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28 trillion reasons to have a Plan B

At the close of business on Monday March 1st, just a few days ago, the US national debt crossed $28 trillion for the first time in history.

To the penny, in fact, the national debt hit $28,004,376,276,999.35.

And bear in mind that figure doesn’t include the $1.9 trillion in ‘Covid stimulus’ that Uncle Sam is about to pass, let alone all the other deficit spending that they were already expecting for this current fiscal year.

So you can already see how the debt will quickly rocket past $30 trillion in no time at all.

It’s noteworthy that it took the United States more than two centuries to accumulate its first trillion dollars in debt– a milestone first reached on October 22, 1981.

In those two centuries (74,984 days, to be exact), the US fought two world wars, battled the Spanish Flu pandemic, dealt with the Great Depression, waged Cold War against the Soviet Union, fought the Civil War against itself, put a man on the moon, etc. before breaching $1 trillion in debt.

This most recent trillion of debt took a mere 152 days to accumulate.

Think about that: nearly 75,000 days for the first trillion, 152 days for the last trillion.

Even more startling, it was only September 2017 that the national debt first crossed the $20 trillion milestone.

So when the debt undoubtedly hits $30 trillion over the next few months, that means it will have grown $10 trillion in less than four years.

And there is absolutely no end in sight. The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve are both in lockstep fanaticism: no amount of debt is too much, no amount of money printing is too much.

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

 

Michael Burry Warns Weimar Hyperinflation Is Coming

Michael Burry Warns Weimar Hyperinflation Is Coming

Update (1815 ET): one day after the Weimar tweetstorm below, and shortly after our article came out, Burry tweeted the following:

People say I didn’t warn last time. I did, but no one listened. So I warn this time. And still, no one listens. But I will have proof I warned.

Indeed he will.

* * *

One week ago, Bank of America hinted at the unthinkable: the tsunami of monetary and fiscal stimulus, coupled with the upcoming surge in monetary velocity as the world’s economy emerges from lockdowns, would lead to unprecedented economic overheating… or rather precedented as BofA’s CIO Michael Hartnett reflected back on the post-WW1 Germany which he said was the “most epic, extreme analog of surging velocity and inflation following end of war psychology, pent-up savings, lost confidence in currency & authorities” and specifically the Reichsbank’s monetization of debt, and extrapolated that this is similar to what is going on now.

There is, of course, another name for that period: Weimar Germany, and because we all know what happened then, it is understandable why BofA does not want to mention that particular name.

Of course, others have been less shy – in 1974, Jens Parsson wrote a fascinating, in-depth historical analysis of the hyperinflationary collapse of Weimar Germany under the original money printer, Rudy von Havenstein, “Dying of Money: Lessons of the Great German and American Inflations” one which we periodically remind readers is absolutely critical reading in preparation for what comes next.

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

BREAKING NEWS: Shocking Increase In U.S. Money Supply In Past Two Weeks

BREAKING NEWS: Shocking Increase In U.S. Money Supply In Past Two Weeks

The increase in the U.S. money supply in the past two weeks is absolutely shocking.  Something must be seriously wrong behind the scenes at the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve for the M1 Money Supply to increase more in the past two weeks than it did in six weeks during the beginning of the pandemic shutdowns in late March.

I wrote about this in my last subscriber video, INVESTOR WARNING: Markets Just Propped Up By Half-Trillion In Liquidity, Brace For Major Correction Ahead.  In just one week, the M1 Money Supply surged by $498 billion.  While that was stunning, I was quite shocked to see another huge increase in the past week.

The FRED – St. Louis Federal Reserve just updated their M1 Money Supply figures showing another increase of $312 billion, on top of the $498 billion added the week prior.  So, the total increase in the U.S. M1 Money Supply for Nov 16th to Nov 30th is a shocking $809 billion.  Compare that to the $388 billion increase from Mar 16th to Mar 30th when the pandemic shutdowns first began.

Do you know how much $810 billion equals?  That turns out to be four years of global gold mine supply totaling 440 million or 40 years of global silver mine supply of 32 billion oz.  This is beyond stunning to see this much of an increase without any news release by the U.S. Treasury or Federal Reserve.

Of course, it made sense to see the M1 Money Supply to increase after the pandemic shutdowns and stock market meltdown… BUT WHY NOW???  Take a look at the following chart from the St. Louis Fed (FRED).

From March 16th to April 27th, the U.S. M1 Money Supply increased $773 billion… six weeks.  Why on earth has the M1 Money Supply increased $810 billion… in TWO WEEKS!!!

…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…

The Bogus Case Against Gold

The Bogus Case Against Gold

Gold is in the early stages of its third great bull run that will take it to record heights.

The first two great bull markets were 1971-1980 (gold up 2,200%) and 1999-2011 (gold up 760%). After peaking in 2011, gold fell sharply from that peak to below $1,100 per ounce by 2015.

Now the third great bull market is underway. It began on December 16, 2015, when gold bottomed at $1,050 per ounce at the end of the 2011-2015 bear market. Since then, gold is up significantly, but it’s small change compared to 2,200% and 760% gains in the last two bull markets.

Still, most mainstream economists dismiss gold. They call it a barbarous relic and say it has no place in today’s monetary system.

But today, I want to remind you of the three main arguments mainstream economists make against gold and why they’re dead wrong.

There’s Just Not Enough Gold to Support the Money Supply!

The first one you may have heard many times. “Experts” say there’s not enough gold to support a global financial system. Gold can’t support all the world’s paper money, its assets and liabilities, its expanded balance sheets of all the banks and the financial institutions in the world. They say there’s not enough gold to support that money supply.

That argument is complete nonsense. It’s true that there’s a limited quantity of gold. But more importantly, there’s always enough gold to support the financial system. The key is to set its price correctly.

It is true that at today’s price of about $1,875 an ounce, pegging it to the existing money supply would be highly deflationary.

But to avoid that, all we have to do is increase the gold price. In other words, take the amount of existing gold, place it at, say, $14,000 an ounce, and there’s plenty of gold to support the money supply.

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

Can Constant Money Growth Rule Prevent Boom-Bust Cycles?

According to the Nobel Laureate in Economics, Milton Friedman, the key cause of the business cycles is the fluctuations in the growth rate of money supply. Friedman held that what is required for the elimination of these cycles is for central bank policy makers to aim at a fixed growth rate of money supply:

My choice at the moment would be a legislated rule instructing the monetary authority to achieve a specified rate of growth in the stock of money. For this purpose, I would define the stock of money as including currency outside commercial banks plus all deposits of commercial banks. I would specify that the Reserve System should see to it that the total stock of money so defined rises month by month, and indeed, so far as possible, day by day, at an annual rate of X per cent, where X is some number between 3 and 5. The precise definition of money adopted and the precise rate of growth chosen make far less difference than the definite choice of a particular definition and a particular rate of growth.[1]

Could however, the implementation of the constant money supply growth rule eliminate economic fluctuations?

Honest money versus money out of “thin air”

Originally, paper money was not regarded as money but merely as a representation of gold. Various paper money receipts represented claims on gold stored with the banks. The holders of paper receipts could convert them into gold whenever they deemed necessary. Because people found it more convenient to use paper receipts to exchange for goods and services, these receipts came to be regarded as money.

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

On Inflation (& How It’s Not What Happens Next)

Everyone is convinced the dollar is going to inflate because more dollars are entering the system.

But are they really?

That is the question that sparked a succinct Twitter thread by Travis K (@ColoradoTravis) explaining why inflation is not what happens next (emphasis ours):

Let’s take a look at how dollars are born and how they die.

A dollar is ‘born’ when a loan is made against collateral on a bank’s balance sheet. Banks can issue multiples of dollars for every dollar of collateral they have.

It’s this multiplication effect that expands the amount of total dollars.

Generally, banks are limited in how much they can lend – let’s say it’s 10x their collateral. So for every dollar of collateral they have, they can lend 10 dollars.

By so lending, they ‘birth’ new dollars into the system.

As banks lend more, more dollars are created and the money supply increases. This multiplicative lending is the chief driver of total dollars in the system.

Banks lending a lot → more total dollars and inflation.

When do dollars die?

Dollars ‘die’ when debts are paid back. This reverses the multiplication effect of lending, leading to less total dollars in the system and a contraction of total dollars in circulation.

So what is the Fed ‘printer’ doing – creating dollars, right? Actually no, not really.

The printer only increases the collateral banks have to lend against. It does not directly ‘birth’ dollars, only *potential* dollars.

Banks are still the midwives, and the only ones who birth dollars into the system by lending.

The Fed can increase collateral by 1000x but unless the banks lend against that collateral, dollars will not enter circulation for you and I to interact with.

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

The Fed is Determined to Prove the QTM Right

The Fed is Determined to Prove the QTM Right

gold-dollar-trap

Milton Friedman famously said, “Inflation was always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” But Friedman didn’t live through the QE years here in the U.S. and blatantly ignored the twenty plus years of Japanese deflation despite QE and insane levels of money printing during the latter years of his life.

Because Friedman, like a lot of modern economists, adhered strictly to the Quantity Theory of Money (QTM).

And as an Austrian economics kinda guy I somewhat agree with the QTM. I agree with Ludwig von Mises on this, as you would expect. So, how do we square the QTM with the evidence that QE in all of its guises has resulted in deflation, as expressed by the general price level, where ever it has been tried?

Martin Armstrong ask this question all the time and is openly hostile to the QTM. And his arguments have some merit, because, as he rightly points out the QTM only looks at the supply side of the money equation.

It cares not about the demand side. He’s right about that. What he’s wrong about is that the Austrians, like von Mises, haven’t considered this either.

Demand for money is just as important as the supply of it. And during a crisis, the demand side of the equation for any particular currency may, in fact, be more important.

This is what the Fed has struggled with for the past twelve years. The demand for the U.S. dollar has far outstripped the increase in supply, causing a far lower aggregate price rise than anticipated by the QTM.

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

Money Supply Growth in May Again Surges to an All-Time High

MONEY SUPPLY GROWTH IN MAY AGAIN SURGES TO AN ALL-TIME HIGH

Money supply growth surged to another all-time high in May, following April’s all-time high that came in the wake of unprecedented quantitative easing, central bank asset purchases, and various stimulus packages.

The growth rate has never been higher, with the 1970s the only period that comes close. It was expected that money supply growth would surge in recent months. This usually happens in the wake of the early months of a recession or financial crisis. The magnitude of the growth rate, however, was unexpected.

During May 2020, year-over-year (YOY) growth in the money supply was at 29.8 percent. That’s up from April’s rate of 21.3 percent, and up from May 2019’s rate of 2.15 percent. Historically, this is a very large surge in growth both month over month and year over year. It is also quite a reversal from the trend that only just ended in August of last year, when growth rates were nearly bottoming out around 2 percent. In August, the growth rate hit a 120-month low, falling to the lowest growth rates we’d seen since 2007.

tms1.png

tms

The money supply metric used here—the “true” or Rothbard-Salerno money supply measure (TMS)—is the metric developed by Murray Rothbard and Joseph Salerno, and is designed to provide a better measure of money supply fluctuations than M2. The Mises Institute now offers regular updates on this metric and its growth. This measure of the money supply differs from M2 in that it includes Treasury deposits at the Fed (and excludes short-time deposits, traveler’s checks, and retail money funds).

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

Can An Increase In the Demand For Money Neutralize the Effect of a Corresponding Increase in Money Supply?

CAN AN INCREASE IN THE DEMAND FOR MONEY NEUTRALIZE THE EFFECT OF A CORRESPONDING INCREASE IN MONEY SUPPLY?

According to popular thinking, not every increase in the supply of money will have an effect on the production of goods. For instance, if an increase in the supply is matched by a corresponding increase in the demand for money then there will be no effect on the economy. The increase in the supply of money is neutralized so to speak by an increase in the demand for money or the willingness to hold a greater amount of money than before.

What do we mean by demand for money? In addition, how does this demand differ from the demand for goods and services?

Demand for money versus demand for good

The demand for a good is not essentially the demand for a particular good as such but the demand for the services that the good offers. For instance, an individuals’ demand for food is on account of the fact that food provides the necessary elements that sustain an individual’s life and wellbeing.

Demand here means that people want to consume the food in order to secure the necessary elements that sustain life and wellbeing.

Likewise, the demand for money arises on account of the services that money provides. However, instead of consuming money people demand money in order to exchange it for goods and services.

With the help of money, various goods become more marketable – they can secure more goods than in the barter economy. What enables this is the fact that money is the most marketable commodity.

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

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…

Changes in Government Deposits and Money Supply

CHANGES IN GOVERNMENT DEPOSITS AND MONEY SUPPLY

The US debt ceiling suspension, signed in February 2018, expires at the beginning of March this year. Some commentators are of the view that the US Treasury must carry out special measures if it expects a delay in raising the debt ceiling in March.

The Treasury would have to draw down its deposits at the Fed and deposit the cash in various government department accounts at commercial banks, for future use to pay government salaries and contractors’ fees.

These commentators are of the view that the Treasury deposit withdrawals act like QE (quantitative easing) and the Treasury deposit build-ups like QT (quantitative tightening). However, is it the case?

If in an economy people hold $10,000 in cash, we would say that the money supply in this economy is $10,000. If some individuals then decided to place $2,000 of their money in demand deposits, the total money supply will still remain $10,000, comprising of $8,000 cash and $2,000 in demand deposits.

Now, if government taxes people by $1,000, this amount of money is then transferred from individual’s demand deposits to the government’s deposits. Conventional thinking would view this as if the money supply fell by $1,000. In reality, however, the $1,000 is now available for government expenditure meaning that money supply is still $10,000, comprising of $8,000 in cash, $1000 in individuals demand deposits and $1,000 in government deposits.

If the government were to withdraw $1000 from its deposit with the Fed and buy goods from individuals then the amount of money will be still $10,000 comprising of $8,000 in cash and $2,000 in individuals demand deposits.

From this we can conclude that a large withdrawal of money from the government deposit account with the Fed is not going to strengthen the money supply as suggested by popular thinking. 

What are the sources for money expansion?

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

The Pseudo-Psychology Behind Monetary Policy

The Pseudo-Psychology Behind Monetary Policy

In his various writings, the champion of the monetarist school, Milton Friedman, argued that there is a variable time lag between changes in money supply and its effect on real output and prices. Friedman holds that in the short run changes in money supply will be followed by changes in real output.

However, in the long-run changes in money will only have an effect on prices. All this means that changes in money with respect to real economic activity tend to be neutral in the long-run and non-neutral in the short-run. Thus according to Friedman,

In the short-run, which may be as much as five or ten years, monetary changes affect primarily output. Over decades, on the other hand, the rate of monetary growth affects primarily prices.1

According to Friedman because of the difference in the time lag, the effect of the change in money supply shows up first in output and hardly at all in prices. It is only after a longer time lag that changes in money start to have an effect on prices. This is the reason according to Friedman why in the short-run money can grow the economy, while in the long run it has no effect on the real output.

According to Friedman, the main reason for the non-neutrality of money in the short-run is the variability in the time lag between money and the economy.

Consequently, he believes that if the central bank were to follow a constant money growth rate rule this would eliminate fluctuations caused by variable changes in the money supply growth rate. The constant money growth rate rule could also make money neutral in the short-run and the only effect that money would have is on general prices in the long run.

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

The Difference Between Money Supply & Liquidity

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MONEY SUPPLY & LIQUIDITY

The US debt ceiling suspension, signed on February 2018, expires in March this year. According to some experts, the US Treasury will have to carry out special measures because of possible delays in raising this ceiling. Treasury would need to draw down its deposits with the Fed and deposit the money in various banks for future use to pay government expenses. As a result, this would boost monetary liquidity and therefore would have beneficial effects on financial markets.

It is sometimes argued that changes in government deposits with the Federal Reserve (Fed) set in motion changes in liquidity and that this has effects on financial markets. On this logic an increase in government deposits with the Fed would lead to a decline in the supply of money and hence to a decline in monetary liquidity.

Conversely, a decline in government deposits with the central bank results in an increase in money supply and monetary liquidity. An implicit assumption in this logic is that an increase in money supply and an increase in liquidity represent the same thing.

The meaning of monetary liquidity

Whilst many people talk about money and liquidity interchangeably, the reality is these are both very different concepts. Whilst the term money simply refers to the supply of money, the term liquidity relates to the interplay between the supply of and the demand for money.

People demand money primarily in order to facilitate trade. By means of money, a product of one specialist is exchanged for the product of another specialist. The nub of what makes a particular thing money (i.e. a medium of exchange) is that it offers to its holder a greater purchasing power than any other good.

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

Quantitative Brainwashing

Quantitative Brainwashing

We’re all familiar with the term, “quantitative easing.” It’s described as meaning, “A monetary policy in which a central bank purchases government securities or other securities from the market in order to lower interest rates and increase the money supply.”

Well, that sounds reasonable… even beneficial. But, unfortunately, that’s not really the whole story.

When QE was implemented, the purchasing power was weak and both government and personal debt had become so great that further borrowing would not solve the problem; it would only postpone it and, in the end, exacerbate it. Effectively, QE is not a solution to an economic problem, it’s a bonus of epic proportions, given to banks by governments, at the expense of the taxpayer.

But, of course, we shouldn’t be surprised that governments have passed off a massive redistribution of wealth from the taxpayer to their pals in the banking sector with such clever terms. Governments of today have become extremely adept at creating euphemisms for their misdeeds in order to pull the wool over the eyes of the populace.

At this point, we cannot turn on the daily news without being fed a full meal of carefully- worded mumbo jumbo, designed to further overwhelm whatever small voices of truth may be out there.

Let’s put this in perspective for a moment.

For millennia, political leaders have been in the practice of altering, confusing and even obliterating the truth, when possible. And it’s probably safe to say that, for as long as there have been media, there have been political leaders doing their best to control them.

During times of war, political leaders have serially restricted the media from simply telling the truth. During the American civil war, President Lincoln shut down some 300 newspapers and arrested some 14,000 journalists who had the audacity to contradict his statements to the public.

…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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