The Second Great Depression: Starting 2007, Ending 2020
March 18, 2006
The Second Great Depression is a frightening book. It shows how massive consumer debt will trigger the next depression, starting about the year 2007. Most of the logic used to support this premise is based on the government's own published data.
The exuberance resulting from the overheated stock market of the 90s caused consumers to stop saving and go into debt. Then, the dramatic drop in mortgage rates enabled people to refinance their homes and go even further into debt. People are no longer living on what they can afford; instead they are living the lifestyle they think they deserve, costs be damned!
With interest rates increasing, savings rates near zero, and debt at its maximum; many people will be pushed over their debt limit, having homes foreclosed by the banks or going into bankruptcy. Others will heed the warnings and reduce spending, causing a dramatic slowing of the economy.
Other problems related to the economy, such as balance of payments and deficits, are discussed. But it is consumer debt that will trigger the depression.
Even during a depression, people will need to save for their future. To survive this depression, savings should be in Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, and the stock market should be reentered only after it drops 73% from its 2004 level. Included charts show required savings for retirement. These charts give different options as to the number of years before retirement, expected pension, and the amount of existing savings.
In this depression, the United States will be brought to its knees. But not unlike the mythical bird Phoenix that dies in flames and is then reborn out of its own ashes, the United States will also be reborn. However, it will be a poorer and less arrogant country that emerges from its own ashes.
About Warren Brussee
Warren Brussee spent 33 years at GE as an engineer, plant manager, and engineering manager. He earned his engineering degree at Cleveland State University and attended Kent State towards his EMBA. The author has written two other books, Statistics for SIX SIGMA Made Easy and All About Six Sigma.