Testimonials

global forecaster

Global Forecaster

Posted by Former President FW de Klerk
I have worked through your well-written and disturbing book “Breaking the Code of History”. I am in broad agreement with what you have written and think the book makes a great contribution towards understanding the past and the present better, thus laying a sound foundation for preparing for the future.

I don’t know enough about charting to make much of it myself, but I’ve seen enough to recognize the repetitive nature of market-driven behaviour. Market patterns do repeat and are therefore worth paying attention to. For instance, for a superb overview, take a look at David Murrin’s website. His global forecasts and commentary is worth a sign up to run through his chart-supported outlook and reading of the underlying forces at play

Bill Blain - Morning Porridge and Shard Capital

The theory and pattern recognition of human behaviour, of what countries need in order to grow and survive and of course empires themselves is brought together in Breaking the Code of History quite brilliantly. Having the ability to continue to read and absorb how this is playing out in today’s world through Murrinations has proven to be extremely valuable. I am only too happy to point anyone in David’s direction.

James Tollemache - Redwheel

I am pleased to add some brief comments concerning David’s remarkable output via his regular and frequent Murrinations postings and other pieces covering inter alia the First World War, Covid and the Chinese question and a one man UK defence Review. Further whilst producing this prodigious output of facts, information and observations David somehow manages and advises on global investment strategy.

It is David’s deep study and knowledge of history that informs many of his views and judgements on geopolitical issues of the day and in the future. I would strongly advise more people to read David’s works. Frankly I would sleep easier if I could be confident that senior politicians and the MOD’s top brass from all services were among David Murrin’s readership. You may not be sympathetic to every view expressed but it is a learning experience to consider them.

Jonathan Perry - Chartered Accountant, 22 year Merchant Banker, Chairman of a PLC for 15 years until retirement

I've been reading David Murrin's work for the past few days and have devoted more than several hours to it as it has captured my attention completely. Go to David's website and just explore. My main takeaway is that everything he writes is Realism to the core. I love Realism.

Evan Thomsen

David Murrin who I have known for 20 years is the real deal... Ignore him at your peril !.

Anric Blatt

I too came across David Murrin through Anric Blatt. David’s work has opened my eyes to a dimension that I never knew existed. Truly great work.

Robert Napolitano

David Murrin you are a genius.

Matthew Askren

Fascinating. Only dipping into David Murrin's thinking for 15 minutes, watching one of his interviews in particular, it looks like I will be spending an increasing amount of time with his thoughts.

Michal Bohanes

David uses historical analysis to predict likely future developments. While many try to predict the future by looking merely at economic data and looking at the recent past, David goes back centuries, tracking the ascent and descent of empires, enabling him to spot big-picture trends and secular developments that many others fail to see. As a historian myself, I am well aware that many fellow economists and analysts lack this critical ability, despite it being a well-known fact that "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Anna Rosenberg - Partner, Head of Europe and UK I Signum Global

You were spot on your forecast of the Tory majority when I spoke with you 2 months before the November election. You were spot on with your forecast months before the Covid-19 pandemic of what impact it would have on the global economy and I did not believe you ! You have been spot on with gold and commodity prices.

As you know, I tend to always look on the bright side of life and try and believe that disasters will be averted but this pandemic and the global economic partial paralysis is an event which I never thought I would experience in my lifetime and clearly will have disastrous economic ramifications for the medium term.

Retrospection can teach us all lessons but the accurate vision for the future is a rare talent.

Lord St. John Anthony - 22nd Baron St John of Bletso is a British peer, politician, businessman and solicitor

As a "lateral blonde" from a lateral family, your theories on Collective Human systems and lateral thinkers should be taught at schools to enlighten and awaken this basic conciseness which is so deeply hidden in 90% of the population. Congratulations David Murrin! Keep knocking on the "barricaded doors"!

Issey Troy

At Montfort we strive to anticipate the issues that our clients are facing and to help us we have a longstanding relationship with economic and social forecaster David Murrin. In recent years he has correctly called significant geopolitical moves and political results, notably calling the result of the Brexit referendum before the referendum was even announced, the election of Donald Trump, and the rise of China to challenge the US for global leadership. Six months ago, David urged his subscribers to heed the economic threat posed by a major bubble building in the markets. And from late 2019, he has accurately forecast the impact of COVID-19 on society and global financial markets – including the exact dates that the markets and the oil price fell.

Montfort Communications

Recalling our meeting at a Hannam and Partners dinner and subsequent lunch, I have regarded you as something of a sage as you predicted both the Trump victory and Brexit referendum as well as the market meltdown which we have witnessed over the past week or so.

John Battersby  - Director of the South African Chamber of Commerce consultant/journalist/author

global trader

Global Trader

David, your fully integrated work combining global geopolitical historical perspective, overlaid with a keen understanding of the inner working of financial markets, provides a level of wisdom that is rare. The quality and depth of research is invaluable to leaders across the political, corporate and investment disciplines.

Satish Rai - Chief Investment Officer OMERS Pension Fund Canada

Quite often, those of us continuously trading in the markets tend to get lost in the noise and pay less attention to the major geopolitical issues that will shape the global economy for years to come. These geopolitical transformations are happening now. David is there to help you bring these issues into focus and help you think outside the box. We've had numerous in-depth discussions on how these transformations will impact not only our portfolios but our lives in general.

Antonino Fortes Senior Portfollio manager

I have known David for over five years and, during that time (all documented) he has predicted the rise of Trump, every twist and turn during the three-year course of Brexit, including Boris becoming PM (a year before he did), and the landslide election result.

On January 30th he called me and really panicked me (I have all the WhatsApp’s to prove it), which made me dump most of our family equity portfolio and move into cash. He has saved us a large fortune!

When no one was looking, in early January, he warned that the Wuhan Flu was going to become pandemic that would bring the global economy to a dead stop. Simultaneously he predicted the drop of oil from $65 to sub$27 and the collapse of the stock markets. All these predictions were in papers he wrote, and speeches he gave (some at my Invest Africa events), and most people then thought him mad. How silly (and poor) they look now.

Rob Hersov - Family office

I will state from the outset that I generally shun predictions and, by extension, am suspicious of those that claim to see the future. Nonetheless, while David refers to “predictions” on his website, I believe that these are better described as an interpretation of geopolitical conditions through the prism of his Stages of Empire theory. This has enabled David to consistently make seemingly outlandish but remarkably accurate interpretations of current events and, by extension, market calls. Given his interpretative framework, I see no reason why David’s analysis should not remain as consistently accurate for many years to come.

Andy Pfaff - Chief Investment Officer | Coherent Commodity Investment (Pty) Ltd

Many thanks for your Valuable advice on positioning in different asset classes.

Prakash Shirke - CFA Investment Adviser

David Murrin is a long time friend as well as a very special investor. He brings to the 21st century an enormous amount of experience as well as knowledge. We live in a very difficult environment. He is in invaluable.

Johnathan Smith Founder - Chesapeake Asset Management

David Murrin is one of the best global macro forecasters I know, do sign up for his newsletter… ...he is an outstanding human and one of my favourite people in this industry

Anric Blatt Managing Partner - involved with hedge funds and the #FinancialPlanning community since 1994, has done due diligence on 15,000+ funds and has been an investor in thousands of them

Murrin definitely has a lot of insight. I wanted to second Evan Thomsen's review of his web site and analysis services. I've already made about a 200% ROI on my subscription fees to his #fx and #crypto market insights. He called the recent bear market in crypto almost to the day and the dollar. If you are a #ria or manage #money you might want to check him out.In addition to his deep understanding of markets, David also is a student of history and modern geopolitics. He is using his influence to protect and defend democracy. And, he's a genuinely nice guy.

Thomas Loscalzo

You were spot on your forecast of the Tory majority when I spoke with you 2 months before the November election. You were spot on with your forecast months before the Covid-19 pandemic of what impact it would have on the global economy and I did not believe you ! You have been spot on with gold and commodity prices.

As you know, I tend to always look on the bright side of life and try and believe that disasters will be averted but this pandemic and the global economic partial paralysis is an event which I never thought I would experience in my lifetime and clearly will have disastrous economic ramifications for the medium term.

Retrospection can teach us all lessons but the accurate vision for the future is a rare talent.

Lord St. John Anthony - 22nd Baron St John of Bletso is a British peer, politician, businessman and solicitor

I am writing to say how impressed I am with the services you offer and the depth and substance of the information, perceptions, guidance and advice you disseminate.

I am particularly fascinated and intrigued by your uncanny ability to forecast global events and outcomes correctly – and just as importantly, to suggest constructive ways forward.

You have also brought much-needed balance to my naturally sceptical, oftentimes cynical bent. That's a function of my decades of experience as a journalist, writing, researching and reporting on a wide range of fraught topics, from politics to religion and more recently, health, nutrition and wellness.

I must confess that when I first became aware of your predictive capacity early in 2016, I dismissed it out of hand. At that time, a close journalist colleague, who rated you extraordinarily highly and who I trusted implicitly, told me that you predicted that Brexit would happen and Trump would be the next US president.

I was so sure that you would be wrong on both counts.

When you proved right on both counts, the world as I knew it began to unravel rapidly around me. And at that year's end, I revised my visceral opinion and began to delve more respectfully into your work.

I'm now one of your biggest fans online and subscribers to your website.

Your expertise is invaluable not just in decoding major historical events, forecasting change directions in today's increasingly unstable, fast-changing, crazy world but also in offering ways forward and strategies to learn from and avoid past mistakes.

global strategist

Global Strategist

At Montfort we strive to anticipate the issues that our clients are facing and to help us we have a longstanding relationship with economic and social forecaster David Murrin. In recent years he has correctly called significant geopolitical moves and political results, notably calling the result of the Brexit referendum before the referendum was even announced, the election of Donald Trump, and the rise of China to challenge the US for global leadership. Six months ago, David urged his subscribers to heed the economic threat posed by a major bubble building in the markets. And from late 2019, he has accurately forecast the impact of COVID-19 on society and global financial markets – including the exact dates that the markets and the oil price fell.

Montfort Communications

I have known David since our days in Papua New Guinea - almost 40 years ago. David has evolved into one of the most broad as well as deep strategic thinkers with a strong ability to synthesize a variety of issues in different domains into a complete holistic story. This often contains things people do not want to hear - and there is therefore all the more valuable. David does this within a structure of thought which I have seen few do. Anyone who is a leader an/or who has strategic responsibility of some kind must dig into David's manner of thinking and looking ahead. Today's Coronavirus crisis is but only one area where David was right in his prediction. It is the explaining of human behavior which is the most enriching of David's insights. Many of us too often think we understand, can figure things out and that we are therefore largely right about things. We are generally not. David's insights have taught me a lot. An absolute must for anyone who has responsibilities towards others and the broader good.

Martin Schweighauser - Chairman Calyps SA

Insightful, interesting, entrepreneurial, adventure seeking, individual who has the capacity to create winning teams and explore every opportunity life offers. If you wish to push the boundaries and make things happen engage with David.

Stuart Greenfield - Consultant, entrepreneur

speaker

Future Trends Speaker

Several years ago I had the fortune of meeting David Murrin through Rob Hersov. David captured his audience with his candid dialogue, no frill content and a wit that equaled his exceptional insights. His ability to leverage off historical context and provide relevance to the current global political arena had his audience spellbound. I would recommend David as both a speaker or VIP dinner guest at any table.

Ariella Kuper - CEO Solution Strategists Pty Ltd

David, It was great to reconnect as we start 2022. Our conversation conjured up images of you presenting at our Meeting of Minds event at the Berkeley Hotel in June 2011. The violent electrical storm only added to the atmosphere. You spoke about The predictions in your book Breaking the code of history which still resonates in my head. Indeed People honestly still talk about your presentation and how on the money it was. To this day, I think you are the best forecasters we have ever had!

James Goad - Joint Managing Director Owen James - enabling financial services to do better business

David did such an amazing job delivering a keynote speech opening up the Future of Mining Forum event in London. David gave a very thought-provoking speech which kept the audience on the edge of their seats throughout the whole presentation.

Natalia Egorova - Natural Resources Forum

I really enjoyed David speaking yesterday. When he said that his book "Breaking the Code of History" was down to 100 copies I wanted to make sure that I secured one of them as he is a very persuasive speaker and the book reviews were very complimentary.

Wayne Topping

I think of you often these days as we work through these intensely difficult times, and I can’t help but feel like it was just yesterday, in London, back in 2004 when you gave a keynote talking about the decline and fall of the West at the hands of China. A hegemonic challenge was building nad that would peak and result in WW3 coming into 2025 predicted high of the commodity cycle and that the Fundamentalist Muslim threat was a second-degree distraction. I just wish our leaders had listened to your predictions.

Jane Amanda Halsey Founder & President Roundtable Forum, LLC
  • Scary stuff!
  • It's good to hear some unconventional opinions to challenge your own thinking
  • Very confident presentation - although it was dark and I did not entirely agree, it is great to have such speakers who have conviction in their views
  • Really challenged my views
  • Sensational and depressing!
  • Challenging and different
  • Worrying!
  • Most enjoyable
Future-proofing your Business at a time of Historic Geopolitical Uncertainty - Owen James keynote speech: 4.4/5

Really interesting and thought-provoking • Great vision and presentation skills • Sensible thought-provoking well done • Controversial but good. strong Brexit views • A lot of food for thought • Refreshingly different albeit slightly scary predictions! • A man with a similar view of the world delighted to see I am not the only one • Excellent

Citywire Income Forum Audience feedback 85.6%

I thought the session was excellent. David was a very good speaker and slightly provocative which made a great change from a lot of our events.

Peter Beckett, Partner, KPMG LLP (UK)

I will NEVER forget that keynote you gave in London all those years ago talking about the decline of the US - so spot on!

Jane Halsey, Founder & President Roundtable Forum, LLC, NYC

bcoh

Breaking The Code of History

 

BTCH

Posted by Andrew Pancholi
A Ground Breaking Book - Ignore This at Your Peril.

“Breaking the Code of History.” is the playbook for understanding how our world reached this point in time. Additionally, it then projects forward in time making a range of concerning predictions for the next decade. Specifically, this is the story of humanity's manifestation of a sequence of civilizations that have reached the limit of their potential to expand, if we remain unconscious of the destructiveness of our repetitive behavioral patterns. Most importantly, David presents his evidence using a very advanced model, that humanity is approaching the critical time where the human race faces a choice between catastrophe or Consciousness. The foundation of his thesis is based on his incredibly incisive work which models the Five Stages of Empire. I absolutely recommend that you not only read , but also study the groundbreaking book.

Posted by Anric Blatt
A book that could change y(our) History

Every now and then a book comes along that can change everything and lead you down (or up) a new path; a path that you would not have discovered without reading it. I wish I had read this book in my twenties or even my thirties. But as St. Augustine once said: “It is better to live with remorse than with regret!” – I am happy to have read it now and introduce it to my friends and family and keep it as far away as possible from my competitors. It gives the reader an amazing insight into how the world really works and why history seems to annoyingly repeat itself and how to benefit from the inevitable consequences that follow along this path.

I first met David Murrin about 10 years ago when he came to our lake in Italy as the keynote speaker to coach our team on geopolitical macro issues affecting our investment decisions. It was hands down one of the best presentations I ever attended. I then lost touch for a few years and was recently reconnected after reading his book.
This book: “Breaking the Code of History” should be mandatory reading (and testing) for every single college entrant and should ideally become part of the school curriculum. (Yes, its THAT good).

Posted by Mark Conrad
I find it brilliant how you've brought hard history in with soft history (human processes) to create a powerful analysis of how things work.

Posted by James Tollemache - Redwheel
I first heard David at a Rothschild conference 10 years ago and was immediately impressed by the theory of Breaking the Code of History, not least in its predictions but also in the logical way it was laid out and the depth of research. Once I had read the book I was certainly going to follow David from that point on. Using the theory in practice has led (sadly in some cases today) to David being eerily correct. Given the nature and repetitiveness of human kind, the battle for resources and the 5 stages of empires themselves I can see no reason why basing aspects of the future on the incredible work David has done on the past would not continue to be a useful guide going forward. I would recommend studying Breaking the Code of History to anyone.

Posted by Julian Debreuil
Having just finished David Murrin’s book, Breaking The Code of History, I have to conclude that it is the most complete work in the field of socio-politics that I have come across. Even that term does not cover the full breadth of material that the author injects into the four hundred and fifty-seven beautifully written pages.

He covers a range of topics, laid out in sequential chapters, and ties the threads together expertly to give the reader a deep and clear view of both where the world is likely heading, and the many connected events that have put us on this course. In speaking with David, it became clear that his working system has been developed over many, many years. A lot of hard and dedicated work over roughly four decades has gone in to developing a flexible yet robust system, based on and supported by theories of historical cycles, fractal patterns and human entropy systems. I thoroughly recommend picking up a copy. Even if you consider yourself to be very well versed in the complex arena of geopolitics, it will hit you between the eyes, update your grey matter, and provide you with a learning experience in a way that mainstream education and journalism is sometimes too constrained to achieve.

The most remarkable achievement is that the material in the book was completed sometime in 2003, even though the book was published in 2009. Taking this into account, we can see that David’s system for analysing, processing and redistributing data into usable and actionable information clearly works. A great deal of what he posits has indeed evolved on the global stage, and the direction he lays out from now until 2025 also seems to be frighteningly accurate, developing in front of our very eyes. Given this, governments across the developed and developing world would do well to take heed of the solutions he puts forward.

There is much in this tomb that will send a chill down your spine. The future we our leaving to the coming generations does not look very bright at all, if determined and coordinated action is not taken by the wealthiest nations to solve the major issues destroying our planet, increasing poverty and disease, and creating the kind of hard-line, polarising attitudes which have historically led to war. David does, however, end on a positive note showing that he is, in fact, an optimist. In the final pages he extrapolates his empire-cycle theory forwards to the point where, if humanity can come together, then there is indeed a better future awaiting us and our descendants. It acts as a keen reminder that mankind’s greatest strength is the ability to work together, and that its greatest weakness is the inability to do so.

There is only one point in the whole work that I would question: if the book had been written post 2016 would the author have depicted the Obama Administration in such a positive light, especially with regards to Middle East relations and developments? Having said that, hindsight is a wonderful thing, and President Obama did bring renewed hope after such a disastrous and disrespectful Bush era. In closing, the book is a tremendous achievement, I just wish I had discovered it shortly after publishing, rather than twelve years later.

I am pleased to add some brief comments concerning David’s informative book ‘Breaking The Code of History’ and other pieces covering inter alia the First World War, Covid and the Chinese question and a one man UK defence Review. Further whilst producing this prodigious output of facts, information and observations David somehow manages and advises on global investment strategy.

It is David’s deep study and knowledge of history that informs many of his views and judgements on geopolitical issues of the day and in the future. I would strongly advise more people to read David’s works. Frankly I would sleep easier if I could be confident that senior politicians and the MOD’s top brass from all services were among David Murrin’s readership. You may not be sympathetic to every view expressed but it is a learning experience to consider them.

Jonathan Perry - Chartered Accountant, 22 year Merchant Banker, Chairman of a PLC for 15 years until retirement

Posted by James Hanshaw
The author has an incredible knowledge and applies it very well.

Posted by Samuel Sofaer
I don't agree with the previous review saying that Mirren is pessimistic regarding the US's present stage of decline. In fact in page 118 of his book Murrin suggests alliances between the US and Central and South America to form a single trade-free zone. This would as it were constitute a new Empire in the regionalistion phase. Murrin has likewise made a number of other constructive suggestions for other countries in the decline. There is no doubt that the US has overextended itself.

Regarding the book, I must say I enjoyed it thoroughly and think it will have a pride of place in my bookshelf and prove to be useful reference book in the years to come. This book is well worth the price - I recommend it without reservation.

I have it too, David's book is provocative. At another level........ terrifying

Evan Thomsen

Posted by an American review
Excellent in every aspect not just the content but the quality of the book. Full glossy color plates and diagrams. As for the content, well, all the facts are there for each of us to make decisions that may help our families in the not too distant future.

If you can find the book it is worth the cost and time.

Posted by an American review
Interdisciplinary Approach to Declinism - The Empire Lifecycle

Author David Murrin's contribution to Declinism is his model of what I call Empire Lifecycle. Murrin fits the U.S. by analogy and examples of empires past into his Five Stages of Empire. It's not difficult to recognize our predicament as fitting his 5th stage, called "decline." If you believe his stages and recognize the 5th as current, you might be a Declinist (Triumphalism is the opposite of Declinism). Murrin is a polymath, a person of great learning in several fields of study. His background includes finance and investment; geophysics; military history and more.

In summary, Murrin's Five Stages of Empire: Regionalism; Ascension to Empire; Maturity; Overextension; and Decline. Murrin's Model might remind readers of a model by the brilliant author Dr. Ichak Adizes, called, "The Corporate Lifecycle." The leadership dynamic in both models is nearly identical. However, Murrin's most important dynamic is demographics. Each stage in the model has a demographic dynamic unique to that stage.

The 5th stage of Murrin's model is decline, where he sees the U.S. right now. This stage is characterized by loss of geopolitical influence; protectionism; social fragmentation and discord; and pessimism. I think there's no debate about the pessimism association. On the sunny side, Murrin points us to Africa for investing purposes. The idea is that Africa is just in the first stage and thus investors can get in on the ground floor. However, Murrin predicts conflicts in that region over natural resources, with China a likely beneficiary as it moves to fill in the void in empire space.

Whereas Murrin's model identifies China as an ascendant empire, many academics will point out China does not have sufficient ability to project empire-like military strength. But Murrin explains how no economic empire in the history of the world had failed to militarize. Further, he identifies the male-to-female ratio in China, which is 56% and a full 5% more than world averages, as a demographic dynamic in favor of taking military risk sooner rather than later. This type of analysis is alarming, entertaining and makes the book a page-turner.

Murrin may have made a lasting contribution with The Five Stages of Empire. It's difficult to argue with this model though, because he shows how people in a declining empire tend to be in denial. Hence, if we hold an opposing viewpoint, he'd say we're in denial. Regarding the potential of investing in Africa, an investor may need additional specific information to protect against losing capital in the predicted resource wars. I recommend this book because I think most readers will find it entertaining and insightful.

Posted by Mike Robinson
Prophetic.
It is rare that one reads a book that so clearly unlocks the secrets of the past, and in a manner that turns these lessons into a prophetic agenda for the future. Well researched, easy to read and assimilate, beautifully laid out, interesting, and informative, this book is for anyone interested in how our civilization became and where it might lead. It contains some very interesting analysis on the rise and fall of empires and religions that one can translate immediately into our world today. If you only ever read one book on the historic rise and fall of empires, this is it.

Posted by BJJ
History explained.
I needed to educate myself as to what is going on in the world and how did all these countries get into the mess we are all in. This book begins in ancient times and shows you how history does repeat itself. Well written and holds your interest. Describes the roles of many leaders throughout centuries, errors ade thoughts on how it could have been different. Current world powers, i.e. China, USA, the middle east and less explosive countries, i.e. Australia, Canada and how the world works.

Posted by Colin Lloyd
Your concept of the cycle of empire has such an elegant simplicity that I’m left thinking “how did I fail to notice the pattern” it really makes one look at history in a different way.

Posted by YT1
If there is one thing I have learned from having spotted the financial bubbles of the last 25 years, is that they take longer than one thinks to burst. This makes it very difficult to stick with one's conviction. What David Murrin has done here in his excellent book, Breaking the Code of History, is to step WAY back and see the cycles that take not only decades but sometimes centuries to unfold. Intellectually, it is not easy to keep the trends that David has so graphically illustrated in one's day-to-day thoughts but to ignore them is to invite being "blindsided" by the great force of history. As we approach an American election and see the candidates bickering about the merits of "waterboarding" (as opposed to looming deficits, Europe on the brink, economic competitiveness, etc), we see what David is saying about the typical actions of an empire in decline. It would seem practical to force the politicians to read this book...if only to illuminate the road ahead and who knows, maybe to think about how to navigate it as well.

Posted by William Westgate
David Murrin’s opus “Breaking the Code of History” reminds us of the truth behind the quote from Ecclesiastes that “There is nothing new under the sun”. Whether it is the passing of the current American hegemony, the previous British Empire, the Ottoman, the French, Spanish, Byzantine or Greek; all have been subject to the “five stages of empire”.

His central thesis that human behaviour is based not on logic but on collective emotions - making events more predictable than we have heretofore thought is a powerful one. There is certain inevitability about the course of history with ascension to empire followed by maturity, over-stretch and decline. No point in blaming individual leaders – this is human nature. Like fractals, we witness it in micro fashion daily (business growth) and macro, over the centuries (national histories).

While the author may be criticised for trying to capture too much in one book, I found his work to be succinct. Whether it is his prognosis on global warming or how to deal with the ascent of China, tens of thousands of more words would not necessarily have provided substantially more insight. Indeed, the inclusion of quotes from Sun Tzu such as “You can fight a war for a long time or you can make your nation strong. You cannot do both.” is apposite, both to the west’s current over-extension in the Middle East/Afghanistan - as well as wise reminder that China is unlikely to make the same mistakes.

The book is also well illustrated throughout.

This book makes clear that both investors and academics could benefit from assessing the future by looking more carefully at our past(s).

Posted by Cryxus
I agree with you, we Americans are in a state of denial about our loss of our national power. It's unfortunate to witness a degenerate generation and the loss of values that made us a strong country. It's like watching the writings of Isaiah take place right before my eyes. It will slowly worsen until one day caught unaware the virgin of Washington D.C. (the unconquered nation) will fall into the dust like a thief in the night, another nation (China) rises up and takes the reigns, and Americans become like the English and French, arrogant pride compensating for past glory days. Western Civilization peaked in the 1700s and we are witnessing a stale civilization on it's death bed. It's truly sad to see our culture and traditions fade and know that our children will have to find themselves in the wake of chaos left behind by years of corruption. Alas, it is the natural order of things. Survival of the fittest.

Posted by Andre Westerveld
I am thoroughly enjoying the read, in fact I tend to reread portions and jump back and forth.

I find the content insightful and definitely a different perspective to the norm, has challenged my current view on various items. Being a South African there is obviously a natural interest in applying this thought process and perspective with respect to the future prospects for Africa, specifically as I work in the mergers & acquisitions

Posted by Matt Olaf Jakubowski
I very much enjoyed the book and it reinforced my investment strategy. I found it comparable, in attitude to the writings of Oswald Spengler and Martin Armstrong. Personally I do wish there was a hope for the West but here in the USA all the you have written is underlined daily.
I first heard your interview on KingWorldNews.com and I do hope you will do another interview there.

Posted by Anthony Harmer
The book is amazing! Would it be possible to have a digital copy sent to me as the book itself is rather difficult to carry and read on the tube. Thanks Anthony

Posted by Samuel
This is one history book is that is not tedious and is a joy to read from start to finish. Just the right measure of relevant history so as not to bore you ,yet stark reminders that history is closely related to resources or the lack of them which in turn lead to wars in a bid to acquire them -unless each country follows in China's footsteps by providing for its future by long-term judicious investments then the likelihood of war and tensions is heightened. Mirren also exposes the duplicitous role likely to be played by China in sponsoring future proxy wars in Africa as well as its bid to gain dominance of the South China Seas . He also provides constructive suggestions for the nations in decline like the US -the formation of a free-trade zone with the Central and South America -the development of offshore oilfields in Siberia. In this book we are made aware of the exponential rise in world population coupled with a rise in the sea level which is encroaching on the arable land area already overburdened with more mouths to feed.

This book is a useful reference book and provides an insight into the apocalyptic world the next generation will be faced with unless the warnings are heeded. A must for all the Heads of State of all countries.

Posted by Hal Austin, Financial Adviser
This is an interesting book, if only because its glances at economic and geopolitical history gives us a roadmap to current developments, including the dominant emerging markets, the battle for resources and intergenerational struggle being played out in North Africa and the Middle East

Posted by Mike Scialom
If you only buy one book this year then so far my money is on David Murrin’s Breaking the Code of History – yes the inside of this tin is exactly what it says on the cover. Murrin reassembles history into the story of the rise and fall of empires, and establishes that every empire goes through a five-stage process. In a devastatingly direct assessment of the US as a global superpower, he demonstrates that the US has now entered a classic period of decline just as the Chinese, waiting in the wings, have kick-started a rapid growth cycle. He argues that full-scale war between the US and China is likely to happen between 2017-2025 – as the commodity cycle reaches its peak. But there are ways to avoid such a terrible fate befalling the nations of the world. The US must come to terms with where it is in the cycle and develop economic and political policies that counteract the threat of disaster rather than concentrating on window-dressing to keep their populations quiescent. David Murrin is ahead of the curve ... reading books like "Breaking the Code of History" is what makes my reviewing role a joy.

Posted by Citizen John
Author David Murrin's contribution to Declinism is his model of what I call Empire Lifecycle. Murrin fits the U.S. by analogy and examples of empires past into his Five Stages of Empire. It's not difficult to recognize our predicament as fitting his 5th stage, called "decline." If you believe his stages and recognize the 5th as current, you might be a Declinist (Triumphalism is the opposite of Declinism). Murrin is a polymath, a person of great learning in several fields of study. His background includes finance and investment; geophysics; military history and more.

In summary, Murrin's Five Stages of Empire: Regionalism; Ascension to Empire; Maturity; Overextension; and Decline. Murrin's Model might remind readers of a model by the brilliant author Dr. Ichak Adizes, called, "The Corporate Lifecycle." The leadership dynamic in both models is nearly identical. However, Murrin's most important dynamic is demographics. Each stage in the model has a demographic dynamic unique to that stage.

The 5th stage of Murrin's model is decline, where he sees the U.S. right now. This stage is characterized by loss of geopolitical influence; protectionism; social fragmentation and discord; and pessimism. I think there's no debate about the pessimism association. On the sunny side, Murrin points us to Africa for investing purposes. The idea is that Africa is just in the first stage and thus investors can get in on the ground floor. However, Murrin predicts conflicts in that region over natural resources, with China a likely beneficiary as it moves to fill in the void in empire space.

Whereas Murrin's model identifies China as an ascendant empire, many academics will point out China does not have sufficient ability to project empire-like military strength. But Murrin explains how no economic empire in the history of the world had failed to militarize. Further, he identifies the male-to-female ratio in China, which is 56% and a full 5% more than world averages, as a demographic dynamic in favor of taking military risk sooner rather than later. This type of analysis is alarming, entertaining and makes the book a page-turner.

Murrin may have made a lasting contribution with The Five Stages of Empire. It's difficult to argue with this model though, because he shows how people in a declining empire tend to be in denial. Hence, if we hold an opposing viewpoint, he'd say we're in denial. Regarding the potential of investing in Africa, an investor may need additional specific information to protect against losing capital in the predicted resource wars. I recommend this book because I think most readers will find it entertaining and insightful.

Posted by Rear Admiral Richard Cobbold
David Murrin dazzles us with the scope of his learning, the depths of his experience and the vigour of his enthusiasms; all are lit with the gleam of his focus. His book is closely and tirelessly argued and superbly and relevantly illustrated, whilst his analysis is lucid and vivid. Murrin warns of the dangers ahead if the human race fails to deal with the consequences of our systematic self-destructive behaviour. This is a book that each of us should read and learn from.

Posted by Paul Lavin, Goodhart Partners LLP
A multi-faceted analysis of the rise and fall of countries and empires, with a focus on where the world finds itself today in that cycle and where that may lead. The content is very current and, in my opinion, one of the best articulations of the current global ‘node’, due to the breadth of perspective it brings. I can highly recommend it.

Posted by Thomas Bonetti
Excellent job on CNBC. I will definitely get the book. Also really appreciated your hypothesis about the similarities of the Roman Empire and pending fall of 900 years of Western Christendom. One other element which may be in the book is the concept of citizen entitlements.

As you know from Roman history one of the factors that contributed to their "tipping point" was when more soldiers in the Roman Legions were actually barbarian mercenaries (as the Romans themselves lost the will to fight) and when the number of slaves out-numbered Roman Citizens (as the Romans became to lazy to work). In fact the first sack of Rome was a barbarian who had been trained and was a Commander in the Roman Legions! When he looked around and realized there were more of his ilk around than Romans a pretty fast change came there.

As you point out, this all sounds far too familiar.

Get ready for the next Dark Ages.

Posted by Dana L Meador, C.P.A
Saw you this morning on Squawk Box Europe. Agree. It would take a radical change in human nature to avoid the outcome you so eloquently posit.

Posted by paul
what amazing insights! Astounding...

Posted by AnthonyM
I found this fascinating. The 5 stages of Empires inspired some debate amongst my friends!

Posted by Greeny
Interdisciplinary Approach to Declinism - The Empire Lifecycle

Author David Murrin's contribution to Declinism is his model of what I call Empire Lifecycle. Murrin fits the U.S. by analogy and examples of empires past into his Five Stages of Empire. It's not difficult to recognize our predicament as fitting his 5th stage, called "decline." If you believe his stages and recognize the 5th as current, you might be a Declinist (Triumphalism is the opposite of Declinism). Murrin is a polymath, a person of great learning in several fields of study. His background includes finance and investment; geophysics; military history and more.

In summary, Murrin's Five Stages of Empire: Regionalism; Ascension to Empire; Maturity; Overextension; and Decline. Murrin's Model might remind readers of a model by the brilliant author Dr. Ichak Adizes, called, "The Corporate Lifecycle." The leadership dynamic in both models is nearly identical. However, Murrin's most important dynamic is demographics. Each stage in the model has a demographic dynamic unique to that stage.

The 5th stage of Murrin's model is decline, where he sees the U.S. right now. This stage is characterized by loss of geopolitical influence; protectionism; social fragmentation and discord; and pessimism. I think there's no debate about the pessimism association. On the sunny side, Murrin points us to Africa for investing purposes. The idea is that Africa is just in the first stage and thus investors can get in on the ground floor. However, Murrin predicts conflicts in that region over natural resources, with China a likely beneficiary as it moves to fill in the void in empire space.

Whereas Murrin's model identifies China as an ascendant empire, many academics will point out China does not have sufficient ability to project empire-like military strength. But Murrin explains how no economic empire in the history of the world had failed to militarize. Further, he identifies the male-to-female ratio in China, which is 56% and a full 5% more than world averages, as a demographic dynamic in favor of taking military risk sooner rather than later. This type of analysis is alarming, entertaining and makes the book a page-turner.

Murrin may have made a lasting contribution with The Five Stages of Empire. It's difficult to argue with this model though, because he shows how people in a declining empire tend to be in denial. Hence, if we hold an opposing viewpoint, he'd say we're in denial. Regarding the potential of investing in Africa, an investor may need additional specific information to protect against losing capital in the predicted resource wars. I recommend this book because I think most readers will find it entertaining and insightful.

red lightning

Red Lightning

 

RL

 A Very Plausible and Likely Outcome - If We Keep Ignoring The Signs.

Red Lightning describes the current trajectory for the Western World. As we see the super nations such as the USA and UK crumble, a huge power shift is taking place. Is this pathway inevitable? This succinct book shows how we are running out of time.

Andrew Pancholi, UK

A Searing Insight into the World's perilous future.

Murrin is a global forecaster who has broken and analysed what he calls the “Code of History” and extrapolated from it to explain what is likely to happen next as Empires rise and fall. At the moment China is in the ascendant and America is in decline and in Murrin’s estimation there are signs that because of China’s almost naked ambition we are globally not that far from World War 3 as we repeat the behaviour patterns that lead to WW1 and 2.

Red Lightning is part fact, part fiction and is a searing read, a brief imagination of how and why WW111 will happen and what the consequences will be. It reads like a film script, it merits a movie and anyone who is concerned about all our futures would do well to read it.

Swanns, UK

Murrin's book is an urgent warning which needs to be read now.

'Red Lightning' is fascinating and although the author describes it as a work of predictive fiction, most of it rings eerily true. More than anything Murrin's book is an urgent warning which needs to be read now, before it's too late. 

It's not fiction but truth to state that China has played the long game, and thanks to the capitulation of depraved, venal Western leaders, they have won.

Read in full here.

Karen Harradine, UK

Scary

David Murrin is author also of "Breaking the Code of History", which charts the rise and fall of empires through history. Both works are very thought provoking and are very relevant to the current expansion of power and influence by China. The "West" is sleepwalking towards a cliff edge.

GT, UK

Excellent

Let’s hope it doesn’t happen, but I suspect the truth is mankind has not changed his spots and we have yet to outgrow war.

J. R. Piper UK

Fascinating yet frightening

Firstly, a confession I know the author. Whilst I often disagree with him over short term events I find he has an uncanny habit of being right over longer term with regards to the big picture. The reason behind this is a truly original mind backed by lots of in depth research. This is best seen with David's 'Breaking the code of History' - a superbly researched piece of work, including a whole section on diseases and epidemics and the fall of empires.

So we get to this book. It's short and highly readable piece of work about how China could effectively win WW3 within days and without needing to resort to nuclear weapons. It's fascinating but highly convincing, indicating how much weapons technology has changed (and China has advanced) over the past few years.

Faulkner, UK

This is a wake up call to the world

David has a deep understanding of the way that the CCP works and their mission to be the sole world super power to demonstrate the superiority of their system. In this short book he creates a thought experiment, looking back at the origins and conclusive victory of China in WW3, examining the repeated failures of Western leaders to be perceive the existential threat that China poses and to take adequate timely measures.

Stuart Fraser, UK

A short, sharp and to the point essay on a clear and present danger.

Short, very punchy and to the point this book articulates in some detail, exactly how a Chinese first-strike could render Western military forces impotent in a matter of days, based on the current technologies of all the key players. The scenario is hypothetical - but sadly realistic give China's stated aims of global supremacy and Xi's apparent personal ambitions. Its a wake-up call for sure. The world sleep-walked into war with Germany despite the obvious signs and prior acts of aggression. China has a relatively greater capacity to wage war at a distance than Germany ever did and has just as much of a "reason" to attack preemptively. Definitely worth a read.

IMU, UK

 Impactful and thought provoking speculation.

Purposely damming of our prospects to successfully defend an attack by the upcoming superpowers Territorial Expansion. I learnt a lot about military technology from this book, and it strengthened my belief that more resources should be allocated to defence, engineering and technology applications. Greater collaboration needs to be achieved amongst the greatest nations on earth, towards common goals.

Marcus Skelton, UK

An insightful warning to the perils ahead

A very well researched short story providing a terrifying but wholly realistic scenario of how the Chinese Communist Party's ambitions are driving global instability and how they would enact a first-strike in a non-nuclear World War 3. Part-fiction, its a thought-provoking text and leaves the reader greatly reassessing how they will view the West's relationship with China going forward into the future. A must read for anyone interested in global politics and military history and planning.

Mr P Dawson, UK

This is a wake up call to the world

David has a deep understanding of the way that the CCP works and their mission to be the sole world super power to demonstrate the superiority of their system. In this short book he creates a thought experiment, looking back at the origins and conclusive victory of China in WW3, examining the repeated failures of Western leaders to be perceive the existential threat that China poses and to take adequate timely measures.

Stuart Fraser, UK

Highly engaging and frightening

David has once again produced work that is full of detail and extremely engaging. The fact China is well on track to meet it's long held targets, whilst at the same time playing nicely with the West, trade tariffs aside, helps backup David's story. Leaders seem to be asleep at the wheel and Red Lightning highlights this by describing the surprise attacks that lead to WWIII. Hopefully this book will bring to light the possible consequences if Western leaders continue to dismiss China and its growing threat.

Mr R Dewick, UK

Let’s hope this doesn’t become a reality

Timely considering the current state of world affairs. The length of the story was just right and kept me engaged, let’s hope we don’t see this becoming a reality in the future. A good read for strategists and I'd like to see more on the impact of AI, and cyber threats. Thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to more from David Murrin.

Canada

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Red Lightning

lions led by lions

Lions Led by Lions

 

LLBL

Lions Led By Lions. Is such a good read that it should fly off the shelves in the season when we settle down to a good read on Boxing Day

Peter Harvey Dec 2019
Military Enthusiast

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Lions Led By Lions. It concisely conveyed a number of interesting interpretations of the causes and course of Britain's involvement in the First World War, and I found it thought-provoking, both historically and in terms of modest parallels. Given the impact of the First World War on Britain both financially and psychologically, your book is a timely reminder that we should pay more respect to the sacrifice of our forefathers.

Richard Hickson Oct 2019
Former British Cavalry Officer

The fog created by incompetence is something that David Murrin seeks to blow away in Lions Led by Lions (Apollo £19.95 Hardback). In a crisply presented passionately argued work, Murrin does focus on the land war-and, in particular, the all-arms offensive unleashed in the August 1918 by the British at Amiens. But he suggests it was politicians (especially Lloyd George) seeking to burnish themselves as the true heroes in the conflict that were the true donkeys, not the generals. Slightly undermined by some uneven editing, this well-illustrated book correctly warns against politicians who consider themselves more capable of waging wars than generals, in the end Murrin points out it was the British naval blockade imposed for some time, after the armistice was agreed that ensured that the Germans  did not just regard it as breathing room to regroup and renew hostilities.

Iain Ballantyne-Editor Warships Magazine May 2019

David Murrin's new book Lions led by Lions is an excellent read. It provides a completely different slant on the key protagonists in the First World War and challenges the more normally accepted proposition that senior British commanders of the time were complete fools. David argues that Haig is besmirched and has been harshly treated by history, largely by the politician, Lloyd George, whom he believes to be self-serving, and cynical.   
 
Haig, in his view, was very much a product of his time; an Edwardian, a man of principle and service to his core who was dealt a difficult military hand. However, in contrary to current perceptions Haig learned as quickly as was possible (for the time and conditions) from his mistakes. David further argues that he really understood the concept of maneuver warfare. That the war ended so quickly after the battle of Amiens is, for him, proof that the previous trench warfare was just an inevitable holding position until tanks and combined arms tactics could be deployed in sufficient strength to overrun the German army decisively, both physically and psychologically.
 
Whether you ultimately agree with his view or not, it is an easy read, with information clearly presented and particularly good battle diagrams to explain how things developed.

Francais Hobbs
Formerly a Lt Col Grenadier Guards

When I trained at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the late 90’s the prevailing teachings on war were those of Clausewitz and the adage that: “war is the continuation of politics by other means” was our guiding star as young Officer cadets.
 
David’s excellent book is, amongst other things, about the underbelly of the complicated relationship between politics and war and the eternal scope by humankind for a reinvention of “truth”. 
 
He sets the initial stage, actors and ensuing dramas and successes of 2018 and the BEF as well and engagingly as a Shakespeare play. Akin to the greatest of theatre and contemporary fiction he then forces on his audience a re-examination of apparently well understood “facts” they thought they knew. There are heroes, villains and plenty of surprises - like any good work of non-fiction, it all reads better than any novel.

Neil Passmore Formerly a Major Royal Army Air Corp February 2019

 

I learned a lot. An example is the importance of the air force – when I was studying this period in the early 80’s very little importance was given to the role of aircraft and pilots on either side. From how you write I can see that the air force really did have a major impact on the outcome of the war. For me the failure of politicians to foresee conflict and prepare for it as a cause of war is something I had not considered before in terms of history. I think that the way you have highlighted the unpreparedness of the BEF to fight a modern European land war demonstrates the political failings in that respect. Of course now accepting this it is only logical to accept that the ensuing butchers shop that Northern France became was also a political failing. This point that you make has made me reconsider my views for sure.
 
I also did not know that the British Army has scaled down use of tanks so much in military planning post war; there were many such details of which I was not aware.
 
I thought the characterisations of the major players was excellent; it gelled well with what I have read in both English and German languages. As I might have told you I have in the past researched archives from the Weimar Republic at Munich University (for my History Professor at York University – Hans W. Koch); one thing patently clear from the minutes of Weimar cabinet meetings that myself (and 2 others) spent a month researching and translating was that the German Generals effectively washed their hands of the retreat of their army in 1918. As you say by August 1918 the German army was in full scale retreat and in a state of accelerating collapse; the military hierarchy disappeared into the undergrowth thereafter. I am convinced that this was a contributing factor for the later emergence of the Freikorps in 1919. I am sure you know (but it is not commonly written about) that Hitler was sent on behalf of a Freikorps unit to spy on the German Workers Party…. Failure of leadership in the German military continued well into late 1919 but somehow the Generals managed to convince the German people that it was all the fault of the new guys.
 
I have always believed the Somme offensive was necessary to save the French armies from defeat at Verdun. Hence have never blamed Haig et al for everything. If ever you touch this subject again there is an aspect of it all that I would recommend you look at, which is the sheer length of all the major battles from 1915 – 1917. Why did they have to last so long? From everything else I have read, it is clear that in all the major land battles in this period whatever could be achieved was achieved very early on and everyone seemed to know it. The Somme was successful in that it drew battle-hardened German troops away from Verdun. However, the Germans started moving their troops away from Verdun weeks before a shot was fired (because they had learned what was coming!). The German High Command even knew exactly which BEF divisions they would be facing at the Somme. I do accept your point that with the historical perspective we can see that the BEF learned quickly. The hard lesson was that defense trumped offense – until as you say new battle tactics and technologies were introduced. If you know you don’t have these things and you listen to your troops on the ground who have gained tactical awareness, why continue doing the same thing for so long and hope for a different result each time you do it? Einstein called this madness. I know you have a view on this – as I say if you write on this subject again I would like to read you dealing with this point more explicitly.
 
On the battle of Amiens I think you are absolutely right to herald this as a major victory for which Haig and his staff should be honoured. You have demonstrated how all the lessons learned were put to great use.
 
If I ever read Lloyd George’s War Memoires again I shall read them in a different light. I had never considered that he might have been the major contributing influence on the destruction of Haig’s reputation. Going back to the first point he was one of the politicians that failed to prepare….. I don’t intend to read them again by the way. First time around was a real effort. His writing style is turgid beyond boredom. I had to read them though as I potentially faced an exam on parts of them.
 
I also really like the way you link analysis of history to subsequent events. Your words make sense.
 
To answer your first question to me on WhatsApp – “have I changed my mind?” – yes, you have made me think again. On the macro level definitely. Still not convinced that Haig and his team really understood the battle dynamics until 1918 but then as you point out no one else did either. Would we have had better generals? Probably not. Hindsight is always easy
 
Btw American schools teach WWI as 1917-18 and WWII as 1941 – 45. Perspective is brilliant

Steve Flynn April 2019 Amateur Military Historian

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podcast

The State Of It

Today I took a deep dive into the podcast The State of It, put out by David Murrin and his son Winston.

I've long been a student of history, but David's ideas revealed to me the ways in which I have failed to apply the understanding of history that I gained to our current situation and what might be coming.

It's troubling to me, my failure in this regard.

To be clear, it's not that I haven't thought about the future and what it might hold, but I haven't thought about it with enough specificity to articulate what might be coming down the road.

I've certainly listened to a lot of opinions. I have one of those jobs where I can listen to podcasts all day, and I've not wasted that time.

With decades of experience at a depth that I'm still coming to understand, David's opinions are based in a realism and a pragmatism that I find both compelling and sobering. I highly recommend you check it out the podcast.

Emmet Van Driesche

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podcast