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Changes are Coming in 2020

Changes are Coming in 2020 

QUESTION:  I have a question, you wrote :

“Those in Europe who have a position in cash, it may be better to have shares or a private sector bond or US Treasury. Given the policy in Europe of no bailouts, leaving cash sitting in your account could expose you to risk in the months ahead.”

For example, if one has a trading account with a bank, is leaving cash in the bank’s trading account immune to potential seizure indicated in your comment?

Appreciate your clarification,

AP

ANSWER: The risk in Europe is that there is no true rule of law. On the one hand, there is this policy of no bailouts for that would mean money could cross borders. Then there is the rising socialism which is turning into real hatred of the rich.

There is no definitive answer. Europe will do whatever it has to do when the time comes shy of doing the right thing. I have written before when Italy could not meet its debts on short-term paper, they simply decreed that your 90-day paper was now a 10-year paper.

Governments can do whatever they desire. We have no recourse against governments. No private company could act in such a manner. This is one primary reason why I believe governments should be prohibited from borrowing. People are fools for buying their paper and always expecting that this time will be different.

Central Banks Trapped by Their Theories

Central Banks Trapped by Their Theories 

QUESTION: Hi Martin,

I can understand how JP and EU backed themselves into a corner with negative rates. Happy to give them the benefit of the doubt when this all started 3-4 years ago even though it was obvious this was not going to end well.
However, what I don’t understand is the thought process that reserve banks today need to perpetuate eternal growth when I would think their role should be to smooth out extremes (debatable this is even possible).

RBA is a case in point as while the Australian economy is slowing, it is nowhere near terrible. There is talk that they will now also look to lower rates to near zero and start QE. I get that all reserve banks are looking to maintain lower exchange rates and so they need to keep pace with the rest of the world but one would think they would learn better from mistakes of EU and JP.

My question is, is this a global conspiracy or just plain stupidity?

Thanks for all ….

David

ANSWER: The original theory was to smooth out the business cycle. The political governments turned to the central banks and argued that they were responsible for the money supply. Therefore, it was allegedly their duty to control inflation irrespective of the spending of politicians. This was an inconvenient economic truth.

The problem is that the ONLY theory they have is the Keynesian Model. They really have no other theory to rely on. So they keep lowering rates, hoping to stimulate demand and are oblivious to the economic reality that the political side is hunting taxes and becoming more aggressive in tax enforcement. The two sides are clashing and the central banks are now TRAPPED with no alternative.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Eurozone

QUESTION: Hi Marty,

I’m based here in South of England, within the commuter belt into London. The ECM forecasts an economic downturn 18.01.2020, and Europe looks to be at the epicentre. My own research tells me the job cuts in the auto sector in Germany are quite severe.

How does all this play out after January? We have already witnessed companies collapsing, Thomas Cook, and many teetering on the very of edge of collapse. How bad is this going to be, and how does this compare to 2008?

Of course, the next 3 months of 2019 are going to be very volatile, what I’m trying to understand is how does all this look like to the average city worker within finance, law or professional services.

Within my own peer group most are clueless on what is going on and perhaps they should be thinking of income protection rather than going out and buying £60k Range Rovers. The apathy never ceases to amaze me.

I welcome your insight. Thanks for your great work which keeps us mere mortals informed.

Cheers IB

ANSWER: The answer is very bad. The structure of the Eurozone is an absolute disaster. It is promoted as a single country, but it lacks everything that stands behind a currency. Just look at the tariffs starting between the USA and the EU. It is IMPOSSIBLE to negotiate a trade deal with Europe because each country can veto any deal, proving this is not a single country, and thus there is no substance behind the single currency. This is why I say Brexit is the only way for Britain to survive. It cannot negotiate any trade deals with the USA, China, Canada, or whoever because any other state can veto it. They surrendered their sovereignty and it is undermining the European economy.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Thucydides Trap & War Between China & USA

Thucydides Trap & War Between China & USA 

QUESTION: What do you make of Trump’s proposal to restrict US investment in China? Will this send the US economy into recession as everyone is saying?

DH

ANSWER: I have never seen the press so anti-president in the history of this nation. Every possible thing they claim will destroy the US economy. The US trade with China will by no means send the US economy into a deep recession. However, blocking US investment into China would send the Chinese economy down even harder.

This style of analysis always reduces the future trend to one simple event. The markets and the world economy are far more complex than a single event. This is the entire problem with Western Analysis – it is always linear and never cyclical. This is the same problem as Global Warming. They see a 1-degree rise, project that out for 50 years, and then assume the trend will remain the same – linear analysis. They always project the future in this manner and NEVER look at the trends in history to learn what are the “real” possibilities from similar events.

What you must understand is they often call this type of struggle between the current superpower (Financial Capital of the World) and the rising power to take that title, the Thucydides Trap. This is named after the ancient Greek historian Thucydides who wrote about a war that devastated the two leading city-states of classical Greece – Sparta & Athens.

Thucydides explained: “It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.”

While Thucydides provided his opinion, there was another backdrop to this war which he did not cover. Looking at this from an economic issue, it was the ancient clash between Capitalism and Communism. Sparta never issued coins whereas the Athenian Owl coins became the international currency recognized even in barbarian regions.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Liquidity Crisis & the Pending European Banking Crisis

Liquidity Crisis & the Pending European Banking Crisis 

A lot of people have been writing in about the liquidity crisis and the banks with exposure to Deutsche Bank. This is clearly the European Banking Crisis we have been warning about. Most European (and Swiss) banks are having to overpay 30-40bps over libor. Even A+ rated banks are having to pay this premium.

Keep in mind that the Lehman and Bear crisis took place in the REPO market. This is why the crisis is appearing in a market most never hear about or see in interest rates. Those in Europe who have a position in cash, it may be better to have shares or a private sector bond or US Treasury. Given the policy in Europe of no bailouts, leaving cash sitting in your account could expose you to risk in the months ahead.

In all honesty, if this explodes in Europe, no-one will be safe and it will be pot-luck who’s cash you will be holding when it hits the fan. The Fed will bailout the US banks, but it cannot get involved in bailing out the European banks. This is becoming a clash in public policy which all stems from the FAILUREto have consolidated the debts. That refusal to consolidate, the terms demanded by Germany, also precludes bailouts where the money would cross borders. They want to pretend this is one happy family, but they insist on separate accounts.

As one European banker put it in a private conversation, it is almost a calm collapse. As I have REPEATEDLY warned, we are facing scenarios that nobody has ever seen before. The interconnectivity runs so deep, this clash in public policies can result in a serious crisis emanating from Europe.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

All Money is Backed Even Today!

All Money is Backed Even Today! 

QUESTION:  Hi AE, et al. Your blogs not only inform, but are actually entertaining as they give most of us a point of view we’ve never before contemplated.
My question….you have stated numerous times that one of the reasons the Roman government survived for 100’s of years is because they simply created currency, as needed, instead of borrowing (gov’t bonds) as they do today. But their currency was mainly silver, which possessed at least some intrinsic value, as opposed to today’s digital, key-stroke variety.
The only public figure I can think of, with whom I would entrust such easy access, might be Thomas Jefferson. Human nature being what it is, corruption would be as inevitable as it is today.
To many of us, currency without some intrinsic value, just doesn’t make sense. Too much temptation. Would love to hear a more fulsome reply, with your thoughts on this subject. All of us here deeply respect what you are doing.

Thanks.
HS

ANSWER: All currencies today are still backed and are not intangible. Now, that statement may provoke thousands of emails. But the value of any currency has NEVER been its intrinsic value even throughout history. Proof of that statement is the fact that the surrounding economies to the Roman Empire imitated the gold and silver coinage of Rome for a single reason — the coins were accepted and regarded as more valuable than their intrinsic value simply in metal content.

Here is an imitation of a gold aureus of Rome struck in India. The weight of the gold was even greater than that minted in Rome. India routinely imitated Roman coinage from the reign of Tiberius (14-37 AD) to Gordian III (238-244 AD). Obviously, India had gold but the coinage of Rome carried a premium. There would have been no other reason to imitate Roman coinage if the monetary system was purely intrinsic.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Club & Why the Majority Must be Always Wrong

The Club & Why the Majority Must be Always Wrong 

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; I did my own research on the 1998 Russian collapse. All the big names lost billions. Even the New York Times reported that George Soros lost $2 billion. You were the only one who made money so it made sense that you were named hedge fund manager of the year in 1998. My question is this. Since all the big names were involved in the Russia trade which took down Long-Term Capital Management, is this why you call them the “club” for they all do seem to be involved in the same trade?

DU

ANSWER: Correct. This is also why they try to prevent people from listening to me. They are convinced that the reason they lost was that I was too influential and had too many institutions listening to me. That absurdity is what they ran to the government with, so I was then accused of “manipulating” the world economy. They all lost after I warned them and refused to join in their takeover of Russia I believe I was given the nod by the Clintons. They told me they had the IMF in their back pocket and they would continue to fund Russia. I warned them that the IMF got their funding from governments and they were not going to back it.

The Russian financial crisis hit Russia on the 17th of August 1998. Our World Economic Conference was held in London that June. Our forecast was then published by the London Financial Times on the front page of the second section.

They did not give up. After they got the Federal Reserve to bail them out, they then focused on setting up Yeltsin and got him to divert $7 billion in IMF loans. Even CNN reported the money was stolen from the IMF.

CNN Theft of IMF Money – Sep. 1, 1999

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Currency Which Expires – That’s the Solution – Or Just Cancel it all?

Currency Which Expires – That’s the Solution – Or Just Cancel it all? 

Back during the Great Depression, there were people who theorized that gold hoarding was preventing economic recovery. There is always this same theory that people who save hoarding their money and are not spending it results in the lack of a recovery suppressing demand. This theory has been around for a very long time. It assumes a recovery is always blocked by people hoarding their money and saving for a rainy day.

Back during the American Civil War, the federal government issued paper currency for the first time after the Revolution. Much of this currency paid interest. Some were in the form of virtually circulating bonds with coupons for the interest payments. Some were backed by gold. Others offered a table on the reverse providing a schedule. The interest baring notes remained valid currency, but the interest expired within a specific time period. Hence, one would redeem the note since it would no longer pay interest beyond a specific date.

The rumbling behind the curtain I am hearing is a growing idea of making the currency in Europe simply expire. I have explained before that in Europe currency routinely expires – even in Britain. The United States has never canceled its currency so a note from the Civil War is still legal tender. But that is not the case in Europe.

Europeans are accustomed to having their money simply expire. This is not limited to paper currency. They also cancel the coins. The proposal being whispered in the dark halls of Europe is that perhaps the way to impose negative rates to force people to spend is to just cancel all the currency and authorize only small notes for pocket change. They want everyone to be forced to use bank cards and this is the new theory to revitalize the economy.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Surrender of Liberty in the Name of Security

The Surrender of Liberty in the Name of Security 

QUESTION: It seems that as we get closer to a change-over of economic systems that as a society we are more willing to give up our rights to the State. Is that part of a pattern during these types of events? Was it seen as Britain, Rome, and other countries lost power after their peaks?
DS

ANSWER: Unfortunately, the trend first materializes when people need the government to protect them usually from an external force. The British used this tactic against both the French and the American colonists. That prompted Ben Franklin to comment on this trend.

After the 3rd Century Monetary Crisis bottomed in the Roman Empire in 268 AD, there was a surge to build a wall around Rome by Emperor Aurelian following the same pattern. Aurelian saw the corruption that led to the debasement of the currency because those minting the coins were robbing the treasury. Aurelian moved to DRAIN THE SWAMP in Rome. When Aurelian returned to Rome in 271 AD after fighting off barbarians, he had to pacify a terrified city. He immediately halted the rioting and restored order to the capital. The controller of the mint in Rome began a rebellion over the monetary reforms laid out by Aurelian. He ordered that all the debased currency be purchased back and replaced with a new currency of higher content in silver. The rebellion was led by Felicissimus.

It appears that those who had been running the mint were embezzling the intended silver and issuing the debased coinage at least in part on their own authority. Obviously, any reform to the monetary system that called for an increase in silver content would have been unprofitable for those running the mint for personal gain.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Biggest Bubble in Modern Financial History

The Biggest Bubble in Modern Financial History 

QUESTION: You said before you were advising corporates to issue long-term bonds and lock in the low rates. Even the US Treasury seems to be following your advice and are looking at issuing 50 and 100-year bonds. Do you give governments the same advice?

DK

ANSWER: If asked, of course, I advise to issue long-term debt NOW at these absurd low rates. I also advise individuals to lock in fixed-rate mortgages.

Germany just tried to issue negative interest 30-year bonds with a total offering of 2bn€ of which they only sold 824million were purchased. This is showing that this whole theory of negative interest rates as seen its day. The US is now even considering issuing 50-year and 100-years bonds as interest rates plummet.

I have reviewed the buyers of these negative bonds which now amount to $15 trillion outstanding globally. What is actually taking place in the market is really dominated by punters rather than investors. In other words, the people have been buying them to flip assuming rates would just go lower.

The crisis on the horizon is MASSIVE!!!! These punters are going to get caught as they did with the Russian bonds when they collapsed in 1998 which led to the Long-Term Capital Market crisis. This is a game of musical chairs. Nobody thinks twice as long as rates decline. But the appetite for negative yields does NOT exist insofar as people actually investing in them.

Yields have dipped negative on short-term 30 days paper during panics. The 30-day TBills went negative several times from December 2008 onward. The reason was clear. Capital feared the banks so they were willing to park money at a slightly negative rate.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Will Governments ever Listen Before there is Blood in the Streets?

Will Governments ever Listen Before there is Blood in the Streets? 

COMMENT: Thank you for ‘Why Private Blogs’. You should get goose bumps once in a while about your work~,
the project is massive in scale, certainly worthy of my respect and everyone else in readerville and your employ as well. This piece is well written and also lays out a good mission statement reminder to all. So, feel free Martin to frame it, re post it once a year, and continue to knick knack patty whack away at the world and toss us bones …. it is a worthy and respected endeavor that is already making the world a better place, especially for those to come rolling home here in the future!!! Stay fired up my friend I have not yet met……. for BETTER DAYS ARE COMING.

REPLY: I do believe people tend to think this is just about forecasting the ups and downs in markets.  I have probably met with more central banks and governments than anyone over the years. I was called in by China during the 1997 Asian Currency Crisis and the Commission forming the Euro. I was called in at the formation of the G5 and by the Brady Commission for the 1987 Crash. All of these things and many more ONLY took place NOT because my opinion is worth something someone else does not have.

All of this has been because we forecast absolutely every country in the world and people even at the upper levels understand what we are doing and this is about demonstrating that absolutely EVERYTHING is connected on a global scale.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Difference Between Hyperinflation and Currency Inflation

Difference Between Hyperinflation and Currency Inflation 

QUESTION: What is the difference between asset inflation and hyperinflation? I believe you are saying that from Jan 2020 we will see inflation which I understand to be asset inflation?
Thanks
FL

ANSWER: Asset inflation is typically a reflection of a decline in the value of the currency, but this can be 50% over the course of one to two years. Hyperinflation typically occurs when confidence in the government itself completely collapses. This is usually in a peripheral economy or often in times of war or major domestic revolution, as was the case with the Continental Currency in the United States and the Assignats of the Revolutionary government in France. Asset inflation can be also caused by an investment boom concentrated within a single sector such as the Dot.com Bubble. The typical definition of hyperinflation is when prices rise by more than 50% per month over a period of time.

Then there is DEMAND inflation, which is typically one of two aspects. It can come in the form of a hot item like Pet Rocks, Cabbage Patch Dolls, etc. The second aspect is a shortage of something such as wheat or corn and the demand forces the price to rise.

IMF Recommends “DEEP” Negative Interest Rates as the Next Tool

IMF Recommends “DEEP” Negative Interest Rates as the Next Tool 

The IMF has continued to assume that the zero-bound on interest rates can be a serious obstacle for fighting recessions on the part of the central banks. The IMF maintains that the zero-bound is not a law of nature; it is a policy choice. The latest in the IMF papers argue that tools are available to allow central banks to create deep negative rates whenever needed to reverse recessions. They claim that maintaining the power of monetary policy in the future to end recessions within a short time will require deep negative interest rates.

It is really quite astonishing how these people with NO REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE keep trying to maintain the Marxist-Keynesian theory when more than 10 years of negative interest rates have failed.  This is the same theory that dominated medicine for so long. They assumed there was a toxin in the blood, so the cure was to bleed you. If you died, they assumed the reason was that they did not bleed you sooner.

These idiots fail to comprehend that negative interest rates have wiped out pensions. The instruction manual for life was to save for your retirement to be able to live off the interest of your savings. The problem was, those days were based on 8% interest rates. Moving negative will not force people to spend, it merely bankrupts the people.

1177 BC – The Collapse of Society System-Wide

1177 BC – The Collapse of Society System-Wide 

QUESTION: I do not believe you have ever commented on Eric Cline’s book 1177BC, the year civilization collapsed. Do you think this is likely what we face or is this different?

WL

ANSWER: There were about eight civilizations that all collapsed with the exception of Egypt post-1250 BC. It was caused by a major shift in climate that led to droughts which resulted in the widespread famine that inspired migrations/invasions. This event of 1177BC was the Bronze Age equivalent to the fall of Rome, for they both were followed by a Dark Age.

Many have attributed this collapse of the Bronze Age to the Sea Peoples, which were most likely northern Mediterranean mass migrants due to the climate getting colder in Europe. Cline has put together a nice assembly of sources, but he missed the climate change. He assumed there was a migration southward. However, we can see the first dip to cold came about 1,800 years ago. We can see that the all-time high temperature was about 3,300 years ago.

The collapse of the Bronze Age was mostly complete by about 1100-1000 BC. Our computer has identified a 1720-year cycle beginning in the Dark Ages with the fall of Rome in 476 AD when the last pretend Emperor reigned (Romulus Augustus (575-476AD)). Our model highlighted the cycle between the Dark Ages of 1720 years which brings us to 1244 BC — right on target for the beginning of the collapse of civilization.

How Civilization Collapses
1) Collapse in centralized government
2) The rich flee and economic growth declines
3) The economy implodes without investment
4) Birth rates decline with population
5) People migrate and abandon urbanization

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Can the Fed really Control the Economy?

Can the Fed really Control the Economy? 

QUESTION: This whirligig talk of whether the Fed cuts rates by 25 or 50 basis points is carnival-level absurdity. Does the Fed have the “pretense of knowledge,” as F.A. Hayek, said, that they can regulate the economy like turning up or down the thermostat? I know you don’t agree with this, Martin, but then, Wall St. trades on daily sentiment not ideology.

TM

ANSWER: I understand the theory, but where it is seriously flawed is the idea that people will borrow simply because you lower rates. More than 10 years of Quantitative Easing, which has failed, answers that question. The way the Fed was originally designed allowed it to stimulate the economy by purchasing corporate paper directly, which placed it in a better management position. Buying only government paper from banks who in turn hoard the money fails. As Larry Summers admitted, they have NEVER been able to predict a recession even once.

The Fed lowered rates during every recession to no avail just as the ECB has moved to negative rates without success. The central banks are trapped and they are quietly asking for help from the politicians which will never happen.

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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