Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Jim Rickards - The New Great Depression

I was privileged to get an advance copy of Jim Rickards new book  - The New Great Depression. Followers of Jim Rickards won't be surprised that this new book has the same high quality of in depth analysis that is a hallmark of Jim's previous books. As the title suggests, Jim takes a deep dive into the potential long term impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the economy. 

Jim takes on this topic with no partisan political agenda which is what makes his analysis valuable to me. A search for the best information without regard to any political agenda is what is needed and Jim delivers that in this book in my view.

While the book delves into the economic impact of both the pandemic and the response to the pandemic, readers may be surprised at the amount of time Jim devotes to the virus itself. Like most people who have followed this pandemic since it showed up on the radar in early 2020, I have seen lots of "experts" offering a wide variety of information and recommendations on how we should deal with this virus. Along with that has come some contradictions and confusion as we discovered the "experts" don't always agree.

This book has the best collection of both pure information on the actual virus as well as a summary of the various "expert" theories about it I have seen so far. Putting all this information together in one book is a valuable service to anyone who wants to understand this virus and the related pandemic. Since it is possible that your life could be at stake some day during this pandemic, knowing as much as possible about the actual virus is a goal everyone should have.

Below I have listed the six Chapter Titles in the book and the Conclusion. For each chapter I listed some of the key questions Jim answers with the best information he had at the time of the writing of this book. This should give you a feel for what is covered and how it might be beneficial to your own understanding of this virus and all the related impacts we will see from it in the years to come, both medical and economic.

          The New Great Depression


Chapter One - A New Virus From China to a Town Near You

What is the Coronavirus? 

What do we actually know about it? 

What is still unknown about it?

How did the Coronavirus actually get started? 

What responsibility does China bear related to this global pandemic?

Chapter Two - One Hundred Days - Chronicle of a Lockdown

The lockdown response to the virus:

The correct response?    or

One of the greatest blunders in economic history?

Chapter Three - The New Great Depression

What is a depression?

Did the pandemic and lockdown response start a new depression?

If so, how long might it last?

Chapter Four - Debt and Deflation Derail Recovery

Is the biggest challenge for the Fed going forward inflation or deflation?

Does the Fed prefer inflation or deflation?

Is money printing stimulus?

Is MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) already the unofficial US monetary policy?

Chapter Five - Civilization's Thin Veneer

What are the psychological impacts on society from a global pandemic and the related economic fallout?

What are two kinds of mental health damage potentially caused by COVID-19?

How long can an orderly society be maintained during periods of prolonged severe distress?

Chapter Six - Investing in a Post Pandemic World

How can the average person outperform the markets?

What portfolio is best right now to hedge against both deflation and inflation?

What asset offers the most flexibility in this uncertain pandemic and post pandemic environment?


Which two Presidents attempted to use gold to deal with economic problems?

Which of the two used gold more successfully?


Added comments: In this book, Jim lays out three possible paths forward the virus might take based on similar pandemic events from the past. It is important to understand the worst case scenario in case that one does unfold (for both medical and economic reasons). We all hope we do not get the worst case scenario and that vaccines will reduce the impact of this virus as much as possible. But even a vaccine that is effective against the current version of the virus does not mean we are out of the woods. This is why I feel it is important for everyone to learn as much about this virus as possible. We are all impacted in one way or another and will have to make important decisions going forward on how to deal with it.

Note to readers: Unless something very dramatic happens that could actually change the present monetary system in a significant way, I do not have any further posts planned for the blog going forward at this time since I do not foresee any such events on the near term horizon.

Added note 1-20-2021; Now that a new Administration is in office, a question may arise as to whether we will see any significant change in our monetary system as a result? At this time my answer would be no -- so there is no need for further analysis or articles at this time. Only if something truly significant arose that would impact everyone directly in their daily lives would I see any reason to cover it here. At this time, I see nothing along those lines on the near term horizon. The most likely scenario is simply a continuation of the same system we have now unless it cannot continue to function, as we have said here many times. The most intense part of the US political drama has past now and nothing about all that suggests any major changes in the system are coming soon.

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