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Investment books?

Is is just me, or do others believe that the press and various authors are perhaps taking advantage of the economy to advance their own agendas? I keep thinking back to the old saying "things are seldom as good or as bad as they seem." When was a kid and the Browns won, we all thought they were great - when they lost, they were terrible. The truth was they were usually decent, but not as good as the Steelers.

Anyway, I just got done reading and reviewing a couple books predicting the collapse of Western Civilization as we know it. One, Collapse, is by a guy named Dent who at least cites demographic analysis to support his predictions for economic turmoil. Of course, this is the same guy who predicted Dow 40,000, only to retract it, so maybe you would need to think twice before following his advice. But Dent has done a lot of demographic research, and it's hard to argue with some of his conclusions without having the data. That doesn't mean I totally buy his arguments, though.

The other, "When Giants Fall," by a guy named Panzner, basically predicts a post-apocolyptic world akin to "The Road Warrior." Lots of conclusions, but I couldn't get a sense of the actual data supporting these predictions. Oh, and while it promises guidence for investing, the advice is pretty simple: buy commodities. Right, when I'm huddled in my bomb shelter eating MRE's, I'll be happy I have that pile of gold next to me. Unbelievable. Well, what's more interesting is this guy's supporters have been attacking my review on Amazon in various ways. Whatever.

My own sentiment is that if the world economic order is going to collapse the way Panzner (and to a lesser extent, Dent) predict, then it won't matter where you've got your money stashed. There won't be food, there won't be water (no kidding- Dent is predicting this stuff) - what good are cash or commodities going to do for you?

On the other hand, the fact that these guys are out pushing these books could be an excellent contrarian indicator. If these books sell, you may see that markets are at a new low, or close to it. So maybe we need to start coming out of our shells a bit. I don't know how much worse things will get, and they're pretty bad right now, but at some point saving cash may not make much sense.