Endgame: The End of the Debt Supercycle and How It Changes Everything

Endgame: The End of the Debt Supercycle and How It Changes Everything

Greece isn’t the only country drowning in debt. The Debt Supercycle—when the easily managed, decades-long growth of debt results in a massive sovereign debt and credit crisis—is affecting developed countries around the world, including the United States. For these countries, there are only two options, and neither is good—restructure the debt or reduce it through austerity measures. Endgame details the Debt Supercycle and the sovereign debt crisis, and shows that, while there are no good choices, the worst choice would be to ignore the deleveraging resulting from the credit crisis. The book:
  • Reveals why the world economy is in for an extended period of sluggish growth, high unemployment, and volatile markets punctuated by persistent recessions
  • Reviews global markets, trends in population, government policies, and currencies

Around the world, countries are faced with difficult choices. Endgame provides a framework for making those choices.

Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (March 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118004574
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118004579
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
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3 comments

  1. John Mauldin and Jonathan Tepper clearly set the stage for how to invest and profit from what they call the “Endgame.” The Endgame follows the “Debt Supercycle.” The debt supercycle refers to the unsustainable rise of debt over a period of 60+ years mostly in the private sector of the developed world that culminated into the global financial crisis that erupted in 2007-08 (pp. 8; 12; 15; 25; 40; 108). The endgame points to a crisis in the public sector debt, which (will) occur when (Western) governments run into the limits of their ability to borrow money at today’s low rates (p. 25).

    The transition from the debt supercycle to the endgame is characterized, for the most part, by a transfer of debt, not an extinction of it, from the private sector to the public sector (pp. 24-25). Western governments and central banks have run large fiscal deficits and printed massive amounts of money to reduce the impact of the multiyear balance sheet recession in the private sector (pp. 8; 13; 24-25; 29; 58-63; 98-104; 136-141; 155; 158; 172-174; 227; 230; 252; 267-272). To their credit, Mauldin and Tepper clearly explain why deficits matter. Unfortunately, countries like the United States have mostly not run surplus and pay down debt in good times so that there is room for a policy response in bad times (pp. 54-57; 178-180; 188-196; 224; 235; 249). Unless central banks print money, the financing of large government debt runs the risk of crowding out business investment that relies on savings of consumers and businesses (pp. 53; 121-122).

    Mauldin and Tepper are not surprised at all about this policy of kicking the proverbial can down the road that will result into greater systemic instability with more macroeconomic volatility and greater variability of inflation rates (pp.Read more ›

  2. I’ve been reading John Mauldin for a while now. I’ve read other books of his and am used to his sometimes strange style that mixes serious scholarship with very colloquial language (for example, he refers to Reinhart and Rogoff, an overview of whose book gets its own chapter, as “wicked smart”) with some occasional and annoying name dropping (anybody who’s anybody in economics or investing seems to be his good friend). But the important part of the book, providing an overview of the current situation and various outlooks (intermediate-, long-, and very long-term), is very good and will leave the reader with a more solid understanding of the ongoing financial crisis. It is rather pessimistic in the intermediate to long term, though very optimistic in the very long term (more than 10 years). There are also some interesting suggestions that I hadn’t read anywhere else about how to take some positive steps toward mitigating the crisis, at least a little. I don’t think those suggestions will be taken serious by policymakers, but they won’t be able to say that creative solutions weren’t available.

    So why just three stars? First, I didn’t think the analysis was all that new or profound. If you are coming to the subject for the first time, then you’ll probably learn a lot. However, if it’s a topic that you already know a lot about, then you probably won’t learn all that much that’s new to you. Second, and more seriously in my opinion, is what I consider an ethical breach on Mauldin’s part. In the epilogue, the authors (mostly Mauldin, it seemed to me) were giving reasons why we should be optimistic in the very long term. The authors believe that the advances taking place in various areas of biotechnology will be revolutionary and make life a lot better and longer for a lot of people.Read more ›

  3. John Mauldin has an outstanding free weekly e-newsletter. It is one of my top 3 sources for business informatin and certainly my favorite source that comes at no cost. Hence I was eagerly anticipating his book and rushed out to buy it when it became available. Unfortunately, the book was a big let down when compared to his newsletter.
    Here is the positive:
    1) End Game looks at both sides of the flation argument, as opposed to other books that focus on just 1 or the other.
    2) Mr. Mauldin tells you what he believes will be the likely outcmes for several countries around the world. 3) The book is straightforward and easy to read.
    The Negative:
    1) Too much of other people’s thinking. This works for his newsletter as you get a broad perspective from a variety of economists. But for a book it just makes it seem like the authors didn’t do enough of their own leg work, and were in some hurry to meet a deadline.
    2) The chapter on how you should invest shouldn’t be called a chapter, it is 4 pages short.
    3) While the authors talk both the drivers of inflation and deflation they do not dedicate much time to discussing how, why, and when one will predominate the other. The most specific they get is to say they believe for hte US we will have deflation then inflation, no degrees of, or time frames or things to look out for as to when the change may be occurring.

    Overall, I’m happy I bought the book, simply because Mr. Maulding issues such an outstandng e-newsletter for free, that I feel he deservees his royalty fees from my purchase of his book.

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