Those of you who have followed my writings over the years know that I consider “The Fourth Turning” (1997) by William Strauss and Neil Howe one of the most important books published over the past two decades.
“The next Fourth Turning,” predicted Strauss and Howe, “is due to begin shortly after the new millennium, midway through the Oh-Oh decade. Around the year 2005, a sudden spark will catalyze a Crisis mood. Remnants of the old social order will disintegrate. Political and economic trust will implode. Real hardship will beset the land, with severe distress that could involve questions of class, race, nation, and empire.”
That prediction, eleven years before the event, turned out to be on the money. Howe now proclaims that the Fourth Turning indeed began with the financial meltdown in 2008.
In this interview conducted by Peak Prosperity’s Chris Martenson, Neil Howe picks up where the book leaves off. He reviews where he thinks we are now in the Fourth Turning and where he believes we are headed. For those who read the book, this interview is a welcome update at a time when many are groping for a course of action during increasingly confusing economic times.
Says Howe, “[A]ll the rules of economic policy seem broken and lie in fragments on the floor. People are wondering what the heck do we do in this new era?” His basic advice is to stay liquid and stay away from the stock market.
Howe’s analysis blends nicely with the rest of my posts on the day. He says we live in a fundamentally deflationary era, that quantitative easing is a “roach motel” for Ben Bernanke from which there is no exit, and that the European Union will collapse led by the southern states. I would add, as I said earlier today, that gold has done particularly well in the disinflationary setting since 2008, i.e., the first stages of the “unravelling,” simply because people around the world see it as the ultimate safe haven against the risks posed by the banks and the financial markets. As such, it is the ultimate hedge against the Fourth Turning.
This rare interview of Neil Howe is highly recommended.