I have a few rules of life that have generally served me well:
1: Never drink anything that is on fire
2: Never annoy people that cook or serve you food and never send food back
3: Tailor your message to the audience
On the economic outlook “In 35 years I have never seen the world economy looking as dangerous as it does right now. In the West it’s all rubbish, because it’s parked on sand.”
On Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae “These two organisations are heading for the dirt. Their charts look terminal. Their dominance in the mortgage market has profoundly undermined the discipline that once kept house prices in check.”
On the future “I predict at best a slow grinding decline of everything; markets, house prices, all asset values, economic activity, happy marriages – everything that is not in short supply.”
This last article annoyed me a lot. There were plenty of economic and market prophets that got the decline right, including recent Nobel laureate Paul Krugman who wrote in the NYTimes to an audience of millions, Nouriel Roubini, who has had growing influence over the last few years, Warren Buffet (the wealthy guy) and many many others. These individuals are respected and listened to – but it still didn’t help stop the mania. One guy writing letters to all and sundry in NZ (he would have been treated as a crackpot by most as his analysis appears to be seat of pants and his style unprofessional) wasn’t going to sway things.
Perhaps he should have started a blog.