Tuesday, September 29, 2009


One view of the future from Marc Faber: (link to video above)

Bullish Today, Marc Faber Is "Highly Confident" the Future Will Be Very Bleak
Posted Sep 22, 2009 07:30am EDT by Aaron Task in Investing, Newsmakers
"The future will be a total disaster, with a collapse of our capitalistic system as we know it today, wars, massive government debt defaults and the impoverishment of large segments of Western society," Marc Faber writes in the September issue of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report.
A statement like that pretty much speaks for itself, but it's a bit more complicated than appears on first blush.

Faber has been bullish -- especially on commodities and emerging market stocks -- for some time now and believes the current global recovery trade will last another two-to-three years, as discussed in more detail in a forthcoming clip. But he has major long-term concerns about the dollar's long-term viability given rising U.S. deficits, massive unfunded mandates and the fact "we have a money-printer at the Fed."

This combination will eventually lead to runaway inflation, wholesale debasement of the dollar, and a major lowering of living standards for most Americans and many Europeans as well, says Faber, who is "highly confident" in this grim prediction

Here is a contrasting view from Henry Blodgett (linked here http://www.businessinsider.com/henry-blodget-everyone-thinks-interest-rates-are-going-higher-2009-9)

Everyone Thinks Interest Rates Are Going Higher
Henry Blodget|Sep. 28, 2009, 8:01 AM

The consensus is almost always wrong, which is why today's conventional wisdom that interest rates will drift higher merits examination.

If the consensus is wrong this time, too, it means one of two things:

Interest rates will scream higher, clobbering adjustable-rate debtors and killing the economy.
Interest rates will continue to drift lower, as deflation takes hold.
We continue to believe we'll get hyper-inflation at some point (option 1), because we think the Fed will be more worried about killing the recovery than controlling inflation and will therefore err on the side of the former.

That said, right now, the prevailing trend clearly is deflation. And as Japan has showed, the spate of deflation before the hyper-inflation takes hold can last a while.

Why deflation? Despite the sequential uptick in house prices in the past few months, we still don't think we've seen the bottom. The banks are still facing huge losses in commercial real estate, which means they're likely to keep hoarding their capital and not inject new loans into the economy. This should restrain the growth of the money supply. Consumers are starting to save and retiring debt, which should rein in their spending (and, consequently, trigger price declines to try to entice them). We still have huge slack in our manufacturing industries--capacity utilization is very low.

All of which is to say... We wouldn't be surprised if the obvious trade here--interest rates will drift higher as the economy recovers--is wrong.

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