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: Hello, Gerald. Thanks for speaking with us today. Let's dig in. You sent out a Trend Alert this afternoon entitled "Broken China, Global Meltdown." At The Daily Bell, we featured an article just this morning about China. Share with our readers the focus of your email and why you felt the issue was important enough to send an alert.
Gerald Celente: China is the canary in the global economy's mineshaft and when you look at China and see the growth that it's had, for example, their debt level just as they were joining the World Trade Organization in 2001/2000 it was about $2 trillion. Now we're talking almost $30 trillion.
All China did is the same thing that the United States did, that Japan did, that Europe is doing. That is, they have a different name for quantitative easing and Ponzi schemes. They built a good part of their economy on borrowed money, leverage and speculation. As China built itself you saw the emerging markets, particularly the resource-rich ones, become richer as they were selling China natural resources because China gobbles up essentially 45 to 50 percent of a lot of the world's raw materials. For example, look at iron ore. At the peak in 2011 iron ore was selling for almost $200 a ton; now it's selling for around $50 a ton. If you look at the index of commodities, they're hovering around 1999 levels.
China is really the country to look at, not that they're the ones that are causing the decline but with so many countries dependent upon China for exports, for China to buy their product, whether its finished product or raw materials, you can see how the implications are going worldwide.
But as I said, China's only part of it because you look at the United States, you look at Europe and you look at Japan, for example, with all their quantitative easing and record-low interest rates here in the States and in Europe – Europe has in some places negative interest rates – it has done nothing really to build the fundamentals of the economy; all it did was juice the equity markets.
What's going on is very important, not only on a geopolitical scale but on a whole other level. China's greatest fear beyond America's pivot to Asia and the war talk is what's going on among the people there. They used to report – they've stopped reporting now – they had about 30-, 40,000 incidents, public protests and strikes against the Chinese government, yearly. We're still seeing some of those, particularly in the western provinces with, for instance, the Uyghurs who are looking to break away again. They killed 50 people there in one day and even the locals didn't know about it, the people that were rebelling against the Chinese government. They have 1.2, 1.3 billion people – that's their greatest concern, is citizen revolts. They have to do everything they can to keep their economy afloat.
Number two, in China with the weak numbers coming out, nobody believes their numbers. According to many economists and financiers, their growth rate is really more around the 4 to 5% range, if that high, rather than the 6.97% range.
Anthony Wile: I'd like to discuss a couple of the trends in focus in your Summer Trends Journal and then discuss how they fit into some areas of additional interest we've been pointing out to our readers. I'll throw some phrases at you from the Journal and let you respond with a description of why such a trend might be important from a social and investing point of view.
The first is from, "Seven years of rigging the game," an article that talks about banking and an "acceleration toward extreme market fallout" – worldwide. Can you elaborate on this, and talk about both the ramifications and the causation?
Gerald Celente: The ramifications are that we have a concentration of wealth because of record-low interest rates and quantitative easing, and when you look at all the numbers, the tens of trillions of dollars that the Federal Reserve and central banks have pumped into the system since the great recession at the worst levels of it in 2008, 2009, it's really only gone to boost the equity markets. In the rest of the world, you have places like Greece austerity measures, Portugal austerity measures, Ireland austerity measures. "Austerity measures" is really just a word to fine people and tax them to pay off bad loans the banks made.
When you look at the numbers and why the equity markets are high it's because they've been borrowing money for nothing. That's why you see merger and acquisition activity now at record levels, going to surpass the hype back in 2007. They're borrowing money for nothing. The same thing with stock buybacks. You're borrowing money for nothing. It's a carry trade. You buy back your stock, you drive up the prices and the people at the top get richer.
Is this speculation? No. The facts are all there. When you look at the implications it affects the everyday person because of the concentration of wealth. You're looking at 85 people in the world – 85 people in the world – have more money … you ready? Than 3.5 billion. You're looking at the gap between the rich and the poor now in the United States at levels that are worse than it was during the Gilded Age, with the concentration of wealth in the hands of so few.
That's why, going back to China, this is a supply and demand issue. If the United States and Europe aren't buying things, China's not making them. If China's not making them, resource-rich nations, particularly countries such as Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Russia, Niger, Nigeria, Ghana, are not selling their natural resources. If they're not selling their natural resources, if American and European economies are flat and China's not making things, you have a global recession/depression setting in.
With the money concentrated in the hands of a few, with production and exports and imports slowing down around the world, you have fewer people with money to buy product. It's supply and demand. That's why you're seeing all of these commodity prices go so low.
Go back a year ago when oil prices started to decline, and now they're down some 50% from essentially a year ago, this summer. What was the first reaction? "They're doing it to punish the Russians." Then you'd hear, "No, no, no, the Saudis want to control more of the market so they're putting more money out there." No. It's supply and demand. It's not only in oil; it's in zinc, aluminum, copper, iron ore, across the board. It's a supply and demand issue.
The last seven years have made the filthy rich filthy richer. I don't blame them. I'm not saying they're wrong. I'm saying they could go to the casino and gamble. The regular people can't; they have to play Lotto.
Anthony Wile: Another trend that attracted my attention is "energy diversification." Please explain the importance of this trend … especially from an investment standpoint.
Gerald Celente: Ironically, energy prices for fossil fuels are declining at the same time there are more advancements in what they call alternative energies. Go back 100 years ago and coal was the dominant energy. Then oil became the dominant energy. Before that, people rode around in horse and buggies. There was no such thing as refrigeration. It was the iceman.
What we're looking at is that kind of change. We're moving from fossil fuels, but beyond wind, solar, geothermal, biofuel. We're going into a whole new era and this is just the beginning of it. Ironically, it's happening at a time when commodity prices for fossil fuels are declining rapidly.
We believe that one of the big fields to look at, which we write about frequently, are the new breakthroughs, whether it's in hydrogen or thorium, zero-point energy, whatever new fields are there. Everybody can laugh at these things but they laughed at the other inventions, too. We believe that we're going to see some major breakthroughs. You're also seeing price declines happen, too, as advancements in solar and other energies keep growing. Fossil fuels are going to become a very fossil thing in the past.
As for other implications of this, do you think the United States foreign policy in the Middle East will change? Do you think anybody will care about Saudi Arabia, the beheaders-in-chief worldwide? What is it, 175 people they've beheaded already this year? Do you think anybody will care about any of these Middle East countries, Qatar or Bahrain, if there's no oil? Do you think the United States would have invaded Iraq and destroyed Libya if their major export was broccoli? Of course, Syria, too. It's about pipelines running through, too. The whole Middle East program changes and so, too, do world economies. Really, it could be the wildcard that puts us back on a path to prosperity, actually.
Anthony Wile: That's a hopeful assessment. Finally, there's "Millennials and their fears." My question: What are they afraid of and how are they coping?
Gerald Celente: Millennials are very interesting. It's probably the most ego-inflated generation because when they were little kids they were told how amazing and special they were, like they were going to split the atom or something. They were kids!
Our CEO was just telling me a story. He grew up in Queens; I grew up in the Bronx and Yonkers. His mother was a dancer with the Ukrainian dancers back in the day. The great Ukrainian dancers escaped Stalinist Russia. They were performing at Carnegie Hall and one day they were practicing. Of course, the mother took him with her. He was a little kid, eight years old. All of a sudden this Ukrainian guy throws something at him and tells him to shut up as he's carrying on. You could never do that today.
Anthony Wile: I bet he shut up, though.
Gerald Celente: Of course. He said he was scared out of his wits, this guy screaming at him. Of course, the mother didn't say anything; the kid wasn't behaving.
Now, we have this generation that grew up where everybody won. There were no losers at games. Everybody got trophies. Their egos were blown up with how amazing and special they were. Now they come out of college, those who went, and their debt level is greater than consumer debt, at about $1.3 trillion. They can't get good jobs, many of them, and they don't have a lot of dreams.
Again, I began with the mergers and acquisitions activity. There's been a consolidation of industry that we've never seen before in this country. The mom-and-pops can't compete. The entrepreneurs have difficulty competing because the playing field has been tilted in favor of the multinationals. From the NAFTA trade agreement to Obama's new Trans-Pacific Partnership, it's about the multinationals. They're growing up in this time.
It's very interesting that we find in our research that they don't have great visions for hope in general. However, that's in general. There's still a leading edge among them that see the future very differently and understand that they can make it anything they want.
Every generation thinks they've discovered something that's very old. My generation, the Baby Boomers, we discovered health food. This generation thinks that they're discovering farm-to-table and buy local but it's very big in the consciousness of a lot of them and they're doing a lot to make that happen.
Look at the Occupy movement they put on. At first glance, it didn't amount to much. But in fact, it accomplished a lot because it accomplished the understanding of the 1% that own so much. If that's all it did, it did a lot. It's actually not 1%; it's .01%. They brought that consciousness out. If you talked about the 1% before, you would be considered a socialist and that you were against capitalism.
By the way, this isn't capitalism. I mentioned it's the merger of state and corporate power. It's fascism. As a matter of fact, look at the so-called debates. Who are they sponsored by? Who runs them? Corporations. ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox. Oh, they're "networks"? They're not networks; they're corporations. You can put a different name on it but it's still corporations. If you call a whorehouse a brothel it's still a whorehouse. In fact, I would call it a brothel because the people running them are presstitutes.
It's a corporate controlled election. They decide how the game is going to be played and who's going to play it. Democracy? Save it for the kids in high school and the stupid kids that are paying to hear it in college.
That's the implications of the Millennials. And by the way, it's not up to them to change things. It's up to all of us. The Founding Fathers weren't Millennials. They were seasoned. That's what we need. We need a combination and integration if we're going to have positive change. It's about all of us.
It's every generation, by the way. I remember generation Y. The marketers would say, "These are very savvy kids. You just can't sell to them in the same way." Yeah, right. They gulp down Red Bull. They'll drink phosphorescent Slurpies, and you're telling me how brilliant they are? Look at the crap they eat and how they look.
Again, they try to do this to every generation. There's nothing special about people – sex, gender, race – It's individuals, not generations.
Anthony Wile: It seems to us the Millennials do seem to have a generalized mistrust of government and generally a disbelief of what they're told. Is that an accurate perception?
Gerald Celente: That's accurate, but it's accurate across the board. Look at the studies coming out. Nobody believes it. Only the people that work for it or believe it anymore or the people who are too stupid to think for themselves. That's what I'm trying to say. They're not alone. Join the club.
Anthony Wile: Another poll recently showed that, regarding the media. Are Millennials, then, opting out of participating in using the government to create change, looking to the state for change? Do you see them building an alternative way of making change?
Gerald Celente: Again, it's not up to them. It's up to all of us. You can't do it on your own. Look at the Podemos Party in Spain. It began as a younger movement, and then it just faded out. It has to be a collaboration of all generations, a generation blending. What they do with all of this is try to separate the generations. These children who don't believe what they're hearing are no different than the rest of us in the sense of who believes this stuff? You've got to be an imbecile to believe it.
Anthony Wile: How much of that do you attribute to what we call the Internet Reformation, access to other-than-mainstream media?
Gerald Celente: Oh, it's a big part of that. Oh, yeah. However, while it's the information source and it's opened up people to different ways of thinking, the corporate media – of which six companies own 90% of the mass media – is still the voice. They still set the tone. We can use the Internet for alternative information and to widen our perspectives, but the big corporations still call the shots.
They'll throw out the buzzwords that people will buy. If you want to hate Putin, tune in any of the major media and they'll throw out the buzzwords to hate them. If you want to hate Assad you could use the major media for that. Look how the major media sold the lie of the Iraq War. The major media still plays the major role. The Internet gives us the freedom to learn more about different things, but at this point it doesn't have the power to drive elections. But that could change.
Anthony Wile: As part of this awakening or expanding consciousness, across the board, do more people now understand the value of gold and silver, buying land, participating in pre-public opportunities like cannabis that's now opening up, these sorts of strategies? Are they looking at things differently enough that they're moving toward these shifts?
Gerald Celente: A small minority. It's always the minority, and it's a very small percentage of the awake and the aware.
Anthony Wile: What about the growing numbers of people leaving the US and even renouncing their citizenship? What do you make of that?
Gerald Celente: When you look at the number, it's not really that great a number. The problem becomes where do you go? Where do you go? That's why I was looking to leave the country in 2010. I went down to Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, and I've been around a lot of the world. I realized, you can't run away. There are freaks everywhere.
This is my country. I want to do what I can to make it the way it was when it was the land of opportunity. When people say, "Love it or leave it," I say, "No, you leave it. I love it. You're the guys who are changing it and screwing it up. " That's why I bought these historic buildings on the most historic four corners of the United States, the 1750, 1763, and 1774 Academy. I realized after being in Berlin and seeing the destruction there that happened during the reign of Hitler, why didn't the people stop this? What took them so long? It was going to end. Why didn't they end it before it was all destroyed?
I could never be me if I was born in Italy. I could have never had the freedom to be me. This is my country. Just because I've got a bunch of little freaks running the show doesn't mean they're going to either intimidate me or rule my life. As I say, my blood is Italian but my heart's American.
Anthony Wile: That's a dilemma many struggle with, whether to continue trying to make massive change or get themselves and their families out, or at least make preparations to do so, now. On that note, let's wrap up with an update on your September Occupy Peace conference and rally, which we discussed in our last interview. How did it go? What came of it? What do you see carrying forward from the weekend?
Gerald Celente: Our speakers were Ralph Nader, Gary Null, Cindy Sheehan and Dr. Robert Thurman, Uma Thurman's father who's a big peace advocate. We closed down the streets with the mayor's permission. Anyone can go to the website, OccupyPeace.us, and watch the video there. We're making a documentary of it.
Ralph Nader's very excited about this. He stayed around another an hour and a half after the rally and we spoke, then he invited me to Winsted, Connecticut for the opening of his new museum he's opening there. Then he invited me again to another talk, recently. He's very interested in keeping this going. So is Gary Null, who has progressive radio and is very well known in his work in nutrition, healing, alternative remedies and on and on, for a long, long time, and Cindy Sheehan, as well.
What makes OccupyPeace different is that it's a program. There was no ohming and praying for peace here. We have a program: Close the bases overseas, bring the troops home, secure the homeland, put them to work rebuilding our rotted infrastructure rather than highways in Afghanistan. By the way, we spent more money in Afghanistan "rebuilding" it than we did during the Marshall Plan, when adjusted for income.
The other one is to force Congress to vote to go to war. The United States right now is in violation of international law with the bombing of Syria. It's a sovereign nation. We have not been invited in there. So we want to force Congress to vote to go to war with a little caveat: We want to get on each state ballot a referendum where we the people will tell Congress how to vote, because we pay for the war with our money and our lives.
Can you imagine? Listen to these clowns. Listen to that doughboy, Christie, or little Marco Rubio, or Teddy Cruz, these little kids. You put all these guys and women in a paper bag and they couldn't fight their way out of it, and they're talking about how we've got to get tough with this one and that one? Who are these little clowns? I'm offended by it.
And guess what? Donald Trump's kid won't go to war. He didn't go to war. Hillary Clinton's little girl won't go to war. Obama's girls won't go to war. Marco Rubio's kids won't go to war. All these little people talk so tough while they send others to go do their fighting for them. They are traitors to this nation and disgusting individuals. OccupyPeace wants to change this, and this is just the beginning, and we need all the help we can get.
Anthony Wile: Well, we can certainly help by letting readers know. The website is at www.OccupyPeace.us. Thank you so much.
Gerald Celente: Thank you. Always good talking with you.
There's a lot of meat in this interview but what stands out for us the most this time around is Gerald Celente's Occupy Peace program. His idea of a "program" is a good one because wars are usually not started by accident, contrary to what history tells us but are often the product of intense and laborious planning.
Gerald Celente's program is simple but powerful, and Ron Paul, we'd note, has suggested similar ideas: Close the bases overseas and bring the troops home, notably.
Celente does us a favor by pointing out the US has "spent more money in Afghanistan 'rebuilding' it than we did during the Marshall Plan, when adjusted for income." That's a stupendous sum for a nation facing a US$200 trillion shortfall over the next few decades.
He wants to "force Congress to vote to go to war." This is another issue Ron Paul has often mentioned. Congress does have the constitutional duty to declare war, but presidents often circumvent this necessity by sending in the troops and simultaneously declaring that the upcoming confrontation is no more than a skirmish or police action. By no means ought it to be called a "war" and so it isn't.
Would all this end war as we know it? Perhaps so. Will it happen? Probably not. As we often point out, nations and political systems evolve but they seldom if ever devolve back to what they once were. There are too many vested interests to go back. They will fight hard to retain their power and political privileges.
Celente's idea is a worthy one that people might well wish to support. On the other hand, it is critically important that people realize they ought to take steps personally to position themselves and their families for whatever the future may bring.
We call this lifestyle insurance and it has never been more important than today. What Gerald Celente is doing is admirable. Hopefully it works and many join him, to build a mass movement. In the meantime, as Voltaire was fond of pointing out, one needs to tend to one's own garden when it comes to capital preservation, second passports and second homes among other items.
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