The Map and the Territory

Full Name
The Map and the Territory: Risk, Human Nature, and the Future of Forecasting

The Map and the Territory is nothing less than an effort to update our forecasting conceptual grid. It integrates the history of economic prediction, the new work of behavioral economists, and the fruits of Greenspan's own remarkable career to offer a thrillingly lucid and empirically-based guide in what we can know about economic forecasting and what we can’t. The book probes what we can predict about the world's biggest looming challenges—from debt and the reform of the welfare state to natural disasters in an age of global warming.

  • The Map and the Territory explains how the financial crisis has challenged fundamental assumptions about leading economic models, drawing on 21st century technologies and the expertise of behavioral economists to outline new forecasting practices.

  • Greenspan's approach, grounded in his trademark rigor, wisdom, and unprecedented context, ensures that this particular map will assist in safe journeys down many different roads, traveled by individuals, businesses, and the state.

Table of Contents

  • Animal Spirits

  • The Crisis Begins, Intensifies, and Abates

  • The Roots of Crisis

  • Stock Prices and Equity Stimulus

  • Finance and Regulation

  • Schooner Intelligence and Then Some

  • Uncertainty Undermines Investment

  • Productivity: The Ultimate Measure of Economic Success

  • Productivity and the Age of Entitlements

  • Culture

  • The Onset of Globalization, Income Inequality, and the Rise of the Gini and the Crony

  • Money and Inflation

  • Buffers

  • The Bottom Line

“Compelling and hugely enlightening…This exposition of a lifetime as a practicing economist is full of insights and lessons for financiers, security analysts, business students and public policy makers, especially Presidents, congressmen, central bankers and the FDIC, SEC, CFTC, FHLB.”


The Map and the Territory is a model of expositional clarity, with complex and recondite matters made accessible to the lay reader. The book should be must reading for anyone interested in the way our financial markets work—and sometimes fail to do so."

—Burton Malkiel, The Wall Street Journal

“The range of topics and arguments makes this book a very important statement, whether one ultimately agrees or disagrees with the author…..Greenspan’s range, vision and boldness is especially important at a time like the present, when Washington is preoccupied with the political and petty….Greenspan has written a major work ….[A] splendid book.”

Larry Summers, Financial Times