Central bankers trying to spur growth are like alchemists trying to make gold and they're just as likely to fail, said Marc Faber, the publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom report.
"When I think of central banks, I think of alchemists," Faber, also known as Dr. Doom for his pessimistic views, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Thursday.
"They were trying to mix all kinds of powders and chemicals to produce essentially gold. And they all failed," he said, although he noted that some alchemists did produce other useful chemicals during their ill-fated search for the precious metal.
"But the central banks are just mixing water, in other words, paper money, and the results cannot be a favourable outcome in the long run."
Faber noted that from the 1970s to the mid-1980s, people believed inflation was "forever," but now the same central banks that were fighting inflation were now fighting deflation. This fight was a mistake, he said, claiming that across Asia, price rises were exceeding income gains.
"It's possible that suddenly inflationary pressures will be there, that central banks should then act but they cannot because the system is so overleveraged," he said.
At the same time, Faber noted that the low and negative interest rates globally were hurting pension funds.