Anyone who believes that Obama, Brown and the rest of the sorry crew have "saved the world" had better think again. The one person able to do that has not arrived back here yet - but He will soon be on His way! Meanwhile, here's what I believe will happen next - and a story of gold. ALAN FRANKLIN.
In recent weeks the stock markets of the world rose and commentators emerged from their bunkers to blather about "green shoots." Here's some weedkiller for those fanciful shoots....
The world economy is probably damaged beyond repair and things will not be "getting back to normal." The money spinning "alchemy" antics of London and New York are, for the most part, finished. My view as a Christian commentator is that God's judgement is being poured out on the two nations that put materialism before the Lord. This means that the wealth of the west is fast fading, never to return. Where I live, in south east England, much of the money rolled down from nearby London. This is now over - for good.
What you will see next, in America, Britain and many other nations, is the commercial real estate crash. This means that your shopping mall will soon by shutting - for ever. Pat, just back from the Midwest, brought stories of large stores closing. You have not seen anything yet! Already there are signs, from Spain to Germany, of property firms in trouble.
People will finally realise how bad things are getting when all their local shops close down. I have long believed that the shopping mall model, with its enormous overheads including heating and cooling bills, could not last. Expect at least half of all shopping malls in America to close down in the next few years. Weeds will be growing over them shortly.
Most people will not believe this. In 2006, viewing a housing development in Missouri, I came across a group of would-be buyers being shown round. When the saleslady was out of earshot I warned them: Don't buy now. Next year things will be cheaper, and the year after cheaper still. They looked at me as if I was insane. This is not the sort of thing people want to hear. They want to be told that all will soon be well and they can get back to getting and spending. It's like the name it and claim it preachers who infest "Godless" TV - what passes for "Christian" television. They preach what itching ears want to hear. Their rubbishy books sell by the million in the so-called "Christian" bookstores, where you will mostly not find our books. Too much doom and gloom in them! Or, perhaps, Biblical truth and reality.
So here's the likely sequence. The unemployment rate rockets round the world. Ten per cent, 20 per cent? Who knows. The figures will be big. This in turn means more and more consumer orientated businesses will go broke. Governments will run out of money, which is already happening, of course. Pensions will be decimated - much of their money, which in reality in your money, is invested in assets which are no longer assets. Empty shops and offices produce no revenue but cost money. Firms seeing profits dive cannot keep paying dividends.
There will be civil disturbances, especially when the handouts start to dry up, as they will have to. Food shortages will follow. Farmers round the world have had problems getting funds to buy seeds and fertiliser. World food supply is on a knife edge. We in the west have no "right" to a large percentage of the available food. As we are going broke, we will have less and less to offer primary producers. IOUs, perhaps? That's effectively what paper currencies are. Expect these to crash. The death throes may take a few years, but the world's paper money is finished.
I could go on, but you get the drift. If you can, buy seeds and learn to grow vegetables. You can even grow some on the balconies of apartments. Do not take out loans and get out of whatever debt you can. And put some of your money, if you have any spare, into gold. This will be the last man standing when all else fails.
If you want to alert people to what is going on, buy spare copies of our book Goodbye America, Goodbye Britain, and spread them round your family and friends. You can point out that we have a track record of getting these things right. Our book, written in 2006, had chapters like :"The coming foreclosure tragedy." We also point to the spiritual malaise behind all these problems - and the solutions. This is not about economics- that's a sign of deeper troubles underneath, the reason our societies are clearly fallng apart before our eyes.
Finally, here's an extract from my favorite financial newsletter The Daily Reckoning, where columnist The Mogambo Guru says things most writers would end up being sued for. Here's The Mogambo!
".....the best-selling gold coin in the world is the Austrian Philharmonic (which is named after the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) 24K coin.
"Sales of "the world's best-selling gold coin, climbed 544 percent this year to the end of February" which means that its sales growth is higher than the American Eagle!
"Speaking of gold, Bill Bonner here at The Daily Reckoning quotes Stewart Dougherty, of "Theft of a Nation", as saying, "The United States of America, or, more precisely, the American people, are said to own 261 million ounces of gold, supposedly stored in the same Fort Knox vault that Goldfinger found so appealing. At $1,000 per ounce, the people's gold has a value of $261 billion dollars. TARP 1 alone has cost 270% of the entire value of that singular, tangible American asset. The total $13 trillion bailout cost thus far is 4,980% of the value of America's gold asset. Fort Knox has been robbed."
Bill Bonner himself does some quick figuring and finds that, put another way, "They're squandering $13 trillion...or nearly 49 times the U.S. gold supply"! Astonishing!
Until next time,
The Mogambo Guru
for The Daily Reckoning