Exiting The Eye Of The Storm-Doug Casey!
by Doug Casey of Casey Research
L: So, Doug: London has suffered more damage from recent rioting than from anything else since the Blitzkrieg; the stock market had its most volatile week in years; gold shot well north of $1,800; and the U.S. government almost crashed into its debt ceiling. Smells like blood in the streets. What does a street fighting man like you make of all this?
Doug: Well, it was about 40 years ago in 1971 [laughs] when I read Harry Browne’s first book, How to Profit from the Coming Devaluation. In that book, Harry said that if gold went as high as $200, it would be a sign runaway inflation was coming, and readers might need their survivalist retreats, etc. He was actually right about everything he said in the book, and for the right reasons, but things didn’t get as bad as quickly as Harry thought they would.
That just goes to show that if you predict any particular number or outcome, you should not say when it will happen, or if you predict a time for important events, you should not say specifically what will happen.
Anyway, I’m very uncomfortable predicting serious gloom and doom for two reasons: One, most individuals intuitively look out for themselves by producing more than they consume and saving the difference – so the amount of net wealth in the world grows. Two, technology continues to improve – Moore’s Law and all that.
L: I’ve heard you say that before, but you’re the guru, so you don’t get off so lightly. What do you feel comfortable telling us?
Doug: My sense is that we are definitely exiting the eye of the storm at this point, and we’re heading back into the raging winds of financial, political, and social turmoil. The riots you see now are just an indicator of what’s ahead – an appetizer… hardly the main course.
L: That’s a pretty bold statement, Doug. We’ve been talking about the so-called recovery really being nothing more than the eye of the financial storm that hit in 2008. But the U.S. and other governments around the world have been able to animate the corpse of the 20th-century economy and keep an appearance of life in its zombie motions longer than we thought possible. To say we’re exiting the eye of the storm implies that zombie is going to stop moving and the smell of decay will soon overpower everything else. Are you ready to make that call?
Doug: You’re asking me to do what I just said was unwise: to say both what and when. But yes, it does look grim to me. With the markets fluctuating so wildly, the Dow going up and down hundreds of points per day, that’s very likely to spook the government, investors, business managers, and consumers even more than they already are. Normally I don’t pay much attention to consumer confidence; it’s an emotional state, and emotions can change in a New-York second. But at this point the economy rests on nothing more substantial than confidence. It’s a confidence game. And confidence can blow away like a pile of feathers in a hurricane.