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Commodity expert warns 2023 financial crisis could be ‘worst in our lifetime’

Commodity expert warns 2023 financial crisis could be ‘worst in our lifetime'
Ana Zirojevic

After the recent failures of multiple banking giants uncovered inherent risks in the financial system and the technology industry is recording massive layoffs, Bloomberg’s senior commodities specialist Mike McGlone has warned that the upcoming financial crisis could be the “worst in our lifetime,” rivaling the Great Depression that started in 1929.

Indeed, McGlone explained the current situation in the global markets resembled a lot to the one that preceded a decade-long recession of 1929-1939, but that it was also threatening to be even worse, as he told David Lin in an interview streamed on April 4.

Financial crisis looms

As he pointed out, “it’s almost guaranteed the recession will be starting at some point soon,” and the “enduring deflation” was perhaps a bigger risk than inflation right now as this financial crisis is showing signs of mirroring the crash of 1929 in scale. 

“I think it’s going to be worse than the [1929] financial crisis. I’m saying it’s very much 1929-ish. (…) Everything’s lined up to the foundation for this to get much worse,” McGlone said.

According to him, the recent bounces in the stock market, cryptocurrencies, and copper were based “on this potential thing, ‘oh, maybe it’s over, it’s a soft landing, it’ll be fine, the Fed’s gonna start easing,’” but that he thought it was “very unlikely for the Fed to ease until risk assets drop to a new lower plateau.”

Comparing the present circumstances with those of 1929, the commodities expert said that “you almost never get significant corrections without lofty prices,” and that “it always has to be in the back of what’s happened before.”

“When people said, ‘no, these 2020s aren’t going to be like the 1920s all over again,’ [they] forgot what the 1920s came in the back of – that big stock market rally? It came in the back of a significant depression right before that. (…) What was the foundation for the bear market? Prices went up too high. The exact same thing happened.”

As he added, “the bank run is clearly happening. We see more deposits leaving U.S. banks on a daily basis. The pace on a 12-month basis is -2% – that’s never happened, and our database is going back to 1960. It’s always been positive. And there’s still tightness.”

Bitcoin is ‘indestructible’

In terms of the crypto market representative asset – Bitcoin (BTC) – McGlone expressed his expectation that, despite regulatory obstacles, Bitcoin was going to return to the trajectory towards $69,000, as it was on its way to “becoming global digital collateral,” although he couldn’t see the bottom yet. 

“There are bumps in the road, there are issues with regulation, but one thing we’re seeing recently and lately is, it’s starting to shine as indestructible. It just never stops trading. (…) The last crisis really was its birth. Now, this is defining it.”

As he concluded, Bitcoin was going to continue outperforming most risk assets, including cryptocurrencies, and eventually trade more like gold and treasury bonds, but there was still a lot of speculation in the crypto space that needed to be purged.

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