For the past several years, Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro-Pacific Capital, has been warning about extreme inflation fueled by overwhelming debt loads and frantic money-printing by the world's central banks.
When the debt crisis finally reaches its ultimate conclusion, Schiff maintains, consumer prices will skyrocket, demolishing savings and destroying the value of bonds and the dollar.
That hasn't happened yet.
Last year, in fact, inflation remained relatively low, and Treasury bonds were one of the best-performing asset classes, trouncing gold and stocks.
So is Peter Schiff wrong?
No! says Peter Schiff. He's just early.
Asked whether the U.S. and Europe might avoid the debt-denouement for so long that it's not even worth worrying about (Japan's "crisis" has been unfolding for more than two decades), Schiff says that the U.S. and Europe are actually in worse shape than Japan was, so the collapse might come sooner.
And one year of strong bond performance, Schiff continues, does not a trend make.
Ironically, Schiff says, one thing that has helped the dollar in recent months has been the weakness in Europe. Investors panicked about what's happening in Europe are looking for a "safe haven," and sending money into the dollar and dollar-based assets.
But the debt crisis can't be postponed forever, Schiff says. Someday, we'll get hammered. And when we do, prices are going to go to the moon.