HM The Queen famously asked 'Did no one see it coming?' when referring to the shambles banks made out of the world economy. The answer is surprisingly, yes, there was at least someone who did predict the economic abyss. Cassandras are ignored, and so was this book. Robert Beckman’s Downwave was published by Milestone Publications in 1983. It has two telling subtitles: Surviving the Second Great Depression, and Everything All the Experts Would Tell You if Only They Dared.
If you are told that nobody could foresee the crisis the banks willfully visit upon us, then you are listening to a liar. That person is either unable to read or just plain wrong and that on purpose. Robert Beckman was an American investment analyst living in London in the 1980s. In his book written and published in 1983, he described a hellish scenario of collapsing banks and countries going bankrupt. He based his assertions on the thesis that the housing market would collapse due to overheating; he understood the term housing market bubble, a thing the British government is currently trying to recreate with a stupid government scheme.
The thesis is not new: Russian economist Nikolai Kondratiev had done his extensive studies in the 1920s, prior to the Great Depression of 1929. He came to the conclusion that an economic life-cycle (from rock-bottom to peak and back) would run over a period of about 60 years. Based on Nikolai Kondratiev's writings, Robert Beckman deduced that such a cycle would most probably end (at rock-bottom) at a date at the end of the 1980s.
Did Robert Beckman miscalculate or was Nikolai Kondratiev's thesis wrong? They both were right as the crash of 1987 showed. What both Nikolai Kondratiev and Robert Beckman couldn't expect was that stupid governments all over the world would start printing funny money to stop the crash from happening. Nikolai Kondratiev had optimistically surmised that governments would have learnt their lesson from the mistakes during the Great War 1914 to 1918. Robert Beckman was expecting that they had learned something from both World Wars. They were overestimating the intelligence of government officials by miles.
Governments only attract the lazy or the stupid, everyone else is either too decent or too occupied with earning money legally to bother. Governments are also limited in time and barely manage to think from one election to the next; the time in between they spend lining their own pockets. Expecting stupid, lazy, and insincere people to learn anything is too optimistic. Accordingly, idiot governments have kept printing presses running on overtime since 1992; and far from slowing them down, they are accelerating them every year.
Since 1987, spineless governments have exhorted taxpayers and companies alike to spend money they didn't have. This led to expensive take-overs in company culture (on borrowed money) and created multinational companies that have become uncontrollable and unmanageable; and while the quality of goods these companies offer has steadily declined, their tax evasion tactics have improved. Taxpayers on the other hand built their lives on more borrowed money to finance bad houses, bad furniture, bad cars and a lot of useless trash they never needed. If short on cash, increase the mortgage on your shack reclassified premium home; my home is my castle was quickly replaced by my home is my cash-cow.
Robert Beckman had been spot on with the timing of the collapse. The unforeseen cash printing frenzy was fed by two major players: A second rate failed Hollywood actor who posed as President of the United States, and a hapless housewife working part-time as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. It was their ill fated decision to reintroduce Victorian standards into economics (that is like getting street crime down by going back to bow and arrow). Without those two brainless mops of hair, the depression would be over.
If you want an ever gloomier forecast, I recommend an article from 2005 referring to this book as well: Alphabet of global downturn by Jim Mellon.