Subtitle: The Global Elites' Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis,
Portfolio, N.Y., 2016, 340 pgs., index, sources, notes
This is another in the author's series on the coming financial crisis due to
the explosion of debt and fiat money. It follows his
Currency Wars - and The
Death of Money. In this book he focuses
directly on what he expects will happen when the world experiences another
financial crisis similar to that of 2008 due to debt implosion causing a
liquidity crisis. This time, he claims, the central banks are prepared for the
International Monetary Fund to issue sufficient quantities of SDR as a new
reserve currency on which the central banks can then support national banks and
other financial instiutions. Otherwise the liquidity crisis will create a
massive deflation and many bankruptcies. The chapters are based on his personal
activities and interactions with others as his ideas evolve. He combines
personal memoir featuring his 'insider' activities with his developing analysis
based on the application of his theories. His argument throughout is that the
very axioms that are the basis of the FED and government economists are false,
so their concepts of financial markets are mistaken and the theoretical models
they rely in for making decisions on monetary policy are faulty.
A current essay that reinforces Rickards is by Steven D. Bleiberg, "The
Limits of Investment Theory" in the April 16, 2018 Barron's. It is a
critique of MPT - Modern Portfolio Theory - in which Bleiberg shows that the
fundamental problem is reliance on 'theory'. The application of theory on which
he focuses in the concept of 'risk - reward'. The full article is at eipny.com.
A similar problem is MMT - Modern Money Theory.
To understand Rickards' methods the reader may find helpful a general
knowledge of Bayes' Theorem. See the Wikipedia entry.
And the entry on Bayes method
and the entry on Complexity theory
and the entry on complex adaptive system.
Mr. Rickards discusses Felix Somary, an Austrian economist whom the author
considers an expert in currencies, known as "the Raven of Zurich" for
his apparent ability to predict financial and other futures. Rickards writes
that Somary was employing Bayesian statistics and behavioral psychology.
Rickards does not think much of most economists.
He writes: "Economics is a science, yet most economists are not
scientists. Economists act like politicians, priests, or propagandists. They
ignore evidence that does not fit their paradigms. Economists want scientific
prestige without the rigor." He describes what he considers as the proper
scientific method using either inductive or deductive development of an
hypothesis that is then subject to rigorous testing before being accepted or
rejected as a theory. He comments on the 'Austrian school', on Lord Keynes, and
the Milton Friedman monetarists and finds fault with all three. His comment on
Friedman is especially interesting.
Friedman claimed that maximum economic expansion with stable prices required a
steady but slow growth in the money supply. This idea he developed from Irving
Fischer's theory including the concept called 'velocity'. This is stated in the
formula MV=PQ meaning that money times velocity equals nominal GDP consisting
of real GDP (Q) adjusted for changes in the price level (P). And he claims that
Friedman assumed that velocity is constant. Professor Mishkin shows that
Fischer's belief in constant velocity no longer is accepted and Rickards
agrees. And Friedman assumed that P=1. Friedman's idea then was that increase
in M would match increase in Q. And Rickards states that Friedman's idea is
worthless - hence Monetarism is not valid.
The history of these theories is discussed in Lawrence White's The Clash of
Economic Ideas, in Jerry Muller's Thinking about Capitalism and in
Frederick Mishkin's Money Banking & Financial Markets among other
references - see list below.
His result: "Prevailing theory does even more damage when weighing the
statistical properties of risk". Furthermore, "The extended balance
sheet of too-big-to-fail banks today is approximately one quadrillion dollars,
or one thousand trillion dollars poised on a thin sliver of capital."
Rickards then considers the prevailing theory called 'value at risk' which
assumes that long and short financial positions balance to a net and that
extreme events are rare. But extreme events are not rare. (See Nassim Taleb's
Rickards writes that all four assumptions supporting 'value at
risk' are false. He then summarizes that monetarists, Neo-Keynesians and VaR
users all are using obsolete tools but insist on sticking with their models. He
compares this predilection to others in history and blames human psychology.
That is sticking with a belief even in the face of opposing evidence because
doing so is more comfortable. He adds the reliance on 'elegant mathematics' and
inertia plus belief in certainty over uncertainty and academic mentality.
All these denunciations lead to Rickards' statement that his book, here, is
about "what works". His work, then, is based on three "important
new tools": Behavioral psychology, complexity theory, and causal
For behavioral psychology he cites Daniel Kahneman.
He describes complexity theory as having four attributes; diversity,
connectedness, interaction, and adaptation. The question is: Are capital
markets complex systems. The third tool is the application of Bayesian
statistics (causal inference). He notes that: "Bayesian probability posits
that certain events are path dependent, meaning that future events are NOT
independent, random (like coin tosses) but are influenced by the long series of
prior events. Rickards claims that economists reject using Bayesian methods
because they are too difficult, but that, for instance, intelligence agencies
and nuclear scientists have adopted them. (See Philip Tetlock's
Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
In conclusion he writes: "This book parts ways with the "Big
Four" schools - classical, Austrian, Keynesian, and monetarist." And
continues by again summarizing their shortcomings.
Chapter 1 - This is the End
The chapter is about ICE-9, a central theme of the book. The scene opens in a
New York restaurant and the time is summer, 2014. Rickards is discussing
government interventions in the financial market with a BlackRock expert who
has mentioned Larry Fink's directions for BlackRock and his interactions with
the Federal government. It seems the government wants to add BlackRock to its
list of G-SIFI (globally systemic important financial institutions) That means
government ability to exercise control when it considers it necessary. Of
course Black Rock sought to avoid that. Rickards explains the ramifications of
such actions. Among them would be the government ability to order BlackRock to
take specific actions against its will, such as freeze all accounts. Freeze -
as in ice. This leads to the central theme.
Rickards has a habit of creating metaphors and using literary references. In
this case Vonnegut's science fiction concept of a special type of H2O that
could freeze the world. His theme, then, is that in a world financial panic - a
liquidity crisis - everyone wants their money now and banks do not have it.
(The long history of bank failures from 'runs' is well known. The government
solution is to 'freeze' all monetary accounts. (Like FDR's bank holiday). Since
financial institutions (especially banks) are central actors in the complex
networks that constitute modern dynamic systems these 'runs' or other liquidity
failures spread 'freezing' the whole system. So Rickards tells the readers that
"Ice-nine is hiding in plain sight.".. "Ice-nine global rather
than case-by-case". He cites specific recent cases, such as Cyprus and
Greece. And he notes specific international financial leaders attending
conferences. Another sign of what is coming is the increasing public
recommendations that 'cash', that is currency, be eliminated and all monetary
assets be limited to digital accounts in government supervised institutions.
Holding cash outside banks would be the citizen's response to thwart the
government 'ice-nine' policy. He devotes pages to explanations of the
widespread ramifications of a govenment 'ice-nine' edict.
In this section he insists that the typical public disbelief that a
"ice-nine' policy could occur is naive - history is replete with similar
The Money Riots
In this section Rickards describes the time between 1971 and 1980 as chaotic.
He comments on the failing efforts of monetarists and Keynesians to respond to
the volatile financial scene. The establishment solution was simple - Print
Money - But is did not solve but rather made the situation worse. He describes
the events surrounding the 2008 financial crisis.
Chapter 2 - One Money, One World, One Order
Rickards again refers to 'literature', well, at least to a book. This is Ian
Fleming's Thunderball the venue for SPECTRE. His analogy is that the
criminal organization - SPECTRE - is similar to legal NGO's and the IMF.
His shorthand: "True elites operate inside spheres of influence."...
"These super-elite venues are not run-of-the-mill industry
conventions."... "Elite spheres float and overlap like an interactive
three-dimensional Venn diagram.'
Now all of this is described in Niall Ferguson's The Square and the
which he focuses on the conflict between network structures and hierarchial
In this section Rickards relates the early uses of gold and silver as
international 'money' with today's methods in which 'fiat' money has taken the
place of gold. He describes FDR's edict that prohibited private ownership of
gold. He predicts, "The next collapse will see world money's reemergence.
...The chosen instrument is neither the dollar nor gold, but SDR's". He
describes what a SDR is and what its role will be.
In this section Rickards cites his personal experience working for Citibank in
international taxation issues - that is how to avoid taxes as much as possible-
or rather how to pay just enough to keep governments away. He describes many of
the techniques to achieve this. And of course governments are out to stop this
nefarious practice by instituting a world financial system that will enable
taxation on a world basis.
In this section Rickards first notes that many have striven to establish a
world polity without success beyond a geographical area. But now the tools are
available to create a real, all encompassing world order. He provides the
reader with a brief excursion into the history of some empires. Then to the
present, he discusses some new features that proponents cite as demanding a
'world order', such as digital threats, climate change, and extreme differences
in local or regional wealth and poverty.
Specifically, he writes, "The linkages among climate change, SDR's, the
IMF, World Bank, and the need for global coordination could not be more
In this section he again finds an analogy in Naomi Klein's book The Shock
Doctrine. The book describes how elites can use shock to advance hidden
agendas. Sure enough, President Obama's henchman, Rahm Emanuel, revealed the
modus operandi to 'never let a crisis go to waste'.
Chapter 3 - Desert City of the Mind
The subject is complexity theory. The chapter is another opportunity for
Rickards to describe his personal role, his visit. In this case the 'desert
city' is Los Alamos - a super secret venue inhabited by super brainiacs. It is
a major node in another network, the government advanced research apparatus
that expanded and evolved from the WWII atomic bomb development organization.
Capital and Complexity
In this section Rickards describes the use of the powerful computers today in
the study of extremely complex systems. Among these are efforts to predict
developments - evolutions - of such a system. For this Bayes' theorem can be
used. He gives us the basic mathematical equations.
Tetlock informs us that some of the best forecasters in his experiments use the
fundamental Bayesian method without knowing about it. The basic idea is to
begin with a probability based on the cumulative knowledge one already has, if
that is a pure guess it might be 50/50. Then continue to collect separate bits
of knowledge each of which might itself have a probability such as 70/30 and
adjust the original number mathematically. Continue by integrating successive
bits of knowledge. Rickards provides examples.
In this section he again points out that capital markets are complex systems
but even so are little understood or considered. He discusses Edward Lorenz's
experiments. He explains: "Complex theory begins with two tools; an agent
that acts in the system and feedback - the effect of subsequent events back on
the initial ones to produce a new event.
(Rickards does not mention this, but it appears to be similar to Hegel's
Rickards gives examples such as the actions investors take having seen
Buffett's actions in the market. Much math follows. He disagrees with Burton
Malkiel's famous concept of 'the random walk'.
Chapter 4 - Foreshock: 1998
In this chapter Rickards details the events surrounding the famous collapse of
Long-Term Capital Management in 1998. He does provide many interesting details
about the specific ideas and actions of the leading characters based on his own
activity. He joined LTCM in 1994 and remained there until 1999. His subsequent
analysis was based on his subsequent study of complexity theory. Again, he
provides examples. The chapter is well worth its study.
Chapter 5 - Foreshock: 2008
In Rickards' opinion. "From the perspective of complexity theory the 2008
collapse was easily foreseen."
Well it was foreseen by quite a few investors and market analysts some of whom
chose to warn the public and politicians, and some of whom chose to benefit
themselves by quietly executing shorts and other transactions.
Rickards describes his own efforts to give warning, even directly to government
officials, but he was ignored. He then describes some of the results.
Chapter 6 - Earthquake: 2018
Rickards is again warning about the danger of financial instability in personal
discussions with officials. His conclusion was (and is) that the FED economists
and officials were persevering in relying on their erroneous models. One
comment: "There's nothing new about economists' inability to foresee
panics." He does cite Jeremy Stein and Rick Mishkin as two who are making
progress in understanding financial complexity. He contrasts the approaches
taken by 'frequentists' and "Bayesianists'.
In this section Rickards makes an argument for investing in gold. He claims
that, "Gold is the world's least understood asset class. Confusion arises
because gold is traded like a commodity, yet gold is not a commodity, it is
money." He claims that gold is money because central banks hold tons of
gold in their vaults. Further, he claims that, "Gold will beak out toward
its intrinsic monetary value of $10,000 per ounce, versus the current commodity
value of $1,400 per ounce...." He continues with examples. He does provide
some excellent real world examples of what goes on each day in the gold market.
There is much information here to cause individuals who are investing in gold,
especially paper gold, and futures to be very concerned. In this he is pushing
his books. and
The New Case for Gold.
But I disagree with his fundamental concept as stated above. Because gold has
NO intrinsic value since Nothing has intrinsic value because value is not an
attribute that can be attached to any good or service. Value is a psychological
attribute inside the individual's brain, not attached to any object. To claim
that gold has intrinsic value is the same as to claim a glass of water has
intrinsic value. However, it is the very nature of gold (and everything) to
have relative value depending on circumstances that makes it sometimes a very
significant investment worth holding.
The Dollar Shortage
Now in this section Rickards is providing the readers with a very important
view of what is going on in the world financial markets with respect to the
real money supply. He presents some data on the massive expansion of debt
(credit) by the world's banks and how it has been leveraged as much as 50:1 by
various kinds of derivatives. And this relates in a complex way to inflation
One of his conclusions is: "The world is a minefield of bad debt waiting
to detonate into a generalized dollar liquidity crisis." He continues with
more dire predictions.
The idea that there could be a 'dollar shortage' or a 'shortage' of whatever is
being used as the medium of exchange in the daily markets - which history shows
has indeed been the case with some frequency (for instance in silver)- is
another fact that dispels the concept of 'velocity'. If the market required a
greater volume of 'money' to meet demand an increase in 'velocity' would solve
Chapter 7 - Bonfire of the Elites
This chapter opens on the Serengeti plain where lions prey on wildebeests.
Today our financial lions are the likes of Mario Draghi, Christien Lagarde and
Larry Summers. The wildebeests are the rest of us. Rickards denounces the
entire ruling economic theory that the elite 'lions' claim provides legitimacy
for their manipulation of the money supply - the credit markets. Markets are
NOT efficient, as they claim. "Eqilibrium is a facade that masks unstable
complex dynamics." He asks, "If elite consensus is so flawed, why has
the consensus persisted so long?" His answer is that it has not actually
'persisted' for long but its components - monetarianism, Keynesianism,
efficient markets theory, rational actors, and the other intellectual fads are
relatively recent. But it is all absurd. Also, individual actors and the market
in total are NOT Rational.
Also, "General equilibrium models also suffer from a fallacy of
composition." ... "The fatal flaw in equilibrium models is that the
degree distribution of market price movements is assumed to be shaped in a bell
curve, or so-called normal distribution. The difference between a bell curve
system and the alternative power curve system is not just a dusty academic
debate over the shape of two curves."
Rickards metaphor of the lion and wildbeests was a central concept of
Machiavelli's psychological view that human conflict consists of that between
those whose main motivation is domination and those whose motivation is to
prevent being dominated. And Darwin sought to frame the same conflict by
excluding a human motivation by stating that it was an evolutionary constant of
all species resulting in 'the survival of the fittest'.
Apple and the Cat
"General equilibrium, rational expectations, and efficient markets are not
the only fallen pillars of the elite edifice. Free trade is another myth."
His metaphor is the contrast between the market activity and results of Apple
Corp. and Caterpillar Corp. Rickards discusses 'free trade' as a development
from David Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage described in his book -
The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation(1817). Rickards
believes the concept now fails in an era of globaliztion. It rests on the term
'comparative'. He claims this rests on the concept of efficiency. He lists some
of the key factors of production that must be measured in order to establish
relative efficiency. Then he points out that these now are manipulated and
therefore there is no basis for comparison. Smith's and Ricardo's analysis
relied on the existence of the gold standard to enable comparisons of nation's
money. Now that is not possible. Today terms of trade are manipulated in
floating exchange rates.
Rickards' point is: " Floating exchange rates enrich currency traders and
speculators but add costs to commerce and impede capital flows." ...
"The next deficiency in the free trade case is mobility of factors of
production." He continues by examining a series of defects that make 'free
trade' not the reality. He writes much more. His summary: "The issue is
not that Rickarian theory is wrong; it is that the theory relies on assumptions
that don't conform to the real world, and is therefore useless as a guide to
policy." He continues by noting the influence of the relative 'value' of
the dollar - either 'weak' of 'strong' on the competitiveness of American
domestic versus multi-national corporations.
He recommends a combination of a high tariff on all imported goods and a cut in
payroll taxes to make the result revenue neutral and enable American consumers
to afford the higher relative costs of the imported goods. And he gives a
lengthy series of arguments in support of his claim for advantage. He claims
the result will be to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. without net cost to
Empire of Debt.
He repeats his summary: "The elite world-view rests on the intellectual
pillars of equilibrium models, monetarianism, Keynesianism, floating exchange
rates, free trade, globalization, and fiat money. Meanwhile, the real world is
best understood through the lens of complexity theory, conditional probability,
behavioral psychology, currency wars, neomercantilism, and gold." He
contrasts the economic and financial conditions of the postwar 1950-60's with
the conditions subsequent to the abandonment of the gold standard and then the
financial peg to the dollar. He describes the decline that began in the 1990's.
His discussion shifts to the huge explosion of credit- debt since then with
citations on the size of various measures of debt.
In the remainder of the chapter he describes the coming results of all this and
proposes several 'radical' political - economic measures that would counter the
Chapter 8 - Capitalism, Fascism, and Democracy
Many readers won't understand this chapter and many will dispute Rickards'
conclusion. But the chapter is full of detailed data and quotations in support
of his arguments.
Rickards devotes pages of attention to Schumpeter's contribution to economic
theory. He notes the major attention that has been paid to Schumpeter's concept
of 'creative destruction' - the idea that innovation fostered by the
entrepreneurial side of capitalism destroys the old as it creates the new. He
notes that also Schumpeter predicted (favorably) that capitalism would lead to
socialism. Rickards believes that Schumpeter was correct, but he was not
thinking of Marxian socialism. Rather Schumpeter expected the expansion of
"state' socialism' - that is the expansion of control by 'central
planners' - the elite establishment - who would rely on and favor the support
of the working class at the expense of the 'middle class'. Rickards cites
considerable statistics to show that this has happened and is happening. He
writes: "Schumpeter diagnosed capitalism's decline with uncanny
The conflict between three forms of 'welfare state'; entrepreneurial,
managerial and mercantilist is the central prediction of Philip Bobbitt in his
'must read' book - The Shield of Achilles. Frederick Hayek warned about this future
in his Road to Serfdom
Rickards summarizes this section: "The rise and fall of civilizations is
the grandest example of complexity theory applied to human affairs." (See
The New Praetorians
Rickards' poses the analogy of the Roman Praetorians (established to protect
the emperors), but they evolved into the armed forces which could create and
destroy emperors. Likewise today. He writes: "The ideal American Republic
is no more than a comfortable myth today; new praetorians are here now, inside
city walls, in the service of elites." But so far their influence and
power has remained hidden and mostly potential. He writes that their power
rests on four legs - criminalization of every day behavior, politization of
justice, militarization of police, and digitization of surveillance. He cites
many specific examples fully exposed in the media.
The New Fascism
This is a section likely to be disbelieved and disputed by many readers. Its
validity depends on an understanding of what 'fascism' really meant in theory
and practice, something unknown to most Americans who have been taught entirely
different meaning of the term. He provides the 'seminal definition of fascism
by quoting Woodrow Wilson. A quotation worth repeating here.
"The President is at liberty, both in law and in conscience, to be as big
a man as he can. his capacity will set the limit; and if Congress be overborne
by him it will be no fault of the makers of the Constitution... but only
because the President has the nation behind him and Congress has not."
And, "Government does now whatever experience permits or the times
In theory and practice "Fascism' is actually 'state socialism' legitimized
as the benign operation of the 'welfare state'. Fascists are happy to allow
private enterprise to have legal ownership of economic institutions, while the
government (under the justification of 'reasons of state' controls all action
(results) via extensive rules and regulations - especially over the four
'commanding heights' (energy ,education, health, and finance.)
Rickards describes Wilson's implementation of fascist control, using the
excuses of World War I necessity. He comments; "Hitler and Mussolini
referred to Wilson with approval in their own writings and adopted his
repressive tactics as part of Italy's fascist movement and Germany's National
Socialism movement." He describes at length with specific examples how
Hoover, FDR, and LBJ expanded on it.
Rickards returns for more discussion of Schumpeter's vision. He then brings up
Bismarck (belatedly I believe) by noting that is was Bismarck who invented and
created the first 'welfare state' for political purposes - to preempt
socialists and prevail on the many independent German mini-states to accept the
Prussian King as the German Emperor. Rickards does not mention that Schumpeter
was strongly influenced by and supported the German Historical School of
economics professors who developed the modern economic theories that supported
Bismarck and the Kaiser.
Rickards concludes the chapter with further description of fascism in the
United States today.
Chapter 9 - Behold a Black Horse
In this chapter Rickards focuses on the coming future - sure to have another
financial crisis - a worse one than in 2008.
Rickards begins: "Complexity theory says we will not know the time of the
next financial collapse in advance." ... "Complex systems in the
critical state are fragile constructs with countless points of failure
catalyzed by immeasuable small causes. That dynamic makes systems failure
certain." He cites the example of prediction of earth quakes. Then he
discusses in detail with dates and results a number of well known financial
crises of the past 50 years as financial 'foreshocks'.
This is one of the most authoritative and well grounded sections. It should be
studied carefully in conjunction with Ferguson's Square and Tower and
Fox's The myth of the Rational Market.
Rickards again: "The international monetary system is now in a time of
dynamic uncertainty. This dynamic resembles the phase from 1971 to 1981 when
extremes in inflation, interest rates, commodity prices, and exchange rates,
and geopolitical instability pushed markets to the edge of chaos until Henry
Kissinger, Paul Volcker, Ronald Reagan, James Baker and later Robert Rubin
provided the leadership and enlisted the international cooperation needed to
reestablish the former Bretton Woods gold-based system around a new
dollar-based one." He believes a similar move is underway now - the theme
of his book. The validity of Rickards' descriptions of moves in the FOREX -
currency markets can be followed daily on line in Daily Pffening. He lists the
major steps he believes the international financial officials are taking.
1 Capture the banking system, 2009-10
2 - Redistribute gold to China, 2009-16
3 -Redistribute the SDR, 2015-16
4 - Print and distribute SDR's 2017-18
5 - Destroy debt by inflation, 2018-25
The problem with this policy is that the world entered a epoch of deflation in
the late 1990's and so far the central banks have been unable to do more than
reduce it. It significant deflation continues the financial authorities would
need to employ the 'Ice-nine; methods described above plus the 'shock doctrine
and a further war on cash. With implementation of the inflationary debt
reduction policy governments would be winners and investors who were caught
unawares would be losers.
Rickards again touts his own experience by using a meeting at the Palazzo
Colonna in Rome as the venue for an example of the ability of powerful families
to preserve their wealth over centuries and generations. He cites the advice of
the Colonna - place a third of investment in each of fine art, real estate and
precious metal. Then he cites his own and Nassim Taleb's testimony before
Congress on risk management. Their advice has not been taken, he asserts. His
own formula for defensive asset allocation follows:
10% physical gold and silver;
20% real estate
5% fine art
10% angel and venture capital;
5% hedge funds;
10% high quality sovereign bonds; 10% stocks in natural resources, mining,
energy, utilities and tech
A final example of Rickards in action - this time in a debate on the broad
course of future national power. His argument was about the danger of enormous
debt and the coming financial collapse. He justified his assessment by the
historical record back to civilization collapse in the Bronze Age. (Again, see
Some references- All of these provide insight into the failures of
current economic theory about risk, money and the nature of markets leading up
to the financial crisis of 2008. They should be studied together. The links are
to the publisher information and the file in which I am gradually writing my
review and comments.
David Hackett Fischer - The Great Wave
The author provides statistics and analysis of the waves of price increase and
decrease in Western History since 1200. In a super appendix he describes the
same establishment demand from students for theory over facts that Rickards
L. Randall - Wray - Modern Money Theory
This is an amazing effort to justify the modern 'chartalist' theory that
legitimizes government use of manipulation of money to achieve its political
Frederick S. Mishkin - The Economics of Money, Banking &
A huge and detailed text book on all aspects of the topic. The author descries
the development of the economic theories that Rickards denounces.
Henry Kaufman -Tectonic Shifts in Financial Markets
The author was at the center of the 'tectonic shifts' he describes. He
identifies who was responsible for the changes.
Joseph Tainter - The Collapse of Complex Societies
The author is an archeologist - anthropologist who mostly studied Western
hemisphere ancient civilizations. He developed his theory on collapse that
focuses mainly on how as societies become more complex the demand on energy
resources to simply keep it going eventually exceeds the capacity.
Douglas W. Hubbard - The Failure of Risk Management
Another detailed description of the 2008 financial crisis in terms of the
officials failure to recognize and deal with risk.
Peter L. Bernstein - Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of
A historical study of scientific developments on thinking about risk from early
ideas about gambling and probability to the present.
Justin Fox - The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk,
Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street
The author covers much of the same terrain as Rickards with similar conclusions
about the fundamental fallacies. He also names the economists responsible.
Jerry Z. Muller - Thinking about Capitalism
Each chapter is devoted to one or several philosophers who wrote in support of
or opposition to the social - cultural results of capitalism.
Jerry Z. Muller - The Mind and the Market A briefer list of the
Lawrence White - The Clash of Eonomic ideas.
This is a remarkable study, based mostly on the professional economic
literature, of the conroversial way in which 20th century economic theory has
developed. Lord Keynes and Frederick Hayek are two of the major contenders.
Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner - Superforcasting: The Art and
Science of Prediction
The authors have conducted and continue to conduct experiments with volunteers
testing the ability of individuals to predict future events or trends - and
discussion of the meathods the more successful individuals use.
Danielle Dimartino Booth - FED UP: An Insider's Take on Why the
Federal Reserve is Bad for America
The author worked inside the FED and observed first hand the problems Rickards
and others have identified.
Rana Foroohar - Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall
of American Business
A devastating report on the process by which the financial 'industry' has
damaged the real productive business world.
Daniel Kahneman - Thinking Fast and Slow
The author won a Nobel Prize in economics even though he is an experimental
psychologist. His findings about the real nature of decision making forced
economists to change some basic beliefs about 'rational man'.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb - The Black Swan
Another devastating critique of the financial industry that bases its
activities on theories that fail to account for the real likelihood of failure.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Fooled by Randomness
Further expansion of the author's critique of how financial leaders deal with
Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Antifragile
In this book the author advances his theories to contend that it is not enough
to seek to reduce risk by attempting to prevent disruptions. Rather he
recommends betting on investments that will actually benefit from disruption.
His ideas relate to those of Rickards.
Niall Ferguson - The Square and the Tower
The author examines the fundamental conflict throughout history between
organizations that are based on hierarchy and those that are based on networks.
And he indicates that networks are growing now.
Philip Bobbitt - Shield of Achilles
The best book on the history of the creation and development of the concept of
'the state' since circa 1500 and its potential future in the 21st century. The
author devotes much attention to the philosophers who became recognized as
supporters and theoretical descriptors of the political reality at each stage.
With the modern expansion of politicians' need to address economic issues
(since the advent of the welfare state) the legion of economists has superceded
the clerics and others who dominated in the field of providing justification
Frederick Hayek - Road to Serfdom The devastating critique of
socialism that Rickards believes has been victorious.