Doug Casey and I recently chatted about Trump and what his presidency means for the stock market. We also hit on the War on Cash, bitcoin, and a big third-world problem that's headed straight for the US.
Nick Giambruno: Doug, what do you think is the root problem of the US economy and financial system?
Doug Casey: There are several, including incompetence, corruption and, of course, just plain stupidity. But there's not much you can do about those things; they're intrinsic to the government. But perhaps something can be done about ignorance, which starts in school: What, for instance, do most people learn about economics and finance? Very little. As Mark Twain said, "It's not what people know that's the problem, it's what they think they know that just ain't so."
All of the economics that's taught in the schools—what little that is taught—is completely backward. Plus, almost everything you hear on television is conventional, unsound, and wrong.
I'd like to believe anybody that's reading this right now that has at least heard of the "Austrian school of economics," understands the value of gold, and knows a bit of basic economic theory and history. Without at least some fundamentals, people stand to suffer a huge drop in their standard of living if the economy goes sideways.
When the current financial crisis started, in 2007, it was the leading edge of the huge financial hurricane that hit in earnest in 2008 and 2009. Now we're in the eye of this hurricane, but we're going to the trailing edge of the storm, and it's going to be much worse and much different than what happened in '08 and '09. Or, for that matter, in the 1930s. So hold onto your hat.
Nick Giambruno: Can President Trump fix this mess?
Doug Casey: Everybody is talking about Donald Trump. He's a complex individual. I actually made money bets that he would win the election. But that's not the only reason I'm glad he won.
Is Trump a good thing or a bad thing? They say, "Oh he's a racist." "Oh, he's a sexist." "Oh, he's a homophobe." "Oh, he hates Muslims." Frankly, we should analyze those things, but I think they're basically all lies. In fact, he's just a businessman, flying by the seat of his pants. He doesn't have a core philosophy.
What's going on in the US now is a culture clash. The people that live in the so-called "red counties" that voted for Trump—which is the vast majority of the geographical area of the US, flyover country—are aligned against the people that live in the blue counties, the coasts, and big cities.