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Prudent Bear's Tice Says the Plunge Is Coming

Global warming must be affecting the stock market as well. It isn't just polar bears that are in trouble. Bears of any kind are being wiped out left and right, and they're nearly extinct.

Someone call the World Wildlife Fund.

One of the few bears left in the wild is the so-called (symbol)Prudent Bear (BEARX) -- which, if my schoolboy Latin is correct, might also be known as Ursa Prudens.

It's been more than 10 years since Dallas-based investment manager David Tice launched this mutual fund to hoard gold, short the market and prepare ordinary investors for the coming economic Armageddon.

We spoke last week, just after the Dow topped 13,000.

"That's really irrelevant," Tice says of the landmark. "It's just a number." Does the market's seemingly inexorable rise shake his conviction that it's going to collapse? "It's been quite a rally," he acknowledged. "But it doesn't dissuade us in our opinion. We've never been more confident."

The Dow, he predicts, will fall "at least 50%" from these levels, and he says the market is only months away from beginning a sharp decline. "I think this is a topping pattern," he says.

"We think it's probably three to six months away from a significant decline." He calls the latest rally "a crack-up boom. At the tail end of credit excess it just gets crazier and crazier. It sucks people in, and it's an extremely dangerous scenario."

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