The Age of Turbulence

  • by Alan Greenspan
  • Narrated by Robertson Dean
  • 20 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"This book is in part a detective story. After 9/11 I knew, if I needed further reinforcement, that we are living in a new world - the world of a global capitalist economy that is vastly more flexible, resilient, open, self-correcting, and fast-changing than it was even a quarter century earlier. It's a world that presents us with enormous new possibilities but also enormous new challenges. The Age of Turbulence is my attempt to understand the nature of this new world: how we got here, what we're living through, and what lies over the horizon, for good and for ill. Where possible, I convey my understanding in the context of my own experiences. I do this out of a sense of responsibility to the historical record, and so that listeners will know where I'm coming from. "The book is therefore divided in halves: the first half is my effort to retrace the arc of my learning curve, and the second half is a more objective effort to use this as the foundation on which to erect a conceptual framework for understanding the new global economy. Along the way I explore critical elements of this emerging global environment: the principles governing it; the vast energy infrastructure that powers it; the global financial imbalances and dramatic shifts in world demographics that threaten it; and, despite its unquestioned success, the chronic concern over the justice of the distribution of its rewards. Finally, I bring together what we can reasonably conjecture about the makeup of the world economy in 2030. "I don't pretend to know all the answers. But from my vantage point at the Federal Reserve, I had privileged access to the best that had been thought and said on a wide range of subjects. I have not been inhibited in reaching for some fairly sweeping hypotheses."
-Alan Greenspan

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Tripled my understanding of our economy

Never even took economics in school, but Greenspan talks about the economic history of America since he began his career after World War II. Fascinating even if you don't understand it all. Explains how capitalism really works, why it's the best system in the world so far, and what it is that keeps thirdworld countries so destitute (hint: unenforced property rights). The last chapter explains how gross domestic product is increasingly based on intellectual property rights, and what that means for our future.
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- Terry

Basics for wide audience

If you are not very familiar with macroeconomics and would like to know Alan Greenspan's take on economic forces, principals and issues of modern times, this is a great book. You will find plenty of historical examples, future projections as well as eloquently explained economic and political relationships and trends that shape our world as we know today. Just as interesting is the authors' opinion of many prominent public figures he met during his career.
The book is intended to be an "easy read" for an average reader, so do not expect it to be of much academic value or any in-depth research/analysis that can be used for, say, investment purposes.
The narration is excellent, arguments are persuasive and easy to follow, the amount of material covered is also quite substantial.
Ideally, I would suggest this book to an average voter who wants to understand the economic impact of various public policies. Policies like "more taxes for the rich", "more power to the unions", "deport immigrants", "erect a trade barrier with China", "freeze gasoline prices" not only have a profound economic impact (mostly negative) on everybody, but also have a long history of prior attempts that we can learn a lot from.
Lastly, as much as Greenspan tried not to come across this way, but he surely seems to be riding a rather high horse. His opinion of self-importance and self-righteousness could use a trim..
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- Dmitriy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-14-2007
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio