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Marc Faber Questions if Dow Could Hit 1,000

In the August edition of the ‘The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report’ Marc Faber questions whether the Dow could hit 1,000 as predicted by Robert Prechter, based on his interpretation of Elliot Waves, Fibonacci numbers and socioeconomic trends.

Prechter, who has written 13 books on finance, believes that the stock market is historically overvalued in terms of dividends and earnings, because of a "great rise in positive social mood."

But the mood changed in 2000 and the "trend toward negative social mood will lead to an economic contraction," according to Prechter.

"Small bear markets lead to recessions, big bear markets lead to depressions. The current bear market will be the biggest in nearly 300 years, so the depression will be correspondingly deep," Prechter said.

Prechter goes onto to suggest the bear market is of super-cycle degree, the biggest since 1720-1784 and will therefore see a decline for equities deeper than the decline during the great depression, which saw the Dow fall 89 percent.

"The trend toward negative social mood that has been in progress since 2000 and which is about to accelerate will continue to curtail lending and lead to a tidal wave of defaults and a terrific deflation," he said.

"The amount of outstanding credit today is so large that system-wide defaults could lead to as much as an 80 percent –90 percent decline in the volume of dollar-denominated credits worldwide," according to Precther.

"In such an environment, surviving dollars and dollar credits, representing the denominator of the DJIA, will rise in value, and the Dow —along with everything else not used as money — will fall in dollar price," he added.

Faber's Response

Marc Faber says before dismissing Prechter as a lunatic you should look at his record. In 1978 when he predicted the Dow would reach 2,300 in his book Elliot Wave Principle no one believed it possible.

"Prechter is right when says that when manias come to an end, prices tend to retreat to where the mania started. So from this point of view, a Dow Jones at 1,000 should not be excluded," Faber said.

Faber also sympathizes with Prechter's view that there will one day be a complete credit collapse. Where he differs from Prechter is on that crucial factor, timing.

"It is likely that if the Dow where to fall by more than 20 percent from the present level there would be further massive fiscal and monetary stimulus packages – not just in the US but worldwide," Faber said.

"These economic policy measures would likely fail to boost economic activity in the US but could support asset markets," he added.

Faber's biggest problem with Prechter's theory is his view that surviving "dollars and dollar credits, representing the denominator of the DJIA, will rise in value, and the Dow – along with everything else used as money – will fall in dollar price."

"The question here is really, with the Dow below 1,000, what kind of dollars – and especially what kind of dollar credits – will survive," Faber said. "It is safe to assume that almost all banks in the world, and almost all governments, will be bust."

"I want my readers to think very carefully about the implications of a Dow below 1,000 (or even just below 5,000). Does anyone really think that the money printing presses won't run 24 hours a day? For sure I don't," he wrote in his August report.

And how do you trade the Dow at 1,000?

One suggestion from Faber is buying a self-sustainable farm in the middle of nowhere surrounded by high voltage fences and barbed wire and equipped with booby traps and an arsenal of machine guns, hand grenades and armed vehicles guarded by vicious Dobermans.