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Thiel is just one of many people listed in the acknowledgements of The Great Stagnation. I've previously watched the interview you linked, and was quite surprised by Cowen's acknowledgment of Thiel as "one of the greatest and most important public intellectuals of our entire time."

However, as the Salon article notes, Cowen himself was a latecomer to the debate (The Great Stagnation was published in 2011). Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital[0], by Carlota Perez, was published in 2003, while Robert J. Gordon has been writing about the topic since at least 2000[1].

During the early 2000s, Thiel and Clarium Capital were incorrectly fixated on peak oil, rather than on the real estate bubble (relevant in the short term) or general stagnation (relevant in the long term)[2]:

> [B]y February 2009 oil prices had temporarily fallen back to almost $40 again. And though Thiel had foreseen the real estate bubble, he still underestimated it. “We didn’t fully believe our own theories about how bad things were,” he admits.

This misunderstanding of the macro picture cost Thiel dearly, with Clarium shrinking 90% from 2008-2010[3], as investors withdrew their money from what was clearly a losing strategy.

0: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1843763311

1: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7833

2: http://fortune.com/2014/09/04/peter-thiels-contrarian-strate...

3: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2011-01-12/clarium-he...

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