Book Review: When Giants Fall, by Michael Panzer

by: David Merkel, CFA

I try to resist doom-and-gloom literature. Some of it finds its way to my door anyway. When Giants Fall, by Michael Panzner, covers many of the issues that I have covered at my blog with an even more dour slant. It contemplates the demise of American hegemony in the world.

Though I’m not crazy about the US Dollar, and the US in this economic environment, I’m not sure what can replace the US and its flexible economy, which allows the rest of the world to shed its excesses here in exchange for buying our debts. Yes, it is not sustainable. But something not being sustainable does not tell us when it will end. Nations like China following non-economic goals typically have to go through an experience where they eat so much of something bad for them and then they throw up.

Um, that’s not scientific-sounding, but I think it is a fair way to describe how a large unstable equilibrium gets destroyed. The non-economic provider of liquidity (China) to the parasite in question (the US) must choke.

Who would benefit from this Book

Hmm… back to the book. If you get easily dismayed, this is not the book for you. Michael Panzner paints an “end of the era” picture for America, with the nation as a whole less well off.

For those who are willing to look at the pessimistic side of what is possible, When Giants Fall is a reasonable account of what could happen. Warning: the book is long on description, and short on solutions, both personal and national.

You can buy it here: When Giants Fall: An Economic Roadmap for the End of the American Era.

PS — Not many book reviewers read the books that they review. They read the summary that the PR flacks send, and rely heavily on that. I throw away those summaries, and read the books. That takes time, but I like reading books, and when I wrote for RealMoney, I often missed reading books. Now I read them more, and you can benefit from that, because I don’t always endorse the books that I review.

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