You Can’t Lose Them All

Michael Ruppert came through town last May. Not familiar with him? Mr. Ruppert is a former Los Angeles police detective, who in 1996 famously confronted then-CIA Director John Deutch with allegations that the CIA was heavily involved in drug trafficking in the United States.

From there he became something of a prophet. He doesn’t claim any extraordinary powers to predict the future, but says his cold-eyed reading of available facts gives him insight into events he says are inevitable. A documentary about him, “Collapse,” was released in 2009.

Mr. Ruppert has been in the doom and gloom business for a long time now and given what’s happened in the past decade, any such merchant is going to look pretty smart. Just about any unhappy event, from terrorist attack to economic bust to environmental disaster has occurred. (All we seem to be missing is a lightning fast pandemic that kills a few million people – or at least turns them into zombies.)

So Mr. Ruppert brought his traveling lecture to town last spring. I missed the performance, but caught the newspaper article about it. (I’d link to it, but the Burlington Free Press is extraordinarily stingy with their online archives.) During his visit, Mr. Ruppert made five very specific predictions, which he said would be fulfilled by the end of 2010.

In my own act of prescience, I knew I’d be writing a post today, so I wrote Mr. Ruppert’s predictions down on today’s page of my desk calendar. Before I get to them, let me say it can’t be easy being Michael Ruppert. Like any entrepreneur who’s found a bit of success, your customer base will forget about you if you don’t bring new products to the marketplace and they’ll expect each successive product to be more “gee whiz” than the last. Steve Jobs is an example of someone who surfs that particular wave well.

First Prediction: By 31 December, the Dow Jones Industrial Average will be between 4,000-5,000. Mr. Ruppert was wrong. The DJIA opened today at 11,575, so he’s off by a minimum of 6,575 points, barring some wild trading in the next 30 hours.

Second Prediction: Many banks will fail. This is a bit squishy, since I don’t know who defines “many.” But let’s leave the definition to the Washington Post, which Tuesday reported that 2010 saw the highest number of bank failures since 1992. That’s good enough for me. Mr. Ruppert was right. (At this point you might be noticing Mr. Ruppert made five predictions, making a tie unlikely.)

Third Prediction: Oil will cost over $200 per barrel. Well, the price of oil has been rising quickly of late, but at $91 a barrel this morning, Mr. Ruppert is wrong. (The average price of a gallon on gas, BTW, is $3.05, up 44.5 cents from this week last year.)

Fourth Prediction: Gold will cost over $2,000 per ounce. Again, Mr. Ruppert has the trend right, but the prediction is wrong. Gold this morning is selling for $1,410 an ounce. Silver’s at $30.73 an ounce. These are close to record highs. Copper is going for $4.36 a pound, which is huge, so if you’re going to be away from home over the New Year’s holiday, ask the neighbors to keep an eye on your plumbing.

Fifth Prediction: The US and Iran will be at war. Well really, how would we know? I don’t think we’ve had a Constitutionally-declared war since WWII. Korea was a “police action” that is still formally unresolved, Vietnam was not a declared war nor were either of our two Iraqi escapades nor our-near decade in Afghanistan. Seymour Hersh has claimed for some time that US special forces are active in Iran and with all the nuclear stuff going on, who knows?

Bottom line: Times are tough, but they could be tougher. If you look for misery, you’re likely to find it. In the year ahead, I (susceptible to gloom merchant disease) will do my best to appreciate the good things while I can.

Happy New Year.

© Mark Floegel, 2010

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *