Steve Watson
Monday, Jan 19th, 2009

A prominent PhD economist has slammed the latest round of bank bailouts and argued that they will not work because the financial crisis was caused and prolonged by such activity in the first place.

Marc Faber, founder and managing director of Hong Kong-based Marc Faber Ltd., has argued that propping up weak companies with taxpayer money is foolhardy.

"The financial crisis has occurred because of government interventions," Faber told CNBC’s "Squawk Box Europe."

"Specifically central banks, or specifically the US Fed, by keeping interest rates artificially low for too long, they created a huge leverage in the system. So the people who created the problem now are in charge to bail out the system and that’s why I am very skeptical that it would work," Faber explained.

"The contractions actually serve to build for the future growth, because the weak competitors are eliminated. If you support the weak competitors you essentially penalize the strong competitors and therefore I am very much against these bailout packages." he added.

Faber, who accurately predicted both the financial crash of 1987 and the current crisis, also warned that U.S. government bonds may be "the shoe to drop some time in 2009 or maybe next year," warning that they will lose value as foreign investors lose confidence.

He cited gold and other commodities as sound investments and described the U.S. dollar as "a disastrous currency", but pointed out that other paper currencies are even worse.

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Faber, editor & publisher of the Gloom, Boom and Doom Report, has previously said that he believes that there will be a bear rally for a couple of months, and then a further crash.

He also believes that the current crisis could be far worse than the great depression, precisely because of government interventions, and that eventually the U.S. will go bankrupt.

The UK government has announced that it will allow banks to insure against steep losses and will guarantee their debt at a cost of up to £200 billion.

Meanwhile U.S. President Elect Barack Obama is reportedly considering the creation of a government run bank to acquire bad assets.

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