The Age of Stagnation: Why Perpetual Growth is Unattainable and the Global Economy is in Peril. Satyajit Das. Prometheus Books.

The Age of Stagnation: Why Perpetual Growth is Unattainable and the Global Economy is in Peril Book Cover The Age of Stagnation: Why Perpetual Growth is Unattainable and the Global Economy is in Peril
Satyajit Das
Prometheus Books
February 9, 2016

The global economy is entering an era of protracted stagnation, similar to what Japan has experienced for over two decades. That is the message of this brilliant and controversial summary of our current economic predicament from an internationally respected consultant and commentator on financial markets, who predicted the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Satyajit Das challenges the assumption that growth can be perpetual and questions the ability of political leaders to enact the tough structural changes needed. He is particularly critical of the “easy money” approach to dealing with the Great Recession, citing the dangers of excessive debt and deep-seated fundamental imbalances. The fallout of these poor policies, he argues, will affect not only the business sector but also the lifestyles and prosperity of average citizens and future generations.

Das concludes with a thought experiment illustrating the large-scale changes that will be necessary to restore economic, financial, and social sustainability. This experiment has already been tried in Iceland, which went bankrupt in the wake of the 2008 crisis, and now, after a painful adjustment, is on the road to recovery.

Written for the lay reader and peppered with witty anecdotes, this immensely readable book clearly explains the missteps that created the current dilemma, why a recovery has proved elusive, and the difficult remedies that must eventually be applied to ensure a stable future.

Satyajit Das is an internationally respected expert in finance, with over thirty-five years of experience. In 2014, Bloomberg nominated him as one of the fifty most influential financial thinkers in the world. He has worked for Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, and the TNT Transport Group, and he has acted as a consultant advising investors, corporations, and central banks throughout the world. Das has published many highly regarded works on derivatives and risk management as well as a number of works targeting more general readers, most recently Extreme Money: The Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk and Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives. He presently anticipated many aspects of the global financial crisis of 2008. He subsequently warned in 2011 about sovereign debt problems, anticipating the restructuring of Greek debt and the increasing problems of China and emerging economies. He was featured in Charles Ferguson’s 2010 Oscar award-winning documentary Inside Job and the 2012 PBS Frontline series Money, Power, and Wall Street. He has appeared in the financial media throughout the world and contributes to such prestigious publications as the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal‘s MarketWatch.