By Doug Casey, Chairman, Casey Research, LLC.
Everybody wants predictions. The following article does a little better than that, in that I wrote it back in November of 1997, outlining several theories of history, and pointing to a logical way of anticipating what will likely happen to the world at large over the next generation.
As you will read, the methodology I relied upon for anticipating the events that are now unfolding — 11 years later — were actually quite accurate, confirming, in my mind at least, that now is a time to be very cautious in your personal and financial affairs.
The article is unaltered in its text from the original, though I have added some current commentary in bold italics
December 16, 2008
“Don’t know much about the Middle Ages, look at the pictures an’ I turn the pages. Don’ know much about no rise and fall, don’ know much ’bout nothin’ at all” “Wonderful World,” Sam Cooke.
The lyrics quoted above probably describe the average American’s knowledge of history about as well as any academic study. Not only don’t they know anything about it, and think it’s irrelevant, but what they do know is inaccurate and slanted. And they must not think very much about the future either if the amount of consumer debt out there, mostly accumulating at 18% interest, is any indication.
One point of studying history is that it gives you an indication of what’s likely to happen now, if you can find an appropriate analog in the past. This is a tricky business because as you look at factors contributing to a trend, it’s not easy to determine which ones are really important. Making that determination is a judgment call, and everyone’s judgment is colored by his worldview, or Weltanschauung as the Germans would have it.
Let me briefly spell out my Weltanschauung so you can more accurately determine how it compares with your own, and how it may be influencing my interpretation of the future.
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