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It's Not as Bad as You Think: Why Capitalism Trumps Fear and the Economy Will Thrive

It's Not as Bad as You Think: Why Capitalism Trumps Fear and the Economy Will Thrive

Brian S. Wesbury, Amity Shlaes (Foreword by)

ISBN: 978-0-470-58845-1

Nov 2009

224 pages



An upbeat antidote to the gloom and doom forecasts of the financial future

Just about everyone is worried about the economy and markets. And the fear is that they will stay down for a long time. But a few brave voices say that the gloom and doom forecasts are just too pessimistic. Reality is that entrepreneurs don't give up. History is pretty clear, every time the economy is thought to be done, worn out, finished, it bounces back and heads to new highs. In fact, the economy and the markets-counter to conventional wisdom-have started to improve in the first half of 2009. Even housing is showing some signs of life.

With It's Not as Bad as You Think, Brian Wesbury, ranked as one of the top economic forecasters by the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, shows you that while the financial future may be hard to predict, it will ultimately be profitable over the long haul. In this easy-to-follow and engaging forecast of the future, Wesbury takes a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly-and debunks the pouting pundits of pessimism to show you how to prosper now and in the future.

  • An optimistic look at the economy and the markets written by one of today's foremost financial forecasters
  • Presents a roadmap to seek opportunities in all the panic
  • Shows you how to analyze economic indicators and government policy to grow your wealth so you don't lose by hiding under the bed

A breath of fresh air, Wesbury's objectivity and optimism provide welcome relief to the daily bad news stories, as he sets us all up to capitalize on tomorrow's great possibilities.



Chapter 1 Getting the Right Perspective.

Fear and Anger are Understandable.

History versus Emotion.

Buck Up and Remember History.

Chapter 2 Capitalism Wins (Again).

Demand versus Supply.

The History of the World.

Inventions and Innovation.


The Turning Point.

Capitalism Wins, It's Not Over.

Chapter 3 Creative Destruction.

The Big “X”.

The Industrial Revolution.

The Call for Change.

A Wrong Drift, but a Cool Wind.

Inflation, Creative Destruction, and the Crisis.

Chapter 4 A Government Sponsored Recession.

The Housing Boom.

The Crisis Begins.

The Acceleration.

Why in the World Were They Doing That?

So, Why Blame Capitalists?

Chapter 5 Who Makes Your Glasses?

Are Consumers Rational?

What Is The Natural Rate of Interest?

Calculating the Natural Rate.

The Nominal GDP Rule.

Money and the Interest Rates.

The Fed-Induced Bubble.

We’ve Been Here Before.

Stupid Bankers, Or Not?

It Always Ends Bad: Volcker to the Rescue.


….And Now.

Chapter 6 Mark-to-Market Mayhem.

Government Failure vs. Market Failure.

Some Mark-to-Market Accounting History.

Mark-to-Market Creates Volatility.

Suspend Mark-to-Market.

A False Feeling of Control.

A Miracle Happened.

Chapter 7 Panic and the Speed of Money.

What Recession?

The Panic of 2008.

Mark-to-Market Mayhem.

AIG, Credit Default Swaps and Derivatives.

The V-Shaped Light at the End of the Tunnel.

Chapter 8 It's Not As Bad As You Think.

Consumer Spending.


Growth, Debt and China.



Savings Rates.

The Economy Will Recover.

Chapter 9 It's Boom Time Again.

Don't Fight the Fed.

1975-1976 Redux?

Can It Happen Again?

Panics End.

It Won't Stay Down Forever.

Undervalued Markets.

Productivity and Profits.

But Government Is Growing…

Chapter 10 Investing In the Midst of Mayhem.

The Super Easy Fed.

Buy U.S. Stocks for the Short- to Medium Term.

Stocks for the Long Term: Small Cap, Value and Momentum.

Inflation Plays for the Medium and Longer Term.

Foreign Equities.

Fixed Income.

Emotion and Investing.

Chapter 11 The New Normal.

Big Government Hurts.

Keynes and Government.

How Bad Can It Get?

Roosevelt, Carter or Clinton.

The Future Still Looks Bright.



About the Author.


"Compared with most of his peers, Brian Wesbury. . . looks like a raging bull. The economy, he boldly predicts, will grow . . . the stock market remains grossly . . . This is the opportunity of a lifetime for those buying a house. . . The author rightly makes the case that the current financial crisis was totally unnecessary. Its prime cause was the imposition of mark-to-market accounting rules. . . Wesbury also explains that the potential losses from subprime mortgages and exotic financial instruments in 2007 were less threatening to the system than was the banking crisis of some 20 years ago. . . Wesbury deals decisively and persuasively with other misconceptions. The big one: that it was the collapse of the housing bubble that led to panic in the fall of 2008 . . .As for the economy's current growth, Wesbury makes it clear that he doesn't think it's soundly based. In other words, investors have opportunities for big gains, but they'd better be nimble. Expansions fueled by excesses of Fed credit always end badly."
—Forbes magazine