I used to be a big reader of Martin Armstrong, the guy who predicted the last 4 big financial panics. I was a big believer until he called for a September crash in 2016 and nothing happened. That event was supposed to be a sovereign debt crisis. There was enough past success with his forecasts to believe he knew something others didn’t. But once he gave a single false prediction it was enough to dispel the illusion. Reading Nassim Taleb was a big help too, he would just call forecasters frauds.
After all, if you aren’t independently wealthy from using your predictive skills, then you’re probably a fraud. The confusing part was that Armstrong was a huge hedge-fund manager of incredible success, until he was thrown in jail and had much of his assets confiscated on dubious charges (holding someone in contempt of court for 7 years without trial). So it is easy to see how I fell for him, but like I said after Sept 2016 I was done, and read him for entertainment more than anything.
In that time he has been right about a surprising number of general trends, and events I was never aware of. He expected Brexit, he believed 2 years ago that Catalan would vote to leave Spain, and warned of rising seperatist movements all around the world. Some of the things I hear from Silicone valley seem to point that direct too. Peter Thiel saying that globalism is old fashioned, and that the future is in local areas.
As social media divides us more and causes us to believe more strongly in our opinions it seems logical that we would want to move to communities of the like-minded. Technology is making such movement possible. With decentralized power (solar), decentralized banking (cryptocoins), decentralized information/education (internet) we have the tools we need to move anywhere and do anything.
So keep an eye on separatist movements, even the ones in the US. I feel like the US is ripe for a big catastrophe to hasten some of this change. It’s still too early but State debt could be a domino that wakes people up to the crippling national debt we have. It might be Puerto Rico too, as we watch first hand what happens to a society drenched in debt then take a look in the mirror. It is bound to scare some. States with fiscal surpluses will not be pleased to see states with terrible budgeting get a federal bailout. Are states too big to fail? Probably.
While I don’t subscribe to Armstrong’s predictions to the day, I do think he has a gift in that he sometimes spots things approaching that others fail to.