Adéu a Nihil Obstat | Hola a The Catalan Analyst

Després de 13 anys d'escriure en aquest bloc pràcticament sense interrumpció, avui el dono per clausurat. Això no vol dir que m'hagi jubilat de la xarxa, sinó que he passat el relleu a un altra bloc que segueix la mateixa línia del Nihil Obstat. Es tracta del bloc The Catalan Analyst i del compte de Twitter del mateix nom: @CatalanAnalyst Us recomano que els seguiu.

Moltes gràcies a tots per haver-me seguit amb tanta fidelitat durant tots aquests anys.

dijous, 27 de novembre de 2008

L'home que va preveure la crisi i ningú li va fer cas



La majoria d'analistes, acadèmics i gurús de l'economia no van veure a venir la crisi financera fins que els va esclatar als morros. Alguns, però, si que se'n van adonar, però ningú no els va fer cas. Si deixem de banda els que porten més d'un segle predint que el capitalisme s'acaba demà i els que creuen que el món s'esfondrarà pels nostres pecats de cobdícia i consumisme desenfrenat, n'hi va haver uns quants de més assenyats que van diagnosticar la malalatia amb una precisió gairebé matemàtica. Potser el que ho va fer amb més exactitud sigui Peter Schiff, assessor econòmic de l'excandidat republicà a la presidència dels Estats Units Ron Paul, i seguidor de l'escola austríaca d'economia. Schiff va preveure la crisi, no poques setmanes o mesos abans del crash, sinó més de dos anys abans. Al vídeo hi ha els millors extractes de les seves previsions i a continuació un resum extret de la Viquipèdia.

In an August 2006 interview Schiff generated much controversy when he repeated his long-held investment thesis: "The United States economy is like the Titanic and I am here with the lifeboat trying to get people to leave the ship ...I see a real financial crisis coming for the United States." On May 16, 2006 in debate on Fox News, Schiff accurately had forecast that the U.S. housing market was a bubble that would soon come to bust. On December 13, 2007 in a Bloomberg interview on the show Open Exchange, Schiff further added that he felt that the crisis would extend to the credit card lending industry. Following this observation, it was soon reported on December 23, 2007 by the Associated Press that "The value of credit card accounts at least 30 days late jumped 26 percent to $17.3 billion in October from a year earlier at 17 large credit card trusts examined by the AP... At the same time, defaults -- when lenders essentially give up hope of ever being repaid and write off the debt -- rose 18 percent to almost $961 million in October, according to filings made by the trusts with the Securities and Exchange Commission."

Schiff also references the role of the US consumer in the world, saying that the US consumer thinks he's doing the world a favor by consuming what the rest of the world produces. He is quick to point-out that this relationship will come to an end, in his view, much sooner than people imagine, and with negative consequences for the US. Schiff has been quoted as saying: "Consumption is its own reward for Production" -- meaning that without production, the US cannot indefinitely sustain its ongoing consumption. Schiff, and other adherents of Austrian economics, promote savings and production as "the engine of economic growth -- not consumption."


Schiff has said on numerous occasions that the current economic crisis is not the problem; it is the solution. According to him the transition from borrowing and spending to saving and producing cannot be accomplished without a severe recession, given the current imbalances of the US economy. But according to him that transition needs to happen. He also thinks the government is doing no one a favor by trying to "ease the pain" with stimulus packages, bailouts and such. Schiff believes these actions will only make the situation worse and possibly result in hyperinflation if the government continues to "replace legitimate savings with a printing press."