Recently, trendcaster Gerald Celente(1) was our special guest in Streamlink's(2) Live Chat for a one hour discussion on economic collapse and future trends. Below are excerpts from the Q & A; members can view the entire transcript(3).
Greetings from Cincinnati. Your thoughts on our current inflationary mess?
Look at prices of oil and the basket of commodities ... record levels. It's a simple formula...the more the $ is devalued, the more everything costs. This is just the beginning. We... and most of the world will experience an inflationary cycle as never before.
Mr. Celente, which event or trend in 2008 will have a significant impact or change on America - for better or worse over the next few years?
The Panic of '08. We forecast that the economic future will be worse than the Great Depression...failing banks, brokerages, cities default...
Can you give us insight as to whether or not we will remain a free market or will we be facing martial law?
Anything is possible... If there is a terrorist attack or massive riots from an economic downturn ... as there were during the Depression, there could well be martial law. Also, we could see, as they did with the 1933 Emergency Banking Act, citizens forced to return their gold to the gov't.
Gerald, thank you for this opportunity to chat. How do things look to you now vs. at the beginning of the year when your dire forecasts gained attention?
Current events form future trends. Look at the data between yesterday and today. The $ is at record lows against the euro. Oil $101, consumer confidence at five year lows, wholesale inflation up 7.4 percent. Home prices fell in Jan to the lowest level since records began nine years ago...it will all get much worse.
Government growth on all 3 levels seems to be growing at an unabated pace; how can this top heavy extortion of national wealth and liberty continue? Do you see major domestic unrest ahead?
You're correct...gov't jobs are among the fastest growing field. There will be a retrenchment. Yes, we'll see tax protests, riots and unrest. Also, violent crime will be on the rise as well.
Mr. Celente, my question for you is, how do you see the Green or Eco movement going in America? It's starting to become more and more discussed, do you think it will ever become mainstream?
We call it the smart movement ... not green. This is going to one of the largest growth oppt'ys for decades..."Conservation Engineers" ... Yankee frugality.
What would be the best career choice for college students?
Anything having to do with health care ... still oppty's in tech ... "green" is going to be really big...
What can one person do to try and keep their neck above water in these kinds of times?
Don't buy a damn thing you don't need. Look for new opportunities by looking beyond the mainstream think. Local goods produced..."clean foods", micro farming ... herbal remedies ... etc
Gerald, the banking system seems to very fragile due to the sub-prime mess. Do you expect the government to intervene as in England?
Yes ... get ready for some big crashes ... the more they bail them out, the more it costs us. There is a defacto devaluation of the $. The more they print, the cheaper it becomes. And they will print hundreds of billions to bail out banks.
What's the next commodity to move now that gold is so high?
It appears to be grains... but gold has a long way to go. Accounting for inflation, it's $875 per ounce price in 1980 = over $2000 today. And today is much worse than 1980...I was trading gold back then as well and the conditions are much, much worse now for many reasons that I don't have the time to illustrate now...i.e. back then there was no China, India or Russia in the markets competing for the metal on the exchanges.
Please don't forget that if Martial Law is declared, not only our gold will be taken, so will our guns, food, medicine, supplies... pretty much anything that could help us survive on our own without the help of the government.
You could be right...but there are also counter movements, such as secessionist movements in Vermont etc... As the man said, "Now is the time for all good men (and women) to come to the aid of their country." When people understand they have power, they won't bend to political forces.
Following up. What kind of defensive position should we take personally and financially? Gold is a no brainer...but what about food storage...retiring to rural areas...gaining self-sufficiency to the degree we can. Are these things we need to attend to now...this year ? I'm trying to get your deeply researched 'sense' of how fast things can get chaotic.
Plan now for the worst. I like small towns that have a self sufficient environment. That's why I live where I do (Upstate NY). Local farms and producers of just about everything I need. Also, think about an escape plan i.e. terrorism. When 9/11 happened I was prepared...since I'd been writing about it happening for years ("2001 won't be our year, trend seer says," USA Today 14 Dec. 2000.) It costs nothing to be prepared. We don't provide financial advice, but we forecast that the Swiss franc will continue to strengthen against the $.
Would you recommend that people move out of the big cities and into a rural environment?
I'm originally a Bronx guy and have lived in cities for many years ... Now I live in a small town and have made investments in Kingston, NY ... the first capital of NY...to me, it's the ideal model of what use to be great ... walking distance to much of what you need...neighborhoods etc...There will be a big move to small towns...especially as crime increases.