Was Burke first prophet of financial doom?

As media commentators argue over which journalists were first to predict the current global financial crisis, Axegrinder hears of a new contender.

On June 27, Investors Chronicle magazine published two articles by John Burke about the lessons to be learnt from past crises.

One article, ‘Back to the Seventies”, was about the oil crisis of 1974, and another, ‘Don’t be depressed”, about the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Says a rather miffed Burke: ‘My two reports had been offered to IC three months earlier when they would have been even more prophetic. They were not ‘historical’ articles. They were guides from the past to the future.”

So if he saw it all coming, have Burke’s personal finances emerged unscathed from the recent bloodbath in the City?

‘Did I heed my own advice? Did I unload before the articles appeared? No, I did not, but I have been cautious for some time and diversified into cash and into investment trusts that – as my original text pointed out but this was cut – have weathered every financial crisis since the first one in 1868.”

Burke feels his achievement in penning such prophetic pieces has rather slipped under the media radar.

He tells me: ‘Peter Preston in the The Observer started handing out prizes to pundits who had begun to spot the looming disaster in July. My piece appeared on June 27 , and I am still trying to get him to acknowledge my existence.”

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