Robert Beckmann’s Downwave was published by Milestone Publications. Its two subtitles are: Surviving the second great depression, and: Everything all the experts would tell you if only they dared.
If you thought nobody foresaw the current crisis, you are wrong. Robert Beckmann, the author, was an American investment analyst living in London. He described in his book a scenario with collapsing banks and countries going bankrupt. He based his assertions on the thesis that the housing market would collapse as it had become a dangerous bubble. Russia’s economist Nikolai Kondratiev had done his studies in the 1920s. He had concluded that an economic life-cycle ran over about 60 years. Based on this assumption, Beckmann arrived at a date at the end of the 1980s for his scenario. Did I tell you that the book was published in 1983?
Was Kondratiev wrong? Not really, as the crash of 1987 showed. Both he and Beckmann couldn’t expect governments all over the world just starting to print funny money to stop the crash from happening. Since then, governments have been on an evil spending spree and the printing presses were doing overtime since 1992. It will make the current crisis just that much worse, it might be expected.
What’s even more evil, governments almost exhorted taxpayers and companies alike to spend money they didn’t have, leading to expensive take-overs in multinational companies that became more and more uncontrollable and unmanageable. And the credo of my home is my castle was replaced by my home is my cash-cow.
With Beckmann I agree on the timing, and thereby come to mention two very old friends of mine, the actor and the house-wife, the second rate actor who’s only achievement as President of the United States was being shot at, and the brainless mop of hair who devalued the title baroness to gutter level. It was their ill fated decision to reintroduce Victorian standards into economics. Without those, the depression might already be over. It also strengthens my conviction that our lord out of the closet (Keynes) will not offer the solutions to the present crisis. If you want an ever gloomier assessment, I found an article from 2005 referring to this book as well: Alphabet of global downturn by Jim Mellon.
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