Gerald Celente is the founder of the Trends Research Institute. Aside from being a martial artist, Gerald is a professional forecaster with a pretty really good record which includes the "Great Recession"—to begin in 2007, predicted in 2004—and the "Panic of 2008"—the financial meltdown, predicted in 2007. He is often compared to Nostradamus, who seems to have been a piker compared to Celente.
In the December, 2008 Trends Journal, Celente talked about the coming "Greatest Depression"—
Over the course of free-falling 2009, the word from most official sources will be “recession,” and from the few mainstream trophy pessimists, “deep recession.”
For example, the oft-quoted naysayer, Nouriel Roubini, New York University professor of economics, forecasts a two year recession … not Depression. On the sunnier side of Wall Street, the Federal Reserve predicts the US economy will contract only through the middle of 2009 and pledged, “In any event, the Committee agreed to take whatever steps were necessary to support the recovery.’’
What “steps?” The Bernanke Two-Step? Adjust interest rates or print more money? Neither stopped the credit crisis from worsening, the real estate market from tanking or the stock markets from crashing. It was Fed finagling, Washington deregulation and Wall Street’s compulsive gambling that created the crisis. To trust or to seriously consider pronouncements, analyses and predictions made by any of these sources is an exercise in willful self-deception...
Throughout the many years leading up to what we term the “Greatest Depression,” The Trends Research Institute provided copious data and Globalnomic® analysis to support our forecasts of economic upheaval. In the past year alone, we have provided so much hard evidence (housings starts, home sales, foreclosures, bankruptcies, bank failures, unemployment figures, stock indices, leading economic indicators, retail sales, etc.) that further elaboration should be superfluous. (See December 2007 Winter; Spring and Autumn 2008 Trends Journals. Also see “Financial Passover Question: Why is this Depression Different than all other Depressions,” Trends Journal, Autumn 2008.)
2009 was not nearly as bad as Celente believed it would be because he did not anticipate the extraordinary lengths the government and the Fed would go to to prop up this House Of Cards called the U.S. Economy. There's no denying that 2009 was still pretty ugly. Gerald is not deterred by his apparent misfire. He is now predicting that the "Greatest Depression" will start in 2010 (see the video below). Who am I to disagree? Whether we're in a "deep recession" or a "depression" is a matter of semantics.
There is no how-fucked-up-are-we? scale that measures exactly where we stand. The standard measure, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), consistently tells a story at odds with reality as measured by everyday experience. How can anyone still trust official government statistics?
Celente is also a "Decline of the Empire" kind of guy. In 2002, he wrote American Empire Fading Fast. I wasn't able to get the original, but here's an update to the Fading Fast document made in July, 2009.
Empire America Fading Fast
Back in 2002, we forecast that, based on a confluence of emerging-trends, not only was the consumer-based US economy unsustainable, Empire America itself would dissolve.
In 2009, this was no longer a forecast, it was fact. You only had to do the math. Federal obligations were at an astounding and irreconcilable $546,000 per house-hold. Not only was it impossible to pay off the debt given the direction the government was go-ing — printing phantom money, out of thin air, based on nothing and producing practically nothing — the debt was foreordained to increase. 2008 tax revenues had plunged 34 per-cent, and they would plummet further as “The Greatest Depression” set in. Added to the debt load were the unavoidable trillions committed to cover Medicare/Social Security/retirement programs for 78 million aging baby boomers. Those were the inescapable, undeniable numbers. They didn’t lie. But not only were they not being added up, they were invisible: “US hopes of ‘green shoots lift confidence,” read the 26 May 2009 Financial Times headline.
You'll get no argument from me. However, when Celente says the "greatest" depression, the claim is that we should prepare for a shitstorm worse than the worst years of the Great Depression in the early 1930s. Several lines of evidence (e.g. the housing market, unemployment) point to no recovery or gradually worsening conditions. However, it appears that Celente is talking about an actual collapse leading to a breakdown in social order.
Right now, I don't see what single event, or combination of events, would trigger a collapse in 2010. On the other hand, we now have to worry about Black Swans (as if we didn't have enough to worry about as it is).
I hope catastrophes leading to chaos don't happen this year. A breakdown in social order doesn't sound like any fun at all. Guns make me very uncomfortable. I hope Celente is wrong. Of course, I lost my faith that things would "end well" many, many years ago. Here's the video.