Marc Faber’s 2012 Predictions

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Ultra Bearish Marc Faber Says the Whole Derivatives Market Will One Day Cease To Exist, ‘Will Become Zero’

Business Intelligence Middle East


Marc Faber the Swiss fund manager and Gloom Boom & Doom editor recently discussed his 2012 predictions. In a nutshell, he expects politicians in the US and the EU to keep on addressing symptoms rather than dealing with the fundamental problems of the crisis.

He can smell more money printing and sees less prosperity – to the point that within 5 years many investments could lose 50% of their value.

"You can increase debt but it doesn’t increase prosperity or economic growth," he says. He predicts the collapse of the derivatives market – down to zero – and favors equities and gold.

QE3 and equities

Speaking in an interview with Jeanne Yurman of Reuters on the sidelines of the IndexUniverse’s 4th Annual “Inside Commodities” conference held on December 8 at the New York Stock Exchange, Faber said: "There is no doubt that QE3 will come in one form or the other, and in Europe also".

"They will monetize," he stressed.

Because of impending additional quantitative easing, Faber, who predicted the stock market crash in 1987 and turned bearish shortly before the 2007-2009 bear market, is less bearish on equities now.

If the S&P drops 10%-15% here [the US] and in Europe, "they are going to print money," he predicted.

Addressing symptoms: The limit of Keynesian policies

Faber sees more can-kicking and more avoidance of real solutions through additional fiscal deficits and money printing in 2012.

"When the EU [and the eurozone] were formed, in the Maastricht treaty it was stated that no country should have a fiscal deficit of more than 3% and the debt to GDP ratio should not exceed 60%, but nobody kept that promise, Faber reminded his host.

The first one to violate [the rules] was Germany, he added.

When you look at what happened subsequently where countries had huge expansions in debt/GDP, you have to ask yourself what did these bureaucrats do all day? asked Faber.

The renowned investor clearly disagrees with Keynesian policies that seek to get out of the crisis caused by too much borrowing and spending by spending and borrowing even more.

The limit of these [Keynesian monetary] actions has been reached he said. You can increase debt but it doesn’t increase prosperity or economic growth, because there is a point where the excessive debt growth doesn’t stimulate economic activity any more, but it does create bubbles in different sectors of the economy.

And because we’re in a global economy, the intended consequences of the actions may not even happen in the US. "Mr. Bernanke’s monetary policy was designed to lift the housing market. The only asset that didn’t go up since 2008 is housing."

Banks are so leveraged

Asked about his view on European banks, Faber said they will need more than US$153 billion to restore confidence. He was referring to documents from the European banking regulator stating that Europe’s banks will need to raise 114.7 billion euros (US$152.8 billion) in fresh capital as part of measures introduced to respond to the euro area’s sovereign-debt crisis.

German banks need 13.1 billion euros and Italian banks 15.4 billion euros in core tier 1 capital, the European Banking Authority (EBA) said in a document published early December.

"The banks are in a very bad shape because they are so leveraged. US banks are also leveraged through the derivatives markets and so forth," Faber told Yurman, adding that he was very bearish.

The European Central Bank announced December 21 it will lend eurozone banks 489 billion euros (US$645 billion), more than economists forecast, for three years in its latest attempt to keep credit flowing to the economy during the sovereign debt crisis.

It will go down to zero

You can postpone the problems with monetary measures for a long time, but you can’t solve it, Faber noted.

Adding to his repertoire of gloomy predictions, Faber said: "I am convinced that one day the whole derivatives market will cease to exist, will become zero."

"Greece should have defaulted; it would have sent a message that not all derivatives are equal because it depends on the counterparty."

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Dr. Marc Faber [send him mail] lives in Chiangmai, Thailand and is the author of Tomorrow’s Gold.

© 2011 Business Intelligence Middle East

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