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The U.S. Government Will Inflate To The Bitter End

The U.S. Government Will Inflate To The Bitter End

The big news organizations say Joe Biden’s the next president of the USA.  That claims of election fraud and fixing are baseless.  Do you believe them?  Do you trust them?

Regardless, Biden’s acting as if.  He’s talking to foreign leaders.  He’s meeting with vaccine makers.  He’s making big plans.  He’s planning big things.  But, apparently, he’s not progressive enough.

This week, for example, an organization called Justice Democrats accused Biden of appointing corporate-friendly insiders.  They say these “corporate-friendly insiders […] will not help usher in the most progressive Democratic administration in generations.”

Certainly, Biden’s getting plenty of advice.  The political puppet has left many strings to be pulled.  Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer want Biden to erase the first $50,000 of a person’s student loan debt.  According to Schumer“Joe Biden can do that with the pen as opposed to legislation.”

Will Biden listen to them?  Will he listen to progressive superstar Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?  On Monday, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, tweeted:

“Student loan forgiveness is good, actually.

“We should also push for tuition-free public colleges to avoid this huge debt bubble from financially decimating ppl every generation.  It’s one of the easiest progressive policies to ‘pay for,’ w/ multiple avenues from a Wall St transaction tax to an ultra-wealth tax to cover it.”

Wow!  Biden hasn’t even moved into the White House and things have gone stoopid silly.  Where to begin?

Cut It Off

Without question, the student debt crisis is a disgrace.  There are roughly 45 million student loan borrowers who owe on the order of $1.6 trillion.  Most of this debt is from federal student loans.

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

The monetary logic for gold and silver

The monetary logic for gold and silver

A considered reflection of current events leads to only one conclusion, and that is accelerating inflation of the dollar’s money supply is firmly on the path to destroying the dollar’s purchasing power — completely.

This article looks at the theoretical and empirical evidence from previous fiat money collapses in order to impart the knowledge necessary for individuals to seek early protection from an annihilation of fiat currencies. It assesses the likely speed of the collapse of fiat money and debates the future of money in a post-fiat world, in which the likely successors are metallic money — gold and silver— and some would say cryptocurrencies.

Early action to lessen the impact of a failure of the fiat regime requires an understanding of the role of money in order to decide what will be the future money when fiat dies. Will we be pricing goods and services in gold or a cryptocurrency? Will gold be priced in bitcoin or bitcoin priced in gold? And if bitcoin is priced in gold, will its function of a store of value still exist?

Introduction

This week saw the news that a vaccine had been found to combat the coronavirus. At least it offers the prospect of humanity ridding itself of the virus in due course, but it will not be enough to rescue the global economy from its deeper problems. Monetary inflation is therefore far from running its course.

The reaction in financial markets to the vaccine news was contradictory: equity markets rallied strongly ignoring rapidly deteriorating fundamentals, and gold slumped on a minor recovery in the dollar’s trade weighted index. Rather than blindly accepting the reasons for outcomes put forward by the financial press we must accept that during these inflationary times that markets are not functioning efficiently.

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

Ben Hunt: Inflation Ahead!

Ben Hunt — highly respected fund manager, author, and former professor/entrepreneur/venture capitalist — says that to be successful in managing your wealth, there’s only one question that matters:

Are we entering a deflationary future, or an inflationary one?

The strategies and appropriate investment targets for each are extremely different, so you’d better answer correctly.

Though Hunt says as long as you identify the trend “roughly” right, you should do fine. You don’t have to be brilliant with the exact investments you put your capital into. As long as they benefit from the secular trend, its massive scale and momentum will do the heavy lifting.

So which kind of future are we entering?

Hunt thinks we’re at a very important inflection point. That after decades of deflation (e.g., chronically declining interest rates), we’re now transitioning into an era of secular inflation.

The $trillions in monetary and fiscal stimulus so far, and the near-certainty of much more to come, are certainly a big step in that direction.

And with asset prices completely distorted from reality, a struggling global economy, and an inflationary outlook, Hunt thinks the coming years will be extremely rocky for investors. Lots of cross-currents, with the only guarantee being that the majority of investment predicts will be foiled — as there remain very few active investors alive who have any experience managing capital in an inflationary environment.

Which is why Hunt is emphatic that now, more than ever, is the time to partner with a financial advisor who understands the risks in play, can craft an appropriate portfolio strategy for you given your needs, and apply sound risk management protection where appropriate:

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

The Coming Financial Crisis of 2021

Economist Steve Keen predicts that even if the covid-19 health crisis subsides next year, a brewing financial crisis on par with the 2008 Great Recession is in the making.

He sees the pandemic as having delivered an “unprecedented shock” to the global economy, and the response from authorities as nothing less than a “catastrophe”.

With tens of millions of households having lost their income this year, personal savings becoming exhausted, government support programs on their way to drying up, and lots more company layoffs/bankruptcies/closures ahead — Steve expects a punishing recession to arrive in full force in 2021.

And on a larger scale, he sees modern neoclassical economics — which ignores the importance of natural resources and the health of our ecosystems — as completely unsuited for the reality in which we live today. He warns that if we don’t adapt a more informed approach to managing the global economy, we will only continue to make the mess we’re in worse:

The Hazards of 4 More Years of Jerome Powell

Whether Trump or Biden is elected in November, they will have to decide whether or not to appoint Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to another term.

And if he is appointed again, the way he continues to handle the continuing ripple effects of the COVID-19 “shutdown” economy will be critical.

So let’s examine why the decision to reappoint him is important, then take a quick tour of some of Powell’s recent performance.

piece from Paul R. La Monica provides a take on the importance of Powell’s re-appointment, beginning with the response to the market’s plummet earlier this year:

The Fed quickly lowered rates to zero in March and has since launched trillions of dollars worth of lending programs… Powell’s swift actions have won him praise from many economists and investing experts on Wall Street.

“Powell should get a second term if he wants it. He deserves credit for the speed and magnitude of the Fed’s response to Covid-19,” said Larry Adam, chief investment officer of Raymond James.

Mr. Adam and the article are correct on one point. The Powell-authorized “moon shot” in response to a dramatic market drop was certainly a fast move.

George Calhoun, professor of quantitative finance at the Stevens Institute of Technology, agreed with Powell’s quick decision to print trillions:

When the crisis hit, Powell went all out and opened the spigots. I’m not sure what rationale would be to have someone totally different at the Fed. Monetary policy has been effective.

Any person in Powell’s position could have made the same call, of course. We just have to hope that the long-term ripple effects don’t eventually reveal that his reaction was too much, too fast, or perhaps unnecessary.

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

What’s Behind the Fed’s Project to Send Free Money to People Directly?

What’s Behind the Fed’s Project to Send Free Money to People Directly?

A lump-sum payment in digital dollars for all Americans during a recession or to raise inflation, as an alternative to QE and negative interest rates, which have failed.

By Wolf Richter. This is the transcript of my podcast last Sunday, THE WOLF STREET REPORT. You can listen to it on YouTube or download it wherever you get your podcasts.

There is a lot of discussion suddenly about a Federal Reserve project to make direct payments to households during an economic crisis. In March, legislation was proposed in the House and in the Senate to authorize the Fed to do this.

At the beginning of August, two former Fed officials floated a trial balloon of this type of operation with some specifics as to how it would work and how it would be accounted for on the Fed’s balance sheet.

And now, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Loretta Mester, gave a speech on the modernization of the decades-old, slow, and cumbersome payment systems we have in the United States. The Fed has been working on this modernization since long before the Pandemic. And near the end of that speech, she said that the Fed was looking into ways in which it could make direct and instant payments to every American, even those that don’t have bank accounts.

So free money for all Americans. This is very different from the stimulus checks because the government had to borrow the money that it sent to consumers. The Fed would just create the money and send it to consumers. And this is getting pretty serious now.

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

The emerging evidence of hyperinflation

The emerging evidence of hyperinflation

Note: all references to inflation are of the quantity of money and not to the effect on prices unless otherwise indicated.

In last week’s article I showed why empirical evidence of fiat money collapses are relevant to monetary conditions today. In this article I explain why the purchasing power of the dollar is hostage to foreign sellers, and that if the Fed continues with current monetary policies the dollar will follow the same fate as John Law’s livre in 1720. As always in these situations, there is little public understanding of money and the realisation that monetary policy is designed to tax people for the benefit of their government will come as an unpleasant shock. The speed at which state money then collapses in its utility will be swift. This article concentrates on the US dollar, central to other fiat currencies, and where the monetary and financial imbalances are greatest.

Introduction

In last week’s Goldmoney Insight, Lessons on inflation from the past, I described how there were certain characteristics of Germany’s 1914-23 inflation that collapsed the paper mark which are relevant to our current situation. I drew a parallel between John Law’s inflation and his Mississippi bubble in 1715-20 and the Federal Reserve’s policy of inflating the money supply to sustain a bubble in financial assets today. Law’s bubble popped and resulted in the destruction of his currency and the Fed is pursuing the same policies on the grandest of scales. The contemporary inflations of all the major state-issued currencies will similarly risk a collapse in their purchasing powers, and rapidly at that.

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

Today’s Contemplation: Collapse Cometh IV

Image for post

Tulum, Mexico (1986) Photo by author

My comment on an article in The Tyee about our federal government’s latest throne speech by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2020/09/24/Throne-Speech-Stew/).

_____

The idea that a sovereign nation can never run into trouble financially because it can create its own currency is certainly the dominant narrative amongst government and ‘mainstream’ economists/bankers. After all, who benefits the most from this storyline?

But is it in fact true?

Scratching below the surface of this ‘experiment’ suggests it is not.

If printing one’s own money were a panacea, then nations like Venezuela, Zimbabwe, or the German Weimar Republic (and countless other nations throughout history) would never have experienced the hyperinflation that they have. They would be the richest nations ever to have existed.

One could counter that this is because they had to use their debased currency to import goods. True, but if one is debauching one’s currency through exponential ‘printing’, then this may be true for any nation dependent upon imports, which almost every nation is in our globalised, industrial world.

The solution that nations have rested upon given this reality is that the central banks collude to all print at relatively the same rate, so currencies don’t fall/rise too drastically compared to their trading partners.

Fine, but what does endless money/credit creation due to the purchasing power of this fiat currency created from thin air?

Previous trials in this approach indicate that it totally debases/debauches the currency, significantly reducing the ‘wealth’ of the people holding/using it because of the inflation that it creates.
Here’s what John Maynard Keynes had to say about this: “By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.”

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

Keynesian Ideas Can Only Make Things Worse

In the New York Times on September 8, 2020, Paul Krugman suggested that

“The CARES Act, enacted in March, gave the unemployed an extra $600 a week in benefits. This supplement played a crucial role in limiting extreme hardship; poverty may even have gone down”.

For Krugman and many economic commentators, it is the duty of the government to support the economy whenever it falls into an economic slump. Following in the footsteps of John Maynard Keynes, most economists hold that one cannot have complete trust in a market economy, which is seen as inherently unstable.  If left free the market economy could lead to self-destruction. Hence, there is the need for governments and central banks to manage the economy. Successful management in the Keynesian framework is done by influencing overall spending.

It is spending that generates income. Spending by one individual becomes income for another individual according to the Keynesian framework of thinking. Hence the more that is spent the better it is going to be. What drives the economy then is spending. If during a recession, consumers fail to spend then it is the role of the government to step in and boost overall spending in order to grow the economy.

In the Keynesian framework of thinking the output that an economy can generate with a given pool of resources (i.e. labour, tools and machinery, and technology) without causing inflation, is labelled as potential output. Hence the greater the pool of resources, all other things being equal, the more output can be generated.

If for whatever reasons the demand for the produced goods is not strong enough this leads to an economic slump. (Inadequate demand for goods leads to only a partial use of existent labour and capital goods).  In this framework then, it makes a lot of sense to boost government spending in order to strengthen demand and eliminate the economic slump.

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

Inflation as a Tool of the Radical Left

Inflation as a Tool of the Radical Left

dollars

“Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch its currency….Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer way of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”1

Keynes does not provide a concrete source backing his words but deliberately used the phrase “is said to have declared.” For a good reason. As Frank W. Fetter (1899–1991) pointed out, there is no evidence at hand that Lenin actually said or wrote these words, and anyone quoting Lenin on inflation would be indeed be referring to Keynes’s opinion.2

Be that as it may, it is pretty obvious that Lenin had a good understanding of the evils of inflation caused by the issuance of large amounts of unbacked paper money. He writes:

There is another side to the problem of raising the fixed grain prices. This raising of prices involves a new chaotic increase in the issuing of paper money, a further increase in the cost of living, increased financial disorganisation and the approach of financial collapse. Everybody admits that the issuing of paper money constitutes the worst form of compulsory loan, that it most of all affects the conditions of the workers, of the poorest section of the population, and that it is the chief evil engendered by financial disorder.3

Indeed price inflation caused by the increase in the quantity of money does not only cause serious economic problems. It also brings severe sociopolitical problems. Inflation makes most people poorer, degrades their social status, destroys their dreams of a better life. People become desperate and open to radical political programs.

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

“Inflation” and America’s Accelerating Class War

“Inflation” and America’s Accelerating Class War

Those who don’t see the fragmentation, the scarcities and the battlelines being drawn will be surprised by the acceleration of the unraveling.

I recently came across the idea that inflation is a two-factor optimization problem: inflation is necessary for the macro-economy (or so we’re told) and so the trick for policy makers (and their statisticians who measure the economy) is to maximize inflation in the economy but only to the point that it doesn’t snuff out businesses and starve workers to death.

From this perspective, households have to grin and bear the negative consequences of inflation for the good of the whole economy.

This narrative, so typical of economics, ignores the core reality of “inflation” in America: it’s a battleground for the class war that’s accelerating. Allow me to explain.

“Inflation” affects different classes very differently. I put “inflation” in italics because it’s not one phenomenon, it’s numerous phenomena crammed into one deceptively simple word.

When “inflation” boosts the value of homes, stocks, bonds, diamonds, quatloos etc. to the moon, those who own these assets are cheering. When “inflation” reduces the purchasing power of wages, those whose only income is earned from their labor suffer a decline in their lifestyles as their wages buy fewer goods and services.

They are suffering while the wealthy owners of soaring assets are cheering.

The Federal Reserve and federal authorities are not neutral observers in this war. The Fed only cares about two things: enriching the banking sector and further enriching the already-rich.

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

A Powerful Ally to the Fed Just Boosted the Prospects for Inflation

Inflation Calculator

This week, Your News to Know rounds up the latest top stories involving gold and the overall economy. Stories include: ECB could follow the Fed’s pro-inflation policy, precious metals in a pandemic, and legendary silver coin to be sold for more than $10 million at an auction.

Gold could move up further as the ECB looks to keep the euro down

If one believes that central bank policies are a primary driver of gold prices, the yellow metal should have plenty of room to go up even as it sits above its previous all-time high. Besides the Federal Reserve’s openness to inflation, gold should be buoyed by a surge of the euro and the European Central Bank’s (ECB) efforts to contain it.

Experts like Mechanical Engineering Industry Association’s chief economist Ralph Wiechers and Natixis strategist Dirk Schumacher note that an overly strong euro poses problems for the eurozone. It hinders both exporters and importers, slows the European economy, and can cause inflationary spikes in individual countries.

While the ECB might not be able to control the euro as easily, Schumacher’s firm expects them to try and push it down by introducing looser monetary policies. BNP Paribas’ analysts share a similar view, stating in a recent note that the ECB would also voice its desire to keep the euro lower. This was exemplified when former ECB vice president Vitor Constancio stated in an interview that the ECB would follow in the Fed’s wake by allowing inflation to run above the targeted rate for periods of time.

Strong currencies are among the biggest headwinds for gold prices, and inflation is one of its most powerful drivers. Given recent statements by officials from both central banks, it should come as no surprise that prominent investor Peter Schiff points to inflation as the next big thing that will power gold’s gains.

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

Inflation, deflation and other fallacies

Inflation, deflation and other fallacies

There can be little doubt that macroeconomic policies are failing around the world. The fallacies being exposed are so entrenched that there are bound to be twists and turns yet to come.

This article explains the fallacies behind inflation, deflation, economic performance and interest rates. They arise from the modern states’ overriding determination to access the wealth of its electorate instead of being driven by a genuine and considered concern for its welfare. Monetary inflation, which has become runaway, transfers wealth to the state from producers and consumers, and is about to accelerate. Everything about macroeconomics is now with that single economically destructive objective in mind.

Falling prices, the outcome of commercial competition and sound money are more aligned with the interests of ordinary people, but that is so derided by neo-Keynesians that today almost without exception everyone believes in inflationism.

And finally, we conclude that the escape from failing fiat will lead to rising nominal interest rates, with all the consequences which that entails. The inevitable outcome is a flight to commodities, including gold and silver, despite rising interest rates for fiat money.

Demand-siders and supply-siders

In a macroeconomics-driven world, economic fallacies abound. They are periodically trashed when disproved, only to arise again as received wisdom for a new generation of macroeconomists determined to justify their statist beliefs. The most egregious of these is that inflation can only occur as the handmaiden of economic growth, while deflation is similarly linked to a recession spinning out of control into the maelstrom of a slump.

This error is the opposite of the facts.

Conventionally, macroeconomists split into two groups. There are the Keynesians who believe in stimulating demand to ensure there will always be markets for goods and services, which they attempt to achieve through additional spending by governments and by discouraging saving, because it is consumption deferred.

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

Market Update: The Fed’s Big Lie

Market Update: The Fed’s Big Lie

Ignore Powell’s happy talk. The Fed is desperate and merely playing for time.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell announced on Thursday that the Fed will now shift its focus from hitting inflation targets and instead prioritize closing “unemployment shortfalls”.

This gives it the aircover to do “whatever it takes” until the unemployment rate is back down into the low single digits. Inflation can now run hotter than 2%, rates can stay at 0% (or go negative) for the next decade+, more QE…. all is fair game now in the pursuit of lower unemployment.

Essentially, the Fed is now tripling-down on the same failed policies that have created today’s zombie economy and the worst economic inequality in our nation’s history.

Rich 5% own 2/3 of the wealth

Perhaps the folks at the Fed are smarter than we think, and there’s actually a grand plan they’re pursuing that’s going to work out to society’s benefit?

Sadly no, reveals this week’s expert guest, Danielle DiMartino-Booth. Danielle knows the Fed inside and out, as she worked as a consultant for nearly a decade to Richard Fischer, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, including helping deal with the Great Financial Crisis. She knows how the organization runs, as well as the specific people running it.

And her assessment is that the Fed is trapped in a nightmare of its own making and is merely playing for time at this point. Everything it throws at the situation is designed to hopefully get the system to limp through the next quarter or two without breaking, at which point they’ll scramble to come up with the next short-term “solution”.

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

What Are You Going To Do As Our Money Dies?

What Are You Going To Do As Our Money Dies?

Central banks are killing our currency to protect the already-rich

In our recent article It’s Time To Position For The Endgame, Chris Martenson explained how the US Federal Reserve and its sister central banks around the world have been engaged in the largest and most egregious wealth transfer in all of history — one that has been drastically exacerbated by the covid-19 pandemic.

The official response, tremendous monetary stimulus by the central banks paired with massive fiscal stimulus from national legislatures, has been pitched as “saving the system”.

Yet, in reality, it has merely served to accelerate the transfer of capital from the public into the pockets of the already-rich.

Anyone with eyes can see how the central banks have abandoned all pretense of monetary fiduciary responsibility and have simply cranked their printing presses up to “maximum”:

In concert with this surge of liquidity, national legislatures have added their own emergency measures. In the US alone, the CARES Act pushed nearly $3 trillion in fiscal stimulus into the system, and will highly likely soon be followed by another $1-3 trillion depending on which party’s bill gets passed.

Despite these staggering sums, the amount of money trickling into the average US household has been meager and is drying up.

Instead, these $trillions are mostly finding their way into the coffers and share prices of corporations. We have seen the fastest and most extreme V-shaped recovery in the history of the financial markets since the March swoon. The major indices are now back to record all-time-highs, despite the major carnage covid-19 has wreaked on the global economy.

So who benefits from that? Oh yeah, the people who own those companies. The already-rich.

Remember: 84% of all stocks are owned by the top 10% of households.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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