It was a mid-afternoon in 2006 in Cannes, where I joined Dr. Kurt Richebächer at his apartment to collaborate on a book project that, unfortunately, failed to come together before his death a year later.
The old man grabbed his cane and moved to a comfy chair and clicked on a widescreen TV.
Bloomberg. In German.
It was bad news from what I remember. But as far as the economic commentariat was concerned, it was good news. It meant the Fed would simply pump more money into the market.
Traders loved the report; stock futures back in New York had already begun to rally.
Kurt, on the other hand, was flabbergasted. He started talking to me and to the television in German. Neither I nor the TV understood German…
Dr. Richebächer was kind of a crank. He was a special kind of crank, though.
He used to say something like: “the sins of the boom, will be laid bare in the bust.”
A Market Prophet
Kurt wrote a newsletter for more than 40 years. And back in the late 90s and early 2000s we published The Richebächer Letter.
Kurt accurately forecast the tech wreck. And for having done so, he became a semi-celebrity among the geeks — present company included — who like to read and think about an obscure outpost in the field of economics — the Austrian school.
Kurt never claimed to adhere to the Austrian school, but that hardly seemed to matter. His insights apply just as much today as they did 14 years ago — probably more.
It all started after World War II when Kurt had made a name for himself as the best-known financial journalist in Germany — a razor-sharp critic of what he saw as the stupid economic and fiscal policies of the post-war German government.
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