Introduction: Forecasting trends since 1980, Mr. Gerald Celente is publisher of the Trends Journal®, Founder/Director of the Trends Research Institute® and author of the highly acclaimed and best selling books, Trend Tracking and Trends 2000 (Warner Books). Using his unique perspectives on current events forming future trends, Gerald Celente developed the Globalnomic® methodology, which is used to identify, track, forecast and manage trends. His on-time trend forecasts, vibrant style, articulate delivery and vivid public presence makes him a favorite of major media. The Trends Research Institute has earned its reputation as "today's most trusted name in trends" for accurate and timely predictions. On the geopolitical and economic fronts, Celente and The Trends Research Institute are credited with predicting the collapse of the Soviet Union, the last two economic recessions, the dot-com meltdown, the 1997 Asian currency crisis, the 1987 world stock market crash, increased terrorism against America, "Crusades 2000," the quagmire in Iraq … before war began and much more. The Trends Journal is on YouTube here.
Anthony Wile: Thanks for making time to talk with us today during this busy holiday season. Let's talk about your Top Trends for 2015. You write of "bankism" and say it is fast becoming the dominant global economic system. What do you mean by that?
Gerald Celente: It's very clear what it is, in that it's not capitalism anymore. Capitalism means there's no such thing as too big to fail, and the too big to fails are the banks. The banks are the ones running the show, not only in the United States but in a country near you. For example, we saw the Dow nosedive in the beginning of December and then it hit new highs by the end of the year. Why? Because the central bank, the Federal Reserve, said they were going to keep interest rates low. They used the phrase "to be patient," to have patience. They have not raised interest rates now since 2006. So the banks are controlling the world economy, not only in the United States; you look over in the European Central Bank and it's the same thing over there. They have negative interest rates. What did they do? In the States they had a round of quantitative easing and now you'll see in 2015 the European Central Bank will not only want to be buying government bonds; more than likely they'll be buying corporate bonds.
So the banks are in control. And by the way, in the United States in most of the presidential elections in the 19th century wanted to prohibit a central bank from controlling the nation's money supply and printing, and then of course, we got our private central bank, the Federal Reserve, in the early 20th century. So bankism has replaced capitalism. There is no such thing as a company rising and falling on its own when you're a bank. They're in control. Again, four words killed it: too big to fail. This article is going to be written by Nomi Prins who, of course, wrote the wonderful, very insightful, scholarly book All the Presidents Men. So this is just an overview of much more than will be detailed in the Trends Journal.
Anthony Wile: Let's talk about another trend, one dealing with inflation and deflation. You foresee a deflationary trend in 2015, correct?
Gerald Celente: I've never been a proponent that the printing of the dollar was going to cause inflation because it ties into the other trends that we're looking at, and that is price wars. You're seeing the prices of oil and natural gas continue to decline. They took big hits in 2014. It's more of a supply issue and a demand issue – too much supply and lowering demand. It's not only in oil; it's in corn, it's in copper. You can buy a ton of rebar, reinforcement rod, cheaper in China than you can a ton of cabbage.
But if you are Russian and you have a ruble it's going to cost you twice as much to buy. That's not because the price has gone up; in fact, the price went down. It's your currency was devalued. That's what I see more of – not supply and demand inflation but currency devaluation inflation. You could not have a clearer picture than being a Russian right now. If you were being paid in Rubles and you lived in the States or in Canada, you just saw half your income decline. But the price of the product hasn't gone up that much. Product prices have gone down in some areas but you're paying double. It's a deflation of pricing but it's an inflation of cost because of declining incomes and declining currencies.
Anthony Wile: Is some of this price deflation artificial, for instance Saudi Arabian oil? Are there other situations like that?
Gerald Celente: I don't see it as artificial. I really don't. As I said, when you look at commodity prices, a lot of them are at five-year lows because of demand. If the Americans and the Europeans don't buy a lot of things, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh – all of these cheap-labor countries, they're not making things. If they're not making things, then Canada, India, Chile, Brazil – natural resource countries aren't selling to them because they're not using up as much product, so they're selling less. That's driving down the price of commodities because of demand.
So I don't look at the low oil prices being manipulated by the Saudis. Do the Saudis want to keep prices low to push out the competition? They said they do. Is that a realistic avenue to take? I don't know, but I do know that Rio Tinto in Australia keeps producing more and more iron ore and selling it to get rid of the marginal players that are their competitors. Will it work in the long term? I doubt it. I think it will hurt everybody. So I don't see what the Saudis are doing as a conspiracy. I think it's ill-advised strategy.
Anthony Wile: You speak of a rise in alternative energy as a trend for 2015 and a gradual replacement of fossil fuels. You write 2015 will mark the beginning of the grand finale for fossil fuels. That's a strong statement. Can you expand?
Gerald Celente: We don't call it alternative anymore. We call it dominant. Ironically, you're looking at fossil fuel prices going down at a time when alternatives are coming into the marketplace and that's not being talked about very much. Our science editor, Ben Davis, is one of the tops in the country if not the world. What we are looking at now is a scenario very similar to what history has seen before. From Julius Caesar to Grover Cleveland, the world's emperors and presidents and prime ministers went to their inaugurations and coronations in horse and buggies. Then all of a sudden that changed and when it began to change, the automobile was the alternative means of transportation. Then it became the dominant means. Then horse and buggy became an alternative. Same thing with iceboxes and refrigerators, candlepower and electricity.
That's the turning point that we're at now, where we see not only hydro or thorium or uranium processes, but a number of them, being solar, thermal and biofuel, that are going to replace fossil fuel. Again, ironically, this is happening at a time when fossil fuel prices are under attack. That's just a brief overview of it, but the details of it are in the Trends Journal.
By the way, we just had a conference in Colonial Kingston, where we're based, of the Top Trends in 2015. It's all been videorecorded in very high quality and people can buy the five-and-a-half hour conference DVDs. Ben Davis, our science editor, talked in detail there about this issue. It's not only in the Trends Journal but also much more in depth at the conference, about what these alternatives are going to be and how they're going to have an effect not only on pricing but on economies.
Think of what it will do to Venezuela and Saudi Arabia and Qatar and United Arab Emirates. You think the United States will have a Mideast policy if oil isn't the priority? So this has much bigger implications than just economic and industrial. There's a big geopolitical aspect to it as well. Again, it's only history going in a new direction. After all, there were many wars over resources. There were the spice Wars – they fought over spices. They're fighting over fossil fuels. Fossil fuels will be as irrelevant to fight over as spices as these new energy developments take place. And to think that we're heading into the first quarter of the 21st century using fossil fuels, it's a pretty fossil idea in itself.
Anthony Wile: You are concerned about the impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Can you explain why? Under the agreement, you write, multinational rulers and their dictates will rule the land.
Gerald Celente: They're selling the Trans-Pacific Partnership and its European sister, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, as though they're trade deals and they're not. It's a multinational takeover. There are plenty of trade deals in place, and it's estimated that very, very few pages of this agreement have anything to do with trade.
But we don't know all the details because we the people – in the country that supposedly exports democracy and is the beacon of freedom – we're not allowed to look at it, and neither are the senators and congressman. The only people working on it are the multinational corporations. What this does is takes away sovereign rights of nations and they become overruled by multinational regulations and laws. The multinationals become the rulers of your country. And not only in terms of trade and commerce but also in basic sovereign rights going down to freedom of speech.
It's a multinational takeover at every level and it will affect probably two-thirds of the world's population.
Anthony Wile: How will these billions of people react? Do you see any effective counter to that?
Gerald Celente: Not in the United States or North America. They're countering it in Europe. They just had a meeting in Brussels and several thousand people demonstrated against it and they're demonstrating throughout Europe against it. But in North America it's rarely if ever mentioned in the news and most people have no idea about it. And to make it even more draconian and to see, going back again to the bankism, that this isn't capitalism and it's certainly not democracy – when it does hit the United States it's going to be presented to Congress on the fast track, which means there won't be any debate on it. They won't read it; they'll just vote on it, like any good dictatorship would do.
Anthony Wile: You see war and more war as an additional trend in 2015. Expand, please …
Gerald Celente: I noticed in my studies of world events that when all else fails, they take you to war. That's what we're moving toward. The global economy is failing. China's real estate bubble has burst. The Europeans are back in recession in Italy and other countries. Germany's new forecast in 2015 is much slower growth. The Chinese growth now is back to 1990 levels and it's probably much worse. There's an estimated 70 million vacant luxury apartments, entire cities that have been built that are unoccupied. They've been propping their economy up in the same bankism way, by dumping cheap money into the system.
Now what you're looking at, as these tensions continue to increase with declining economies, when you move to the West, for example, what have they done? They've put severe sanctions on Russia. Russia does a lot of trade with Europe and Europe does significant amounts of trade with Russia. Now that trade is being stopped, at a time when the economies of both countries are slowing down. I mentioned oil prices. Do you think there won't be revolutions in Venezuela or Bahrain, and commodity prices in Angola or Congo, or the commodity-rich nations like Nigeria and Nigeria or Qatar or United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia? You're going to start seeing major destabilization from these resource-rich countries. They've only propped up their economy on strong demand from nations such as China, Indonesia and others that needed product to create their economic prosperity. But now that the West and Europe are buying less and, as I mentioned, they're making less, you have more and more internal turmoil.
The greatest threat to China is not Japan, not the United States, certainly not Vietnam or the Philippines who they squabble with, as well as Japan, over the disputed islands. It's much bigger than that. It's their people. They have 1.2 billion of them and they have to keep them happy. That's the biggest problem. There were reports coming out, though they've stopped putting them out – you were looking at like 24,000 uprisings and demonstrations going on in one year in China, and this was during good times. Now they're not coming out with the reports anymore. That's why you see so much money leaving China. They bought the Waldorf Astoria for $2 billion. They're building a canal in Nicaragua. They're buying up – take a trip back to Vancouver; I don't have to tell you – the China boomtown was one of our top trends for 2014. The smart money's leaving.
What I'm saying is when you go to war you see all of this destabilization taking place in countries throughout the world. Now the United States, despite Obama's recent lie – and I'm a political atheist. Whether it was George Bush lying us into the Iraq War with Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction and ties to al Qaeda or Obama coming out and saying that we were going back into Iraq to save the Yazidis on the mountain, that it was a humanitarian mission. Now what do we have already – 1400 air strikes, 2,000 new fresh troops in there and a billion dollars spent. And now they're bombing Syria. You think this stuff isn't going to spread?
Now, of course, Ukraine just announced they want to go with NATO. That would be like Russia making an alliance with Canada and having missiles aimed at the United States and having troops on the border. We're moving to war. You have madmen and madwomen that keep pumping and beating the drums for war and you can see this heating up in front of us.
It's so easy to go to war. Look at the little dog and pony show they just put on about North Korea and how everybody bought it. You go online and you look at the geek world and they're saying with this whole thing, that North Korea did it is a lot of baloney; there's no evidence at all. But there was no evidence Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, yet they killed over a million people, cost over a trillion dollars and destroyed an entire country. So propaganda's a good business to get into. You can do it cheaply, stupidly and get great results. That's what they're doing, and they're leading us to war. It's cheap propaganda.
Anthony Wile: You see Occupy Peace as an optimistic countertrend to all this. Can you explain why? How will Occupy Peace play a role in this?
Gerald Celente: What we're doing on May 2, 2015, is launching Occupy Peace. We're launching it from the most historic four corners in the United States. It's in Colonial Kingston, New York, the only place where there's a pre-Revolutionary War building on each corner. And the mayor, Shane Gallo, has given us permission to close down the streets. He came up with one of the best comments about why he's doing it. He wants to build communities, not nations, to be a community-builder, not a nation-builder.
What we're doing, and being in Colonial Kingston, is honoring the Founding Fathers who, beginning with Washington – who was a real commander-in-chief, not like these little boys like Harper or Obama or Bush or Clinton or Holland or Sarkozy – they can't fight their way out of a paper bag. This is a man who led the troops in battle. Washington's farewell address: No foreign entanglements. And for all those little minds out there that say, "Oh, the world was a lot different back then," no, it wasn't. The world was at war back then, too. But our Founding Fathers were scholars, they were erudite, they were knowledgeable men. And what did they do from Washington to Franklin, from Jefferson to Adams to Madison, every one of them? No foreign entanglements.
With Occupy Peace, we have a battle plan for peace because I would rather fight for peace than die for war. Our battle plan is no foreign entanglements, bring home the troops, seal the borders and rebuild America, rather than build nations and destroy nations. That's what we're doing on May 2nd. This is not going to be a rally where people yell and scream and go home and nothing happens. As I said, we have a battle plan that we're putting in place so when people leave they'll have takeaways for action. We'll be announcing more of that later.
Anthony Wile: We have some trends we'd like you to comment on briefly in these last few minutes we have. What about the cannabis trend, as it's being legalized worldwide? What's your take?
Gerald Celente: Why was it not legal to begin with? It's a scam. They had this whole war on drugs where they put people in jail for nothing – for nothing. But now they can make money with taxes, so now they're legalizing it. I don't believe it should be legalized. I believe it should be decriminalized. If you want to eat chicken or smoke a joint that's your business. The government shouldn't be in it one way or another. They're only legalizing it so they can grab their portion of the dough from it. They made money on it when it was illegal through the corporate criminal justice system. They're running the corporate prison systems, so they made money on it that way and now they're making money on it by legalizing it so they can tax us for it.
They have no business in it at all. Who are these government officials? I'll tell you who they are. They're official jerks. They're official hypocrites. Who are they to decide? Look what they're doing to kids in school, jazzing them up with Ritalin at levels never seen before because they can make money on it through the drug companies. They've no right legalizing marijuana. It should be decriminalized. The people who are pushing for legalization are pushing in the wrong direction. It's like legalizing whatever you're eating or drinking. It should be decriminalized. They have no business in this.
Unless, of course, you like people to rule your life and you look up to politicians – because a lot of people do. They look up to their politicians. They bow down, suck up, and if you pay them enough they'd like to have a job rolling out the red carpet for them and then saluting them.
Anthony Wile: Do you think the millions being held on nonviolent drug charges now will be released, their records expunged?
Gerald Celente: Eventually they will but, again, the politicians – we began this conversation talking about it's not capitalism anymore, it's bankism. The merger of state and corporate powers is called fascism. When you have private companies running the prisons, private companies running the world, it's fascist. It's corporations over the government. They're going to keep the people in the prisons as long as they can suck money out of us so they can fill their sick needs with it.
Anthony Wile: What trend do you foresee for the farmland and organic farming trend, and of people looking at second homes or investment in foreign farmland? High Alert is developing a community in Colombia, for instance, called Terra Viva. It's one response to just what you've been talking about.
Gerald Celente: Clean food and clean water are two of the biggest trends for the future, I would say. By the way, I coined the term "clean food" back in 1993. If anyone wants to check it out they can go to The New York Times and look it up. We wrote about it in the Trends Journal even earlier than that. I also have an honorary doctorate in integrative and complementary medicine from the National University of Health Sciences, so I've been very familiar with this for many, many years. It's nothing new to me.
This is the future. The future is clean food and clean water, and it ties into one of our other trends, retro. People want real. The Millennium Generation right now has nothing real. They don't have anything to look forward to because the future, according to all the polls, is dimmer than the present. So they're going back to the past, and going back to the past is going back to the land. That's going to be a huge trend. Farm-to-table is pretty old news but it's going to be bigger news yet.
Anthony Wile: Thanks for your time!
Gerald Celente: Have a happy holiday and a happy new year.
So many interesting perspectives here. We're grateful, first of all, to Mr. Celente for his efforts with Occupy Peace. That the world needs more peace and fewer wars is obvious: Less obvious is what to do about it. We hope he, and the many who join with him, succeed.
We also thank him for bringing to the attention of readers the dangers lurking in the global Trans-Pacific/Atlantic Treaties. The dangers have been mentioned many times on the Internet and thus it is easy to forget that they continues to progress no matter how absurd it seems. We'll be covering this in 2015.
The inflation/deflation issue is an interesting one. Gerald tells us, "I've never been a proponent that the printing of the dollar was going to cause inflation because it ties into the other trends that we're looking at, and that is price wars."
This is surely a crux issue going forward and we will continue to apply an Austrian analysis to this "great debate."
We've explained now in numerous recent articles that what often seems like disinflation or price deflation is actually a result of monetary expansion and price inflation. The contraction has to be seen in light of the previous expansion.
Mr. Celente is correct, of course, that within the larger, endless, asset bubble, you can have price deflation or disinflation. But again, that is an outgrowth of relentless money printing, in our view, that expands prices until they finally begin to collapse.
Moving on … we were pleased he endorsed trends that we have mentioned in the past: The decriminalization of cannabis and the increasing popularity of "organic" food.
The second trend goes hand-in-hand with the idea of a second home in an alternative overseas community. In such communities, the food can be controlled and the quality, to a degree at least, can be assured. Here at The Daily Bell, we're focused on setting up a community in an agriculture-rich region of Colombia for individuals seeking secondary addresses.
In the meantime, Gerald Celente has done his usual excellent job of making sense of the world and pointing out what we need to be examining going forward into 2015. Hopefully, we'll have him back some time next year to expand on the insights he's provided us.