Economist Reveals How to Turn Political and Financial Upheaval to Your Advantage

Economist and bestselling author Harry S. Dent, Jr. joined Glenn on radio Thursday morning to discuss his new book, Zero Hour: Turn the Greatest Political and Financial Upheaval in Modern History to Your Advantage.

Listen to the interview above or read the transcript below. Here's the teaser for his latest book:

About the Author

Harry S. Dent, Jr. studied economics at Harvard in the ‘70s, but found it vague and inconclusive. He became so disillusioned by the state of his chosen profession that he turned his back on it. Instead, he threw himself into the burgeoning new science of finance where identifying and studying demographic, technological, consumer and other trends empowered him to forecast economic changes. He is a lecturer, bestselling author and founder of Dent Research, which publishes several influential financial newsletters.

GLENN: All right. I've got somebody that's going to scare the hell out of you.

STU: Wow. I can't wait.

GLENN: Yeah. Yeah. Kids will mess with the environment. Actually we're looking at priorities. Harry Dent is the author of a new book Zero Hour, which I've read. And it will scare the hell out of you. Scare the hell out of you. Because it has a lot of charts and graphs and everything else.

Harry has been on with us many times. He's the guy that predicted the 2008 struggle and what we're going through right now. This is a book on how to turn the greatest political and financial upheaval in modern history to your advantage. Harry Dent Jr. is with us now. Hello, Harry, how are you?

HARRY: Oh, hi, Glenn, good to be back.

GLENN: So, Harry, I know you have a lot of charts and graphs, but I have a lot of questions that I think you're going to be able to actually answer for me.

There is a story that I saw on Business Insider and a couple of other places today, that the stocks are flashing ominous signals. Not seen since the financial crisis. And one of them is the -- Stu, help me out. The Hindenburg omen. And the other is the Titanic Syndrome. A, do you find any credibility in either of those, and what do they mean if you do?

HARRY: The Hindenburg, yes, I do track that. And there have been many, many more signals on that. Much more than usual. That is not a guarantee of a crash. The more important thing I've been looking for, Glenn, because you know I've been talking that this bubble is going to burst at some point. It's going to burst violently when it does. It's the only way it happens in history. The Dow transports are tanking while the Dow Industrials keep edging up. That is a big diversion, and the small --

GLENN: Wait. What does -- what does that mean to the average person? Explain that.

HARRY: Well, it means -- okay. If the industrials are going up, it means, okay. We're still producing stuff. But the transport is not going up. Yeah, but we're not distributing them. People aren't buying it.

And when the small caps go down, in which they've down recently. They're down 4 to 5 percent, with the Dow up. It says, hey, the smart money, who buys small caps because it takes more sophistication, they're getting out of the market, while the everyday person, which buys Apple and GE and all the big names, that's what they know. They're piling -- those are the two diversions I've been looking for. They are starting to show warning signals.

You know, I take that more seriously than the Hindenburg. Because the Hindenburg can happen a lot and still not get a crash, although it's a sign it is more likely.

This is the biggest thing I look for. And this is starting to happen. I think we're in a topping process between October and December and January. And I think the thing, Glenn, that I warn people -- because everybody says, well, Harry, if this things going to burst, I'll just wait till there are signs and when my stockbroker tells me to get out. First of all, your stockbroker will never tell you to get out.

GLENN: Yeah.

HARRY: When bubbles crash, and I've averaged every major bubble in the last century -- the first crash tends to be 41 percent in two and a half months, so it's too late when that happens. Better to get out a little early and be cautious. So I think these warning signs are saying that we are getting close. If you look at the chart -- I mean, this is just like -- we said in November, as soon as Trump got elected against the odds -- and, of course, we were warning that was likely because of this populist movement we were seeing happen. We said, hey, we're going to have another 20, 25 percent rally.

Even though I had been talking about -- this market says, it is going up. It is expecting a big tax cut, but we've seen that rally. And it has been 20 to 25 percent since then. So I think this is -- we're getting very near atop. And when this thing goes and people say, oh, governments won't let this happen. Governments create the damn bubble. You know, they created the roaring 20 bubble. And then the Great Depression.

The fed was created in 1913. And then 20 to 30 years later, you get the Roaring Twenties and the greatest depression of all time, because they boosted up the economy artificially, by cutting rates, cutting rates. Making money cheap. Free money always creates bubbles. Well, that's what they've done here. So for somebody to say, oh, the central banks, the federal reserve won't let this market crack, they're the ones that have created this extreme thing. Stressed the market so far. And when they go, it's like a rubber band, going to the extreme. I'm just telling people, I didn't create this bubble. Get out of the way.

GLENN: Okay. So, Harry, we've been warning about this for a long time. I thought we were not as resilient as we are.

I expected this thing to come crashing down just because of the money printing and the extraordinary levels of debt, which -- not just the government debt. But the debt that we have as Americans. Our credit card debt is, what? 119 billion. And -- and we're starting to default on those. And people have jobs now.

I expected this to go a lot earlier. Why do you think it's this time?

HARRY: Well, you know, it's hard to argue with $14 trillion of free money being created. It's hard to argue with mortgage rates that are 4 percent, when they ought to be 6 percent. Car loans are, you know, two to 3 percent, and they ought to be six to seven.

I mean, everybody is getting a free lunch here. And stocks are going up 20 percent a year, instead of the normal 7 percent adjusted for inflation. You know, everybody is getting a free lunch. You know, mortgage -- housing is going up 10 percent, instead of the 3 percent inflation. So everybody is getting a free lunch. And it makes everybody kind of high. I don't know a better way to say it. And people don't want to hear the bubble is going to burst. I get lambasted all the time. And I'm like, look, I'm just the messenger. I've studied history. Bubbles build. They're totally recognizable.

I have a whole bubble model that tells you how it's going to build, how much it's going to crash, how long it's going to take to crash. There's nothing black swan about these bubbles at all. It shouldn't be a surprise. People go into denial because they don't want it to end because everybody is getting something for nothing. So governments don't want it to end.

GLENN: So you put -- the reason why your book I think is accurate on at least diagnosing the problems is you have several chapters on -- on revolution. And the world is going into revolution.

HARRY: Yeah.

GLENN: Most people are not -- they're absolutely denying what is happening. Even the Trump thing was a revolution. And it has just begun. It's only going to get worse. Tell me -- give me the highlights of your take on what's happening globally.

HARRY: Well, you know, I had been talking about for a long time, yeah, we're going to have a crisis financially just because we've got bubbles and debt bubbles. And these things are totally predictable. But I've also been saying we have a 250-year revolution coming. The biggest thing to happen in all of modern history was when Sally met Harry. Free market capitalism met democracy, in the late 1700s.

I mean, that's the biggest thing that's happened ever. And this is going to happen again. And the reason I pushed this book. And this book focuses more on the political side of what I'm talking about, is because I've been waiting for signs. It was Brexit. And it was the surprise Trump election. That told me, okay. The political side of this is starting to happen. And this is going to take decades. We've got a backlash against globalization. The special interests have total taken over democracy. Central banks have totally taken over free market. We're destroying the golden goose that made us rich in the first place, since the late 1700s. And all of modern progress has come since those two things came together. This is going to be that big or bigger. And this is going to go down in history. And people aren't going to realize it until later. We're telling you now. This is going to happen. It's going to be unsettling. It's going to change a lot of things.

You know, we really need a bottoms-up economy. Get out of all this top-down management. All this social and financial engineering, where economists try to create La La Land, with three or four percent growth and two percent inflation, which is the worst thing you can do for the economy. You have no innovation when that happens. Japan has had no innovation for 30 years. No growth for 30 years. Because they've been living off of quantitative easing.

GLENN: But, Harry, you and I know that, a lot of this audience knows that, but that is not where the world is headed. They are -- trust me, even Donald Trump, we go through a Great Depression, and Donald Trump will be FDR. He will.

He will not cut it back. He will become the great state that will take care of everyone. And if he won't do it, there will be somebody there to promise it. Socialism is popular now.

HARRY: It is. And we've been living on more than that for now nine years, with all this quantitative easing and free money.

The problem, Glenn, is this, governments created this. Central banks created this bubble, extended it, took it to extremes. And when it burst, it is going to be out of control. It is going to be impossible to stop. And they're going to lose credibility. My theory is central banks, of course they're going to want to -- they're going to want to do ten times the quantitative easing. It's just people are going to say, hey, you already did that, and it failed. Why would we believe you this time?

I think governments are going to lose credibility. I think central banks are going to lose credibility. And that's a good thing. That's -- that's the revolution, when people say, cut off their heads. We don't want anymore of this baloney.

GLENN: We're going to get into the he says there's six triggers. And then there's some safe havens for you. We'll get into that here in just a second. Harry Dent Jr. the name of the book is Zero Hour.

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