The world's economy is in tatters and safe havens are few and far between, says legendary contrarian Marc Faber. The banking crisis in Cyprus has shown that even bank deposits are not safe. The publisher of the Doom, Boom and Gloom newsletter, surveying the world from his perch in Hong Kong, discusses the impact of unemployment in Europe, the economic slowdown in China, asset bubbles and the turnaround prospects for precious metals miners. Faber also reveals his investment strategy for these volatile times in this interview with The Gold Report. The Gold Report: Marc, I recently interviewed James Turk who said that Europe is in a banking crisis, but that some countries are in worse shape than others. Are things on the continent as bad as they seem to be from the headlines in the U.S.?
Marc Faber: Unemployment is high in both Europe and the U.S., particularly for young people. One reason for the high unemployment rate is that it is very difficult to find highly specialized workers for industry. Perhaps that's due to more university students studying non-user-friendly subjects, such as philosophy. The Western world is lacking in well-trained workers who can handle industrial machines that cost $10–20 million ($10–20M). But if I need a clerical assistant for financial services, I can find hundreds and hundreds of applicants.
Swiss-born Marc Faber, who at age 24 earned his Ph.D. in economics ...