I first ran across trend forecaster Gerald Celente, of the Trends Research Institute, on Fox Business' "Happy Hour" show at some point in 2008; I don't recall exactly if it was pre Lehman/AIG/FanFredron or after. I just remember agreeing with much of what he said (or vice versa). So I looked him up on the internets (sic) and was quite compelled with some of his history and longer form videos. Certainly this was a man who had detached from The Matrix. That said, he makes my views sound happy go lucky - so for all our sakes I hope his track record go forward is much poorer than in the past.
Since then I've seen some of his videos here or there, and he has not changed his tune one iota despite "prosperity" breaking out all over. The "mainstream" would consider this guy to be on the "fringe", so I have not posted anything about him on the blog per se, but now that Yahoo's Tech Ticker has brought him to a more financial centric audience, I thought it was a good time to introduce him to the website.
Below are 3 videos on Yahoo Tech Ticker, each the normal 4-6 minutes. Even if you think his theories are total crackpot, I encourage you to look over his past history and at least give some thought to what his theories are - let us just say his 2010 views are quite dour, but there are some positive as well such as a return of "Yankee Ingenuity". As I noted above - I see many similar outcomes Celente does; I just am much more ambigious on timing as I believe great government charades can continue for very long periods of time.
The more I think about the US government + economy, the more I think of the US auto industry (and eventually housing). After normal supply / demand petered out (people could no longer consume via normal methods), 0% financing, with $5-$6K rebates became the norm to bribe people to consume. That can now be parallel to easy money by the Fed, and handouts by government in nearly all major parts of our economy to encourage people to "buy things" (cars, houses).
Those incentives early last decade created "great prosperity" as Americans rushed in to take advantage of said largess, and an auto "boom" ensued. A dysfunctional wage / benefit system was able to persist (parallel to our public and pseudo public sector wage / benefits) and no hard choices really were made in the industry. This period ended up being a mirage for all involved, as in under a decade the costs of said "prosperity" were borne; multiple automotive companies went bust and it took the US taxpayers' money to come in and support the system. Read what I just wrote about the auto industry, and tell me how it is any different than what we are now doing today, not for the automotive industry, but indeed the entire US economy. We are a country full of citizens that no longer can function without easy money. [Jun 3, 2009: A Country that Cannot Function Without Easy Money]
As I noted above - the path for America's future seems very clear; it's just a matter of timing. Unlike the auto companies, the federal government can follow the identical path, but for much much longer. It can throw its people under the bus via higher taxes and money printing (devaluation of lifestyle) - private businesses have no such options. I suppose one day the peasants say enough is enough. That day could be quite a long way in the future as the people appear more than sated with their American Idol and NFL Football, as long as government checks arrive in the mail once a month. Celente seems to have much more faith that the people are not easily distracted, like the Romans a few centuries before, by their games and entertainment.
(I) U.S. Postponed the Great Depression, Not Prevented It, Says Trend Forecaster Celente
A week into the New Year, the consensus among the Wall Street "experts" is the economy and the financial markets will continue to improve in 2010. Unlike last year, when we entered January with so much uncertainty, today pretty much everyone agrees the worst is behind us.
Gerald Celente does not agree.
Celente, the director of the Trends Research Institute, who's been tracking trends for 30 years, thinks 2010 brings with it the Great Depression we narrowly avoided last year. Celente's been making this prediction for several years, and as we know was nearly proved right.
Extraordinary government intervention helped prove him wrong, something he didn't anticipate. "We never thought we'd be buying companies like AIG, we never thought we'd own parts of General Motors," he tells Aaron in the accompanying clip. "The government's never done these things before." (desperate time = desperate measures)
Celente believes the bailouts have just postponed a depression -- not prevented one: "The hand may change but the game doesn't change."
Celente says the recent signs of economic recovery are nothing more than a boost based on "a stimulus economy." [Nov 18, 2008: Minyanville - Our Economy is on Steroids] Once those measures are pulled back and interest rates rise, the economy will once again tank.
It's not all gloom and doom. Eventually, Celente predicts, American ingenuity and innovation will drive a recovery.
(II) Survivor, America: "It's Only Going to Get Worse," Gerald Celente Says
"It's only going to get worse," is the sobering forecast of Gerald Celente, director of the Trends Research Institute. Celente believes the "bailout bubble" is going to burst and the U.S. economy will slip back into recession, if not worse, in 2010.
Like all forecasters, Celente isn't always right but he has predicted a number of major events. So if Celente is right about 2010, what will that mean for the average American? Celente says we're going back to basics, making do with less and adopting the following mantra: "Waste not, want not. Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do, do without."
Celente offers the following predictions, further discussed in the accompanying video:
- Neo-Survivalism: "In 2010, survivalism will go mainstream," Celente writes. "Unemployed or fearing it, foreclosed or nearing it, pensions lost and savings gone, all sorts of folk who once believed in the system have lost their faith. Motivated not by worst-case scenario fears but by do-or-die necessity, the new non-believers, unwilling to go under or live on the streets, will devise ingenious stratagems to beat the system, get off the grid (as much as possible), and stay under the radar."
- Depression Uplift: "As times get tougher and money gets scarcer, one of the hottest new money-making, mood-changing, influence-shaping trends of the century will soon be born; we forecast that this will be "Elegance" in its many manifestations," he opines. "The trend will begin with fashion and spread through all the creative arts, as the need for beauty trumps the thrill of the thuggish. A strong, do-it-yourself aspect will make up for reduced discretionary income, as personal effort provides the means for affordable sophistication."
(III) Buy American: "Anti-China Backlash" Coming, Gerald Celente Says
Recent import/export data show China replaced Germany as the world's largest exporter in 2009, and the U.S. as the world's biggest auto market. [Jan 6, 2010: China Passes Germany as World's Largest Merchandise Exporter] In 2010, China's surging economy is set to supplant Japan as the world's second largest. [Oct 5, 2009: NYT: China Set to Pass Japan as World's 2nd Largest Economy]
With the global economy still in trouble, especially in U.S. Europe, China's rise is spurring a "real anti-China backlash," according to Gerald Celente, director of the Trends Research Institute. "Those who have the gold rule [and] a lot of people don't want to see China rule."
In addition to U.S. tariffs on Chinese tires and rolled steel, Celente says there are already more than 200 different trade barriers erected globally, with more to come: "You're going to see ‘Not Made in China' become a slogan around the world," he predicts.
In part because of anti-China sentiment, Celente says the "buy local" movement is going to pick up steam in the coming years - and not just in the U.S. "We're going to start seeing trade barriers go up more and more and more," he says. "It's not isolationism but survivalism."
Unlike most mainstream economists, Celente does not, however, believe trade barriers are necessarily bad for the global economy, saying there really isn't free trade today but the "dumping of products using cheap labor."