Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Great Depression Ahead

Harry Dent- the longtime investor and author predicted a severe downturn in Japan and a great boom in the United States in the 1990s and has made quite a name for himself. He was right on those two counts and since then he has been churning out an endless stream of books filled with predictions.

His current bestseller "The Great Depression Ahead," predicts a new Great Depression right around the corner.

According to the description on Simon and Schuster:

"The first and last economic depression that you will experience in your lifetime is just ahead. The year 2009 will be the beginning of the next long-term winter season and the initial end of prosperity in almost every market, ushering in a downturn like most of us have not experienced before. Are you aware that we have seen long-term peaks in our stock market and economy very close to every 40 years due to generational spending trends: as in 1929, 1968, and next around 2009? Are you aware that oil and commodity prices have peaked nearly every 30 years, as in 1920, 1951, 1980 -- and next likely around late 2009 to mid-2010? The three massive bubbles that have been booming for the last few decades -- stocks, real estate, and commodities --have all reached their peak and are deflating simultaneously."

Among Dent's predictions are the following:

• The economy appears to recover from the subprime crisis and minor recession by mid-2009 -- "the calm before the real storm."

• Stock prices start to crash again between mid- and late 2009 into late 2010, and likely finally bottom around mid-2012 -- between Dow 3,800 and 7,200.

Although it may be possible to identify demographic and economic trends through long term cycle analysis, to forecast the stock market is too far fetched. Nevertheless, the book makes for an iteresting read at a time when the world is teetering on economic meltdown.

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