Countdown to 21.12.2012. It is called the end of time; the end of the world, a.k.a. the end of Mayan Long Count. Whether you call it that or just the apocalypse, some say that all of us have less than two years to live. That’s when the Mayan calendar runs out.
I don’t give a whole lot of weight to the Mayans and their calendar, even if they did build a great empire. If they really had a crystal ball you would think they would have been forewarned that the Spaniards were bringing smallpox to the Yucatán in the 16th Century and they wouldn’t have let themselves be enslaved to relatively few soldiers wearing funny hats and riding strange animals.
Still, there are books out there, along with text and video on the Internet, that claim we are counting down towards destruction worse than Noah faced.
I don’t know much about the Mayans or how good they or other ancients were at prophesying the future. But after almost 30 years in the business, I know a thing or two about publishing. Frankly, doom sells. After I worked as a reporter in Calgary for a year I came to work for my dad’s newsletter in 1980. I was, as he said, a dumb college kid and ill prepared to be a contributing writer to his newsletter. So I started off reading everything that came into my office. That included almost every newsletter that was published at that time.
One of those publications was The Granville Letter, written by Joe Granville, who knew my dad. Granville had a huge following at the time. In January of 1981, he had become extremely bearish. His office made 3,000 phone calls to clients urging them to sell everything. Granville didn’t make this prediction because he foresaw the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates or a sneak attack by some foreign power. Instead, he said the Dow Jones Industrial Average was going to collapse because California was going to be struck by an earthquake measuring 8.3 Richter in Los Angeles in May.
Here is the really interesting part. Some people actually believed his prediction. You don’t have to take my word for it, just Google, “Joe Granville earthquake.”
On the day of Granville’s dire forecast the Dow Industrials actually fell 24 points, or almost 3 percent, in what was then the heaviest volume in the history of the New York Stock Exchange. As it turned out, Granville had it dead wrong, and not just about the earthquake. Eight months following his prediction the Dow hit its final bottom and started an 18-year bull run which would take it from 777 to 11,750.
My doom and gloom research culminated 11 years ago this month when I was an editor for Mark Skousen’s newsletter, Forecasts & Strategies. I was reading what some others were predicting about Y2K and what they said would be the ensuing economic collapse. Over the years I have read much about coming calamities. I have even been accused of being a doomster myself. (For the record, I have never predicted an earthquake for L.A. or anyplace else, and I really don’t think the world is going to end on Dec. 21, 2012.)
I am not suggesting that you should become like Pollyanna. Like Bob Livingston, I too think we are in for some hard times. That is mostly what I write to you about. But as the clock is set to strike 2011 I thought: “How would we want to live if we thought the world was going to end in 2012?”
I don’t want to touch on pop culture, such as books like On the Beach, or movies like Armageddon, and speculate as to how society would act (probably not very well). Instead, I am interested in how you think you might act. I have a feeling it might make for some interesting New Year’s resolutions.
What Would You Invest In?
If you simply knew the world was going to end in December 2012, I have a feeling not many of you would be too worried about how your portfolio was doing. All the gold King Midas ever touched is not going to do much good in a little more than 100 weeks, and I don’t believe that the person with the most toys wins. So you wouldn’t have to buy any more gold. Finally! And you sure as heck wouldn’t be buying Treasury notes or bonds (although if you are buying them now you just might continue because you are probably crazy).
So there goes one of your biggest worries — investing — out the door.
What’s next? Living here in cold Canada, I can tell you that I might like a warm vacation; perhaps a trip to Las Vegas or someplace less glitzy. But if you are like me you probably wouldn’t want to travel much, unless it was to visit a loved one. I think I would stick close to home.
Of course you are going to still want money. It will be fun to buy things you can share. And you will feel a lot better spending it without as much worry or guilt.
I drive an older car I like, so I would probably just keep it. Perhaps larger vehicles might come in handy, but I don’t think I would get much enjoyment out of a fancy new Cadillac or Mercedes-Benz. I also think I might want to read more. I thought back to the last time I saw something really good on television and that was 21 years ago when I watched the mini-series Lonesome Dove. (Even though the world probably isn’t ending I recommend you rent it, but be sure to get the original co-starring Robert Duvall.)
I think reading would be comforting. I don’t believe I would delve into what the great philosophers had to say. I could hardly understand them when I was in college so I am quite certain I can’t now. It would be a relief not to have to read the next stupid thing politicians are doing. I would probably turn to the Bible. And I might like to read fact, and even some fiction, about family, friendships and sacrifice.
At the end, that is what it would come down to; the family and friends we care about and letting old grudges subside — that, as well as spending less time worrying about what is going to happen tomorrow. After all, we would know what’s going to happen; if not tomorrow, then at least in 700 tomorrows. Hopefully, that is enough time to come to peace with God, ourselves and the people we love. And I think that is a resolution worth making regardless of the future.
Yours For Many Happy New Years,
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report
P.S. Next week I will be back with my annual investment forecast column for the year ahead.