Wasn't there a round of prognostications 35 years ago that America was already in major decline and within 50 years would no longer be an economic superpower–Japan would displace the US as it merrily purchased every US asset in sight and ran roughshod over the US auto industry. I recall the reports of how great Japanese steel mills were–"they keep those mills so clean you can eat off of the floor." Then we had Carter's "American malaise" speech. America was supposed to be–or shortly be–done. Then the 1980s happened. With apologies to Mark Twain, reports of the decline of the US are greatly exaggerated.

Stefan, you know this history better than I do. Thoughts?

ART CASHIN: "If America Is Anything Like History's Great Civilizations, Then This Is The Beginning Of The End"

Stefan Jovanovich replies: 

The Art Cashin piece reminded me of Macpherson. The 18th century in Anglo-American culture was, like our present time, a great age for fraud.

As David wisely notes, predictions of the Decline and Fall of the West are usually very timely indicators for putting all of one's chips on Equities. Carter made his speech in 1980; Spengler's masterwork of petulance was published in English in late 1919, with the second volume appearing in 1922.


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