I propose the following hypotheses: 1) the USA is well on the way to becoming a socialist country, revisiting the FDR era and probably going even more left-wing than that. The US will end up somewhat more left-wing than France circa 2007. 2) Just like the British Empire after WWI, American after the 2008-10 depression will lose its status as the sole superpower. 3) Significant curtailments of freedom will occur. 4) The social mood will turn sour as people look for scapegoats for their problems. Anyone too pro-capitalist will be castigated - much as they were in Mao's China during the Cultural Revolution - and in many cases they will be legislated against. 5) Law and order will break down periodically, you will see riots and civil disturbances in major metropolitan areas. 6) Immigration will dry up and more and more US subjects will start renouncing their citizenship and/or emigrating. 7) The S&P will continue its bear market to at least 500 and probably 400. Stock exchange volumes will dry up as the country experiences the worst recession/depression since the 1930s. 8) Real estate will continue falling for at least another 2-3 years. Even people with no mortgage will go bankrupt as they cannot afford property taxes (set at price levels 100-300% higher than the current market price). 9) Obama will win a landslide re-election, and small-government will be discredited as a political philosophy for quite some time. 10) Keynes will come back into fashion and governments worldwide will copy Japan in the 1990s, with similarly counterproductive results. 11) A stock transaction tax will eventually be passed. If you are unprepared for these potential scenarios, you will get fucked. Even with full preparation, the next 5-10 years will be tricky to navigate. The ease of going from $0, $10000 or $100,000 to $1 mill+ is now about 10 times harder than it was in the last 25 years. Most current millionaires will lose that status (if they haven't already). On the bright side, real estate and stocks will become incredibly cheap over the next few years. I recommend husbanding cash and a mix of 5 year treasuries and longer-dated TIPS for security of capital. Start researching individual stocks, because by the end of the year, or 2010 at the latest, you will be able to buy the best 20 companies in the world for single-digit P/Es and 5-10% dividend yields. Most small caps will sell for less than their net quick assets/cash. Just as 1932 US stocks, 1975 UK stocks, 1998 Asian and Russian stocks, and 2002 Brazilian stocks provided buying opportunities of a lifetime, so the same will happen in 2009-2010 on a worldwide basis. Get your shopping list ready because you will see bargains that will not be repeated for decades.