A friend of mine heard Marc Faber give a presentation in Dallas today. I asked him to give me his main takeaway and he was kind enough to write some detail. Below is the email he sent and said I could reproduce. (As a side note it is important to note Marc is a bear. I think that is always important in sense of context by which to digest individuals opinions)
The email below:
His main takeaway is the global boom has been driven by U.S. consumption + resi construction driven by lax monetary policy. Thinks consumption goes from ~70% of GDP back to mid 60s like it was in the early 90s (it was low 60s in early 70s).
He thinks this is all beginning to reverse to the detriment of global growth. He really poo pooed the decoupling argument. He pointed out that all past boom cycles had been limited to specific sectors, where as this boom has been global and virtually all-encompassing. Also showed lots of charts/stats on growing trade interdependence.
However, longer-term he thinks we are in the very early stages of the commodity boom. Spent a lot of time discussing inflation, the lack of new capacity, emerging market consumption, etc. He opined that the U.S. has been in recession since late October if inflation is correctly measured.
Also spent a fair amount of time discussing the strategic implications of the boom. Discussions regarding the multi-century dominance of the Western/developed countries that is beginning to reverse. Also pointed to the increasing rise of global conflict from this and over commodities.
Real interesting stuff.
One interesting stat I thought I'd share with you as you mentioned it this week. He showed a long list of commodities and noted that China was #1 or #2 consumer of all. Only one item was not #1 or #2 and it was beef - #4.
Oh, he also echoed your comments on Japan. Said that at all the conferences he attends no one goes to the Japan presentations.
Also was bullish on rising consumption in emerging markets - noted healthcare and real estate as way to play.
Very bearish on anglo-saxon real estate, pointing out UK, Australia, and New Zealand.