Faber: Brace for a Global 'Reboot' and a War

A third round of quantitative easing in the US and more money printing is only postponing a crisis that is eventually going to come, according to expert Mark Faber. He also added that buying Treasuries as a safe haven are no longer smart.

By: Peter Guest
Staff Writer, CNBC.com
Published: Friday, 5 Aug 2011
CNBC

Markets could rebound after Thursday's global market sell-off, but investors should see any bounce as a selling opportunity, as the world economy rolls towards total collapse, Mark Faber, editor and publisher of the Boom, Doom and Gloom Report, told CNBC Friday.

A mooted third round of quantitative easing (QE3) in the U.S. and more money printing elsewhere is merely deferring a crisis that will be bigger and could end in war, Faber said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its worst losses in three years Thursday, shedding more than 500 points.

"My view is that the market has experienced everywhere huge technical damage," Faber said. "As of today, all markets are extremely oversold, so a rebound is going to happen (Friday) or on Monday, but the damage technically is so great that the rebound, no matter whether QE3 happens right here, it's unlikely to lift markets above the May 2 high of the (S&P 500) at 1370."

Faber thinks that by the end of the fall, the S&P 500 will have slid to around 1150, and investors will be hoping that further round of monetary easing will stabilize markets.

"In general, I would be using rebounds as a selling opportunity," Faber said.

Buying Treasurys as a safe haven is no longer a smart play, he added.

"I think Treasurys are perceived still as a safe haven because everybody knows the U.S. has an endless ability to print money. The interest will be paid," he said. "The trouble is that governments can default in two ways. Either they just stop paying the interest and there is a debt restructuring, like Argentina went through; or they just pay the interest and the principle eventually, in a worthless currency. That's the way the U.S. will likely do it."

Gold and silver have been overbought, and may see a correction in the coming weeks, but Faber believes that should be seen as a buying opportunity as investors begin to shun paper assets.

"Gold miners are hit very hard and the gold price went up. People don't trust paper anymore. That is one of the problems," he said.

However, temporary upturns and the artificial boost to markets given by printing money only disguise the coming threat to the world economy, Faber warned.

"You have a computer. Occasionally the computer will crash and you have to reboot it. That will happen to the global economy. Before this happens there will be much more money printing because basically the central banks are willing to do that," he said. "By printing money, problems are not solved, but they can be postponed, and they become larger. It's like the recession in 2001. Had there not been massive money printing, it would have been steeper than what we had, but equally, we would have avoided probably the financial crash in 2008."

The next crisis will be far bigger, according to Faber.

"The next time we have a global economic crisis, it will be much worse than 2008. Before this happens there will be money printing and there will be war. The whole system will collapse," he said. "That's why I'm advising people that they have to think it through. In a total collapse you don't want to own government bonds and cash."

He added: "Equities—they don't perform well, but at least you have the ownership of companies. Precious metals in that environment do relatively well. And of course, oil would do well if there was a war."

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