2. Growth Realities

Is it real or is it an illusion?

The many advances and periodic setbacks since 1980 are reminders that economies and markets have cycles. They are also reminders that not all of the sources of growth underlying the expansion were real or sustainable. The Great Leveraging helped create a false sense of prosperity and wealth on what was otherwise meaningful progress and a solid foundation for future growth. Eventually, the incremental benefit of each additional dollar of debt became insignificant and then destructive. The excessive amounts of debt used to support poor policies and greed were laid out in Chapter 1, “The Great Leveraging.” This chapter focuses on some of the sources and realities of a good, solid, fundamental ...

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