In his 2017 book, “Zero Hour: Turn the Greatest Political and Financial Upheaval in Modern History to Your Advantage,” Harry Dent forecast a catastrophic economic crash would hit us no later than early-2020.
Dent saw the developed world arriving at the pointy-end of a long and unsustainable period of technological progress and growth, which was destined to implode in the greatest bubble burst of modern history. In a feeble attempt to thwart the resulting downturn, and in an expression of gross monetary manipulation central banks would respond by printing more money.
This post is part of CoinDesk’s 2020 Year in Review – a collection of op-eds, essays and interviews about the year in crypto and beyond. Leah Callon-Butler, a CoinDesk columnist, is the director of Emfarsis, a consulting firm focused on the role of technology in advancing economic development in Asia.
Then, amid rising geopolitical tensions and regional trade wars, domestic melting pots would finally boil over as citizens from incongruous cultures, religions and income groups railed against the establishment in a backlash against intensifying globalisation. In 2017, he pointed to Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president, Brexit and Black Lives Matter, and predicted “the greatest revolution and financial crisis since the late 1700s.”
Harry Dent, who is 67, has built a career on such bold predictions. His books have titles like “The Great Crash Ahead” (2011), “The Great Depression Ahead” (2009) and “The Next Great Bubble Boom” (2006). The son of a political strategist, Dent created an investment and newsletter empire in Tampa. But recently he has decamped to Puerto Rico, where he mixes with several members of the island’s crypto community.
“At least it’s dealing with its crisis rather than printing money to cover the problems,” wrote Harry about his decision to set roots in Puerto Rico.
The debt-ridden Caribbean island is known for its favorable tax incentives. Around 2018 it began to attract some high-profile blockchain entrepreneurs and investors who set their sights on building the local scene. Harry’s rhetoric was in alignment with the core philosophies of Puerto Rico’s burgeoning crypto community and his new neighbor, investor and PR man Michael Terpin, invited him to deliver a keynote on the future of money at his investing conference, CoinAgenda Caribbean.
That’s where I met Harry and where he gifted me a signed copy of his new book, “Zero Hour.” Had I read it back then, in May 2018, I might have dismissed most of his bizarre predictions as hyperbole. But I didn’t get around to it until March 2020, after the coronavirus lockdown had kicked in and suddenly I had all this free time on my hands. Reading it as the global crisis was unfolding and the economic outlook turned bleak it felt like Harry was…