Despite recent reports that the U.S. economy is “recovering” and that there are signs of economic growth, some analysts are less than thrilled with what they see in the near future. In fact, they’re downright scared.
Harry Dent, author of “The Great Crash Ahead,” believes that the global debt bubble is going to burst and when it does, there will be a massive market crash. It should be noted that this is a revision of his earlier prediction that a crash would hit in 2012. He says he modified his forecast because the global central banks have been pumping the markets with so much money, stocks have been given a temporary boost. But he warns that as soon as the short-lived boost comes to an end, the crash will be hard.
"This will be a repeat of 2008-09, only bigger, when it finally hits," Dent told USA Today.
Watch a discussion of this topic from Monday night's broadcast of "Real News From The Blaze" by clicking here.
Gerald Celente, a market analyst at the Trends Research Institute, believes Americans should brace themselves for what he calls an "economic 9/11." He blames policymakers for their inability to solve the world's financial and economic woes, according to the USA Today report.
Once the meltdown hits, he says, it will lead to social upheaval, anti-government sentiment, a devalued U.S. dollar, and skyrocketing unemployment.
“Celente won't rule out another financial panic that could spark enough fear to cause a run on the nation's banks by depositors,” USA Today reports. “That risk could cause the government to invoke ‘economic martial law’ and call a ‘bank holiday’ and close banks as it did during the Great Depression.”
"We see some kind of threat of that magnitude," Celente said in a recent interview.
Robert Prechter, author of "Conquer the Crash," is being described as “still bearish.” Because he believes there is a frightening amount of similarities between today's economy and the one preceding the Great Depression, he warns that America should brace for “1930s-style deflation.”
“Prechter predicts that the major U.S. stock indexes, such as the Dow Jones industrials and Standard & Poor's 500, will plunge below their bear market lows hit in March 2009 during the last financial crisis,” USA Today reports. “The brief recovery will fail as it did in the 1930s, he says.”
What does this mean? Well, if Prechter is correct, stocks stand to lose more than half of their value.
"The economic recovery has been weak, so the next downturn should generate bad news in a big way," Prechter said in an e-mail interview. "For the third time in a dozen years, the stock market is in a very bearish position."
But what about all that “positive” economic news we keep hearing about?
Take, for example, recent reports that the markets are rebounding. Many economists have noted that the markets are finally approaching pre-2008 levels.
“Tech stocks in the Nasdaq composite are trading at levels last seen in 2000. Data on auto sales, manufacturing and consumer confidence have been firming. Job creation is also on the rise. The unemployment rate dipped to 8.3% in January, its lowest level in three years,” USA Today argues.
So why are Prechter, Celente, and Dent so worried?
“Dent says the combination of aging Baby Boomers exiting their big spending years and a shift toward debt reduction and austerity around the world will cause the economy to suffer another severe leg down, making it more difficult for the government and Federal Reserve to avert a new meltdown,” USA Today reports.
Celente, on the other hand, who has also been warning of economic disaster for years, believes that the national debt and “income inequality” has put the U.S. in a very dangerous place.
He warns that bank runs, brought about by social unrest, will wreak sever economic havoc. He also warns that the current economic crisis could very easily transform into real violence. He believes the markets will be turned upside down by not only the eurozone crisis but also by an increase in oil prices due to the standoff between Iran and the West.
"2012 is when many of the long-simmering socioeconomic and political trends that we have been forecasting and tracking will climax," Celente wrote in his “Top 12 Trends 2012” newsletter.
"When money stops flowing to the man on the street, blood starts flowing in the street,” he added in an interview.
So, although some are economists are advising investors to jump back into the markets, these three analysts are warning that a different strategy is needed.
His solution? Buy short-term U.S. Treasury bills and the U.S. dollar, which will benefit from safe-haven cash flows. Forget stocks; they'll fall in value.
Celente advises investors to buy gold – it won’t lose its purchasing power when the dollar tanks. Also, he says, buy a gun to protect yourself from marauders in search of food and money. He also advises people to plan a getaway to places with “more stable finances and governments.”
Prechter’s advice? Simple: keep your powder dry and buy when the economy starts to get out of hand.
"When things get really scary, as in early 2009, I get bullish," he said.
(H/T: The Daily Mail)