Contagion: The Financial Epidemic That is Sweeping the Global Economy... and How to Protect Yourself from It

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Tough times are ahead and Talbott argues that the coming recession will be on a global scale, affecting economies across the world. We have had no real growth in GDP for the last ten years if purchases with government and personal debt are excluded. In effect, government borrowing and spending on the war and healthcare and Social Security and corporate give-aways combined with dramatic increases in personal spending funded by credit card and mortgage debt have funded unsustainable levels of personal and government consumption. The world's banks are threatened with insolvency due to bad mortgage loans and will not be making new loans for any purposes for a very long time. Consumption, by definition, has to decline. Our financial markets worldwide are in chaos with the inability of any financial house or big hedge fund going bankrupt without pulling down the whole $400 trillion derivatives market and the global financial markets at the same time. With this as a backdrop, Talbott offers practical suggestions as to how homeowners and investors can best weather the coming storm with specific advice on where to invest by type of investment and geographic location. Stocks, bonds, TIPS, commodities, real estate, housing and currencies will all be examined.

Customer Reviews:

  • Riveting analysis
    Mr Talbott analyzes the current economic situation with stomach churning logic. Incredibly enough, our elected officials and corporate leaders have led us down a path that has devastated our country. Mr Talbott covers every aspect of how each segment of our economic and political system has focused on short term greed as their focus. He offers solutions that potentially can change things around but will take the participation of every citizen to make a difference....more info
  • Contagion - What caused it - What we can do
    A must read for any one that is involved in the current economic downturn - and that means practically everyone.

    John Talbott lays out a very concise and coherent history about how we got here and what are some of our options going forward. The book is an easy read - you don't need an MBA or PhD in Economics to get through it. To not read it, is to not have an understanding of economic forces that are engulfing us.

    I'm convinced that when the definitive economic history of this era is written John Talbott will be seen as a sort of prophet (as opposed to profit) for our time.

    ...more info
  • Another Outstanding Work
    I will only say that this is another excellent analysis with predictions by the man who called the housing bubble long before it had anyone else's attention. It's flawed only by the publisher's failure to catch a number of errors in grammar that sometimes make the text confusing. That's not the author's fault. ...more info
  • Another arrow splitting bull's eye for John Talbott.
    I have read all of John's books more than once and continue to be amazed at the accuracy with which he can discern the economic consequences from a history of social behaviors.

    I experienced my first, so called, real estate bubble during the sixties and was buying duplexes in the San Francisco Bay area for $13,000 each in its aftermath. I have also studied every bubble since, and agree that the magnitude of the forces driving the current Financial melt down has created the mother of all perfect storms which will likely lead to world altering consequences.

    He, rightly, does not blame capitalism for the current financial problems, but has much to say about corrupt politicians, lobbysts and greedy corporate leaders who line their pockets at the expense of stock holders and working citizens while creating losses and a costly clean up for them.

    He very astutely points out that this recession is different from all the others, noting that the residential real estate market is leading this one down for the first time in our history. He notes that recessions usually begin with a business decline followed by high unemployment and then falling housing prices. He suggests that the consequences of the unprecedented activities that produced this housing led crisis will be severe and wide spread, with global affects.

    I was pleased to learn that he believes capitalism, operating in a well regulated republic is the strongest economic model in existence. He offers that capitalism works so well that it has the ability, unless properly regulated, to over-heat and meltdown from time to time.

    He makes a strong case for eliminating lobbyist, who corrupt and interfere with regulations, from government altogether. I hope, as he, that we survive this experience and will make changes to prevent it from happening in the future.

    Hopefully, our grand children will look back on this as the world's last great finnancial crash, meanwhile everyone interested in surviving it today would do well to read Contagion.

    John writes, street wise, with Hemmingway-like simplicity and clarity with good documentation. I have suggested it as a must read for my business associates.

    Now, I hope he can be coaxed into writing an in-depth, sequel about the on-going selling of the favors of our beloved America the beautiful. We need to rescue her from these self-serving lobbyst and corrupt politicians who are behaving like pimps rather than responsible public representitives as they prostitute her for their own personal gains. Since arriving on these shores in 1630 many of my ancestor have served her in just about every capacity, often fighting and dying for her honour. Now others, after swearing to protect and serve her have insulted and violated her in the most vile manner. It is past time to put a stop to this corrupt humiliation, wipe the tears of disgrace from her eyes and reinstate her to the place of high honor that she rightly deserves.

    Congratulations on another great book John.
    Bill G. Avery ...more info
  • Contagion of Chaos
    I had never read any of John Talbott's books before but was more than interested as he was dead on with his previous books, "The Coming Crash" in 2003 and "Sell Now: The End of the Housing Bubble" in 2006. He finished this book in the fall of 2008 but everything he has written about has happened so far in the last three months of 2008 and the first two months of 2009.
    His accuracy is frightening because he paints such a gloomy picture of the next few years in America. He blames lobbyists and the government for much of the disaster but he also puts blame on every other Usual Suspect that has helped bring down the United States and global economies. This is a must-read book that is scary but necessary to read. I would hope that our congressmen, President, and every other person in America has a chance to read this. But I doubt if he will be taken as seriously as needed because of his book, "Obamanomics."
    I hope he isn't completely accurate but I believe that he will be. And if he is, the next few years will be titled, "Contagion of Chaos."...more info
  • Talbott misreads and overcondemn Chicago School classical liberalism
    No Chicago school economist ever said that free markets cure all social problems, or are a prescription of state policy, some silver bullet that always averts the consequences of human sins like greedy self-interest. Free market theory does cure those problems which result from the delusory belief that any elite in the role of the state, using police power, can prescribe, or run, an entire economy. There is no such thing as a gigantic rulebook in the sky that the state can write to make everything perfect, or that will enforce itself magically upon people. There is only error, and correction of error, by everyone in the system operating as free actors, after that error causes harm, and people are able to think carefully through exactly what went wrong and put wise systems in place to prevent such things in the future. If that is even possible in the circumstances. The current crisis was indeed felt and warned about by many smart people including Talbot, like most bubbles in history. Some bubbles and casinos, however, are not every going to be preventable by laws or perfect foresight and enforcement activities by the state....more info
  • Another Outstanding Work
    I will only say that this is another excellent analysis with predictions by the man who called the housing bubble long before it had anyone else's attention. It's flawed only by the publisher's failure to catch a number of errors in grammar that sometimes make the text confusing. That's not the author's fault. ...more info


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