Summary of How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes

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How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes book summary
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getAbstract International Book Award Winner 2010

9 Overall

10 Importance

7 Innovation

9 Style


Talk about economics for even a few minutes, and watch your listeners’ eyes glaze over. But tell them a story that grabs their attention and makes them smile – then you can teach them anything. That’s the tactic controversial Libertarian Irwin Schiff used to teach his sons – brokers Peter D. Schiff and Andrew J. Schiff – the basics of economics. The Schiff brothers have cleverly updated their dad’s “fish story,” first published in 1979, to show how decades of political and economic blunders have led to financial crisis. With cute cartoons and witty, though deliberately imprecise, characterizations, their picture book presents a fable about the ways that politics and human frailty can lead people to violate the rules of supply and demand – thus creating fishy fiscal headaches. Inserted “reality checks” relate the story’s ideas to current events to explain the tale’s metaphors to readers at all levels of financial sophistication. While some may disagree with the authors’ libertarian views, others may recognize underlying realities in their allegory. getAbstract recommends this fine fable to anyone seeking a simple presentation of a complicated subject.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How some basic economic principles always hold true, regardless of the size of the economy,
  • How policy considerations can distort an economy’s proper functioning and
  • How a parable illustrates lessons for today’s global economies.

About the Authors

Peter D. Schiff is the best-selling author of Crash Proof 2.0 and The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets. He is president of Euro Pacific Capital, a brokerage firm, where financial media expert Andrew J. Schiff is a broker and communications director.



“The Fish Story”
Economists haven’t achieved any feats nearly as monumental as those of scientists in other fields. If aeronautical engineers can send rockets to Saturn, for example, why can’t economists predict and prevent financial busts? The “dismal science” gets even gloomier as economists...

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By the same authors

The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets
Crash Proof

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    Sridhar Domakonda 7 years ago
    Wonderful book. Recommended for every one seeking to understand the principles of economics.