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The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,784 ratings  ·  192 reviews
Shaped by his twenty-five years traveling the world, and enlivened by encounters with villagers from Rio to Beijing, tycoons, and presidents, Ruchir Sharma’s The Rise and Fall of Nations rethinks the "dismal science" of economics as a practical art. Narrowing the thousands of factors that can shape a country’s fortunes to ten clear rules, Sharma explains how to spot ...more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by W. W. Norton Company (first published June 6th 2016)
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Carol Yes, I know only the basics of economics and I understood it. I you don't understand something, do a quick search on the internet for a definition or…moreYes, I know only the basics of economics and I understood it. I you don't understand something, do a quick search on the internet for a definition or better understanding if you need too.(less)

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Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is clearly one of the best books on forecasting international economic growth. The author had done lots of research by not only relying on published numbers by the governments , but also going on the ground to gather information from the locals. He had identified 10 useful questions to ask to determine economic future of a country:

1. Is the population growing?
2. Is the leader fresh and proactively pushing reform and not just trying hard to hang on power?
3. Are the billionaires rich because
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
More than anything, a useful read. There are so many metrics floating around to assess an economy that it's useful to condense everything into a set of rules.

The book got slow at times with far too many numbers, I'm also realizing I'm much more attracted to concepts and theories than rules of thumb like "in 67% of cases where debt grew at 40% over 5 years, countries hit a crisis soon after". That said, I see how powerful these benchmarks are and I would pay good money to see his backup excel.

Rajat Ubhaykar
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Required reading for the amateur economist seeking a nuanced understanding of what makes some countries grow and some to stagnate. What's refreshing about the book is that Ruchir Sharma always wears the pragmatic investor's hat and unlike many 'experts', doesn't shy away from admitting he doesn't know. For starters, he warns against any economic predictions exceeding a time frame of 5-10 years. Using economic data after World War II, when our current global economic paradigm was established, he ...more
Kumaran G
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
In 2008, the world witnessed profound economic meltdown which altered our lives (for good or bad). The events of 2008 meltdown was covered by authors, economists, financial analysts, reporters of all kind, and hundreds of books were written on the collapse and the lessons we (have to) learn, but none would match, Ruchir Sharma’s “The Rise and Fall of Nations”.

Sharma has applied his 25 years of global business and travel insight, and authored this classy book, which touches every aspects of the
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5/5 If we create a matrix (Excel spreadsheet) in which rows represent nations and columns represent rules of economics, this book is a columnar reading. One rule is discussed per chapter along with the situations in a dozen countries. BTW, his earlier book "Breakout Nations" (5/5) was a row-by-row reading with one country discussed in each chapter.
The rules were discussed in "Breakout Nations" too - crony-capitalism, cheap currency, investment, debt ratio, inflation, working population etc but
Peter Mcloughlin
Standard globospeak that you might hear at Davos. Not a word about inequality. Merely power politics and inflation fighting and how to keep the world order intact.
Sharma, an Indian economist and reporter, has written a practical guide to determine the economic forecast of any country. His extensive historic research has pointed out a handful of signs and questions that should be used to determine the future of a country.

Why I started this book: Large, dense history to explain current political and economical trends. Yes please.

Why I finished it: While economics is not my field, it was fascinating to consider the work that should go into predictions, as
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A rather heavy read on how to evaluate how economies are doing and how well they might do in the future. The book is really heavy on data and comparisons, making it difficult to digest. The good thing is that the author applies those rules to various economies at various times to illustrate the rules, and provides comparisons as well. Learnt a lot about how various economies progressed over the last 50 odd years as a side-effect.
krishnendu mukherjee
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
In this book, Sharma describes his quintessential "10 rules" - which he formulated while working as an investment banker for over 2 decades - and are made to assess the economic performance of a nation. The aim of these rules is to identify which countries are actually "rising" (economically) and which are just being propped up by media pundits, or perhaps the hype of which is based on completely wrong indicators of growth. An example of the latter case would be Russia and Saudi Arabia - both of ...more
Stijn Zanders
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A book full of concrete rules on how to detect which countries are going to rise and which are likely to fall. It gives a good overview of important economies in the world. Would have loved to see graphs with the KPIs of each of these rules, unfortunately most of it is written in plain text.
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
A good book that attempts to forecast how well a country's economy will do based on 10 thumb-rules that have a historical basis. Good read for anyone interested in world economics and how countries can ride the wave or what makes them go astray.

Two things I felt were missed: 1. While immigration can be positive for a country, that would depend on the ability of the immigrant to integrate and contribute towards the new country. So while immigration is good, not all immigrants are equal.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I can talk for a whole day and still not run out of good things to say about this book. A GREAT mix of journalistic insight and scientific method. All the passages about Vietnam are spot-on.
Rahul  Adusumilli
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Two years is a long time in the present milieu. The hopes and fears expressed in this book have aged and become outdated more meaningfully than last year's iPhone. Hopes around TPP coming into existence, for instance. And the word Brexit isn't mentioned once.

The author belongs to the right side of the economic spectrum and cites reforms under Pinochet's Chile and the Chicago boys as worthy of emulation. Pinochet's Chile and the Chicago boys episode is coincidentally where Naomi Klein's Shock
Saumitra Thakur
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Sharma's approach, in broad strokes, is simple. Use criteria and data to inform decisions. Don't be blinded by single markers. If you're investing, seek countries that are extreme outliers in metrics to have a higher accuracy in guessing based on that metric.

The book's a fun read for anyone interested in political economy. It's a thoughtful balance between academic political science and vocational guidebook. In full disclosure, the book will read at times like a
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
Covered topics comprehendable by a reader with reasonable interest in modern economies.

I felt the book went all over the place, a bit.
Would've preferred a few tables or graphs to help grasp certain comparisons easily.

Key insights scattered throughout the book, that I really look forward to a Cliff's Notes version.
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Not a light reading, but at the same time a great tutorial on how the world economics works, especially for those lacking basic knowledge on economics like myself
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I assumed that would be a breezy read, more fluff than real research and a lot of trends and anecdotes put together. It’s certainly a more serious work, with lots of interesting and original thoughts. The title is misleading – it’s not about the rise and fall of nations but about their economies and while the distinction may not be too relevant, the focus of the book is really on which economies will do well and why and therefore, where I assume money / profit potential is likely to be sought. ...more
Bhaskar kumar
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Vividly Engaging'. What makes Ruchir Sharma a new rockstar on the forecasting scenario is his ability to simplify complexities and wove them into an engaging form of narrative. The research is backed by anecdotes and vice versa. It definitely is a book to be read, contemplated and delve into.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: investing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Despite a title that one would imagine would have been used long before now, Sharma's book is very modern and up to date, and analyzes several factors affecting nations rise and fall, among them population, political institutions and leadership.
The opening chapter covers population demographics, and illustrates that declining birth rates do not bode well for a country. I found this rather bearish and one sided, and lacking any clear critique of the side effects of over population. While
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Insightful book with some good rules of thumb for looking at different economies all over the world. Interesting read for anyone interested in trends in the global economy.

Didn't agree with all of his conclusions (especially on Romania) but generally thought his observations were well thought out and argued.

My real criticism is that the author should not throw around the term populism so loosely, as he applies it to mean anti-elitist and egalitarian (Bernie Sanders) whereas populism is the
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who is fed up with political books that often seem too depressing and not fun to read. This one was about economics and touched a lot more on economics than political books I've tried to read do. This highly researched book just goes to show you how we're all connected around the world. It felt like a inter cultural book because the author went into exquisite detail about all these different societies that we Americans sometimes turn a blind eye on. I ...more
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Sharma is obviously a supply-sider with neoliberal tendencies whose bias shines through more strenuously in the first half of the book. There is some interesting information in the latter half that has value so the read isn't a total loss. It would be interesting to have current data to see if his forecasts are playing out.

It's a lot of subject area with limited points of view. I would recommend books dedicated to a particular subject, for instance Jared Diamond's "Collapse", Naomi Kline's
Mbogo J
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Where do I even begin? How about this is one of the few books that I felt an active need to take notes as I read it. Or the fact that my homeland,Kenya, was mentioned a couple of times in the book and mostly in good light. Those outliers aside, this is a good book. I will hazard a better version of Sharma's earlier book,Breakout Nation.
It reckons that we are in a new age, where nations are not graded by military might but rather by the strength of the economy. Most of the rules outlined check
Madhavi Ravanan
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Makes for a cool and breezy read on a topic that can otherwise be dry and dead-boring. This is 'bout global economy - particularly the economy of emerging nations. What parameters indicate growth and what may indicate fall of nations. Very engagingly narrated by the author. I am not a fan of economics, forget 'bout being a fan, i can't deal with economy as an area of interest in the first place. However this book is a lightly written, engaging read. Keeps you hooked all through with simple and ...more
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
No pain, no gain: I just finished this 400 page book about economic indicators and I'm beat. But I've gained a lot. This was not an easy read but I feel that the information is significant. While reading it I could see news items that were being misreported based on what I learned in this book. I wish more people were aware of the principles the author presents. While many contemporary issues are examined and will quickly become dated, I wish I had a notebook of the authors indicators to refer ...more
Jul 20, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfic, abandoned
Ick. I read the prologue and a couple pages into the 1st chapter, but can't see any more time spent on this. There are probably good insights hidden in here somewhere- but if I'm going to read finance, I think it'll be from Michael Lewis who is (or seems) self-aware about the level of baloney he is swimming in.

So many references to going on safari. So. Many. Belaboured. Metaphorical. References.
Hemant Mathuria
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is perfect for general public to understand the basic of economics. It does what it sets out to do. The best thing is that this book is based on facts/data collected for many years. It is easy to understand as everything is explained in layman's terms.
Kunal Kumar
Jun 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just started reading this book. introduction is awesome drawing parallel between African jungle and Market Economy where everyone is equally vulnerable and one has to have the capacity to listen to the signs.
Andrew Canfield
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it
The Rise and Fall of Nations is a book on how to spot economic trends in nations before they happen. It is largely focused on trends in emerging nations, setting down rules developed by the author on how to spot which markets are hot and which ones are cooling. It was written by Ruchir Sharma, head of emerging markets/chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley. Considering Outlook magazine named him one of the 25 smartest Indians and that at the time of this book's publishing he managed about $20 ...more
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Mr. Ruchir Sharma is a Managing Director, Head of global emerging markets equity team, Portfolio Manager, and Member of global tactical asset allocation investment committee at Morgan Stanley Investment Management Inc. Mr. Sharma is also a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management Limited. He is also a Portfolio Manager at Van Kampen Asset Management. Mr. Sharma joined the firm in ...more
“The king tells him to keep going back until he can sense the danger in the stillness and the hope in the sunrise. To be fit to rule, the prince must be able to hear that which does not make a sound.” 1 likes
“Trump and his supporters didn’t realize it, but in the four years before 2015, net migration from Mexico had fallen to zero, in part because construction jobs in the United States had been harder to find. This dynamic, with falling population growth in the emerging world reducing migration to the developed world, is likely to grow stronger in coming years.” 1 likes
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