Money manager Peter Schiff was right about the falling economy. Now he is a rising star on YouTube.
More than a half a million people so far have tuned into a video montage called "
YouTube, turning Schiff, the president of Euro Pacific Capital, into something of a video celebrity. The video traces a series of Schiff's prescient calls on America's economic woes, starting in August 2006, when Schiff told
that the coming recession "is going to be pretty bad ... and it's going to last not just for quarters but for years."
It also shows rosy forecasts, now proven incorrect, by economists and pundits including Ben Stein, Mike Norman and Arthur Laffer.
A week prior to the video's Nov. 2 release, Schiff offered his views on the economy, gold and the tax plans of then Sen. Obama in a
video titled, "
If Obama Wins, Economy's Doomed
"They are trying to get Americans borrowing and spending even more money when what we need is the opposite of that," Schiff said in the video. "We have no more savings left and I think the government can turn the next decade into something worse than the depression."
Peter Schiff was on
promoting his book
The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets
. He originally called the economic collapse in his first book
In a Nov. 1 video on
Beat the Bear With Gold
," Schiff predicted the government's response to the crisis would be to "print money" and socialize losses. As evidenced this week by Treasury Secretary
$200 billion plan to bail out student and credit card loans, Schiff is looking prophetic once again.
"The government is trying to solve all these economic problems or at least prevent the crisis through creating inflation by printing a lot of money. And ultimately that's going to lead to a major collapse in the value of the dollar," Schiff said.
Schiff advocates buying gold bullion to beat the bear market. Gold has pulled 20% off its highs to around $800 an ounce, but the money manager says the yellow metal has "held up a lot better than other assets" and ultimately thinks it's the only "real store of value."
Economic commentator and television personality Ben Stein attacks Schiff's gloom and down scenario in the YouTube video, insisting that the subprime crisis is "a tiny problem." Stein has since apologized to Schiff in a
New York Times
To the victor, goes the spoils. Even in a downturn.
Before joining TheStreet.com, Gregg Greenberg was a writer and segment producer for CNBC's Closing Bell. He previously worked at FleetBoston and Lehman Brothers in their Private Client Services divisions, covering high net-worth individuals and midsize hedge funds. Greenberg attended New York University's School of Business and Economic Reporting. He also has an M.B.A. from Cornell University's Johnson School of Business, and a B.A. in history from Amherst College.