Money matters to KVMR program host
Marc Cuniberti saw it coming and tried to sound an alarm.
“When I saw the person who cleaned my house for $8 an hour able to buy a house, I knew we were close to seeing the bubble burst,” he recalled of his 2005 radio show prediction that the housing market was on the verge of collapse. “I learned in college to recognize a classic asset bubble, so when I saw waiters able to borrow $300,000 from the bank I knew something had to give.”
He predicted a 40 percent decline in home values and the last five years have pretty much proved him right.
Cuniberti is the host of KVMR’s Money Matters, which airs the first and third Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m. He’d previously hosted an early morning music show until finally talking station management into giving him a shot at a program that focused on basic economics.
“They (management) agreed to one pilot show and the response was so good they agreed to three more,” he said. “After the third pilot the response was overwhelming, so they gave me a regular show.”
Cuniberti earned a degree in economics from San Diego State University, but said his interest in business really started when he was just 14 and living in Daly City, Calif. “I have always loved the markets and played in them throughout my life,” he recalled in his KVMR profile. “They say you’re not somebody until you owe a lot of money and lost a lot. I excelled at both.”
So why was Cuniberti among the few in the media to send out early economic storm warnings? “When you get into the last phase of a bubble, you start to believe there is no end,” he explained. “But the idea that the value of a house is never going to drop is ludicrous.”
He remembers getting a lot of angry phone calls from Realtors saying he was crazy. “You ain’t seen nothing yet,” he told them.
His show, he says, is successful because he keeps it simple. “My explanations are down to Earth,” he said. “Most shows are about buying stocks, but there is a lot more to investing than a basket of stocks.”
Diversity, he says, is the key to survival in any tough market. “I only recommend around 20 percent in stocks and no more,” he said. “The rest should be split among precious metals (gold and silver), real estate (it’s still a good investment) and bank savings accounts.”
His Money Matters show solicits call-ins. “Most of the callers obviously want to know what to do with their money. The hook of the show has been the fact that I’m able to explain an otherwise boring issue,” he said. “When somebody comes on the news and says the GDP is up, what does that mean? I want to do a show that explains what the GDP (gross domestic product) is.”
Honesty is the cornerstone of Money Matters, says Cuniberti. “I don’t have an ax to grind, but I do need to be right. If I wasn’t right I’d be off the air.”
He can also read charts. “When I see the debt lines going down I know that’s a bad thing.”
What we’re seeing today, Cuniberti says, is creative destruction. “That’s what happens when there is too much debt,” he said. “The greatest fear is that the dollar will collapse. We have a $2 trillion deficit. The only two choices we have now is to live with inflation, or cut spending. All we need to do is look at Greece for proof of that. If anyone thinks all we have to do is print more money to solve our problems, why do we have so many problems?”
Dollars, he says, do not create wealth. “A dollar bill is just a tool to create wealth. But there is no more wealth on the table.”
While the Feds are not likely to raise rates (they can’t service the rate on $2 trillion debt as it is), bond traders eventually will, Cuniberti fears. “The Feds can’t control the interest rates in the world,” he said. “The end game (ultimate collapse of the dollar) is so dire it is unfathomable.”
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