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Surviving the Soft Depression of the 21st Century

December 22, 2003
Bob Moriarty

If man isn't living in caves a hundred years from now or entirely extinct, the most popular tome about the United States of America will be titled "The Decline and Fall of the American Empire." For what better title could you pick?

I'd write it myself if I didn't know that fifteen guys both smarter and better able to turn a phrase are already hard at work. But the economic history portion of the book has already been written. It's titled, "Financial Reckoning Day." William Bonner and Addison Wiggin wrote it together.

They piss me off not only because they are indeed smarter and better writers, but they have stolen all the ideas I would have come up with if I wanted to write THE ECONOMIC HISTORY BOOK of the American Empire.

A short book, about 270 pages of writing, I read it in one go on a journey to the San Francisco Gold Show a month ago. They sent me a copy to review before the show and it made a perfect travel companion, especially for anyone on the way to a gold show.

Our site, 321gold, has been going for 2 1/2 years now. We started the site to give prospective gold investors more balance in what they had to read. I did some numbers and realized that only 1 investor out of 3500 actually owns any gold shares or bullion.

There's more to the price of gold than a conspiracy and more to the economic future than only precious metals. We try to offer more variety of pieces than other gold sites. You don't need to read every piece but we want to cover the spectrum.

We've succeeded at trying to educate readers. A year ago we had about 15,000 readers a day to the home page, today we have 45,000.

One of the greatest pleasures has been dealing with the caliber of writers we talk to on a daily basis. I suppose we have had about 150 different contributors at 321gold, each with his own special talents and viewpoint. Still, I don't doubt that when all the dust has settled, there will still be people crying that no one warned them of what was ahead.

Our readers have been warned and anyone who has been coming to the site for any length of time is almost certainly better off financially. One of the hardest things we do is choose which articles to post, For us to post 20 pieces a day, we have to read 100. I'm a speed reader and that helps. It's by far the most enjoyable part of the day, there is some brilliant writing today from a variety of sources.

For those not familiar with Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin, you need to make a short journey to the Daily Reckoning to sign up for their daily blurb. In it, a variety of writers reflect on the state of both the economy and the world.

In the most simple of terms, the United States has enjoyed the fruits of having the US dollar as the world's reserve currency of choice since the Bretton Woods agreement of 1944. That has been both a blessing and a curse as US politicians have fed at a pig's trough for 60 years, knowing full well that the US could print money at an unlimited pace. They did and the butcher's bill must now be paid.

Wiggin and Bonner do an excellent job of describing both how we got here and how the ramifications of past American folly will affect our future. They even go back to the early 18th Century to describe John Law's experiments with paper currency while he was an advisor to the King of France. In that case, unlimited spending and a cornucopia of debt led directly to a bloody revolution. It may happen again.

Wiggin and Bonner leave no doubt as to what they believe will happen in the US. What I found most interesting about the book were their suggestions as to how to cope. They pointed out with great accuracy that in 1990 an investor could have made a single investment decision and gone away for ten years, secure in the knowledge that his investment would continue to increase in value. In 1990, the investment of merit would have been the general stock market.

They leave no doubt an investor in 2000 was faced with another single choice investment. Bear in mind, they have spent the entire book demonstrating why stocks, bonds and real estate will fare so poorly in coming years. Their recommendation for 2000 to 2010 was so short I actually skipped over it. I was looking for pages and pages of explanation. Instead, in a couple of paragraphs they delineated the perfect investment for today.

If you get the book and don't skip over those couple of paragraphs, you, too, will know what you should be invested in today. It's a 10-yr decision, you can make the decision anywhere from 2000 to 2010, and the results will be the same.

Financial Reckoning Day just hit the top of the New York Times bestseller list and when you put it down, you'll know why.

Thanks guys, it's a great road map to the future and we love posting your work at 321gold.

To buy the book from Amazon, with a 30% discount, click here.

Bob Moriarty
December 22, 2003
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