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Slideshow: Apocalypse How? Dire ’12 Forecasts

By Ben Steverman - 2012-01-14T03:12:30Z

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Mark Spitznagel

In the next few years, Mark Spitznagel estimates the S&P 500 index will drop 20 percent, with a 20 percent chance of a correction larger than 40 percent. Spitznagel runs Universa Investments, a doomsday "black swan" hedge fund designed to profit from such declines. (Black swans are hard-to-predict events that have major impacts.) "We are living in a world central bank oligarchy, with Bernanke as ringleader, and it has created an economic tinder box," he said in a Jan. 12 email. "Too much malinvestment has been kept alive, and history shows an inevitable wipeout, which started in 2000."

(Left, traders work at the New York Stock Exchange.)

Photograph by Scott Eells/Bloomberg