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Showing posts with label FED. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FED. Show all posts

Friday, January 31, 2014

The World Is Headed For A Major Disaster

I understand that there was almost a revolt at the Fed. Certain members warned Bernanke to halt the Fed's wild money creation, fearing that it would wind up in hyper-inflation. But the Fed cannot completely halt its QE. The Fed is now buying 90% of the Treasuries that are put out for sale. 

If the Fed halts its buying of Treasuries, who will buy them? Certainly not China or USA investors. Bernanke's thinking or hoping is that continued Fed stimulus will result in the US economy becoming so strong on its own that in due time it won't need any Fed stimulus.

However, matters are not working out in the way Bernanke wishes. The economy is still dragging its feet, and employment is still lagging. In the meantime, the banks, not the US populace, have prospered. The banks' reserves have been swelling. What dissenting Fed members are worried about is that bank reserves are growing and are beginning to resemble water behind a dam, pressuring to be released. When the dam finally breaks, all assets will go through the roof, and, as usual, leave the ever-suffering middle class behind.

So that's the story and the problem of the era. As I said years ago, the choice is, “inflate or die.”

Then there's another excellent reason why Bernanke can't cut back completely on the Fed's machinations. You see, the Fed has manipulated interest rates to ridiculously low levels. The US must manage or carry trillions of dollars in Federal debt. We are currently rolling over this debt at very low Fed-controlled interest rates. But if interest rates are allowed to climb to their normal uncontrolled levels, the cost of carrying the nation's debt (now $250 billion dollars annually) could rise to prohibitive levels -- even into the trillions of dollars.

So there we are -- to continue the Fed's stimulation and manipulation adventures -- or to back off and let the economy survive on its own?

So what do we do as investors and survivors? My own choice is to hold physical gold with just enough cash to carry us through each week. The amount of physical gold in the US is shrinking, and it's going to China and India. I believe the only danger to my plan is that possibly, in desperation, the US could confiscate gold from its people.

True, this was done by FDR back in 1933. But this is a different world, and it's not 1933. I believe there would be so much opposition to a “gold confiscation” today that the government could not get away with it. Besides, today many wealthy and influential people own gold, and they would constitute a powerful force against a government attempt to call in the people's gold.

At any rate, I've been doing a lot of thinking on this subject, and my conclusion is that holding physical gold in your possession is safe and the best policy for surviving the difficult years that I believe lie ahead.

Question -- what about buying and holding gold mining stocks, a category that has been denigrated and battered unmercifully? Answer -- I think they represent a good speculation, but I prefer the real deal, and that's physical gold.

There is something else I want to talk about. It's China, now the world's second biggest economy. China's debt is now 70% of its GDP, a ratio the analysts consider dangerous. If China runs into trouble it will affect all of Asia and the rest of the world.

So let's take a look at China on a chart. What I see is a huge head-and-shoulders top that has just plunged below support. The chart is telling me that the world's second largest economy is in serious trouble.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Eric Sprott: "Have We Lost Control Yet?"

by Eric Sprott

Recent comments by the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke have shocked the world financial markets. It all started on May 22nd, 2013, at a Testimony to the US Congress Joint Economic Committee, where he first hinted at tapering the Fed’s quantitative easing (QE) program. Then, on Wednesday, June 19th, during the press conference following the FOMC meeting, the Chairman outlined the Fed’s exit strategy from QE.
Since the first allusion to tapering, volatility has been on the rise across the board (stocks, currencies and bonds) (Figure 1A). Moreover, the yield starved, hot money that had flown to emerging markets has been rushing for the exits, triggering significant declines in emerging market (EM) equity and bond markets (Figure 1B). Finally, the prospect of the end of monetary accommodation has triggered rapid and significant decreases (increases) in the price (yield) of longer dated Treasury bonds (also Figure 1B).


Monday, June 24, 2013

This Is an Extraordinary Time

by Charles Hugh Smith

It's as if we have two economies: the simulacrum one of stocks rising dramatically in a few months, and the real one of household earnings (down) and hours worked (down).

It is difficult to justify the feeling that we are living in an extraordinary moment in time, for the fundamental reason that it's impossible to accurately assess the present in a historical context.

Extraordinary moments are most easily marked by dramatic events such as declarations of war or election results; lacking such a visible demarcation, what sets this month of 2013 apart from any other month since the Lehman Brothers' collapse in 2008?

It seems to me that the ordinariness of June 2013 is masking its true nature as a turning point. Humans soon habituate to whatever conditions they inhabit, and this adaptive trait robs us of the ability to discern just how extraordinary the situation has become.

Controlling The Implosion Of The Biggest Bond Bubble In History


In theory, the Fed could continue to print money and buy Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, or even pure junk, at the current rate of $85 billion a month until the bitter end. But the bitter end would be unpleasant even for those that the Fed represents – and now they’re speaking up publicly.

“Savers have paid a huge price in this recovery,” was how Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf phrased it on Thursday – a sudden flash of empathy, after nearly five years of Fed policies that pushed interest rates on savings accounts and CDs below inflation, a form of soft confiscation, of which he and his TBTF bank were prime beneficiaries. That interest rates were rising based on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s insinuation of a taper was “a good thing,” he told CNBC. “We need to get back to normal.”

A week earlier, it was Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein: “Eventually interest rates have to normalize,” he said. “It’s not normal to have 2% rates.”

Friday, June 21, 2013

Why the Greenbackers Are Wrong

by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

One of Ron Paul’s great accomplishments is that the Federal Reserve faces more opposition today than ever before. Readers of this site will be familiar with the arguments: the Fed enjoys special government privileges; its interference with market interest rates gives rise to the boom-bust business cycle; it has undermined the value of the dollar; it creates moral hazard, since market participants know the money producer can bail them out; and it is unnecessary and at odds with a free market economy.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Why My 'Crash Alert' Flag Is Flying High

by Bill Bonner

Whoa! Investors are acting as if it were 2007 all over again.

USA Today has the story:

Emboldened by soaring stock prices and record-low borrowing costs, stock investors are taking out loans against their portfolios at the fastest pace since before the Great Recession hit.

So-called margin debt hit $379.5 billion in March, the highest level since July 2007 when such debt hit an all-time record of $381.4 billion, according to the most recent data available compiled by the New York Stock Exchange.

The trend signals that investors are more comfortable with stocks and are more willing to use borrowed money to buy more securities in hopes of garnering fatter returns in a hot market that has pushed the Dow Jones industrials up more than 15% in 2013.

Why are investors so bullish? Because the economy is coming back? Because the future is rosy? Because stocks are going to earn even more?

Nah... What do you take us for, dear reader? We know the story. Stocks are going up because the Fed is making them go up. Here's David Rosenberg in Canada's Financial Post:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Grandest Larceny of All Time

by Bill Bonner

Gold seems to be coming back fast. It rose $38 per ounce yesterday.
Of course, the Fed's monetary meddling doesn't work. And it will most likely cause a financial disaster.
But the biggest scandal of today's central bank policy is that it is essentially the grandest larceny of all time.
The normal ways in which wealth is distributed may not be perfect, but they are the best nature can do. People earn it. They save it. They steal it. Or they get richer by investing.

Or they just get lucky...

Normally, in other words, wealth ends up being distributed in an unplanned and uncontrolled way. People do their best. The chips fall where they may.

But along come the central banks. They're creating a new type of wealth. It is not wage income. It is not the product of capital investments. It is not the result of technology or productivity increases or hard work or self-discipline... or any of the other things that lead to wealth and prosperity.

Instead, it is created by the central bank "out of thin air."

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fed exit strategy: the mother of all head fakes

by Goldmoney

“Exit strategy” is the current buzz phrase among market watchers, with the dollar rallying in recent days and weeks on expectations that all is well with the US economy again, and that the Fed can now start thinking about ways of selling assets and “exiting” from its current commitment to perpetual quantitative easing.
Given this growing narrative and the fact that US stocks continue to race higher, gold and silver remain under pressure – with a “sell the rallies” mentality continuing to predominate trading in these metals. This could change though, depending on what Fed chairman Bernanke says in congressional testimony later today (if he sounds more dovish on monetary policy and pessimistic about the economy than expected, this should support the metals; in the opposite case, the metals could go lower).
From a longer-term perspective, it really doesn’t matter what Bernanke says. Talk from Fed officials about “exit strategies” is nothing more than a head fake: a way of convincing the markets that central banks are still in control, and that there’s nothing to worry about. The central planners have it all under control.

Friday, May 17, 2013


economic collapse


America is quickly approaching a catastrophic economic collapse. Before you dismiss this as hype or paranoia, take a few minutes to review the facts outlined on this page. The numbers don’t lie. At this point, the dollar crash is unavoidable… far from an exaggeration this is a mathematical certainty. As repelling as that sounds, it’s in your own best interest to learn just how bad the situation is.


According to the talking heads of mainstream press the economy is slowly recovering and the financial crisis is all but behind us. But we need a reality check. It’s time to stop being naive and start being more discerning. Instead of more false hope, we need the truth as bitter as it might sound… and the truth is, from our local municipalities, to our states to our federal government, we are broke… the truth is we can’t payback our debt without getting into even more debt… the truth is the housing crash of 2008 was just a small preview of what’s to come.
America is drowning in debt. The government’s liabilities are now growing at an exponential rate. Our national debt is on a vicious downward spiral.
To our detriment, our government continues to pretend that we can borrow our way out of debt and only a handful of our politicians are willing to admit that our nation is now bankrupt.
Contrary to rhetoric coming out of Washington, no tax hike or budget cut will get us out of this mess. The kinds of measures that would actually bring about meaningful change to curb the financial collapse are deemed too severe to be even considered.
Examine the evidence outlined below. Connect the dots and think for yourself.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Story Of Inequality In The US: Past, Present And Future

In this far-reaching documentary, we are first treated to a history lesson from the early 80s to the present day - a story of lust, debt, and largesse; from Reagan deficits to cell phones to day trading to real estate... and then 2008 is explained (as reality started to peek through). The clip projects the next few years - from failed bond auctions to QE9 and social unrest - "but it doesn't have to be this way," the narrator notes. Breaking Inequality is a documentary film about the corruption between Washington and Wall Street that has resulted in the largest inequality gap in the history of America.
It is a film that exposes the truth behind the single event that occurred back in the early 70's that set us off on this perilous journey that we are currently on. The inequality gap is presently the worst that it has ever been and there is no solution in place to repair this crippling problem.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

This Is The S&P With And Without QE

by Zero Hedge

For a while there, it seemed that even the densest of career economists who try to pass for stock pundits on financial comedy TV, were starting to get that without the Fed's (and the ECB's, and the BOE's, and the BOJ's) QE, the market would be much, much lower (whether 500 points lower as Gundlach suggested or much more, remains unclear). After all: by now it should have been clear to most that QE is doing nothing for the economy, and everything for the stock and bond market (here we certainly agree: there is a bond bubble, which by implication there is an even more massive stock bubble too - anyone who says the two are unlinked can be immediately put on mute).
This is why we presented this chart previously:

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Monarchs Of Money

The world's central banks have printed unimaginable amounts of money in recent years - "these guys are really more powerful than the government." Neil Macdonald explores what this means for the global economy and for your financial well-being - "can you imagine if the American public knew there was this 'club' that met secretly in Switzerland and made decisions that dramatically affected their lives, but we're not going to tell you about it because it's too complicated." This brief documentary should open a few eyes to the reality behind the world's most powerful (and real) cabal.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Jamie Dimon Has Issues (or Meet The Idiot Selling Gold)

by Across the Street

Update: On Friday April 26, JPM customers (US government??) added a whopping 558 contracts (55,800 troy oz.) to the totals reflected in this article.  The CME group daily report can be found here, but note, these daily reports go into Never-neverland when the new one comes out (so save it if you want it for future reference).
Somebody should explain to the blathering numbskulls at CNBS that when just one firm accounts for 99.3% of the physical gold sales at the COMEX in the last three months it’s not what most of us on this side of the rainbow would consider “broad-based” selling.  Of course discovering this kind of relevant information requires an internet connection, 2nd grade math and reading skills, and the desire to do a teeny-weeny bit of reporting.  Sadly they’ve wandered so far down the rabbit hole that the concept of “physical demand” (i.e. people actually wanting to take possession of the stuff) is puzzling to them because the vast majority of the world’s so-called “gold-trading” takes place in the realm of make believe (which is their natural habitat).  It’s all fun and games until somebody loses their metal and “somebody” has lost one hell of a lot of metal in the last 90 days.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Eric Sprott: Silver to Outshine Gold as the Investment of this Decade!

by Capital Account

Today news headlines proclaimed "Gold rises" due to Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti's plans to resign, while CNBC cited expectations of future Federal Reserve easing. Regardless of the reason, Gold was barely up, trading just a little above 1,710 dollars an ounce, the lower end of its 30 day trading range. In the summer of 2011, during the US debt ceiling debate and credit downgrade, gold topped 1900 dollars an ounce. However, since then the price has dropped, despite the types of news events that usually drive investors to gold. Plus, according to the World Gold Council, central banks will buy more than 500 tons of gold this year, up from 465 tons in 2011, a new high.

Is It Time To Sell Your Gold?

by Bill Bonner

Dear readers ask about gold. Is it time to sell? To buy? To forget about it?
Gold fell $25 yesterday; it now stands at $1,575 per ounce. The gold price could break all the way down to $1,000. But we don't expect it. Gold is not in a bubble.
As you have seen, gold is neither overpriced nor underpriced. It buys about what it should buy. Maybe a little less. Maybe a little more.
How do we know what gold "should" buy?
We don't, really. But gold is a natural thing. It is pulled from the earth by people, using the technology and resources available to them. As their productivity in other areas goes up, so does – generally – their ability to extract gold from the ground.

Short Covering Squeeze In Precious Metals and Miners?

by Jeb Handwerger - Gold Stock Trades

A week ago I wrote about a potential rebound after capitulation and panic selling in precious metals and the miners. It now appears Goldman Sachs (GS) is covering its short on gold as it rebounds above $1400.
Meanwhile, many banks have helped confuse and misdirect the investment community out of gold (GLD) and silver (SLV). This was a classic shakeout and bear trap which may start a major short covering rally.
Be ready to see increased short covering combined with record physical demand. These are the two elements to spark a price spike and breakout higher in both gold and silver.
These markets are ready to start moving higher after basing for 2 years and having a major short attack by the big banks too big to fail and the media.

Right when gold and silver were about to gain some momentum after bouncing off key support for most of 2012, simultaneously Goldman Sachs came out with a bearish prognostication on precious metals, old Fed minutes are brought up and Cyprus says they will sell gold.
This resulted in a shakeout below $1535 and a massive bear trap for momentum traders who may have been stopped out. The markets will do whatever it must to confuse, misdirect and obfuscate the long term trend investor.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Preparing for Inflationary Times

by Jeff Clark

"All this money printing, massive debt, and reckless deficit spending – and we have 2% inflation? I'm beginning to believe that either the deflationists are right, or the Fed's interventions are working." – Anonymous Casey Research reader
The CPI, in our view, does not accurately measure inflation, which accounts for some of the discrepancy our reader is pointing out. However, the proper definition of inflation is "an increase in the quantity of money," which we've had in spades. We've not experienced the concomitant increase in prices, which is what we're addressing in this article.
It's logical to assume that when you create more of something, you dilute the value of what's already in existence. That's exactly what has happened to the US dollar since the 2008 financial crisis hit. Economics 101 says this should lead to higher inflation – yet official Consumer Price Index (CPI) levels remain benign.
It's this unexpected development that led a reader to pen the above quote. Is the inflation argument dead? If so, does that mean gold's big run is over? It's a timely question since the current selloff in gold is largely attributed to low inflation expectations.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Cyprus and the Unraveling of Fractional-Reserve Banking


[Originally posted on Circle Bastiat, the faculty blog of the Mises Institute. Read Circle Bastiat for Austrian analysis of current economic events from today’s top Misesian and Rothbardian economists.]
The “Cyprus deal” as it has been widely referred to in the media may mark the next to last act in the the slow motion collapse of fractional-reserve banking that began with the implosion of the savings-and-loan industry in the U.S. in the late 1980s.
This trend continued with the currency crises in Russia, Mexico, East Asia, and Argentina in the 1990s in which fractional-reserve banking played a decisive role. The unraveling of fractional-reserve banking became visible even to the average depositor during the financial meltdown of 2008 that ignited bank runs on some of the largest and most venerable financial institutions in the world. The final collapse was only averted by the multi-trillion dollar bailout of U.S. and foreign banks by the Federal Reserve.

Jim Rogers Says No Paper Currency Will Be Worth Much Of Anything In 2014/5

Legendary investor Jim Rogers sees now as a great time to load up on gold and silver coins - and he's not alone.

A record 7.5 million ounces of silver coins were sold in January as investors hunted for a safe haven investment.

"You can't get [silver coins]. They sell out," Rogers, who owns a rare 2013 silver coin, said on Yahoo! Finance's "The Daily Ticker." "Several mints have run out of coins because everybody's worried about the future of the world."

And 150,000 ounces of American Eagle gold coins were sold in January, the highest monthly total since July 2010.

Jim Rogers: Never In History Has This Been Seen


"I don't trust the data from any government, including the U.S., Jim Rogers said. "We know that governments lie to us. Everybody's printing money, but it cannot go on. This is all artificial." Rogers, who for years has been an outspoken critic of the Feds policies of "Quantitative Easing" says all the money printing is creating false hope that we are in the middle of some kind of super bull market. But in reality, he says, "we're living in a fool's paradise."