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Sisphean Printing Will Kill Dollar & Bonds

SISYPHEAN PRINTING WILL KILL DOLLAR & BONDS

 

Understanding four critical but simple puzzle pieces is all investors will need to take the flood that leads to fortune.

Why then will the majority of investors still take the wrong current and lose their ventures?

Well because investors feel more comfortable staying with the trend than anticipating change.

Understanding these four puzzle pieces will not just avoid total wealth destruction but also create an opportunity of a lifetime.

The next 5-10 years will involve the biggest transfer of wealth in history. Since most investors will hang on to the bubble markets in stocks and bonds, their wealth will be decimated.

As Brutus said in Julius Caesar by Shakespeare:

“There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which taken at the flood leads on to fortune.
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea we are now afloat.
And we must take the current when it serves.
Or lose our ventures.”

FOUR PUZZLE PIECES TO CLARITY

So what are the four puzzle pieces that will lead to either fortune or misery.

They are:

1. Stocks
2. Currencies
3. Interest rates
4. Commodities

Just put these 4 pieces together and the conundrum of the direction of markets and the future of the world economy will be very clear.

But sadly most investors will find it difficult to join up the 4 pieces.

ETERNAL PRINTING

Have governments and central banks conditioned investors to eternal happiness by their profligate policies?

Yes, they most probably have. But happiness in this case is ephemeral and will end in “miseries”.

Central banks are now caught in Sisyphean task of printing money to eternity.

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

 

Jerome von Havenstein: Inflation Or Bust

Jerome von Havenstein: Inflation Or Bust

This week brought forth new evidence that – to be perfectly frank – we’re all screwed.

On Thursday, the yield on the 10 year Treasury note topped 1.55 percent.  Subsequently, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, after hitting an all-time high on Wednesday, dropped 559 points.  Wall Street must not be listening to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Earlier in the week, Powell, in testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, confirmed that the central bank would keep the federal funds rate near zero until maximum employment is achieved.  In addition, the Fed, in its recently released semiannual Monetary Policy Report, confirmed it would continue to create credit from thin air to buy $80 billion per month of Treasuries and $40 billion per month of mortgage backed securities (MBS).

What’s more, the Report specified the Fed’s purchases of Treasuries and MBS “…will continue at least at this pace until substantial further progress has been made toward its maximum employment and price stability goals.”  The operative words being, “at least.”

What to make of it…

Central banking is a form of central planning.  And central planning is a form of state control.  And state control, as practiced in the United States, pertains not so much to the economics of producing income; but, rather, the methods for redistributing it.

State control, through inflationism, takes money saved and earned by individuals and covertly redistributes it to the central authority – i.e., Washington.  There it is consumed by ever expanding government social programs and colossal pentagon budgets.  What remains is wasted away by the endless array of bureaucracies and agencies.

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

 

Culmination of Fed Interventions Inflates Historic “Everything Bubble”

We reported on last year’s partial deflation of the “everything bubble,” aided in part by the COVID-19 pandemic and erratic response to it.

But it could be a bit premature to consider that partial crash a singular event, followed by another period of economic recovery.

In fact things seem a lot worse economically, and this time in the worst way possible. At The Hill, Desmond Lachman describes how the U.S. may have reached the end of the economic road:

Herb Stein famously said that if something cannot go on forever it will stop. He might very well have been talking about today’s everything bubble in U.S. and world financial markets, which has largely been fueled by the Federal Reserve’s extraordinarily easy monetary policy.

The “everything bubble” Lachman refers to is easy to see in the current Shiller Price Earnings Ratio. It’s higher than the 1929 Depression, and on a trajectory towards “dot-com bust” levels from 2000. You can see for yourself on the latest Shiller PE chart below:

Everything Bubble: Shiller Price Earnings Ratio Chart

Schiller PE measures the price to average earnings from the past ten years. Today, on average, an investor pays $34.87 to secure $1 annual earnings.

Both of the past economic peaks, the Great Depression and the Dot-com crash, were “everything bubbles”. Today’s Shiller PE ratio has already surpassed Black Tuesday‘s…

You’ve seen charts before – why care about this one? A few reasons: its inventor, Robert J. Shiller, won the 2013 Nobel Prize for economics (and a bucket of other prizes). He’s been on the list of 100 most influential economists in the world since 2008. His book Irrational Exuberance came out in March 2000, warning that the stock market was in a bubble. (He was right.) Almost exactly one year before Lehman Brothers collapsed, Shiller authored a prescient warning – here’s the summary:

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

 

U.S. Mint Rations Bullion Coins – Why Aren’t Prices Rising, Too?

Why bullion prices don’t seem to be in line with demand

Despite record demand for gold and silver bullion coins month after month, the prices of both metals continue to linger within limited ranges. Gold even pulled back to just above $1,800 during Friday’s trading session. So what’s going on? Why isn’t the clearly-demonstrated demand driving prices higher?

U.S. Mint director Ed Moy, whose tenure stretched from 2006 to 2011, recognizes today’s situation and draws many parallels to the start of 2008:

The last time demand was this high was during the [2008-2009] financial crisis. People were panicking and buying into gold, and prices were shooting up. Then the government started injecting both fiscal and monetary stimulus, and you saw gold correct down maybe 20-30%. And then, over the next three years, gold began to climb until it set a new record of $1,925 in 2011. Afterward, gold didn’t decline until it became clear that the economic recovery was going to be slow, which eliminated the uncertainty. The Fed also had the time to mop up all the excess liquidity before it caused inflation.

The former director explained that, besides overloaded mints and supply chain disruptions, there are several other factors that could play an interesting role in shaping up gold’s price over the coming months and years. Moy believes that perhaps the biggest reason for the disconnection between price and demand lies in Wall Street’s shorting of the metals.

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

 

Crazy days for money

Crazy days for money

This article anticipates the end of the fiat currency regime and argues why its replacement can only be gold and silver, most likely in the form of fiat money turned into gold substitutes.

It explains why the current fashion for cryptocurrencies, led by bitcoin, are unsuited as future mediums of exchange, and why unsuppressed bitcoin has responded more immediately to the current situation than gold. Furthermore, the US authorities are likely to suppress the bitcoin movement because it is a threat to the dollar and monetary policy.

This article explains why growth in GDP represents growth in the quantity of money and is not representative of activity in the underlying economy. The authorities’ monetary response to the current economic situation is ill-informed, based on a misunderstanding of what GDP represents.

The common belief in the fund management community that rising interest rates are bad for gold exposes a lack of understanding about the consequences of monetary inflation on relative time preferences. Rising interest rates will be with us shortly, and they will burst the bond bubble with negative consequences for all financial assets and the currencies that have inflated them.

In short, we are sitting on a monetary powder-keg, the danger of which is barely understood by policy makers and which could explode at any time.

Introduction

We have entered a period the likes of which we have never seen before. The collapse of the dollar and dollar assets is growing increasingly certain by the day. The money-printing of the dollar designed to inflate assets will end up destroying the dollar. We know this thanks to the John Law precedent three hundred years ago. I last wrote about this two weeks ago, here. In 1720, it was just France and Law’s livre…

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

The Foundation for Potential Price Hyperinflation is Being Laid

The Federal Reserve sure seems to have a tough time finding and reporting signs of rising inflation — especially when it’s hidden in other sectors like a lack of demand for energy.

A recent example of the Fed’s “inflation blindness” comes from a speech Chairman Jerome Powell gave to the Economic Club of New York. According to a MarketWatch piece that reported on that speech:

Powell said he doesn’t expect “a large nor sustained” increase in inflation right now. Price rises from the “burst of spending” as the economy reopens are not likely to be sustained.

It’s odd that Powell would say he doesn’t expect a sustained increase in inflation, because food price inflation has consistently run 3.5 to 4.5 percent since April last year. That sure seems like a sustained increase in food prices.

What Powell seems to have “forgotten” is that some of the overall inflation includes negative energy price inflation (as low as negative 9 percent at one point). But now that the demand for fuel is returning, the official gasoline index rose 7.4 percent in January.

It will be much more challenging for Powell to keep downplaying the risk of hyperinflation once energy price inflation rises back to “pre-pandemic” levels.

In fact, Robert Wenzel thinks the main inflation event is “just about to hit.” If it does, and inflation does rise past Powell’s two percent target, it isn’t likely to stop there. Jim Rickards thinks that’s when hyperinflation can gain momentum:

If inflation does hit 3%, it is more likely to go to 6% or higher, rather than back down to 2%. The process will feed on itself and be difficult to stop. Sadly, there are no Volckers or Reagans on the horizon today. There are only weak political leaders and misguided central bankers.

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

 

Rabobank: You Only See How Stable A System Really Is By Pushing It To Its Limits

Rabobank: You Only See How Stable A System Really Is By Pushing It To Its Limits

“Stonks” and “Burneds”

We are, it is now being widely decried, in the middle of a “stonk” bubble. The Financial Times(!) is carrying an article calling on the Federal Reserve to stop its easy money; and Bloomberg(!) has strategy advice that: “…your best bet has been to buy the biggest pile of steaming rubbish you can find on an income statement,” which overlaps with the pattern of behavior 18 months before the bursting of the 1999 tech bubble…before then concluding this is nonetheless the only thing fund managers can ‘rationally’ do.

Against that backdrop, regulators in D.C. are looking at the ‘Reddolution’ of earlier this month, where “stonks” of firms were being manipulated by the public to try to teach hedgefunds a lesson. They will no doubt harrumph on cue with all due seriousness –like those surrounding Governor Lepetomane in ‘Blazing Saddles’– without asking awkward questions about the roots of our stonking great problem that end up being redirected towards the Fed. This only underlines that they are far behind whatever remains of a curve.

There is recognition even in financial media that central banks are institutional “stonk”-bubble blowers. There is matching recognition that the solution for reflation lies with fiscal, not monetary policy (though many of the recent converts to this view apparently couldn’t see it as true until it was already happening – “Harrumph for the governor!”). Yes, we *are* likely to see a *major* short-term fiscal boost –in the US alone– with suggestions the White House’s stimulus package could be worth many thousands of dollars for the average US family – for a yearThen the old crunch comes back again unless US labor has magically gained power over global capital. How, exactly?

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

 

Fed’s Near-Zero Rates Might Sound Good (Until This Happens)

But it’s much different when your retirement savings depends on getting a return on investment (ROI). In that case, near-zero interest rates can put pensions and other retirement accounts in serious jeopardy.

The Fed dropped interest rates to 0-0.25% starting last September. And according to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, those near-zero rates could stick around for a while:

Expects to hold interest rates near zero at least until 2023 because of the pandemic. That spells lower returns for retirement accounts, and it adds to the underfunding of pensions that has worried retirees for many years now.

“Low returns from the market are essentially a tax on retirees,” said Olivia Mitchell, Wharton professor of business economics and public policy.

Then there are real interest rates, which are measured by the difference between 10-year treasuries and Fed inflation expectations. We figure this out by comparing the yields on Treasury inflation protected securities (TIPS) to 10-year Treasury yields. Here’s a comparison of real interest rates (2000-present) from the official Cleveland Fed chart:

Ten-year TIPS yields vs real yields

You can see that since 2012, the real rate has struggled to get to 1%, and recently dipped into the negative.

Low rates mean low returns

According to an op-ed on MarketWatch, the drop in real interest rates isn’t a good thing:

This persistently low-rate environment means workers will have to contribute significantly more to their 401(k), or invest in riskier assets, than they did at the turn of the century.

Many of the assets retirement savers have relied on for decades, including Treasury bonds, CDs, annuities, money market accounts, even the humble savings account, cannot preserve your purchasing power any more.

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

interest rates, fed, us federal reserve, central banks, birch gold group, inflation

The Only Way Out of the Death Trap

The Only Way Out of the Death Trap

I’ve said the U.S. is caught in a debt death trap. Monetary policy won’t get us out because the velocity of money, the rate at which money changes hands, is dropping.

Printing more money alone will not change that.

Fiscal policy won’t work either because of high debt ratios. At current debt-to-GDP ratios, each additional dollar spent yields less than a dollar of growth. But because it must be borrowed, it does add a dollar to the debt. Debt becomes an actual drag on growth.

The ratio gets higher, and the situation grows more desperate. The economy barely grows at all while the debt mounts. You basically become Japan.

The national debt is $27.8 trillion. A $27.8 trillion debt would not be an issue if we had a $50 trillion economy.

But we don’t have a $50 trillion economy. We have about a $21 trillion economy, which means our debt is bigger than our economy.

The debt-to-GDP ratio is about 130%. Before the pandemic, it was about 105% (the policy response to the pandemic caused the spike).

Already in the Danger Zone

But even a ratio of 105% is in the danger zone.

Economists Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart carried out a long historical survey going back 800 years, looking at individual countries, or empires in some cases, that have gone broke or defaulted on their debt.

They put the danger zone at a debt-to-GDP ratio of 90%. Once it reaches 90%, debt becomes a drag on growth.

Meanwhile, we’re looking at deficits of $1 trillion or more, long after the pandemic subsides.

In basic terms, the United States is going broke. We’re heading for a sovereign debt crisis.

I don’t say that for effect. I’m not looking to scare people or to make a splash. That’s just an honest assessment based on the numbers.

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

 

The U.S. Dollar Could Be Nearing Its “End Game”

From foreign countries trying to dethrone the dollar’s hegemony as global reserve currency, all the way to rising inflation weakening it… the U.S. dollar is in trouble.

Pundits like Jim Rickards said (back in 2016): “The dollar won’t lose its reserve currency status overnight” — and he was right. But a new and disturbing signal could finally be revealing the end game.

You can see the dollar’s loss of about 10% value against other currencies and its persistent downward trend since March 2020 reflected in the dollar index chart below:

dollar index chart from March 2020-February 2021

To get an even better idea of that persistent downward trend, we need to look all the way back to 2002, when the dollar index (DXY) peaked around 117. Not only is today’s dollar worth 10% less than last year’s – it’s 25% weaker than in 2002.

In fact, one forecast reported on Bloomberg in June 2020 called for a 35% decline in value by the end of 2021, which would leave the dollar index at 65. If that plays out, the index would be reporting its lowest value in at least 35 years.

In addition, a new Bloomberg report gave three reasons why the “dollar is now trading at the lowest level against its peers since 2018”:

1) Sharp widening in the U.S. current-account [trade] deficit.
2) Rise of the euro.
3) A Federal Reserve that would do little in response to any weakness in the greenback.

There is no doubt the trade deficit is a problem. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the gap between imports and exports is at its widest since 2006. That won’t help the dollar recover.

The Fed’s inflation policy isn’t likely to help the dollar much because it “printed” itself into a corner with its loose monetary policy. The same Bloomberg piece further clarifies the Fed’s inflation strategy:

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

 

This Potentially Catastrophic Inflation Surge Slipped Under the Radar (Until Now)

FAO Food Price Index hits a three-year high in 2020, following additional gains in December

The FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) averaged 107.5 points in December 2020, up 2.3 points (2.2 percent) from November, marking the seventh month of consecutive increase.

You’ve read about housing market bubblesstock bubbles, and even credit bubbles. But the next bubble you’re about to discover could be even more dangerous, and may have even more far-reaching consequences.

It’s called a food price bubble, and it’s been inflating under our noses since March 2020. You can also see the dangerous trajectory it’s on compared to three previous years in the FAO chart.

The official January 7, 2021 release from the Food and Agriculture Organization explains the chart above in more detail.

And according to a Business Insider piece, grain has risen in price 50% over the last six months while other commodities like industrial metals are starting to drop in price.

In fact, according to an official source, food price inflation has risen each month by at least 3.5% (year over year) since April 2020 both at home and away from home.

And December didn’t show any signs of that trend letting up, with a price increase of 3.9% over December 2019. Keep in mind, we’re talking about food here. Technically this price surge isn’t a bubble ‑ it’s inflation.

This is exactly what we expect to see when the Fed’s loose-money policies support bubbles in the housing, stock and credit markets. An excess of currency chasing a fixed supply of paper assets inflates prices, which isn’t a big problem as long as the feeding frenzy stays contained in the paper asset markets. So long as amateur day-traders stick to playing stock-market roulette with the likes of Tesla and GameStop, the day-to-day world can go about business as usual.

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

Weekly Commentary: Short-Term Unsustainable

Weekly Commentary: Short-Term Unsustainable

Outstanding Treasury Securities began 2008 at $6.051 TN, or 41% of GDP. Treasuries ended 2019 at $19.019 TN, or 87% of GDP. And then, in only three quarters, Treasuries surged another $3.882 TN to $22.900 TN, or 108% of GDP. We must wait a few weeks for the Fed’s Q4 Z.1 report, but the federal government posted a fiscal deficit of $573 billion during this period, likely pushing outstanding Treasuries to near $23.5 TN, or about 110% of GDP. Since the end of 2007, Treasuries have inflated around $17.5 TN – approaching a three-fold increase.
For years now, I’ve listened as Washington politicians and central bankers admit to the obvious – that the trajectory of our federal debt is unsustainable – while invariably arguing it was not the time to be concerned or address it. With Treasuries blowing right through the 100% of GDP milepost – and likely poised to reach 125% within the next year or two – there’s no time like the present to recognize our nation is in serious fiscal trouble.

Senator John Thune (from Yellen’s confirmation hearing): “I’m going to try and roll a lot of thoughts and questions into sort of one big package here. But the one thing that concerns me that nobody seems to be talking about anymore is the massive amount of debt that we continue to rack up as a nation. And, in fact, the President elect has proposed a couple trillion dollar fiscal plan on top of that which we’ve already done – which would add somewhere on the order of about $5.3 trillion to deficits and that’s according to the committee for responsible budget of which you have been a board member.
…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Deflation: Friend or Foe?

Deflation is the most feared economic phenomenon of our time. The reason behind this a priori irrational fear (why should we be afraid of prices going down?) is the Great Depression. The most severe economic crisis of the 20th century was accompanied by a massive deflationary spiral that pushed prices down by 25% between 1929 and 1932 (this is equivalent to an annualized inflation rate of minus 7% over that period). Given the impact that the Great Depression had on the social imaginary of the American and European societies, it isn’t surprising that people tend to associate deflation with crises and economic hardship.

Fears of deflation have even led monetary authorities all over the world to set positive inflation targets. The ECB, for instance, defines price stability as an annual inflation rate of “below, but close to, 2%” even though, strictly speaking, price stability should imply that an annual increase in the price level of 0%.  Similarly, the Federal Reserve aims at an inflation rate of 2% over the long run, whereas the Reserve Bank of Australia has an inflation target of between 2 and 3%.

Despite the bad press deflations gets, the historical evidence suggests that deflation isn’t as bad as people may think. Using a sample of 38 countries over the period 1870-2013, four economists from the Bank for International Settlements find that, on average, countries experienced economic growth during deflation years. In fact, if we look only at the postwar era, data reveals that per capita growth has been higher during deflation years as opposed to inflation years.

This isn’t the only piece of evidence that supports the idea that deflation isn’t necessarily detrimental to economic growth. A 2004 paper covering 17 countries show that the Great Depression is the only period in the 19th and 20th centuries in which there is a strong link between deflation and depression…

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

Building A false Economy On Hope And Printing Money

Building A false Economy On Hope And Printing Money

False Economy’s End In Decay And Failure

This article is in response to a piece about how it looks like massive stimulus is finally upon us and the only question is how big it will be. It would be wise to remember this is all an experiment and could result in a false economy so rooted in unsustainable stimulus that it cannot survive yet alone flourish. A modern example of this is the implosion of the USSR in 1991. The impact of such a collapse is not limited to the economy but extends deep into the lives of a county’s citizens.When we look back over the wreckage brought upon certain sectors of our economy during the last year and the policies governments are now embracing we should feel a sense of dread and apprehension for the long-term health of our culture. Government overreach is in full swing and ripping away the strength and social power from all other institutions of social life. Not only are we seeing our civil liberties under attack, but the lock-downs have also been an economic disaster that has devastated most small and medium-sized businesses.

The December job numbers show America lost 140,000 jobs last month. The big issue here is that as small businesses close their doors forever, many of these jobs won’t be coming back. We need to couple this with the idea the minimum wage is likely to soon increase driving the forces of automation into overdrive which will further reduce job opportunities in the future. This translates into far higher government deficits going forward as many more Americans exit the workforce. It is difficult to argue that the government stepping into the role of our primary supporter does not reduce our incentive to work. This is especially true considering the level of support many Americans seek.

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

Dear Governments, Spend as Much as You Can

Dear Governments, Spend as Much as You Can

This week we heard further details about more trillions in upcoming spending and even changing monetary issuance laws (for CBDCs) worldwide.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), what critics might call a supranational leveraged buyout bank, was out this week making calls for governments worldwide to spend as much as they can.

The IMF also noted that monetary issuance laws would need to be changed in 104 nations to directly issue fiat Central Bank Digital Currency or CBDC for fuller global fruition.

Sounder money advocates yet to banned off of Twitter are predicably pissed off.

Global Government Bonds

SDBullion Market Update

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell had the following statement this week worth highlighting in our market update video.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell had the following statement this week worth highlighting in our market update video.

There is nothing in any definition about how fiscal dominance, which considers our still having the dominant fiat currency of the world, utilizes yield curve control, with suppressed real interest rate yield, rigging inflation and unemployment data, while still dominating the world in most price discovery powers. 

Yet on the cusp of losing economic output dominance to over 2.5 billion Chinese and Indian residents, they tend to stack physical gold and silver as they get wealthier increasingly.

Another week of up then down spot price action for silver and gold. As we head into this Monday’s thinly traded Martin Luther King holiday, note that the spot gold price sits just below its 200-day moving average.

During gold bull markets outside of the global financial crisis, that is typically an excellent time to add to bullish and betting long positions.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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