Friday, February 14, 2014

The Demographic Cliff

Harry Dent on a promotion tour of his book The Demographic Cliff: "He discovered that he could predict what he calls the “spending wave” according to people’s age. At that time the postwar baby boom generation were having children and reaching the peak of their lifetime spending – not just on mortgages, but nappies, food, school fees and all the other extras that come with raising children.
The problem comes as that large generation passes its spending peak – at 46 in the US and about 47 in Australia, the UK and other western countries – and starts planning for retirement. This is the crux of his pessimistic world view.
“For the first time in history, the generation following is smaller. I spotted this first with Japan in 1988-89 where their demographics were turning. Everyone thought the 90s would see Japan pass the US and become the biggest economy in the world, but it collapsed and has been in deflation ever since,” he explains.
“The same thing is now happening in the US and Europe, especially southern Europe. Everyone thinks that in the current crisis we are fighting a debt bubble but it’s not a temporary financial crisis, it’s a demographic crisis.""
" Dent says he will apologise if he’s proved wrong, which he acknowledges could happen if central banks revert to their printing presses rather than slowing monetary stimulus as many are now doing.
“If we don’t see something starting to crack soon, a 20-30% fall in the stock market, for example, I’ll apologise. Governments will have pulled it off again and kicked the can down the road."
P.S. He has some advice here, mainly for Americans. His track record Concept better than reality
P.P.S. According to Wikipedia "The basis of Dent's research is the highly predictable nature of consumer spending based on a family's formation pattern: minimal spending as young adults, increased spending while rearing children, peaking their spending as their children leave home, and then slowing spending during the last 15 years of working life (48-63) while saving more and preparing for retirement." and after that many of his predictions have been off.

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