Bubbles

Project Prepper, Part 45: Top 3 Threat Priorities

“As a result of my research and this blog, I’m now aware of the myriad of man-made and naturally-occurring threats to my life and lifestyle (and those of my loved ones), and think it’s probably wise to acquaint myself more with ‘prepping’ via a sustained ‘hands-on’ program of learning and doing, which I’ll call ‘Project Prepper.’

Through a series of posts on this blog which I suspect should last for quite some time (years?), I’ll be able to share my preparedness experiences with you…”

Survival And Prosperity, “Project Prepper, Part 1: It Begins,” October 24, 2012

This week’s “Project Prepper” post is going to be a little different. While I’m currently working on a number of projects related to fulfilling seven “innate survival needs” (hat tip Jack Spirko @ The Survival Podcast):

1. Physical Security
2. Financial Security
3. Water
4. Food
5. Sanitation and Health
6. Energy
7. Shelter

Today I’m going to talk about threat priorities. As a forty-something homeowner residing with my girlfriend in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, in 2016, “I’m now aware of the myriad of man-made and naturally-occurring threats to my life and lifestyle (and those of my loved ones).” Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know I blog about them frequently. But from my vantage point, here are the “top 3” I’m mostly concerned about:

1. Severe Weather
2. Financial Crisis
3. Terrorism

Concerning severe weather, here in the Chicagoland area residents have to contend with spring and summer storms that can consist of high winds, torrential rain, flooding, and tornadoes. Winter can bring along with it ice storms (not too often), significant snowfall/blizzards, and brutally-cold temperatures. Consequently, structural damage, utility outages, hazardous travel conditions, and other threats to life and property accompany such events.

Case in point, prior to my girlfriend and I moving into our house in 2013, a large part of the Chicago metro area suffered significant damage from a “derecho” (widespread, long-lived wind storm) event that left many area homeowners without electricity for several days. A real nuisance for most of those affected, but potentially deadly to those with serious health issues- like my elderly father. And in case readers think I’m talking about those far-off “suburbs” of Chicago here (I remember one real estate agent referring to Rochelle- approximately 80 miles west of Chicago- as a “western suburb” during the housing boom last decade), these extended outages were taking place in near “North Shore” enclaves. I remember watching one furious Northbrook homeowner being interviewed on the local televised news, saying how he had been without power for a number of days and couldn’t understand why it hadn’t been restored yet considering the high taxes he paid to live in such a nice area. Anyway, severe weather tops the list for me. Not as “sexy”- as some would say- as preparing for the “Zombie apocalypse,” but oh well.

Financial crisis. Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity and its predecessor know I’ve been on the lookout for coming “tough times” for some years now. From this blog’s “About” page:

Back in 2004 when SP’s creator/editor Christopher Hill was surveying the economic and investment landscape in support of his own investing activities, he concluded from his own research that the United States was heading towards a financial crash. Deciding that this was something other Americans might want to know about, Mr. Hill launched the independent financial blog Boom2Bust.com, “The Most Hated Blog on Wall Street,” on Memorial Day Weekend 2007 with the purpose of warning and educating others about the approaching U.S. economic crash. He has been credited with calling last decade’s housing bubble and subsequent bust, the 2008 global economic crisis, and the “Great Recession” as a result of his work on this project. Chris wrote over 1,500 posts on Boom2Bust.com during its nearly three-year run, with many of these picked up and republished on the web sites of The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Fox News, Reuters, USA Today, the Chicago Sun-Times group, the Austin-American Statesman, the Palm Beach Post, and the West Orlando News, among other media outlets. Chris was also interviewed for a May 2009 MSNBC.com article as a result of his work with the blog.

Since Memorial Day Weekend 2007, I’ve stood by and watched as the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble and subprime mortgage crisis was quickly followed by carnage on Wall Street in the autumn of 2008 and a “Great Recession.” I also observed how the Washington politicians and the Fed responded by “papering up” the mess with massive government and central bank intervention. But as everyone knows, you can only “kick the can down the road” so far. And my concern is that the road is rapidly coming to an end. Visit this blog often enough and you might get that sense as well.

Consequently, I’ve come to believe that the U.S. financial crash I still see headed our way won’t be like an airplane that suffers a sudden, catastrophic failure and plummets back to Earth like a rock. Rather, taking into account the abilities of the federal government and central bank to keep the aircraft aloft for quite some time, the crash may be more akin to a slow- yet-unavoidable descent into the ground. At which point, Americans might be left pondering what had happened to them, just like Argentines did after their economy crapped out in the early 2000s after prosperous times.

Making matters worse is the fact that I still reside in Cook County and Illinois, whose financial troubles are well-publicized. While I’ve left Chicago, I still haven’t made Wisconsin my permanent home address.

When the “balloon goes up” locally and nationally, I suspect everyday living is going to get particularly gritty around these parts.

As terrorism is concerned, post-9/11 I found myself working in the public safety field. As part of my duties at a local fire department, I catalogued potential terrorist targets in the area in the hunt for money to upgrade the agency’s response capabilities. It was my belief that the threat was real then, and it remains so today. Even more so in 2016, as U.S. border security is quite suspect at a time when those who would wish to harm the “homeland” continually make their operational capabilities and future desires for wreaking death and destruction known.


“Border Patrol Admits US Citizenship Doesn’t Matter”
YouTube Video

Like I’ve repeatedly said before on this blog, I believe it’s only a matter of time before the United States suffers terror attacks possibly resembling what occurred in Beslan (Russia) in 2004, Mumbai (India) in 2008, and more recently in Paris and Brussels. And a terrorist strike rivaling or even surpassing the carnage of September 11, 2011, is not out of the question as far as I’m concerned. New jihadists continue to replace their fallen predecessors in this “War on Terror,” and the religious duty of killing “infidels” remains the same. On May 6, 2011, I wrote:

In 2005, Dr. Paul L. Williams, a journalist and author, published the book The Al-Qaeda Connection, in which he discussed plans for a future nuclear terrorist strike, dubbed “American Hiroshima.” He wrote:

Bin Laden asserts that he must kill four million Americans- two million of whom must be children- in order to achieve parity for a litany of “wrongs” committed against the Muslim people by the United States of America. The “wrongs” include the establishment and occupation of military bases between the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, the support of Israel and the suppression of the Palestinian people, the Persian Gulf War and the subsequent economic sanctions, and the invasions of Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

These days, the Islamic State has stolen the headlines from Al-Qaeda and other Muslim extremists. But such religious fanaticism as a whole remains a top concern for me.

Severe weather, financial crisis, and terrorism are natural and man-made threats that register the most on my radar. But this doesn’t mean I discount other potential dangers to life and property either (pandemic, severe space weather, and war would probably be the next three on the list). As such, an “all-hazards” approach is emphasized in my “Project Prepper” activities.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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The People Who Predicted The Global Financial Crisis

“Vice President Dick Cheney says that his boss, President George W. Bush, has no need to apologize to the American people for not doing more to head off the financial calamity, saying no one saw the crisis coming.

During an interview Thursday with The Associated Press in his West Wing office, Cheney defended the administration’s performance on an economy that is growing weaker daily and which recently collapsed in spectacular fashion. Cheney said that ‘nobody anywhere was smart enough to figure it out.’

-Associated Press, January 8, 2009

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

It’s Monday, and since I’m not adding anything new from the “crash prophets”- Marc Faber, Jeremy Grantham, Jim Rogers, and Peter Schiff- I thought I’d take Survival And Prosperity readers for a stroll down memory lane.

I recently stumbled across a page on the Investor Home website entitled “Who Predicted The Global Financial Crisis?” Gary Karz wrote:

In the years since the Global Financial Crisis exploded on the scene, there have been a number of articles and initiatives documenting the individuals that publicly predicted the crisis and arguably deserve credit for having sounded the alarm. This page summarizes those efforts and links to those sources (and I expect to update it over time as more information and research becomes available). While plenty of foreign leaders and professional doomsayers have long predicted the collapse of the US economy, to the extent possible it should be useful to differentiate them from those that legitimately warned about a financial crisis or critical elements of it based on some logical analysis that appears to have merit after the fact. I believe a large percentage of investors and home buyers were exposed to at least some credible warnings about a housing bubble, but clearly many people chose to ignore those warnings or dismiss the predictions of a coming housing crash and/or crisis as unlikely to come true. Separately, I was interested in hearing what these individuals prescribe…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Personally, I’m interested “in hearing what these individuals prescribe” in 2016, as these people managed to correctly-call last decade’s housing bust, the global economic crisis that reared its ugly head in the fall of 2008, and the “Great Recession.”

Not so much their peers who completely missed the signs of the financial storm yet whose forecasts are still touted and relied upon, with some among this group even trusted with getting America out of this ongoing mess.

A solid effort by Karz, which you can view on his website here.

Now I’m just waiting for him to publish the list entitled “Who Incorrectly Called The Global Financial Crisis,” so I know exactly who not to listen to concerning such matters.

“I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record…”

Actually, this “nattering nabob of negativity” already has a pretty good idea of who those people are. And anything they say I take with a grain of salt…

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Monday, April 11th, 2016 Bubbles, Crash Prophets, Housing, Investing, Recession Comments Off on The People Who Predicted The Global Financial Crisis

Quote For The Week

“This is an economy on a solid course. Not a bubble economy. We try carefully to look at evidence of a potential financial instability that might be brewing, and some of the hallmarks of that are clearly-overvalued asset prices, high leverage, rising leverage, and rapid credit growth. We certainly don’t see those imbalances. And so, although interest rates are low and that is something that can encourage reach for yield behavior, I certainly wouldn’t describe this as a bubble economy…”

-Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, speaking at New York City’s International House on April 7, 2015

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Monday, April 11th, 2016 Bubbles, Credit, Federal Reserve, Interest Rates, Monetary Policy, Quote For The Week Comments Off on Quote For The Week

Peter Schiff: ‘Phony’ Recovery ‘Another Federal Reserve Bubble Just Like The One That Popped In 2008

The CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, Peter Schiff, appeared on CNBC TV earlier Wednesday. Schiff, who correctly-called last decade’s housing crash and recent global economic crisis, talked to Rick Santelli in Chicago about the Federal Reserve, interest rates, and the U.S. economy. From their exchange:

SANTELLI: On April 1, you wrote a letter- you normally write lots of pieces- called “April Fool’s In March.” And there was a quote in there I have to read and the best way to get into it is just to read it. “It may be impossible to underestimate the gullibility of professional Fed watchers.” Why did you write that? What does it mean?
SCHIFF: Well, because remember in March you had people talking about the possibility of April being a live meeting, and everybody talking about whether or not the Fed was going to raise rates. All this is part of their bluff. It’s a charade. They really can’t raise rates because they don’t want to put too many holes in this bubble. Because this recovery was never real. It’s phony. It’s another Federal Reserve bubble just like the one that popped in 2008. Only this one is even bigger. And I think what we really should be talking about is not when the Fed is going to hike rates, but when they’re going to admit the economy is much weaker than they’ve been pretending, when are they going to cut rates, and when are they going to launch QE 4.


“Santelli Exchange: Fed ‘stimulus trap’”
CNBC Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Peter Schiff: ‘The Dollar Is Going To Tank, And With It Is Going To Go The Standard Of Living Of America’

Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, appeared on the Alex Jones Show last Friday along with financial newsletter writer Harry S. Dent. Schiff, who correctly-called last decade’s housing crash and recent global economic crisis, was asked by host Alex Jones about the state of the economy and what is going to be “the next shoe to drop.” Schiff replied:

I think the state of the economy is a disaster… But even if Harry is right, and the price of gold goes down, the price of real estate is going down more. The price of stocks is going down more. The price of everything else is going to go down more. So if you have your money in gold, and the price of gold falls, you’re still going to be richer than most everybody else on the planet… But if I’m right, and the dollar tanks, and you follow Harry’s advice, you’re broke, you’ve got nothing.

When asked about the state of the U.S. dollar. Schiff warned:

This is a gigantic bubble. We have conned the world into supplying us with merchandise in exchange for money that we create out of nothing with no real value. We’ve been able to borrow all this money. We have no ability to ever repay it. In fact, if interest rates go up we can’t even service the debt, let alone retire it. It’s all going to be inflated away. And the dollar is going to tank, and with it is going to go the standard of living of America, because we’ve basically decimated our industrial production. That is the problem. We’re living on credit, on printed money, and this is coming to an end. You need to be in gold and other assets.


“Peter Schiff and Harry Dent Debate on Economy”
(above exchange starts at 24 minutes)
YouTube Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Monday, March 28th, 2016 Borrowing, Bubbles, Commodities, Crash Prophets, Credit, Currencies, Debt Crisis, Inflation, Interest Rates, Investing, Monetary Policy, Money Supply, Precious Metals Comments Off on Peter Schiff: ‘The Dollar Is Going To Tank, And With It Is Going To Go The Standard Of Living Of America’

Jim Rogers Interviewed By The Sovereign Society

Earlier this week I finally got the chance to listen to a three-part interview of investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers by The Sovereign Society’s editorial director JL Yastine. Released on The Sovereign Investor Daily website over three days beginning February 9, 2016, their exchange provided significant information about Rogers’ investing views, activity, and strategy going forward. From the Singapore-based investor each day:

February 9

• Revealed he shorted “top” tech stocks
• Discussed outlook for U.S economy
• Implicated Federal Reserve and Washington, D.C., as “culprit” for financial woes, saying:

If you have to have a single culprit- and it’s rare that you can have a single culprit in something like this- it would be the Federal Reserve and Washington, D.C. The Federal Reserve has printed staggering amounts of money. This had interest rates at historic lows. They have never been this low. At the same time, Congress, of course, has spent billions of dollars we don’t have. So with the Fed and Congress running up staggering debts and printing lots of money, we’ve had an artificial situation for eight years now, and we’re going to pay the price. And we’re starting to pay the price now.

• Going forward, the former trading partner of George Soros predicted:

Somewhere along the line, the market will be down 13 percent, 23 percent, you pick the number, the Fed will get a huge number of phone calls saying you’ve got to save the world. These are academics and bureaucrats as you know working for the Federal Reserve- they don’t know what they’re doing. And so they will panic, and they will do something to save us all, whether it’s lower interest rates again, or print more money, or buy more- who knows what they’ll do? They’re going to do something to try to save the markets when the problems come. The markets will rally, the markets will have a nice rally, but that rally will not last, because we’re getting past to the point of no return. There’s not much we can do now given the massive amounts of money that’s been printed.

February 10

• Talked about the U.S. dollar, noting:

I own the dollar. I expect it to go higher. It could well turn into a bubble before it’s over, depending how bad the financial turmoil is.

• Talked about crude oil, revealing:

I don’t see enough panic yet in oil for me to step in. It does seem to be making a complicated bottom.

• Discussed China, saying:

I stopped buying stocks anywhere in the world last August… I see horrible problems in the world’s financial markets for a couple of years, so I’ not buying anywhere, including China…

I do own renminbi… and if it goes down a lot, I hope I’m smart enough to buy more.

• Shared thoughts on gold, insisting:

I’m not a mystic about gold. In my view gold is nothing more than another asset that can be bought and sold. I do own it. I hedged some of my gold about the time I spoke to you. But if it goes down more, I hope I’m smart enough to buy more.

February 11

• Shared an “endgame” forecast:

It’s not going to end very nicely at all… It’s going to end very badly, for all of us. We had our financial problem in 2008 because of debt. Well, the debt now is much, much, much higher than then. The Federal Reserve alone balance sheet is up 600 percent in eight years. So the debt is skyrocketing everywhere. It’s going to end badly. The next financial crisis we have, or semi-crisis, is going to be worse than 2008 in most parts of the world.

• Shared expectations of how the markets will play out, saying:

What I expect to happen is, the U.S. dollar is going to go higher. Gold will go lower. Markets will go lower. At some point, like I said, the dollar will get overpriced, maybe even a bubble. At which point I hope I’m smart enough to sell my U.S. dollars. Gold often goes down when the dollar goes up. So the dollar will be up, gold will be down, and I will say “A-ha! I’m going to sell my dollars now and buy gold.” But it might be something else. It might be renminbi. If the renmibi’s down, and the renminbi’s convertible by then, then maybe I will buy renminbi when I get out of my dollars. Gold, in my view, will probably wind up in a bubble before this is over. But in the meantime I’m waiting to buy it lower, because the bubble is maybe a few years away.

• Gave advice for protecting wealth in “the coming hard times”

On that last bullet point, since I don’t want to steal The Sovereign Society’s thunder, head on over to the corresponding links to watch the entire interview. Great stuff.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Jeremy Grantham: ‘U.S. Market Will Rally Once Again To Become A Fully-Fledged Bubble Before It Breaks’

Last week, I blogged about the latest quarterly investment letter from “crash prophet” Jeremy Grantham, the British-born investment strategist and founder/former chairman of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. (currently oversees $104 billion in client assets). While it was an interesting read, I noted that I was a little disappointed that Grantham, whose individual clients have included former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, didn’t talk about two themes he’d brought up in recent newsletters. I wrote:

Two things I’m dying to know from Mr. Grantham right now:

1. Does he still expect “the stock market to continue to march higher in the coming year, eventually sucking in retail investors and setting up a serious decline around the time of the US elections in late 2016”?

2. Does he/GMO “still believe that bubble territory for the S&P 500 is about 2250”? The S&P was really marching towards 2,250 for a while before the index went south.

Last night, I saw that Grantham penned a piece on the Barron’s website that answered those questions (for the most part). From the article:

Looking to 2016, we can agree that uncertainties are above average. But I think the global economy and the U.S. in particular will do better than the bears believe it will because they appear to underestimate the slow-burning but huge positive of much-reduced resource prices in the U.S. and the availability of capacity both in labor and machinery. So even though I believe our trend line growth capability is only 1.5%, our spare capacity and lower input prices make 2.5% quite attainable for this year. And growth at this level would make a major market break unlikely. As discussed elsewhere, this situation feels at worst like an ordinary bear market lasting a few months and not like a major collapse. That, I think, will come later after the final ingredients of a major bubble fall into place

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Concerning the U.S. stock market, Grantham wrote:

The U.S. equity market, although not in bubble territory, is very overpriced (+50% to 60%) and the outlook for fixed income is dismal… I still believe that, with the help of the Fed and its allies, the U.S. market will rally once again to become a fully-fledged bubble before it breaks. That is, after all, the logical outcome of a Fed policy that stimulates and overestimates some more until, finally, some strut in the complicated economic structure snaps. Good luck in 2016…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

In the section entitled “U.S. equity bubble update,” he added:

On the evaluation front, the market is not quite expensive enough to deserve the bubble title. We at GMO have defined a bubble as a 2-standard-deviation event (2-sigma). We believe that all great investment bubbles reached that level and market events that fell short of 2-sigma did not feel like the real thing. (In our view, 2008 was preceded by an unprecedented U.S. housing bubble – a 3-sigma event.)

Today a 2-sigma U.S. equity market would be at or around 2300 on the S&P, requiring a rally of over 20%; even from the previous record daily high it would have required an 8% rally…

On the more touchy-feely level of psychological and technical measures, the U.S. market came closer to bubble status but, still, I think, no cigar

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

So to answer my two questions from last week:

1. Grantham believes U.S. stocks will rally once again to become a bubble (no mention of “a serious decline around the time of the US elections in late 2016” though).

2. He also believes bubble-territory for the S&P 500 is no longer 2,250, but a tad higher “at or around 2,300.”

As highlighted at the bottom of the “Crash Prophets” page, Jeremy Grantham has an impressive track record with his financial forecasts:

• In 1982, said the U.S. stock market was ripe for a “major rally.” That year was the beginning of the longest bull run ever.
• In 1989, called the top of the Japanese bubble economy
• In 1991, predicted the resurgence of U.S. large cap stocks
• In 2000, correctly called the rallies in U.S. small cap and value stocks
• In January 2000, warned of an impending crash in technology stocks, which took place two months later
• Saw the 2008 global financial crisis coming. In April 2007, said we are now seeing the first worldwide bubble in history covering all asset classes.

As such, it’s difficult to dismiss this latest one.

Check out Grantham’s piece on Barron’s website here if you have time. I only scratched the surface, and it’s an insightful read.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Friday, February 5th, 2016 Bonds, Bubbles, Commodities, Crash Prophets, Federal Reserve, Housing, Investing, Monetary Policy, Stimulus, Stocks Comments Off on Jeremy Grantham: ‘U.S. Market Will Rally Once Again To Become A Fully-Fledged Bubble Before It Breaks’

Peter Schiff: ‘Silver Might Even Be A Better Buy Than Gold’

Euro Pacific Capital CEO Peter Schiff, who correctly-called the housing bust and economic crisis last decade, just published a new entry to his Peter Schiff’s Gold Videocast vlog on YouTube.com. From earlier today:

As long as we have the strength of the dollar, we can continue to borrow money to pay for imports. We can continue to go deeper and deeper into debt. But the minute the illusion runs crashing into reality, and people recognize the situation that we’re in. That we didn’t have a legitimate recovery. That we just had a bubble. And rather than higher interest rates and a real recovery, we’re back in recession. And the Fed is going to try its hardest to blow more air into this bubble. It is not going to work. And this collapse in the dollar today is just the beginning. The dollar has a long way to fall. Not only does it have to reverse all its ill-gotten gains, but it has a long way to go beyond that. Because the problems for the dollar, the fundamentals for the dollar, have gotten worse the entire time the dollar was rallying. And it’s this phony rally in the dollar, it’s this false belief in a higher dollar and higher interest rates, that have wreaked havoc with the emerging markets, with emerging market currencies, with commodities. And all of these markets are going to be able to breathe a huge sigh of relief as the Fed backs away from these rate hikes and the dollar begins to tank. But probably the biggest beneficiary of the Fed’s new easing, this new easing cycle that I think is about to begin, is going to be gold. Gold has fallen for the last few years based on this false belief that everything is great, and we’re going to have a return to normalcy, and the Fed is going to shrink its balance sheet. Nothing could be further from the truth. The balance sheet is about to blow up. We’re going to go up to $10 trillion. The national debt just surpassed $19 trillion officially. It’s going to be $20 trillion by the time Barack Obama leaves office- maybe more. He’s doubled the national debt. The next president will have to double it again in order to keep this house of cards from collapsing. I think it’s impossible to finance- that type of growth in debt. But that’s what this bubble economy needs. Because all of our GDP grows based on debt. It’s not real economic growth. It’s just consumption that’s borrowed. And you need to borrow more and more money to get less and less GDP growth. And we’ve run to the point where we can’t do it anymore. The world is not going to continue to give us a pass. And so gold prices, I think, are going to take off. I think the correction from this long-term bull market is over. And I think gold is going to make new highs. And of course if gold is going to make new highs, so is silver. And so silver might even be a better buy than gold because silver corrected a lot more during the correction. And so it has a lot more lost ground to make up for.


“Fed Blinks: Tightening Financial Conditions Will Derail Rate Hike Expectations”
YouTube Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 Bubbles, Commodities, Crash Prophets, Currencies, Debt Crisis, Emerging Markets, Federal Reserve, GDP, Interest Rates, Monetary Policy, Precious Metals, Recession, Recovery, Stimulus Comments Off on Peter Schiff: ‘Silver Might Even Be A Better Buy Than Gold’

Confidence In U.S. Government Plummeting?

Last night in a discussion about gold, I brought up Martin Armstrong, economist at Armstrong Economics (and former chairman of Princeton Economics International Ltd.) and the creator of the Economic Confidence Model, and something he said about the yellow metal two weeks ago. From his January 14 blog post:

I have stated this many times, so here it goes again: Gold rises when people lose confidence in government.

Survival And Prosperity readers are probably familiar with the myriad of poll/survey results showing Main Street has been fed up with the nation’s policymakers for some time now. But this morning, I’m going to examine if that confidence may be eroding more significantly than in recent times. I do this because:

1. I just came across some disturbing survey results in my research this week which suggests confidence in the U.S. government may be plummeting

2. If this confidence is almost to the point of being “shot,” then perhaps gold is getting closer to another sustained run-up in price

Aimee Picchi reported on the CBS News website Tuesday under the headline “Americans hate the U.S. government more than ever”:

A handful of industries are those “love to hate” types of businesses, such as cable-television companies and Internet service providers.

The federal government has joined the ranks of the bottom-of-the-barrel industries, according to a new survey from the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Americans’ satisfaction level in dealing with federal agencies –everything from Treasury to Homeland Security — has fallen for a third consecutive year, reaching an eight-year low.

The declines represent some backsliding for the U.S. government, given that satisfaction saw some improvement in 2011 and 2012, which may have been the result of spending in the wake of the recession. While the comparison with private enterprise isn’t apples to apples given the nature of government services, the findings have some implications for bureaucrats.

“Satisfaction is linked to broader goals in the political system that it wants to maximize, like confidence and trust,” said Forrest Morgeson, director of research at the ACSI. “It’s much more difficult to govern if the entire population dislikes you.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Picchi noted more than 2,000 people took part in that survey.

It’s not just confidence in government that may be in real trouble these days. Yale economist Robert Shiller, who correctly-called the dot-com and housing busts of the last decade, was interviewed last week in Davos, Switzerland, by Tom Keene of the Bloomberg TV show Bloomberg Surveillance. From their exchange:

KEENE: What is the state of our confidence now in our economics and business system?
SHILLER: It’s kind of obvious that it’s weakening.
KEENE: It’s fragile.
SHILLER: It’s fragile, and things that ought to be good news like lower oil prices are disruptive in the short run. But people are over-focused on them in valuing long-term assets like corporate stocks. So I think that the markets are driven by these perceived important facts. I think China is not as important to the U.S. economy as it appears to be. And one thing that news media people have to do- I assume you do this- is resist some of this over-hyping…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


“Yale’s Shiller: Markets Over-focused on China, Oil”
Bloomberg Video

Interesting comment about China. I pointed out earlier this week that Shiller’s fellow “crash prophets” Jim Rogers and Peter Schiff think the Chinese are being made scapegoats by the U.S. for Wall Street’s dismal performance this year.

And how about Dr. Shiller getting in a shot at the news media for their “over-hyping”? Serves them right considering the grief they gave the now Nobel Prize winner for having the “audacity” to point out the U.S. housing bubble last decade.

But getting back to the task at hand. Confidence in both government and the economy appears to have taken a hit lately. And a resurgent gold bull market looks promising if Martin Armstrong is correct in his assertions.

Stay tuned…

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

Source:

Picchi, Aimee. “Americans hate the U.S. government more than ever.” CBS News. 26 Jan. 2016. (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/americans-hate-the-u-s-government-more-than-ever/). 28 Jan. 2016.

Robert Shiller’s recently-revised (January 2015) third edition of Irrational Exuberance

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Thursday, January 28th, 2016 Asia, Bubbles, Commodities, Crash Prophets, Government, Housing, Investing, Main Street, Mainstream Media, Precious Metals, Wall Street Comments Off on Confidence In U.S. Government Plummeting?

Jim Rogers, Martin Armstrong Predict Strengthening U.S. Dollar To Push Gold Price Down Before Take-Off

Still on the topic of gold tonight, I want to talk about two well-known individuals in the investing community- Jim Rogers and Martin Armstrong- and their thoughts about the yellow metal.

In what might be somewhat of a disappointment to the “goldbugs,” neither is predicting the price of gold will take off from here.

Let’s go back to that Midas Letter interview of Rogers that I blogged about the other day. Rogers, who predicted the commodities rally that began in 1999, was asked if he thought the bottom for gold had been reached, or was he still looking for the price to come down further to around $900. The former partner of George Soros in the legendary Quantum Fund replied:

Look guys… I want to remind you that I’m the single worst market timer in the world. I’m the single worst short term trader in the world. So asking me is a waste of all of our time. I don’t think we’ve hit the bottom. I’m still looking for a bottom under 1,000. Who knows if it will get there, but if it does, I hope I’m smart enough to buy a lot of gold. In the end, gold’s going to turn into a bubble, and it’s going to go much, much higher. I just don’t know when. But I’m not buying gold yet

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Okay- so long-time Survival And Prosperity readers have heard Rogers say that before. On a number of occasions. But it’s what he said next in the interview I found very interesting. Rogers predicted:

What I do expect to happen, is that as the turmoil spreads, I expect more people will flee toward the U.S. dollar – I own a lot of U.S. dollars – but because of that, people think it’s a safe haven. It is not a safe haven, as you well know, but people think it is. So the dollar will go higher, it will get overpriced, it may turn into a bubble. Gold will go down in a time like that, because often – not always, but often – gold goes down when the dollar goes up. So I will sell my dollars at that point, and put it into something else – perhaps gold. If that scenario works – the dollar gets overpriced, gold gets beaten down because of the panic, then I hope I’m smart enough to buy gold or renminbi or whatever it happens to be at that point

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I’ve heard this scenario before, one where the price of gold falls more due to a strengthening U.S. dollar stemming from a global flight to “perceived” safety. Do any readers follow Martin Armstrong, economist at Armstrong Economics (and former chairman of Princeton Economics International Ltd.) and the creator of the Economic Confidence Model? While the jury’s still out on him (for me), I do read his blog almost daily. And if my memory serves me correctly, what Jim Rogers just said sounds a lot like what Armstrong has also been saying in recent times. Back on November 20 he blogged:

Gold is being overpowered by the rise in the dollar…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

He added just two weeks ago:

I have stated this many times, so here it goes again: Gold rises when people lose confidence in government. It has nothing to do with inflation. So, you start to worry about government survival or who’s going to win a war when gold rises — not before.

Short term, we still have the risk of gold going under $1,000 per ounce. It’s going to flip when everything is right — not before. It will probably max out at $5,000 per ounce or perhaps $6,000 at best. That we will not know until we have the low and the projection angle from that low…

Gold will respond ONLY when the majority sees the crisis unfolding. Just because you may understand it and see the logical outcome does not mean that the bulk of the population will…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Very interesting. Which brings up the question:

Have Americans lost confidence in government?

More tomorrow…

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

Sources:

Armstrong, Martin. “Gold, Geopolitics, & the Dollar.” Armstrong Economics Blog. 20 Nov. 2015. (http://www.armstrongeconomics.com/archives/39465). 27 Jan. 2016.

Armstrong, Martin. “Gold- No Time Left For Conspiracy Theory.” Armstrong Economics Blog. 14 Jan. 2016. (http://www.armstrongeconomics.com/archives/40680). 27 Jan. 2016.

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Survival And Prosperity
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