‘futurist’ foresees rough times

'futurist' foresees rough timesfrom record online: A crashing stock market, a plunging U.S. dollar and tumbling corporate giants are among the predictions of a self-proclaimed “futurist” who says 2008 will hit this country with the economic equivalent of 9/11.

Gerald Celente, founder and director of the Trends Research Institute in Rhinebeck, claims to accurately forecast economic and business trends. If he’s right, the forecast is gloomy.

“It’s going to be a terrible year,” Celente said. “People better grow up and be adults about it.”

Celente, who holds an bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s degree in public administration, says signs of economic doom are everywhere, but nobody’s paying attention.

Chief among his worries is that the U.S. is “selling off our most valuable assets – finance and banking.”

He cites recent reports in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times that Citigroup Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co. are shoring up their cash reserves with billions of dollars from China, Singapore and Middle East governments.

“The U.S., the champion of capitalism, is being eaten up by the Chinese and Arabs,” he said, adding that media outlets are populated with “morons.”

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