Have you ever been body slammed by a wave just as you step into the ocean?
Or stepped out into a gale-force wind and been forced back a step or two?
Well, that’s what it was like for those of us attending or LIVE Streaming the Irrational Economic Summit yesterday!
Talk about an information-packed afternoon!
Rodney took to the podium first to start us off, delivering a warm welcome to everyone. Some have traveled from far-off corners of the country – and beyond (I met someone who flew in all the way from Australia) – to be here for our fourth annual Irrational Economic Summit.
And after a quick introduction to each of the speakers, we were off to the races, with Harry leading the charge!
He almost bowled people over when he shared with them details of “The Sale of a Lifetime.” (This is also the title of his latest bestselling book, which you can check out here.)
Harry isn’t a man to mince words.
He started right off by telling everyone that we’ve got a social and political war brewing in the U.S., and that when, not if, Hillary wins the presidency, she’ll inherit the worst economic collapse of our lifetimes.
It’s this kind of brutal honesty that makes Harry such a captivating speaker. He’s a zero-bullshit kind of person, and you know that whatever it is he’s telling you, he’s telling it to you straight.
So I wasn’t surprised when he laid it all out on the table yesterday.
Harry told the audience that we’ve seen a steady decline in demographics since 2007, which correlates exactly with the four key cycles he uses to predict booms and busts years, sometimes even decades, into the future. Why? Because they’re all pointing down right now, and won’t start to point up again until 2020.
But that doesn’t mean you can lose your head when the markets turn and buy just anything to make a profit. It’s not going to be that simple this time around. Instead, you’ll need to be in the right sectors and have a good understanding of why they’re climbing higher.
He then went on to give the triggers that he sees starting the next great depression – a few of which could occur within the next year. The most dangerous indicator is Italy. When its market finally crashes, it’ll be curtains for the rest of the world.
And don’t even get me (or Harry!) started on the state of global housing markets.
Areas like Shenzhen in China have 66 sq. ft. “apartments” selling for $132,000, yet Harry actually said at one point: “I couldn’t talk one billionaire or multimillionaire into selling real estate if I set myself on fire in front of them.”
Does that not sound like extreme bubble denial to you?
Following Harry’s presentation was Dan Mitchell, Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute. Now, Harry’s a tough act to follow, but Dan delivered! He talked about the coming election and the grim future that America’s economy is facing. The takeaway? Things aren’t looking good.
On the one hand, you’ve got Trump, who’s a can’t-win situation, and on the other you’ve got Hillary, who’s a no-win situation.
Dan sees her huge tax increases bankrupting the country and leading to more debt problems in the future, and it’s a strain that our country simply can’t take on.
With such dismal choices in front of us, and our country looking more and more like Greece every day, Dan told us that now was the time to start planning your escape options. Talk about a perfect follow-up to what Harry hinted at earlier.
Up next was our keynote speaker, the Honorable David Walker, who served as the former Comptroller General of the United States. To say the least, the guy is a really big deal.
David explained that the core of our country’s problems has boiled down to three things: The federal government has grown too big, promised too much, and needs to be restructured.
But, all hope is not lost.
David shared with us his outstanding reform ideas to cut down on unnecessary spending and get our country back towards a more balanced budget long-term.
I don’t have the time or space to go into all the details with you right now. All I can say is that you should really check out his plans to bring down debt-to-GDP levels and bring lower tax rates to both corporations and individuals.
He ended his presentation on this note: Current fiscal and monetary policies are unsustainable, but it’s not too late to create a better future. There will be pain. It will be difficult and take a level of perseverance not seen for many years to get us back on the right track, but these reforms can and must be done.
David echoed these words again during his panel discussion with Harry, which followed directly after his talk. This was the time for audience members to ask whatever questions they had, and while we saw a variety of very smart, well-put-together inquiries, one in particular stood out to me.
A gentleman asked about the security aspects that go along with living in this day of civil unrest. What he really was asking was, “Are there any safe places left to live?”
Harry told him that where you live will be very important in the future, and recommended that moving to exurban areas would be beneficial. To find out more of what he said, you can get all of those details right here.
Seriously, what a way to end our first day at IES!
I already feel like I’ve learned more than my brain can absorb, and so has everyone else that I’ve talked to so far.
In fact, here’s what one of our subscribers to Boom & Bust had to say when I caught up with him at David’s book signing:
“If I were Donald Trump, I’d hire David Walker as a financial manager. He clearly knows what he’s talking about and sounds like he could right the ship with our economy’s finances.”
And I heard another member telling his friend during our cocktail hour that he was enjoying our Summit so much that he already “couldn’t wait to attend the next Irrational Economic Summit in Nashville.”
And to think that this was only the beginning of our time here in Palm Beach.
On the Cards Today
Today we get to hear both Charles and Adam talk about how to find value in today’s wonky market.
With stock prices near all-time highs and yield at depressing lows, I think we could all benefit from a little help maneuvering this bleak economic landscape.
We’ll also hear from Chris Gaffney on the opportunities he’s been able to find despite unending central bank intervention…
Don Hosmer on his unique way to profit with low-cost energy reserves using money you would otherwise pay towards federal and state income…
And Rodney’s take on the recurring “death” of the dollar, among many others.
I’ll get back this afternoon with the highlights from those presentations. In the meantime, you can follow our Summit events on Twitter using #IESPALMBEACH.
Your 2016 IES On-the-Ground Reporter