James Dale Davidson
My years studying financial collapses have also taught me that it’s always the hard working… the savers… the taxpayers… the folks who “play by the rules” that suffer the most.
I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve been fortunate enough to escape this crisis without being sucked into the vortex of destruction.
Eight years ago, I retired from the investment advisory world and began to live the life I always dreamed of. I remarried to a former Miss Brazil and started to split my time between my home near Washington, DC, my home in South America and my award-winning winery in New Zealand.
But I’ve returned to Strategic Investment because I refuse to sit idly by while Wall Street’s and Washington’s incompetence tears apart the lives of decent, hard working Americans.
I’ve been warning investors about the dangers of a financial collapse for over 20 years. The first time was in my 1987 book Blood in the Streets: Investment Profits in a World Gone Mad. Then I warned about America’s dire fiscal trends again in my 1994 book The Great Reckoning: Protecting Your Self in the Coming Depression.
Both books were bestsellers. And you only have to look at the titles to see that they were both aimed at preparing investors for the kind of trouble we’re experiencing now. My warning was loud and clear.
In Blood in the Streets, I wrote:
The coming years will be a bad time to be ill-advised. A time fraught with snares for anyone who is unprepared. We could be on the verge of financial upheaval… Many people will suffer staggering losses.
And in The Great Reckoning, I wrote:
The credit cycle unwinding is more powerful than the capacity of governments to bring it under control. A chain reaction of crises is likely to spread as confidence erodes and markets force government to contract the welfare state.
But the mainstream press didn’t listen.
Instead, I got called the “Prince of Doom” because of my unfashionable views on the U.S. economy.
I’ve spent most of my adult life taking on an over-reaching government.
In 1974 I founded the National Taxpayers Union, which for 35 years has been protecting your right and that of every single American’s to keep what they’ve earned.
NTU’s a non-profit, non-partisan citizen group whose (350,000) members work every day for lower taxes and smaller government at all levels.
In September 1989, I testified before the House Ways and Means Committee about the dangers of government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
It was one of the first oversight hearings on GSEs.
This is what I told the committee:
One of the unfortunate lessons of the Savings and Loan debacle is that off-budget activities, loan guarantees and quasi-government functions can have a tremendous impact on the federal budget … Should a similar fiscal catastrophe hit GSEs, bailout costs could multiply to levels that would not currently seem credible.
Unfortunately my warning fell on deaf ears.
Thanks to assurances from slick executives that the GSEs they ran were well-capitalized (and amid multimillion-dollar GSE lobbying operations) the House committee ignored my warning.
Had Congress listened, it might have been better equipped to avoid the recent sub-prime debacle.
In my book The Great Reckoning: Protecting Yourself in the Coming Depression (which I wrote alongside former editor of The Times of London, Lord William Rees-Mogg) I made this stark warning:
Debt cannot go on compounding forever. At the rate it expanded in the 1980s, interest payments would consume 100% of GNP by the year 2015. No such thing will happen. Long before debt reaches the extreme, it will be wiped away. Either an economic deflation will cause the financial system to implode, or a political inflation of an extreme kind will obliterate much of the value of the debts denominated in dollars. One way or another we expect a great reckoning. A settling of accounts. We expect the long economic boom and credit expansion that began with WWII to come to an end.
The credit expansion surpassed our estimates at the time.
But the “settling of accounts” Lord Rees-Mogg and I warned of is now here.
Over the years, I’ve also helped investors protect their wealth and profit by accurately forecasting some of the biggest political shifts of our time… Events such as the death of the Soviet Union… the fall of the Berlin Wall… the rise of Islamic terrorism… and the current bank bailouts.
These predictions were deemed ‘impossible’ when they were made. (Newsweek even described my forecasts as “an unthinking attack on reason.”) But subsequent events have proven me right. Apart from writing books, I also edited, Strategic Investment, one of the most successful investment newsletters of its time.