the essential needs of the people, especially of the poor, and often of women. There have been major failures both to foster participatory growth and to make good use of the public resources generated by economic growth to enhance people's living conditions. There is also a continued inadequacy of social services such as schooling and medical care as well as of physical services such as safe water, electricity, drainage, transportation, and sanitation. In the long run, even the feasibility of high economic growth is threatened by the underdevelopment of social and physical infrastructure and the neglect of human capabilities, in contrast with the Asian approach of simultaneous pursuit of economic growth and human development, as pioneered by Japan, South Korea, and China.

In a democratic system, which India has great reason to value, addressing these failures requires not only significant policy rethinking by the government, but also a clearer public understanding of the abysmal extent of social and economic deprivations in the country. The deep inequalities in Indian society tend to constrict public discussion, confining it largely to the lives and concerns of the relatively affluent. Drèze and Sen present a powerful analysis of these deprivations and inequalities as well as the possibility of change through democratic practice.

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