James Rickards: US 'Heading for Another Recession Soon'

Friday, 27 Dec 2013 07:23 AM

By Dan Weil

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While many experts were encouraged by the 4.1 percent economic growth reported for the third quarter, James Rickards, portfolio manager for the West Shore Real Asset Income Fund, wasn't one of them.

"There is good reason to believe that the economy is heading for another recession soon, rather than the more robust growth economists keep predicting," he writes in The Darien (Connecticut) Times.

"More than 50 million Americans are on food stamps, 26 million Americans are either unemployed, underemployed or have given up looking for work, 11 million Americans are claiming disability payments — effectively a new form of unemployment insurance — and labor force participation is at the lowest level since 1978."

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At 54 months, this recovery has now lasted almost as long as the 57-month post-World War II average, Rickards notes.

What's really happening is that we're still in a depression, Rickards explains. "The best way to make sense of this anemic recovery is to understand that it is not a normal business cycle recovery at all, but the continuation of an economic state more properly defined as a depression," he writes.

"In watching the stock markets, investors should be aware that they are witnessing another bubble in the making. Enjoy it while it lasts, because it will end badly. Early-to-mid 2014 may be good time to take profits, stay liquid and adopt a more defensive posture."

But many economists sounded a note of optimism after last week's news of the 4.1 percent third-quarter growth.

"The underlying momentum in economic activity shifted up a gear in the third quarter," Millan Mulraine, deputy chief U.S. economist at TD Securities, tells Reuters.

"The strength in domestic consumption and investment activity points to a more constructive narrative on growth than previously thought."

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