Published on Apr 6, 2016

Apr 7 – Cris welcomes Satyajit Das to discuss his new book, The Age of Stagnation: Why Perpetual Growth is Unattainable and the Global Economy is in Peril. Das believes the global economy is entering an era of protracted stagnation…

The Age of Stagnation: Why Perpetual Growth is Unattainable and the Global Economy is in Peril

 

The global economy is entering an era of protracted stagnation, similar to what Japan has experienced for over a decade. That is the message of this brilliant and controversial summary of our current economic predicament from an internationally respected consultant and commentator on financial markets, who predicted the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. The author challenges the assumption that growth can be perpetual and questions the ability of political leaders to enact the tough structural changes needed. He is particularly critical of the “easy money” approach to dealing with the great recession of 2008, citing the dangers of excessive debt and deep-seated fundamental imbalances. The fallout of these poor policies, he argues, will affect not only the business sector, but also the lifestyles and prosperity of average citizens and future generations.

 

The author concludes with a thought experiment illustrating the large-scale changes that will be necessary to restore economic, financial, and social sustainability. This experiment has already been tried in Iceland, which went bankrupt in the wake of the 2008 crisis, and now, after a painful adjustment, is on the road to recovery.

Written for the lay reader and peppered with witty anecdotes, this immensely readable book clearly explains the missteps that created the current dilemma, why a recovery has proved elusive, and the difficult remedies that must eventually be applied to ensure a stable future.

The Age of Stagnation: Why Perpetual Growth is Unattainable and the Global Economy is in Peril

Review

“Loved it! Written with passion and insight, and laden with facts, the book provides a clear explanation of the economic, social, and political issues that lie ahead, and the difficulty in solving them. Essential reading for the investor who wants to be informed and ahead of the curve.”

—Jon Markman, Forbes columnist and president and publisher of Markman Capital Insight

“Growth or, rather, the lack of it is a key issue of our times. TheAge of Stagnation provides a penetrating analysis of how a combination of the aftereffects of the Great Recession and deep-seated structural factors now cast a long shadow over the future. Highly accessible and written with wit and style, this provocative and important book deserves to be widely read.”

—Nouriel Roubini, professor, New York University’s Stern School of Business, and chairman, Roubini Global Economics

The Age of Stagnation is an elegant and informative discussion of the economic and social factors that have led us to the ‘new normal’—a state of low growth, soaring debt, and rising political tensions. Even if you disagree with the author’s dystopian vision of the future of the global economy, this important book challenges the false narrative in the media and in political circles regarding the causes of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008.”

—Christopher Whalen, head of research, Kroll Bond Rating Agency, and author of Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream

“In The Age of Stagnation, Satyajit Das exposes in masterful clarity the extent to which the global economy careens toward catastrophe while its leaders exude a mix of denial and impotence. The current environment of zero-cost money, concentrated bank power, and anemic productive growth has coalesced not by accident or economic cycle but by willful choice.  Developed countries are laden with more than 100 percent debt-to-GDP ratios and inadequate savings levels, while developing countries are being crushed by greater debt, currency wars, internal and external inequality, and unfettered speculative finance. Das warns, with passion and illuminating evidence, that without significant change, the only possible future holds dire consequences for all but an elite few. His tone is as urgent as the problem. All central bankers, politicians, and citizens should heed his words.”

—Nomi Prins, author of All the Presidents’ Bankers

“Satyajit Das was among the first to foresee the 2008 market crash, and he has been one of the sharpest analysts of the current confusions of the European project. Now, in The Age of Stagnation, he focuses on the diminishing prospects of the global economy. His writing is always vivid and clear, but he delivers a hard message that deserves a wide audience.”

—Charles R. Morris, author, The Trillion Dollar Meltdown