Nostradamus Redux

Article excerpt

Byline: Arnaud de Borchgrave, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

SINGAPORE -- Although political forecasting and economic prognostication have long made astrology look respectable, there is still a latter-day Nostradamus who has defied the odds. If Nostradamus were alive today, said the New York Post, he'd have a hard time keeping up with Gerald Celente - the man who tracks the world's social, economic, and business trends for corporate clients.

Mr. Celente's accurate forecasts include the 1987 stock market crash, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the 1997 Asian currency crash, the 2007 subprime mortgage scandal that he said would soon engulf the world at a time when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, a macroeconomist and expert on the Great Depression, told us, the worst is behind us. In November 2007, Mr. Celente also told UPI a massive devaluation of the dollar was coming and that some Wall Street giants were headed for total collapse. He called it The Panic of 2008.

Worse than the Great Depression, Mr. Celente opined. Beginning with a sharp drop in standards of living, and continuing with an angry urban underclass that threatens a social order that allowed the mega-rich to continue living behind gated communities with summer escapades to luxurious homes on the French and Italian Rivieras or to bigger and better and more expensive boats from year to year.

This time, Mr. Celente's Trends Research Institute, which the Los Angeles Times described as the Standard & Poor's of pop culture, can see a tax rebellion in America by 2012, food riots, squatter rebellions, job marches and a culture that puts a higher premium on food on the table than gifts under the Christmas tree.

Mr. Celente says, There will be a revolution in this country, though not until 2012, and it will take the form of a bloodless coup and the meteoric rise of a third party. While all this sounds like claptrap to sophisticated observers inside the Beltway, one can't ignore the high marks his forecasting gets from such prestigious global publications as the Economist: A network of 25 experts whose range of specialties would rival many university faculties.

The George Washington blog listed all the kudos Celeste Celente received from a wide variety of newspapers, magazines and television shows. He has a solid track record. The catastrophe that is about to hit our nation, he says, has its origin in wars we were told would be off budget and would not affect more tax cuts. This is the school that says there's nothing wrong with a little deficit funding.

One of the cornerstones of America's giant economy is the ability to borrow from other countries - primarily China and Japan - from $2 billion to $3 billion a day in order to maintain the world's highest standard living, which is based on conspicuous consumption, at a time of growing world shortages. …