In the first half, founder and director of the Trends Research Institute, Gerald Celente, discussed the major trends unfolding for the US, and the directions he sees the economy heading. The so-called 'Trump Rally' has seen the stock market rise 17% since the election. Yet, tech stocks could be the next bubble to burst, as Celente feels their value is overblown. He suggested there could be an overall stock market "correction" rather than collapse in the fall, with a drop of about 10%. Instead of fake news, he pointed toward "fake advertising" as an issue, specifically that advertisers may not be getting their money's worth advertising on Google, Facebook, and other digital properties.
Celente has concluded that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin appear to have some staying power rather than just being a fad, and are part of the 'cashless society' movement. He's not bullish on driverless cars and thinks the technology could be a bust, and also doesn't see electric cars becoming more than a niche market. Gold is currently near the bottom of its value, but if it breaks over $1400 an ounce, he forecasts it will spike up to $2000.
Scholar of biblical studies Michael Heiser talked about his latest work researching the fall of the heavenly Watchers in the Book of Enoch. The story of the Watchers has deep connections to the life of Jesus, the Antichrist, and the end-times. The Watchers, he explained, "are not the demons of the gospels... [but] they are connected to where demons come from." The material in Enoch, he continued, dates back to the second century BC, and informed the thinking of those who wrote the New Testament.
The notion of the Antichrist refers to the great 'end times' enemy of the Messiah, said Heiser, noting its roots in the Book of Enoch, and connections to the Genesis 6 story of the Watchers, who were responsible for the Nephilim (the giants). Antiochus IV, a Greek king who lived before Jesus, was the prototype for the Antichrist, he revealed. Heiser also touched on Gilgamesh, a Mesopotamian demigod, mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls as one of the giants, as well as the birth of Jesus, the star of Bethlehem, and their association to material in Revelation 12.