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January 24, 2009

More trouble in store for the "Ponzi Economy"

Peter Schiff, about whom I have written about before, has now been profiled in Fortune, in which he continues to forecast more doom and gloom for the US.
"We have an economy that's based on the same principles as Bernie Madoff's investments," he says. "It's a Ponzi economy. It's not real. We don't save and we don't produce anything anymore. We simply borrow from the rest of the world, and then we spend it. We've had a giant party. We bought all these plasma TVs and iPods. We remodeled our houses and took vacations. But you know what? The bills are coming in."

..."I'm as negative as I've ever been," he says, "because everything the government is doing now is going to make the situation much, much worse. They're trying to reflate this bubble. All along I knew that what would potentially be fatal wasn't the recession itself but the government's response. But what they've already done exceeds even my worst-case imagination." Schiff is predicting a wicked post-party hangover. He sees a multiyear recession ahead marked by rampant inflation, a steadily weakening dollar, soaring commodities prices, slumping U.S. stock indexes, and falling wages.

...Schiff's current investment advice is the same as it has been for years: Get your money out of the U.S. dollar and into more fundamentally sound currencies like the Swiss franc or the Singapore dollar; buy some precious metals; and buy foreign, dividend-paying stocks, with an emphasis on natural-resources companies.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at arun@ventureintelligence.in