Usually I am optimistic but there are so many ways for the politicians to screw up the mess from what Wall Street screwed up that four consecutive quarters of 10% year-over-year GDP decline is not out of the question, a couple years down the road.
New-New Deal, bailouts, trillions in debt, antitax mindset spell disaster
By 2011? No recovery? No new bull? "Hey Paul, why do you keep talking about a bigger crash coming by 2011?" Readers ask that often. So here's a sequel to my predictions of 2000 and 2004, with a look three years ahead:First. Dot-com crashWe pinpointed the dot-com crash at its peak, in a March 20, 2000 column: "Next crash? Sorry, you won't see it coming." Bulls-eye: The dot-com bubble popped. The economy went into a 30-month recession. The stock market lost $8 trillion. And today, over eight years later, the market is still roughly 40% below its 2000 peak. See previous Paul B. Farrell.Factor in inflation and the average stock has lost well over 50% of its value. Stocks have proven to be a very big loser, a bad investment for Americans, thanks to Wall Street's selfish greed, plus the complicity and naiveté of politicians, press and public.Second. Subprime meltdownWe reported on warnings of another crash coming as early as 2004, wrote a sequel, also titled "Next crash? Sorry, you won't see it coming." Yes, we were early, but in good company. We wrote many more warning columns. Few listened.Subsequent events, notably former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan's admission of his failures in congressional testimony, prove that if he and other Reaganomic ideologues weren't so myopic and intransigent about proving their free-market deregulation theories, they could have acted earlier and prevented today's colossal mess. Instead, their ideology kept the bubble blowing, delayed the pop, making matters worse.So once again, as history proves over and over, ideology trumps common sense, reality and the facts. Greed drives ideologues to blow bubbles. They pop. Crashes happen. The public is collateral damage.Third. Megabubble cyclesWe also detailed the broader, accelerating macroeconomic sweep of cycles last summer in columns like "20 reasons new megabubble pops in 2011." We summarized a long list of major warnings from financial periodicals -- Forbes, Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, Economist -- and from the voices of Warren Buffett, Bill Gross, a sitting Fed governor and a former Commerce secretary. Multiple warnings "hiding in plain sight," beginning with a Fed governor warning Greenspan in 2000 about subprime risk....MUCH MORE