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The Road to Ruin: The Global Elite's Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis
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The Road to Ruin: The Global Elite's Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  715 ratings  ·  71 reviews
The bestselling author of The Death of Money on how investors can prepare for the next financial panic—and why it's coming sooner than you think.
The global economy has made what seems like an incredible comeback after the financial crisis of 2008. Yet this comeback is artificial. Central banks have propped up markets by keeping interest rates low and the supply of mone
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published November 15th 2016 by Portfolio
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Jay Vallender Abit late but havent read the books, came across the road to ruin from "the investors podcast" ep113-114. Its an interview and discussion on the…moreAbit late but havent read the books, came across the road to ruin from "the investors podcast" ep113-114. Its an interview and discussion on the topics but builds on the series is what i recall James saying. But if Dan reckons you don't need to then future readers including myself can start here. (less)

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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  715 ratings  ·  71 reviews

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Pedro L. Fragoso
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A serious contender to the prize of most important book of the year. Timely, serious, intellectually honest, with deep, articulate reflections (that Rickards have been honing in these last years, through articles, interviews and books) about the true state of the world, as filtered through its inerent complexity and lurking dangers -- and what can be individually made for preparation purposes.

All in all, I was surprised by the quality of the effort; I should probably have known bette
Kressel Housman
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Before reading this book, my biggest financial worries were about paying down my credit card and saving for retirement, but now I’m worried if I’ll ever be so blessed as to reach old age. This book makes the highly plausible argument that the next financial crisis is right around the corner, and not only will it be more devastating than the last one, it may be even worse than the Great Depression. Printing money and deficit spending won’t work anymore, so the next tool in the financial elite’s a ...more
Owlseyes inside Notre Dame, it's so strange a 15-hour blaze and...30-minutes wait to call the firemen...and

(inspirational for Rickards)

(The Economist, issue of 1988)


"A financial crisis is certainly coming. In “The Road to Ruin,” I use 2018 as a target date and device because the two prior systemic crises, 1998 and 2008, were 10 years apart. I extended the timeline 10 years into the future from the 2008 crisis to maintain the 10-year tempo, and this is how I arrived at 2018. Yet I make the point in the book that the(Chaos...theory)
Jim Crocker
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is the economic theory book I've been looking for all my post-Keens life (misspelling intentional). I was so excited to see Bayes' theorem show up in there, too.

Now I got this one from the library, but it's gonna be a slow read for me, allowing for everything to sink in real good. Therefore, I will be purchasing a hardcopy so I can underline and mark it up! HAHAHA. Hopefully, I will still be laughing by the end. I know that sounds ominous, but whaddaya gonna do, given the subject matt
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Road to Ruin is quite simply a cutting-edge account of the current economic situation, and stands high on several strengths.
First of all, it is very readable whilst being sufficiently academic. Financial newcomers may be lost in jargon, but Rickards does not overwhelm the reader.
Secondly, it is very well informed. Researched is not the correct word, although Rickards clearly backs his work up with up to date sources, however, it is informed in the sense that Rickards is no indu
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book provide interesting facts which we don’t see in the massive media avalanche around us everyday, the author collected pieces and evidences for next coming financial collapse which will let to what he called an “ice-nine” scenario in which the so called “elite” will freeze the entire financial system worldwide and proceed on extreme inflation to cleanup sovereign debts around the world.
I found essential his explanation of Bayes and complexity theories to forecast financial crisis, SDR as
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
A few concepts I found interesting:

The "ice 9 doctrine" is worth understanding. If he's right, you'll need to hedge yourself to not become a casualty.

Schumpeter's gale. Creative destruction. Companies compete not with each other, but the future.

Schumpeter's view that socialism would triumph over capitalism and why.

What fascism is... and how president Woodrow Wilson was a model for Mussolini and others.

Why the next financial crisis is inevitable, why it'll be qualitatively differe
David Schumacher
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not too sure about this author, he seems very bright and knows many people in high finance but his views on AGW seems to come right out of the conspiricy theorists camp.
Warren Mcpherson
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: people-at-work
Smart and well informed, the book has many very interesting insights. I agree with many of the conclusions. However, it also seems drama seeking, undisciplined, and not very well written.

The basic criticism of modern financial analysis is largely valid. Failed theories can survive far too long. I don't think the author is unique in observing this but he does a good job of demonstrating several poignant cases.

The term "Ice Nine" comes from science fiction here it seemed ov
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well I did something with this book I've never done before. I read it from the back forwards, chapter by chapter. I felt there was not much time and I needed to know how it all ends before it actually does and I'm caught off-guard, unprepared, in-the-middle!!
So sure enough, I can sum it up this way:
Probably by 2018 as it is going now.
Rickards does a very good job of explaining the steps which will definitely make you angry with the in
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Rickards used to work in LTCM so he has first hand experience in the finance industry. This book has many parts.

The first part talks about the new power of governments across the world to freeze money flow post-2008. Digital assets can be easily frozen or confiscated, as many sanctioned governments had found out. This only physical gold bars or works of Art, and land ownership certificates are worthy to keep.

The second part is about the folly of the current economic thinking. Everything is wro
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is upsetting and frustrating, but a must-read (and re-read) for those looking for a counter view to what is provided by big liberal media about the future of our financial system. Excellent explanation of chaos theory and the financial markets as complex systems: in a complex system, a small change in input can have a wildly divergent outcome. Important and eye-opening concept of "ice-9" where the next financial elite tactic is to freeze our assets, ramp up inflation as to eliminate so ...more
Benjamin Page
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Impressively written and published. This book contains info from only months or sooner before its publication date. It's obvious that a lot of research, experience, passion, care, and hard work went into the creation of this book. If nothing in this book was true, it would still be a must-read in my opinion, but I believe we are in for some interesting times and some hard decisions in the very near future. You may not like what you learn in this, but just as "God is no respecter of persons" (Act ...more
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooked
So great, there’s a wide spread from dinner’s with top level BlackRock friends, awesome bits on his time at LTCM, buying Picasso sketches as the lightest way to quickly move ~$20-100k on a plane, and scary warnings about how the police and SWAT teams are abusing the poor and taking liberties with everyone.
Mehmet Utkan
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Complexity theory in action

Do you ever wondered why India demonetized.
Is FDR a fascist or democrat.
What is unique about Schumpeter theories pointing to end of capitalism.
US citizens are prohibited from buying physical gold
Read this book for dystopian but realistic vision..
Daniel Olshansky
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book I've read by Jim Rickards, and I absolutely love it!

My favorite way to study history is from an economic point of view, so Jim's books are perfect. His deep knowledge of statistics, economics, physics and chaos theory, along with his experience in the private finance sector, as well as advising major political figures or the CIA is astounding. The way he disseminates his knowledge, shares life experiences, and analyzes the economic make this book educational,
Void lon iXaarii
Feb 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I awaited this book with so much excitement based on the author's previous great books but upon finishing it I must say it fails short of the epic analysis done in the author's previous books "Currency Wars" and even "The Death of Money". It's probably not a bad book for somebody who didn't read the others, but for me it felt too much of the same, too few new ideas, too much recap and 2x as much personal stories and trivial descriptions of events from the author's life contacts. They're interest ...more
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poleco
I actually enjoyed this book more than I thought I would, knowing of this author from all the interviews I have seen over the years. There are a lot of information within it. The less you really know about the tentacles of the financial organized crime syndicate, the more you will enjoy this book.

Not to minimize prior parts of the book, the best part for me were chapter 8, which really sheds light on American history in political fascism, and chapter 9, which really gives advice how
Sylv C
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Alarmist and highly biased BUT I would still recommend a read (unless you're already a diehard gold bug / Austrian economist) simply because of the wealth of information presented that one won't find in mainstream literature. The central banking experiment is foolish as command and control systems seldom work, as already evidenced by central planners in Communist regimes. Should governments "gate" liquidity in a crisis? Probably so if for purely altruistic reasons, as many financial crises have ...more
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was pretty typical Rickards. A lot of the same concepts from his other books are repeated
*excessive money printing will lead to a large crisis than 2008 or 1998
*fiat money is problematic due to no tie to an asset backing it (such as gold)
*the fed and other institutions are using outdated models without contemplating complexity theory
*keep 10% of your assets in gold
*there are many more, but one of the interesting points that he hadn't covered in the past wa
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title makes the book sound more conspiratorial than it really is because the plan really isn't that much of a secret. Suffice it to say that if and when we have another major financial catastrophe the chances are that the entire financial system (nationally? globally?) will get locked down. He suggests that we are moving steadily toward a one world financial system which will be controlled by the IMF. He makes a pretty good case for his argument and seems to have his finger on the pulse. ...more
Tracy B
Oh Dear! Conspiracies Abound

Well, what can I say ...perhaps this book is best viewed as way of understanding why some people are convinced we are governed by Lizard people.
The author is a very intelligent man and I enjoyed his writing. He brings together a number of economic and mathematical theories. But the basic premise is that a global elite is in the process of using the IMF to control the monetary system, by creating global shocks to forward their agenda. This is to create a new world
Roy Wang
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book is smart and well researched, and the author's first-hand experiences as an insider of Wall Street banks and high finance lend further credibility to his warning about the next global financial crisis. His application of complexity theory and Bayesian theorem to analyzing economics and financial markets is very interesting and thought-provoking as well.

Most important of all, his warning is sobering and even downright frightening, predicting that the next financial crisis will see globa
Ricardo Portella
Not for the layman

The book is written for economists. The language is dark and obscure what makes it a difficult book to read. The author states that today's economy is based on a complex system that is on the brink of collapse and elaborate in long chapters with examples. You become a little anxious as you read because today's money does not have a physical anchor like the gold standard. Everything is based on the trust in in Central banks around the world in a delicate balance. I skipped the
Andy Taylor
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The subtitle is a marketing gimmick, there is nothing "tin foil hat" about James Rickards. This books explains how current economic models are outdated and not equipped to handle complex systems. I haven't been challenged in my economic beliefs in quite a while. this book not only challenged my beliefs but changed them. The arguments are so well laid out that they are impossible to dismiss. If you are a "free trade" globalist (like I was/am??) I highly recommend you read this book. it might not ...more
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative, but it is a bit of a wade. Interesting perspective on who really controls the money in the world and what it would take for the US dollar to tank. Gives the reader a good understanding of how fragile the US dollar is, due to our politicians manipulating currency flow and values for political reasons. Nothing new for those of us who know that the US Dollar really has no intrinsic value, since the removal of the gold and silver backing. A book every American should read and protect th ...more
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A few of my favorite quotes:

"Free market economy" dogma applied to financial markets resulted in exponential profits for a few global elitists (that don't live here).

"Comparative Advantage", which underpins classical economic principles like specialization and international trade does not exist in a world where production factors (capital, intellectual property) are mobile.

This is a very educational book that reads more like Thomas Pikety's Capital. Excellent
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating read.

The author has extensive knowledge of the financial markets and what caused the past crisis'. He paints a disturbing picture of where the world is headed and one cannot find fault with his arguments. The book is logical and every statement is backed up with extensive research and knowledge.

He pulls back the curtain on machinations that happen in the background of G20 and Global reserve bank meetings.

Read this!
Will Jo
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finance-economy, 2018
Really enjoyed reading this book, the first book I read from the author.

The book has a good balance of history, personal story and theories (such as formulas). Also, the author gives a good summary of the various school of thoughts in Economy and Modern Finance.

It is amazing to know that the author was so close to the many major events in the past two decades and yet have refreshing perspectives.
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“Elite support for so-called free trade is due to the fact that elites share a global perspective at odds with the best interests of the United States. Policies that produce world growth at U.S. expense are endorsed. Policies that benefit the United States while slowing world growth are rejected. Today globalization’s triumph over nationalism is energizing a nationalist revival as nations reassess their individual interests. Certain” 0 likes
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