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By Terry Weiss, Money Morning
In a stunning interview on King World News, noted expert Peter Schiff said the Fed's failed stimulus plans have debased the dollar so much, the U.S. will have no choice but to go back to the gold standard in "a year or two."
Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, said reckless money printing has done nothing more than manipulate the economy into a "phony recovery" that's bound to end in crisis.
"We've got massive economic imbalances, structural mal-investments around the world because the dollar is the reserve currency. It's too weak. We print too many," Schiff said.
"We are headed for a currency crisis and the only way we're going to stop it is by putting real value back into the paper dollar. So we have to tie it to gold."
Schiff says the sooner we return to the gold standard, the better.
"The sooner we start to repair the problems, the easier it is. The longer we wait, the bigger the problems get."
Some experts say it's already too late.
Obama administration's current economic path is headed
According to Dr. Chris Martenson, a former VP of a Fortune 300 company and an internationally recognized expert on the dangers of exponential growth in the economy, our current fiscal path is unsustainable - and, in fact, points to a massive economic catastrophe.
"We found an identical pattern in our debt, total credit market, and money supply that guarantees they're going to fail. This pattern is nearly the same as in any pyramid scheme, one that escalates exponentially fast before it collapses. Governments around the globe are chiefly responsible.
This presentation shows how banks are escalating the collapse...
"And what's really disturbing about these findings is that the pattern isn't limited to our economy. We found the same catastrophic pattern in our energy, food, and water systems as well."
According to Martenson: "These systems could all implode at the same time. Food, water, energy, money. Everything."
Another member of this team is analyst Keith Fitz-Gerald, who predicted the 2008 oil shock, the credit default swap crisis that helped trigger the recession, and the Greek and European fiscal catastrophe that is still wreaking havoc on the global financial system.
"What this pattern represents is a dangerous countdown clock that's quickly approaching zero. And when it does, the resulting chaos is going to crush Americans," Fitz-Gerald says.
Dr. Kent Moors, an adviser to 16 world governments on energy issues as well as a member of two U.S. State Department task forces on energy also voiced concerns over what he and his colleagues uncovered.
"Most frightening of all is how this exact same pattern keeps appearing in virtually every system critical to our society and way of life," Dr. Moors stated.
The work of this team garnered such attention, they were brought in front of the United Nations, U.K. Parliament, and numerous Fortune 500 companies to share much of their findings. Click the short video above to see a sample
"It's a pattern that's hard to see unless you understand the way a catastrophe like this gains traction," Dr. Moors says. "At first, it's almost impossible to perceive. Everything looks fine, just like in every pyramid scheme. Yet the insidious growth of the virus keeps doubling in size, over and over again - in shorter and shorter periods of time - until it hits unsustainable levels. And it collapses the system."
Martenson points to the U.S. total credit market debt as an example of this unnerving pattern.
"For 30 years - from the 1940s through the 1970s - our total credit market debt was moderate and entirely reasonable," he says. "But then in seven years, from 1970 to 1977, it quickly doubled. And then it doubled again in seven more years. Then five years to double a third time. And then it doubled two more times after that.
"Where we were sitting at a total credit market debt that was 158% larger than our GDP in the early 1940s... By 2011 that figure was 357%."
Fitz-Gerald says what we're seeing with the austerity measures in Greece and the deleveraging with banks is a pattern that will keep reoccurring for the next 10-20 years.
"The next round of global powers like China and even India know this," Fitz-Gerald says. "It's why their governments and private citizens are demanding more and more gold. Gold is a great barometer for what the world thinks of our economy and our dollar."
And the clear message they're sending, Fitz-Gerald said, is they have no faith in us over the long haul.
According to polls, the average American is sensing danger. A recent survey found that 61% of Americans believe a catastrophe is looming - yet only 15% feel prepared for such a deeply troubling event.
Fitz-Gerald says people should take steps to protect themselves from what is happening.
We can see the strain on society already.
In two years, Congress won't have any money for transportation, reports the Washington Post. Cities like Trenton, NJ have laid off one-third of their police force due to budget cuts. And other cities like Colorado Springs, CO removed one-third of streetlights, trashcans, and bus routes, reports CNN.
Fitz-Gerald also warns of a period of devastating inflation. A recent survey, reports USA Today, notes that in the coming years it could take $150,000 a year in household income for a family to afford basic living expenses - and maybe go out to a movie.
Right now, in fact, "52% of Americans feel they barely have enough to afford the basics."
"If our research is right," says Fitz-Gerald, "Americans will have to make some tough choices on how they'll go about surviving when basic necessities become nearly unaffordable and the economy becomes dangerously unstable."
"People need to begin to make preparations with their investments, retirement savings, and personal finances before it's too late," says Fitz-Gerald.