FPA's Rodriguez: Bigger Crisis Coming If U.S. Doesn't Act Soon

Top strategist Bob Rodriguez of FPA Capital — one of the few to warn about the 2008 financial crisis in advance — says the window the U.S. has to confront its debt issues and avoid a Europe-esque crisis is narrowing.

In a speech given at an Institute for Private Investors gathering last week, Rodriguez said 2013 will be the most crucial year in 80 years in terms of getting the country on the right fiscal path before “budgetary financial pressures will explode” starting in 2018, Advisor One reports. According to Rodriguez, every year after 2013 that the U.S. goes without structural fiscal reform “increase(s) the size and scope of the necessary fiscal response”, with capital markets likely to react the way they are right now in Europe.

Rodriguez contends that the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009 was just the first phase of a larger period of trouble, Advisor One reports, and the U.S. must make significant structural changes to budgets, entitlement programs, and its tax system. If it doesn’t, he sees another, possibly greater, financial crisis down the line. “For starters, entitlement reform should include benefit cuts, an increasing of the age for qualifying, and means-testing,” Rodriguez said. “Congressional budgetary reform must include statutory controls that prevent a future Congress from overturning expenditure cuts enacted now but are to be implemented later.” He also called for the simplification of the tax code.