Memories always fade with time, sometimes vanishing just when we need them the most. The 2008 financial crisis is quickly slipping the minds of investors as the stock market continues to break records. Former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, however, has not forgotten, and he is now warning of a looming crisis.
Last week, Mr. Geithner told CNBC that “a financial crisis will happen again at some point.” He feels that while the financial reforms enacted after the 2008 crash might help to “mitigate” some of the disaster, they are not enough to prevent it from happening altogether.
Geithner also believes that should this crisis occur the Federal Reserve and the government would need to once again play a big role in stopping the bleeding. He said, “The only way to protect the people from the effects of classic panics is to have the central bank and the government step in and take risks the market can’t take.”
So Geithner believes that when this financial disaster strikes, that the Fed should step in and create new money to boost the economy like they did before. Nobody, however, is able to predict what would happen with inflation should this crisis occur before the economy is fully recovered from the last crash. Even Geithner admits that the United States is “lucky” to have avoided a hyperinflation situation like the one that struck Greece. Hopefully taking the same approach next time will not be pushing the envelope.
Also, Geithner is not the only one sounding the warning bell. Former presidential candidate Ron Paul has been outspoken about his fear of the “dollar bubble” and the financial disaster this could cause. Paul sees a world “awash in easy money” and that all the economic stimulus is doing is pushing out the timeline of disaster. Paul even points specifically at the Federal Reserve’s plan to raise interest rates later this year as the potential catalyst for another crash.
In addition to Geithner and Paul, the Jerome Levy Forecasting Center (named for the legendary economist who predicted the 1929 market crash), strongly believes that a new crisis will strike in 2015. Chairman David Levy said in a recent forecast report, “Clearly the direction of most of the recent global economic news suggests movement toward a 2015 downturn.”
Investors can be prepared for a future crisis and potential inflation by hedging their portfolios with precious metal investments like physical gold and silver. Noted analyst Jim Cramer suggests that any portfolio should be comprised of physical gold. Gold tends to increase during times of inflation, market downturns, decreases in the value of the dollar, and global tensions.
Not all analysts are as doom-and-gloom as Geithner and friends, but there does seem to be a consensus that a market correction is not a matter of if, but when.