Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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Jonathan Chancellor

15 September 2011

When Harry met Steve: A bears' breakfast

When Harry met Steve: A bears' breakfast

Two like-minded economic doomsayers met in Sydney yesterday. So demographics and debt were on the bearish breakfast agenda, with not a Donald in sight.

Property Observer’s cameras were there catching the moment when home-town debt doomsayer Steve Keen met noted American demographic analyst Harry Dent.

Keen says demographics aren’t part of his modelling because they would swamp his debt dynamics, but he reckons they are very much on the same wavelength.

“There are a handful of people around the world whose work I respect because it intelligently addresses facets of our current predicament that I don’t.

“The economic and demographic analyst Harry Dent is one of those people,” Keen says.

“Harry uses empirical data about consumption levels and population growth to accurately predict economic trends.”

Both have similar views on the direction of Australia’s property market. Dent predicts the world will experience a second, deeper downturn, starting in the first half of next year in Europe, and spreading to the United States, China and eventually Australia.

"Australia is probably the best place in the world to survive this, but ... will not escape as well as it did from the last [2008] crisis," Dent says, predicting Australia's house prices would return to late 1990s levels.

And Keen has told Peter Switzer’s Sky Business program to expect Australian real estate to be down about 40% over the next 10 to 15 years, and maybe 15% to 20% over next two to three years.

Both also happen to be spruiking something – Dent’s got his book The Great Crash Ahead - How to Prosper in the Debt Crisis of 2010-2012 and his upcoming lecture tour on wealth preservation  in Sydney from October 11 to 13, and in Brisbane on October 14 through 16.

And Keen is soon to publish an updated Debunking Economics.

Apparently there are no plans for them to catch up with the ultra-bullish Donald Trump.