To this day, I wonder why Robert Prechter's book Conquer the Crash has not been more widely recognized. It described in advance much of what happened in the 2008 financial crisis.
Published in 2002, he provided detailed descriptions of then-future economic scenarios. They were detailed vs. general. Prechter was specific in a way that would prove right or wrong; there was no gray.
This is from the book:
There are five major conditions in place at many banks that pose a danger: (1) low liquidity levels, (2) dangerous exposure to leveraged derivatives, (3) the optimistic safety ratings of banks' debt investments, (4) the inflated values of the property that borrowers have put up as collateral on loans and (5) the substantial size of the mortgages that their clients hold compared both to those property values and to the clients' potential inability to pay under adverse circumstances. All of these conditions compound the risk to the banking system of deflation and depression.
Conquer the Crash, second edition, (p. 179)
That's just one excerpt about one topic in a 456-page text. Perhaps you see why I believe the book deserves more credit. Yet even that one paragraph from the book turned out to be a virtual mirror of what came to pass. And much of what he predicted is unfolding today: the JPMorgan trading fiasco, massive withdrawals at Greek banks, downgrades of Italian and Spanish banks and much more. Those are just a few headlines.
The broader point is that Conquer the Crash prepared its readers. Around the time the book's second edition published in 2009, the Chicago Sun-Times remarked
Reading this book today, it seems as if Prechter had a crystal ball. That's why his current view of the market is so compelling...He says the 'credit implosion' is not finished.
And the credit implosion is still not over. Please take a look at the chart:
In the Conquer the Crash quote in the first part of this article, you'll notice the last three words are "deflation and depression."
The world has yet to completely pass through these economic valleys.
Our job is to provide you with insights into where we stand now and give you useable ideas of how to position yourself for the rest of the forecast in Conquer the Crash. Our goal is to make you fully aware of what we see coming.