Is This the Year of the Doomsayer?
Managing Editor, CNBC.com
Is this the year of the Doomsayer? It's beginning to look like it.
Just today Marc "Dr. Doom" Faber, a widely followed economist with a penchant for troubling views, noted on our air that he believes "massive wealth destruction" is on its way.
Newsletter wrtier Richard Russell also weighed in with thoughts that a massive collapse is coming: "My thinking is that sooner or later we will be subject to a major correction (bear market) that will wipe out or correct 60 years of inflation and leveraging."
That's just today. We've had many other assorted doom forecasts recently, ranging from municipal bonds to oil markets to Europe. And we've had some Black Swan warnings too. These are over and above the negative predictions coming from folks just in the money management, not forecasting, business.
You see many of these dire predictions come from folks who made their reputations on, well, making dire predictions. But they've got some solid economic reasoning behind them. And most of them have some previous correct calls to their credit. Makes them worth listening to, no?
Now, of course, we in the news business get a little criticism for covering these Cassandra types. And negative headlines DO draw a fair amount of attention. But if we didn't cover these doom prophecies...especially from people who have a track record of correctly predicting disaster...then we'd be accused of ignoring looming problems, covering up, etc. It's a no-win situation.
But, from our anecdotal observations, there does seem to be an upswell of negativity lately. Maybe it's a reaction from recent market gains. Maybe when positive economic data rolls in, like the improving jobs numbers, the naysayers stand out a little more. Or maybe it's just a natural cycle, like cicadas. Hard to say.