Us versus the Comforters: How Aftershock Stacks Up Against Other Bearish Books
On the surface, the book you are now holding in your hand may seem (to people who haven’t read it) like just another “doom-and-gloom” economics book. In fact, Aftershock is substantially different from any other book currently available.
Some books have correctly predicted that our economy is heading for trouble. To varying degrees, each has contained some partially correct insights, forecasts, and advice. Many have offered some truly bad investment ideas. And many others have provided some very good investment advice, but for wrong or incomplete reasons.
The reason for this is that most bearish books, while recognizing that all is not well, do not fully analyze the problem but instead provide a degree of psychological comfort to those who benefit from the status quo (which is most of us). This allows readers who are observant enough to see we have serious problems to think about these problems while still maintaining a feeling of safety. We all like the feeling of safety, and that is the primary thing that books written by comforters give us.
Obviously, we don’t have the space here to analyze the details of all the bearish economics and finance books on the market today. Instead, we’d like to take a closer look at three popular books, Crisis Economics (Penguin, 2011) by Nouriel Roubini, Aftershock (Vintage, 2011) by Robert Reich, and Crash Proof 2.0 (John Wiley & Sons, 2009) by Peter Schiff. We chose ...