Reviewed by Sarah Ell
The economic good times have rolled on for so long now, it’s hard to believe they won’t go on forever. But those with longer memories, and the ability to spot cycles and patterns throughout history, are warning us that the party might just about be over.
Among these party-poopers is American Harry S. Dent Jr., who has joined forces with British analyst Andrew Pancholi to write Zero Hour. Dent and Pancholi’s book looks at a series of economic, social, and geopolitical cycles, which they propose will converge to create an economic ‘winter season’ from the early 2020s.
They see the Brexit vote and the election of President Donald Trump as the beginnings of a new age of revolution, one that will combine with the 84-year populist movement and 28-year financial crisis cycles, to produce a financial crash and global upheaval such as the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The second part of the book looks at ‘the invisible, yet blatant, bubble’ in world share markets and real estate.
We’re implicated here: Dent has both good and bad news for New Zealanders and Australians. We’re politically stable, with a positive demographic for future growth, but he warns against our property price bubble, especially when buoyed by foreign investment; high levels of consumer debt and bank exposure.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Dent and Pancholi dedicate the third part of the book to ‘How to profit from the greatest revolution and financial crisis since the late 1700s’. They ask, ‘Will you be prepared to take advantage when the revolution comes, or will you go down with the rest?’
It’s pretty scary stuff, but fascinating too. Of course, dates and statistics can be selected and manipulated to match all sorts of theories, but no matter what you believe about our financial future, Zero Hour makes for compelling reading.
Written by Harry S. Dent Jr. and Andrew Pancholi
Published by Schwartz