The U.S. economy has a “close to 100 percent” chance of entering a recession next year, according to Mark Yusko, managing director and chief investment officer of Morgan Creek Capital.

Dennis Gartman, editor of the Gartman Letter, pegged the probability of a recession in 2019 at 50 percent, adding that the catalyst for a recession will almost certainly come from the Federal Reserve.

“The fuel that had been injected into the system is not being starved, but it’s certainly being inhibited,” said Gartman. “If they don’t continue some kind of quantitative easing methodology, that will be a precursor of a recession. Eventually, we should also see the yield curve move to an inversion, and six months after that a recession. Are we recession proof? Absolutely not.”

Yusko and Gartman delivered their comments in a lunch keynote conversation to attendees at the 9th Inside Alternatives and Asset Allocation conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

Yusko noted that despite signs of quantitative tightening on a relative basis, monetary policy remains loose in real terms and thus it will be difficult for markets to fall dramatically in the near term, but the Fed’s hand will be forced by inflation.

Currency devaluations causing inflation are underreported, said Yusko, because income inequality leaves much of the political and creative classes unaware of the struggles of average people.

“We look at the nominal value of stuff and we’re getting robbed, but we don’t realize it because the currency is getting devalued right in front of our eyes,” said Yusko. “The average person is getting destroyed  because they don’t have any assets … the rich get to the top, they create policies that inflate asset values and decrease the purchasing power of currency.”

Both speakers rejected the Trump administration’s populist trade rhetoric and tariffs.

“The trade rhetoric is one of the dumbest things in the history of all administrations and it will cause a global recession,” said Yusko. “Global trade is off the cliff, it has actually turned negative and it is going to continue to get worse.”

Gartman called protectionism a “slippery slope,” adding that the U.S. cannot bring countries like China to bear with tariffs.

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