Autumn 2012, the “Greatest Depression” has spread worldwide.
Billions are unemployed, homeless and desperate. Countries bankrupt, trade pacts broken, tariffs rise, borders close.
Protectionist, nationalist and anti-globalization movements have moved out of the margins and into the mainstream. Immigrants brought in during boom times – blamed for bringing down wages, stealing jobs and rising crime – are being rounded up and deported.
Despite differences between the 1930’s Great Depression and today’s “Greatest Depression,” unsettling similarities conjure up memories of pre-World War II. From the United Kingdom to Russia, war drums eerily beat.
China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore – all countries that ramped up production to meet insatiable business and consumer demands of the prior decade – fight for survival.
Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, long industrialized and export driven, blame China for their mounting trade imbalances, internal strife and Southeast Asian instability.
Mexico, once the US resort/retirement retreat, is as dangerous as the Congo, and its government – what’s left of it – is equally ruthless.
Across much of South America, depression, coups and wars prevail; few nations have been spared.
In Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan it’s the same news, different year, different body count: “Five US troops killed in Afghanistan.” “US drone attack kills 60 civilians in Pakistan.” “Car bomb blast kills 47 in Iraq.”
In the eleven years since President George W. Bush promised to bring Osama bin Laden back “dead or alive,” there have been more Elvis sightings than traces of bin Laden.
The US military asks for more troops, more money and more time. The President and Congress plunder the treasury and sacrifice more lives all under the pretext of keeping America Al Qaeda-free.
The Israeli-Palestinian peace process remains permanently and violently stalemated.
Iran, having forged a business/military alliance with China and Russia, is now a Nuclear Club member, and the world is forced to deal with it.
Oil-rich nations, having sunk trillions and lost trillions in high stakes investments, are trying to cope with internal rebellion and decreased demand for their only cash crop.
India’s miracle economy has run out of miracle, pushing it back into Third World conditions. Incessant flare-ups with Pakistan carry nuclear implications.
Canada, Australia and New Zealand are not in great shape, but compared to most other nations, they seem like paradise.
Africa is Africa. Not much has changed. Corruption, poverty and conflict prevail. Despots and dictators vie for control. Newly emerging colonial powers outmaneuver old colonial powers to commandeer rich lodes of natural resources.
A few countries flourish, some even in the middle of regional hotspots. Smart citizenry, good leadership, a little luck, energy and resource self-sufficient – they saw the trends coming and made proactive decisions.
Trends Research Institute founder predicts that the worst is yet to come
By Naresh Vissa
Published: Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Updated: Sunday, March 7, 2010 14:03
Our society tends to take the Nostradamus-type forecasters with a grain of salt, but Trends Research Institute founder Gerald Celente's record of predictions is nearly flawless. His accurate forecasts include the 1987 stock market crash, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the 1997 Asian currency crash, the sub-prime mortgage scandal and the latest economic downturn caused by the breakdown of major corporate giants.
Dubbed as the world's greatest trends forecaster by CNN, USA Today and CNBC, Celente insists that despite the latest market bounce, and increase in consumer confidence, the economy's fundamentals are broken.
"This is a sucker's flame," Celente said from his office in Kingston, N.Y. "It's a false-flag recovery. The stimulus, bailout and buyout packages being forced on the nation, by an administration that misread how bad the economy was, will only lead to Obamageddon: The Fall of Empire America."
Celente cites the global financial system as terminally ill because it has been built on endless supplies of cheap money, rampant speculation, fraud, greed and delusion. He sees a collapse coming, and predicts that by 2012 everyone will face the truth, and we will be in the midst of the Greatest Depression of them all.
"Washington is inflating the biggest bubble ever: the bailout bubble," Celente said. "This is much bigger than the dot-com and real estate bubbles. When the bailout bubble bursts, it should be understood that a major war could follow."
The economist expects tax and food riots to pervade the country. People will be giving each other food stamps for Christmas. Crime will increase to all-time highs. Then the worst possible situation will arise: the United States of America will disunite.
"There could be a day the U.S. goes the way of the former Soviet Union," Celente said. "It's going to start breaking up because people are going to realize Washington does not have the answers."
Nonetheless, Celente's predictions are still grossly speculative. He is leading the pack during a time when "doom and gloomers" are stealing the spotlight. The attention he's getting is helping him and his business. I'd personally put down more of my money on the Mayan Calendar, which says that 2012 will mark the end of the world and the beginning of a new era.
As outlandish as Celente's claims may be, he does bring up some legitimate points. The comparisons we hear in the media of this crisis to the Great Depression are not logical. During the Depression era, most people didn't own homes or credit cards. The country was not $15 trillion in debt. We led the world in manufacturing and had trade and budget surpluses.
Today, we have a service economy highly dependent on foreign nations for quality products at affordable prices. What we need is a new Industrial Revolution, or dot-com-type innovation, that will create jobs and increase productive capacity. Otherwise, unemployment will continue to increase and the government won't be able to create sustainable jobs that in turn can create wealth. The Federal Reserve can continue to throw money at the problem, but that would end up stagflating the economy and putting us in an even more unfavorable position.
"Prepare for the worst, then you have the luxury to pull back," Celente said. "It costs nothing to prepare."