Review: The Coming Economic Collapse–How You Can Thrive When Oil Costs $200 a Barrel (Hardcover)

5 Star, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Economics, Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity

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5.0 out of 5 stars Get out of oil-dependent assets, as long as politics corrupt, energy policy will never be real,

March 15, 2006
Stephen Leeb
I am giving this book a 5 instead of a 3 or 4 because I believe that it does a superb job of laying out some facts that every normal adult needs to understand, and I want to encourage everyone to buy and read this book.

That having been said, I also found it disappointing. The author's main points can be summed up in this review, and take less than an hour to absorb in the actual book:

1) Peak oil and the need for alternative energies are being over-shadowed by myopic media and lack-luster academics that focus on poverty, climate change, terrorism, everything but the core Achilles heel of the Western world, its addiction to cheap oil which is no more.

2) Cheap oil is made possible by blatant political and financial maneuvers that enrich a few and set the rest of us up for life long poverty. Government subsidies and tax breaks purchases by expensive lobbyists giving expensive gifts and cash bribes to our politicians are directly responsible for pre-determined failure of our energy policy and the lack of an energy strategy.

3) The catastrophic nature of the collapse of cheap oil is dramatically enhanced by the combination of the *huge* U.S. deficit and by the increased prospects of war over oil.

The author concludes with some bottom line advice for investors: get out quickly from stocks associated with high oil usage (airlines, autos, chemicals; followed by cosmetics, food requiring processing and transport, and retail dependent on far away factories and raw materials).

I disagree with one key point he makes. He assumes that Wall Street and the media have been ignoring this problem because of “group think.” I certainly do agree that the larger mass of the public and the average bureaucrat that do not know any better have fallen prey to unethical propaganda, but I am quite persuaded by Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy; Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil; The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century and other books that this catastrophe in the making was clearly understood by the White House and the US Senate in 1974-1979, and a very deliberate selfish even treasonous decision was made to profit in silence and let the people fry.

This is a much simpler book than most of the others I have read and recommend, but I give it a solid five stars because if you can only afford to buy and read one book, this is the one that will be easiest and most to the point.

And just to drive the point home, when WIRED had the cover story on alternative energy, Cheney was meeting secretly with Enron and Exxon, and went on to amass 25 documented high crimes, 23 of itemized in my review of this book (Cheney makes Agnew and Johnson look like wall-flowers–this is the guy that put HIGH into “High Crimes.”
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency

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