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In this groundbreaking book, two economists explain why financial imbalance causes civil collapseand why America could be next. From the Roman Empire to the Ming Dynasty to Imperial Spain, the superpowers of the world have grown to become the greatest economic, political, and military forces of their timeonly to collapse into rubble and memory. What is at the root of their demiseand how can America stop it from happening again? In the tradition of James Robinson's Why Nations Failand Jared Diamond's Collapse, Glenn Hubbard and Tim Kane present a bold, sweeping account of why powerful nations and civilizations break down under the heavy burden of financial imbalance. A bold and challenging book with cataclysmic predictions, Balancetraces the successes and failures of post-colonial Argentina, the economic mismanagement of modern California, the long collapse of Rome, and the manufacturing bubble of Japan. Most importantly, Hubbard and Kane compare the modern United States to the empires of old and challenge Americans to address the real problems of our country's economic trajectory. In doing so, they set the stage for discussion and directly address the challenges our nation faces in the coming years.