Published: Monday, 2 Apr 2012 | 8:12 AM ET
By: Jeff Cox
CNBC.com Senior Writer
Runaway government debts have triggered uncontrolled money printing that in turn will lead to inflation that will decimate portfolios, according to the latest forecast from “Dr. Doom” Marc Faber.
Investors, particularly those in the “well-to-do” category, could lose about half their total wealth in the next few years as the consequences pile up from global government debt problems, Faber, the author of the Gloom Boom & Doom Report, said on CNBC.
Efforts to stem the debt problems have seen the Federal Reserve expand its balance sheet to nearly $3 trillion and other central banks implement aggressive liquidity programs as well, which Faber sees producing devastating inflation as well as other consequences.
“Somewhere down the line we will have a massive wealth destruction that usually happens either through very high inflation or through social unrest or through war or credit market collapse,” he said. “Maybe all of it will happen, but at different times.”
Noted for his pessimistic forecasts and gold advocacy, Faber nonetheless lately has been telling investors that stocks are a good choice as central bank policies pump up asset prices.
He reiterated both his commitment to stocks and gold, but said investors also can find value in other hard assets, particularly in distressed properties in the U.S. South.
“InGeorgia, inArizona, inFloridatheir property values will not collapse much more and will stabilize, so I think to own some land and some property, not necessarily in the financial centers but in the secondary cities, these are desirable investments relatively speaking,” Faber said.
As for stocks, Faber said Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s policies will be friendly toward equity investors, at least for now.
The stock market is in the middle of an aggressive bull run that has seen the major indexes rise more than 25 percent from their October lows.
“I think that people should own some gold and I think that people should own some equities, because before the collapse will happen, with Mr. Bernanke at the Fed, they’re going to print money and print and print and print,” he said. “So what you can get is a bad economy with rising equity prices.”
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