U.S. Economic Outlook for 2009

If there's a proverb that captures the outlook for the U.S. economy in the New Year, it's the one that says: "It's always darkest before the dawn."

Regardless of any formal announcement of whether or not the United States drops into an actual recession, the ongoing credit crisis guarantees a contraction of the American economy by virtually every measure we know. That period of darkness will be marked by a dramatic slowdown in economic activity, as well as by rising unemployment, additional declines in U.S. stock prices, and constant volatility. And it could last as long as 12-18 months.

But when the dawn does come, it will be one to remember. If U.S. President-elect Barack Obama gets it right - and I have every reason to believe that he will - then investors will be presented with the greatest investment opportunity of our generation. At that point, shares of American companies will be at such low levels that wholesale buying by individuals, mutual funds, pension funds, institutional money managers, and foreign-controlled sovereign wealth funds, will generate gains that will not only make us whole, they will make us rich once again.

About the Author

Shah Gilani boasts a financial pedigree unlike any other. He ran his first hedge fund in 1982 from his seat on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. When options on the Standard & Poor's 100 began trading on March 11, 1983, Shah worked in "the pit" as a market maker.

The work he did laid the foundation for what would later become the VIX - to this day one of the most widely used indicators worldwide. After leaving Chicago to run the futures and options division of the British banking giant Lloyd's TSB, Shah moved up to Roosevelt & Cross Inc., an old-line New York boutique firm. There he originated and ran a packaged fixed-income trading desk, and established that company's "listed" and OTC trading desks.

Shah founded a second hedge fund in 1999, which he ran until 2003.

Shah's vast network of contacts includes the biggest players on Wall Street and in international finance. These contacts give him the real story - when others only get what the investment banks want them to see.

Today, as editor of Hyperdrive Portfolio, Shah presents his legion of subscribers with massive profit opportunities that result from paradigm shifts in the way we work, play, and live.

Shah is a frequent guest on CNBC, Forbes, and MarketWatch, and you can catch him every week on Fox Business's Varney & Co.

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