I won’t hold it against my readers if they find that macroeconomics is complicated and that the course and solution of the financial crisis (let alone the road ahead) seem to constitute a very complex system of processes. Indeed, if this is the case it is obviously because it is and this is precisely why it we are still, by and large, stuck in the mire.
Still, help is readily available and the recent book entitled “Endgame: The End of the Debt SuperCycle and How It Changes Everything” by John Mauldin and Jonathan Tepper is a fine example of how to make a complicated topic easy to understand without compromising on detail.
The Endgame essentially reads as a blueprint of the global economy and her financial system. It provides a detailed and rich analysis on the financial crisis, what led up to it and what is likely to follow. In its core, it is built on the simple premise that taking on debt today will impact on your ability to maneuvre financially tomorrow. However, once you transfer this idea to the level of sovereign states and their interaction through an immensely complicated set of feedback loops and interconnected processes most analysts and economists fall short of an adequate explanation.
Enter Jonathan Tepper and John Mauldin.
With a concise style of writing and a sharp sight for taking the argument straight to the core, the authors lay bare the global financial system and its reckless production of excess debt. The book provides a clear and crisp analysis of what must be done and what is likely to happen if adequate action is not taken.
I would highlight in particular the chapters on individual countries which excellently convey the idea that all economies now face choices which range from difficult to disasterous. Here, it is easy to file the book under the heading of eternal pain and damnation. But it never transcends into a spiral of doom and gloom which means that it emerges as an extremely well balanced account of the current state of the global economy and the challenges that lie ahead.
Personally, I have long held that the main unspoken and untold macroeconomic consequence as a result of the crisis is how the next decade invariably will see a number of more or less spectacular and costly sovereign defaults in the OECD. What matters is how we deal with these and which choices the individual countries make. If the right choices are made, we will have less defaults rather than many but I don’t think we can avoid them altogether.
Within this framework, the Endgame provides an indispensable guide to the macroeconomic landscape going forward.
Full Disclosure: I know and work together with Jonathan Tepper but I have no financial interest in the book whatsoever so I can safely recommend it as a strong, nay necessary buy on Amazon.