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Booklist Review

"The economic upheaval of 2008 has left many investors and ordinary citizens stunned and confused, as it seems like none of the normal rules apply in this fast-paced world of electronic trading and instant information. We hear many terms thrown at us, but few understand their meaning or why they have any relevance to our own financial health. Epping, author of A Beginner’s Guide to the World Economy (1992), has created this beginner’s guide to fundamental economic terms and concepts to help the average person understand and navigate the rapidly changing 21st-century economy. Oft-heard but confusing terms such as "credit default swap" and "collateralized debt obligation" are defined in concise, easy-to understand language to help readers make sense of the information overload coming via media sources like CNBC and the Internet. There is no guarantee that this guide will make you a better investor, but today more than ever it is essential that more citizens become economically literate, and this is a great place to start."

—David Siegfried, Booklist Review, April 2009

Publisher’s Weekly Review

"Epping (A Beginner's Guide to the World Economy) offers a comprehensive guide to the global economy, arguing that economic literacy is a survival imperative in a fusion economy, where what happens in one corner of the globe can have unprecedented impact on the rest of the world. He gives a thorough and easy-to-understand explanation of the rudiments of global finance and provides readers with the tools to be able to make sense of future economic events. Sidebars scattered throughout the book go deeper into such terms and concepts as subprime mortgages, mortgage-backed securities and the difference between budget deficit and trade deficit.

"Epping also explores macroeconomics, the virtual economy, private equity and public good—and even how to eliminate poverty. A refreshing look at the present economic situation, minus the often confusing graphs, charts and jargon typical in works of this type, this book provides a solid understanding of economic basics, giving readers the much-needed tools they need to stay on top of future developments."

—Publisher’s Weekly, January 2009

Library Journal Review

"Business consultant Epping (A Beginner's Guide to the World Economy) provides help for the economically perplexed in this careful explanation of the workings of our modern economy and hundreds of terms, such as subprime debt, CDO, IMF, money supply, and discount rate. To supplement his text, he includes a 60- page glossary. Remarkably, he is able to explain the global economy in language that most readers will find both understandable and interesting.

"Epping shows a bias for free trade and open borders, but his explanations are generally evenhanded. His topically organized chapters cover vital issues like the current credit crisis, globalization, immigration, and the environment. The chapter examining economic systems, including China's hybrid of entrepreneurial capitalism and communism, is especially insightful. Along with Mark Zandi's Financial Shock, which offers a more focused examination of how the current credit crisis began, this remarkably accessible and up-to-date work on our turbulent economy is highly recommended for all libraries."

—Lawrence Maxted, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA., February, 2009

Miami Herald

"If you're a bit confused about the contemporary economic landscape, Epping's guide is an excellent primer that explains terms and concepts like crowdsourcing, pollution rights, program trading, cloud computing and the like, as well as evergreen concepts like bankruptcy, privatization and more. It's cleanly written with clear examples so if you're a bit confused and need a refresher course, this is an excellent place to begin."

—Richard Pachter, Miami Herald, April 2009

Sacramento Bee

"We're all sleep-deprived over the fallout from the global economic meltdown. Losing a job, finding a job, fretting over our financial futures, wondering if we'll be able to pay for our children's college tuition. We need information and inspiration. This 'beginner's guide' is an informative primer to the fundamentals of economics. It's a great starting point for those in need of a straightforward explanation of a confusing topic. And isn't that most of us?"
—Allen Pierleoni, Sacramento Bee, April 2009

WBZ News Radio, Boston

"The book is terrific and will certainly help a lot of us wade through the economic fog."
—Jordan Rich, WBZ News Radio, Boston


"The 21st Century Economy—A Beginner’s Guide"
© Randy Charles Epping, 2009

Credit crises, trade wars, sub-prime debt, currency meltdowns.
What’s going on in today’s global economy?

We’re experiencing a totally new world order, or disorder. I refer to it as "fusion economics". Essentially, because of changes in technology, communication, and new structures for global trade and finance, the world economy of the 21st century is interconnected in ways that would have been impossible to imagine just a few decades ago.

Why are things so different now?

In today’s fusion economy, money and goods are flowing around the world with such speed and ease, what happens on the other side of the world has a powerful and immediate effect on our daily lives. Just look at how the global financial crisis has spread, like wildfire, from New York to Tokyo to London, from China to Iceland to Russia.

The impending collapse of the Eastern European economies, for example, not only threatens the Western European banks that have loaned substantially in that region, but the entire global financial system. The proverbial butterfly flapping its wings over Tokyo can very well end up causing financial storms from New York to Moscow to São Paulo.

Unfortunately, no one knows when and where the next financial meltdown will strike. But if we’re going to be able to prepare for it properly, we’re going to have to understand how “fusion economics” works—which means learning how to look at the world economy in entirely new ways.




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Key Ideas

Randy Charles Epping uses compelling narratives and insightful analogies to clearly and concisely explain the rapidly changing way business is done in the twenty-first century, without a single chart or graph.

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