Signs of Disaster

Signs of Disaster? Outdoor Ad Campaign Shines a Blazing Light on Our Huge National Debt.
Trying not to think about our horrifying national debt? If you live in D.C., no such luck. With their dramatic outdoor ad campaign, a pair of financial gurus/authors hope to force us out of our collective denial.

Washington, DC (May 2006)Dear Congress, Your Debt to Society: $132,967 per U.S. Family. Along with a profusion of springtime blooms and buds, these stark words have sprung up on billboards, buses, and rail station ads throughout Washington, D.C.

Here’s a sample of the billboards that will be displayed in Washington, D.C., throughout the month of May:

They’re the first sparks of what Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin-colleagues at Agora Financial and authors of Empire of Debt: The Rise of an Epic Financial Crisis (Wiley, 2006, ISBN: 0-471-73902-2, $27.95)-hope will blaze into a raging grassfire of public outrage centered on America’s out-of-control national debt.

The ad also offers a photo of the book and a note urging people to “find out how America became the world’s biggest debtor in one generation.”

“It’s appalling that this issue is virtually ignored by politicians, the media, and, frankly, the public,” says Bonner. “Our national debt is like the elephant in the living room. We all know it’s there, shattering the breakables, messing up the carpet, generally wreaking havoc, but no one wants to address it.”

So what do Bonner and Wiggin hope to gain by shining a spotlight on the elephant? Obviously, they want people to read their book, a non-partisan effort that paints a chilling and darkly amusing portrait of a nation-our nation-teetering on the verge of ruin. But more to the point, they want we the people to force the hands of the mad-spending politicians who seem determined to hasten that fate.

“It’s a long shot, sure,” says Wiggin. “But maybe it’s not too late to turn things around. It’s insanity, what our country is doing. By putting the numbers in front of people, perhaps we can shock them out of their complacency. We hope so, anyway. We care about America and we’d kind of like it to stick around for awhile.”


About the Authors:

Addison Wiggin is the editorial director and publisher of Agora Financial, a multimillion-dollar financial research and publishing group based in Baltimore, Maryland. His e-newsletter, The Daily Reckoning, has attracted more than 500,000 readers in the United States and Great Britain, has been translated into French, German, and Spanish, and has been popularized by such mainstream publications as Money and Wiggin has been featured as an expert in such publications as The New York Times Magazine, Worth, The, The and CNN/Money.

Mr. Wiggin has been a student, writer, and commentator of financial markets and governments for more than a decade. With a master’s degree in philosophy from St. John’s College and experience working with the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., Mr. Wiggin has acquired both a macroeconomic and contrarian’s outlook on domestic and international markets.

Bill Bonner is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, one of the world’s most successful consumer newsletter publishing companies, and the author of the free daily e-mail The Daily Reckoning.

Bill Bonner’s passion for international travel and big ideas are reflected in the company he’s successfully built. In 1979, he began publishing International Living and Hulbert’s Financial Digest. Since then, Agora has grown to include dozens of newsletters focusing on finance, health, and travel. Since the early 1990s, Bill Bonner has vigorously expanded from Agora’s home base in Baltimore, opening offices in London, Paris, Bonn, Waterford, Ireland, and Johannesburg, South Africa.

Agora’s publication subsidiaries include Pickering & Chatto, a prestigious academic press in London, and Les Belles Lettres in Paris, best known as a publisher of classical literature.

Bill Bonner is the author, with Addison Wiggin, of the New York Times business bestseller Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving the Soft Depression of the 21st Century (Wiley, 2003).
About the Book:

Empire of Debt: The Rise of an Epic Financial Crisis (Wiley, 2006, ISBN: 0-471-73902-2, $27.95) is available at bookstores nationwide and major online booksellers.

For more information, please visit

The Daily Reckoning