Monday, December 8, 2008
There are only a handful of people who predicted this financial crisis, or at least its severity.
What are they predicting now?
Peter Schiff and Ron Paul
Schiff, the manager of over $1 billion dollars in investments, says the U.S. will enter a long period which could be worse than the Great Depression.
Schiff also thinks that the economic crisis might lead to martial law.
He thinks that Asia and Europe, after a period of economic downturn, will "decouple" from the U.S., eventually enjoying great prosperity long before the U.S. recovers.
Schiff has admitted that he did not foresee the current rally in the dollar, and his investors - long in Asian and European stocks - are way down.
Schiff was Ron Paul's chief economic advisor during his campaign. Paul has himself predicted the crisis for many years, and has warned that America is spending more than it can afford. Paul has also repeatedly warned of martial law.
Roubini, the PhD economist, thinks we are going to have what he calls "stag-deflation", meaning severe stagnation and deflation. Basically, he thinks that we're heading into a depression without extreme government action.
He's also warning of possible food riots.
PhD economist Faber, who called both the 1987 crash and the current crisis, believes that there will be a bear rally for a couple of months, and then a further crash.
He is convinced the U.S. will go bankrupt sooner or later.
Faber also thinks that the crisis may spell and end for the traditional American form of government, to be replaced by martial law or some other unsavory form of government.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Economist, highly-regarded investment advisor, and one of the world's foremost authorities on derivatives Nassim Nicholas Taleb, thinks that "capitalism I" is over, and things will get very bad before we get to a new form of "capitalism II", where banks will act like utilities instead of money-making pirates.
Antal E. Fekete and Darryl Schoon
Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Antal E. Fekete and author Darryl Schoon think that our entire modern society will crash and break down (gold bugs, they believe all assets will crater except gold).
Afterword: The Greatest Depression
As an afterword, it should be pointed out that - while it was really bad - the Great Depression was not the greatest crash in history. Indeed, one writer describes the Great Depression as "a mild and brief episode, compared to the bank crash of the 1340’s . . . ."
That's a stunning piece of information: the Great Depression was nothing compared to the crash in Venice in 1340.
How can anything have been that much worse than the Great Depression?
Well, the 1340 crash ushered in a new dark age.
Now I don't think anything nearly that bad is coming. But discussions about whether we are going to experience something as horrible as America's Great Depression should not be taken in a vacuum. Unless our government stops messing things up and making them worse, things could get quite ugly.
Note: I apologize to the others who predicted the crash whose names were not included in the above list, like Shostak, Calente and others. I tried to keep the list short. I appreciate your efforts in sounding the alarm and applaud your ongoing efforts to educate the public.
Caveat: While some writers have blamed the plague, famine and other problems which came after the 1340 crash on that financial crash, others have blamed climate or other factors. So the crash might not have been as bad as suggested.