Outrageous Fortunes
Daniel Altman

Book cover image

Narrated By: William Hughes

Duration: 7 hours and 17 minutes

What to expect

As individuals, companies, and countries struggle to recover from the economic crisis, many are narrowly focused on forecasts for the next week, month, or quarter. Yet they should be asking what the global economy will look like in the years to come—where will the long-term risks and opportunities arise? These are the questions that Daniel Altman confronts in his provocative and indispensable book. The fate of the global economy, Altman argues, will be determined by deeper factors than those that move markets from moment to moment. His incisive analysis brings together hidden trends, societal pressures, and policy endgames to make twelve surprising but logical predictions about the years ahead. And his forecasts for the future raise a pressing question for today: with so many challenges awaiting us, are our political and economic institutions up to the task? Outrageous Fortunes shows which industries will grow, which economies will crumble, which investments will pay off, and where the next big crisis may occur. Altman’s carefully reasoned text is an essential guide for the road ahead.


Economics of specific sectors, Economic geography, Business and Management, Personal finance, Investment and securities, Economics, Economic theory and philosophy

Listen to a sample

“With all the attention being lavished on the short-run gyrations of the economy, it is refreshing to see a book that focuses on the long run. Daniel Altman is brave enough to make predictions about what will happen to the world economy twenty or thirty years from now. His analysis is thoughtful and compelling and should be required reading for those interested in creating a better world for our offspring.”

Hal R. Varian, chief economist at Google and professor of business, economics, and information management at the University of California, Berkeley

“With so many new books offering autopsies of the financial crisis and the deepest recession since World War II, it’s a blessing that Daniel Altman has his eyes firmly fixed on risks and opportunities in the road ahead. He brings together a series of compelling predictions, and though readers may not agree with every element of his forecasts, all will be better informed for having read his book.”

Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and author of The End of the Free Market and The J Curve

“Altman’s easy narration, merged with a few well-researched anecdotes, can offer that winning combination sought by all writers of popular economics, a succinct overview of the well-known with an original, intellectually stimulating point.”

Financial Times

“Amid all the handwringing on the downward trajectory of the global economy comes this cool, collected, and sensible view of forthcoming economic trends…Altman delivers more than mere analysis or foreshadowing: this is revelatory reading for even the most casual observer of economics, and an invaluable tool for reconsidering how the world makes money.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Daniel Altman has something to tell you: the world may not turn out the way Thomas Friedman expects. Outrageous Fortunes is provocative, fast-moving, authoritative, and imaginative. Expect the unexpected.”

Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist and The Logic of Life

“Altman, professor of economics at New York University, presents twelve theories that he believes will reshape the global economy. His topics range from China’s future economic status to the role of international bodies in promoting trade. Each of the theories is presented in its own self-contained chapter, as a separate idea from the others, so the discussions can be explored in any order. William Hughes gives a fast-paced reading that keeps the narration moving forward…Hughes handles the financial vocabulary of Altman’s work with clear enunciation that makes this an easy listen.”


“The lively presentation by full-time political-science professor / part-time actor and narrator William Hughes helps to maintain interest in this data-rich, provocative work, which will be a boon to university students studying business and economics.”