© farbfilm verleih GmbH

The Forecaster
Germany/U.S.A. 2014

Opening 7 May 2015

Directed by: Marcus Vetter
Writing credits: Karin Steinberger, Marcus Vetter

Martin Armstrong’s story is chilling: rooted in fact, backed by history, and taking place in real time, it concerns our future. The prognosis is not good. Fascinated by coins, i.e. money since childhood, Martin – a cognitive, adept learner – enrolled at the technical RCA Institute, and audited Princeton classes. Based on a self-designed "Pi" cycle (computer) model – Economic Confidence Model – Martin early on predicted commodities pricing and then economic turning points, whereby forecasting became his business. A generous and trusting entrepreneur, he founded Princeton Economics International Ltd., a trillion-dollar U.S. based corporation providing multinational financial advising.

During the 1980s and1990s accolades flowed in, including repeated invitations to join a “club” consisting of prominent bankers. In 1999, Armstrong was accused of a Ponzi Scheme totaling billions and jailed. He was then held in contempt of court for not turning over his source code model. The UK’s MoneyWeek ran an article emphasizing his model in 2007, “The strange case of the jailed market genius”, and a January 2009 U.S. Wall Street Journal article, “No Charge: In Civil-Contempt Cases, Jail Time Can Stretch On for Years” mentioned his lengthy incarceration. Armstrong was finally freed in 2011.

Writer/directors Marcus Vetter and Karin Steinberger concisely tell this remarkable story. Most compelling is the man himself: Armstrong guides us, clearly explaining intricacies of global financial markets. A diverse group of fascinating, knowledgeable protagonists are introduced whose accounts give details of what happened, supported by archival footage. Technical attributes are sound: Sven Kaiser’s music effortlessly supports Georg Zengerling’s camerawork and Marcus Vetter’s editing. Throughout this absorbing documentary, we learn about Armstrong’s eerily accurate early predictions: global stock market crashes (1987, 1989), tops (2007, 2011), and a country’s financial collapse (1998). Martin predicts a global sovereign debt crisis is soon to unfold. Whether you believe or not, indisputably people’s idea of the world will be irretrievably altered. Most have never heard of Martin Armstrong; now we will be hard-pressed to forget him. (Marinell Haegelin)

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