Have you ever wondered if our recession, the one we’re invariably in right now regardless of what the numbers may say, will become something worse – a Great Depression? Since I am not an economic scholar and wasn’t alive during the Great Depression, I’m not qualified to even have an opinion as to whether the economic woes of today will result in an economic collapse tomorrow. However, Ben Stein, now known most notably for his television and movie appearances and not as a White House lawyer and valedictorian of the graduating class of 1970 of Yale Law School, doesn’t think so. According to Stein, the reason we won’t go into a Great Depression is because the Fed is trying to stimulate the economy rather than stifle it. Back in the pre-Great Depression era and again in the 1970s and 1980s prior to the worst post-war recession, the Fed was trying to slow economic activity and thus overshot its mark.
So, what does Stein advise?
If you have a good, long time horizon, it’s time to buy European stocks, emerging markets, even our own market. But don’t let yourself get short of liquidity. If you have a few years of cash and bonds on hand, get some stock now while there’s blood in the streets. The good times will come back when you least expect them.