Monetary Policy

Peter Schiff Predicts Gold Going Higher Than $5,000 An Ounce

Peter Schiff, the CEO and Chief Strategist over at Euro Pacific Capital, appeared on the CNBC TV show Futures Now on April 15. Schiff, who correctly-called the U.S. housing bust and Great Recession, told viewers:

I’ve been buying gold for the same reason for the last decade, and it’s because central banks are creating too much money, there’s too much inflation, interest rates are too low, and so I want to store my purchasing power in something that central banks can’t print. Meanwhile, during that time period, gold has gone from under $300 an ounce to a high of $1,900. We’ve pulled back. I think we are headed much, much higher, because they are not going to stop these presses. They are going to run them in overdrive…

I don’t know the time period. They’re just going to trend higher. They’re going to go a lot higher. I’ve said $5,000. They’ll go higher than that.


“I’m Off Base, You’re Not Even in the Ballpark!”
YouTube Video

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

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am 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 presented herein.)

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Peter Schiff Predicts Future Fed Moves

Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital released a new entry Monday on The Schiff Report YouTube vlog. The “crash prophet” talked about a number of financial topics, including future activity by the U.S. central bank. Schiff predicted:

I think that with the weakening in the stock market, the softness we’re seeing now in the real estate market- with the fact that we’re going to be getting weaker jobs numbers in the spring that cannot be rationalized away based on the weather- the Fed is going to have come forward at some point and acknowledge which should have already been obvious. That they were mistaken. They were overly-optimistic on their assessment of the economy. That for whatever reason they’ll come up with an excuse to save face- they can blame it on some external factor- but the Fed is going to have to come out and they’re going to have to halt the tapering process, and ultimately reverse it.

How much time there will be between the pause and the reversal?

I don’t know. I don’t think it will be more than a couple of meetings, at best. But that’s what’s coming….

Schiff, who correctly-called the U.S. housing bubble and subsequent burst along with the 2008 global economic crisis, went on to speculate what all this might mean for gold and stocks.


“Warmer Weather’s Failure to Stoke Jobs Chills Stocks”
YouTube Video

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

(Editor’s notes: I am 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 presented herein)

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Peter Schiff: No Recovery, Just An Illusion Of Prosperity

I first started paying attention to Euro Pacific Capital’s Peter Schiff just prior to picking up his book Crash Proof: How to Profit From the Coming Economic Collapse (now Crash Proof 2.0, second edition) shortly after its early 2007 release. While some of the calls he made in that controversial text are still playing out, others have already come to fruition.

Subsequently, Schiff has been given credit for correctly-calling the U.S. housing bubble and its burst, and the 2008 global economic crisis.

Being one of Survival And Prosperity’s “crash prophets,” his latest investment recommendations are chronicled on this blog. As are his economic analyses and forecasts as well.

Here’s a recent breakdown of what Schiff sees going on with the U.S. economy and larger financial system, courtesy of a March 21 commentary entitled “Debt and Taxes” that’s posted on his Euro Pacific Capital website:

The last few years have proven that there is no line Washington will not cross in order to keep bubbles from popping. Just 10 years ago many of the analysts now crowing about the perfect conditions would have been appalled by policies that have been implemented to create them. The Fed has held interest rates at zero for five consecutive years, it has purchased trillions of dollars of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities, and the Federal government has stimulated the economy through four consecutive trillion-dollar annual deficits. While these moves may once have been looked on as something shocking…now anything goes.

But the new monetary morality has nothing to do with virtue, and everything to do with necessity. It is no accident that the concept of “inflation” has experienced a dramatic makeover during the past few years. Traditionally, mainstream discussion treated inflation as a pestilence best vanquished by a strong economy and prudent bankers. Now it is widely seen as a pre-condition to economic health. Economists are making this bizarre argument not because it makes any sense, but because they have no other choice.

America is trying to borrow its way out of recession. We are creating debt now in order to push up prices and create the illusion of prosperity. To do this you must convince people that inflation is a good thing…even while they instinctively prefer low prices to high. But rising asset prices do little to help the underlying economy. That is why we have been stuck in what some economists are calling a “jobless recovery.” The real reason it’s jobless is because it’s not a real recovery! So while the current booms in stocks and condominiums have been gifts to financial speculators and the corporate elite, average Americans can only watch from the sidewalks as the parade passes them by. That’s why sales of Mercedes and Maseratis are setting record highs while Fords and Chevrolets sit on showroom floors. Rising prices to do not create jobs, increase savings or expand production. Instead all we get is debt, which at some point in the future must be repaid

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Which at some point in the future must be repaid”

Good luck trying to get your average American in 2014 to wrap their head around that crucial concept.

Once again, I agree with Schiff’s observation of what is going on all around us.

“Illusion of prosperity” is a fine choice of words here, and makes sense that I find a fine economic blog by the same name good reading.

As certain as the “Big One” will eventually hit California, so must our nation’s “financial reckoning day” arrive for all this debt we’ve accrued for some short-term “prosperity.”

You can read Schiff’s entire commentary on the Euro Pacific Capital website here.

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

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Milestone: Survival And Prosperity Reaches 2,000 Posts

Yesterday was a milestone for Survival And Prosperity:

2,000 posts have now been published on the blog

Not bad considering the weblog was started a little less than three-and-a-half years ago.

My previous flagship blog, Boom2Bust.com, “The Most Hated Blog On Wall Street,” only reached around 1,500 posts.

I think a little celebration is called for, don’t you?


“Clerks Dance”
YouTube Video

There’s lots more blogging to be done. Washington and the Fed has managed to “kick the can down the road” this far, and while the economic picture might look rosy to many for a bit longer, I’m still not deviating from that prediction I made back on Memorial Day Weekend 2007 about a U.S. financial crash.

In fact, I believe we’ve already started into the descent. And gradually, the U.S. economy and larger financial system that is weighed down by tremendous debt and steered by greed, arrogance, and incompetence will eventually crash hard.

That being said, America has been here before (Great Depression). And I do see the country getting back on firm economic ground again. But only after the excesses off a multi-decade debt binge are effectively purged.

No “doomsday,” but definitely a “financial reckoning day.”

In the meantime, it’s probably wise to take advantage of the present situation to prepare for what I see is in store for the country down the road. Whether that means finding a line of work that’s more stable or acquiring more income to preserve one’s standard of living in hard times, it’s something one may want to look into and take action on while it’s still possible to do so. Of course, individual circumstances vary. Still, improving one’s self-sufficiency- even incrementally- can make a big difference in an emergency or major crisis. It’s something our predecessors in this great nation of ours understood and practiced, but unfortunately has fallen by the wayside in modern times.

Survival and prosperity. That’s what this blog continues to be all about.

Christopher E. Hill
Editor

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Peter Schiff: ‘Bernanke Bubble’ Will Pop Early In Janet Yellen’s Term, Ringing In Dollar Collapse

Euro Pacific Capital CEO and Chief Global Strategist Peter Schiff added a new entry Friday on his YouTube video blog The Schiff Report. Schiff, who correctly-predicted the U.S. housing bubble’s pop and 2008 economic crisis, warned viewers of a collapse in the U.S. dollar instigated by another bubble deflating. From Friday:

What happened two years into the Bernanke term is Alan Greenspan’s bubble blew up. Now, of course, Ben Bernanke, he was part of it, because he was at the Fed for part of Alan Greenspan’s tenure, and so he went along with the bad policies. But the “Greenspan bubble” blew up on Ben Bernanke. The same thing is going to happen again because the “Bernanke bubble” is bigger than the “Greenspan bubble.” The monetary policies pursued by Bernanke were far more reckless than the ones pursued by Greenspan. And therefore the bubble is much bigger. And therefore the damage to the economy when it pops will be much bigger. So just like it hit the fan when Bernanke was at the Fed, it’s going to do the same thing on Janet Yellen’s watch. We’re going to have another crisis early in the Yellen term that will be bigger than the crisis that we had early in the Bernanke term, and Wall Street and the government are equally unprepared. They will be equally blindsided. In fact, I think they will be blind-sided even more. Because if you go back to the Greenspan period, there were more doubters, there were more people like me back in 2004, 5, 6, 7, who were critical of Alan Greenspan and who were expressing that criticism or that skepticism by buying gold and doing various things to hedge themselves against inflation. There’s not that many of us left. There were some critics of Ben Bernanke early on, and as gold up to 1,900. Yes, critics were buying gold and anticipating problems in inflation. No more. Most of those voices have been silenced. In the last year or so, the doubters have become believers. Everyone is cheerleading Bernanke and welcoming Janet Yellen into the Fed anticipating nothing but sunny skies ahead. Nobody really understands that all of the problems that they believed Ben Bernanke solved, he simply exacerbated. The U.S. economy is in worse shape than it was when the financial crisis started. We have bigger problems, and therefore the next financial crisis will be worse. The thing that is going to be different about the next crisis, is I believe it will be a currency crisis…

Instead of being the end of the dollar’s decline, the next crisis will be the beginning of the dollar’s collapse. And I will anticipate that the dollar will continue to weaken until that crisis starts. Because as 2014 unfolds, we’re going to get more data like the December jobs data that is going to disappoint and call into question the validity of this recovery, which I believe is an illusion, and not a reality.


“An Imaginary Recovery Does Not Create Real Jobs”
YouTube Video

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

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am 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 presented herein.)

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Peter Schiff Bullish On Emerging Market Stocks, Gold

Peter Schiff appeared on the Fox Business Network show Markets Now on December 26. The CEO and Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital discussed the Federal Reserve and its announced “tapering” of its $85 billion bond-buying program. Schiff, like fellow “crash prophets” Marc Faber and Jim Rogers, believes the U.S. central bank will eventually reverse course on cutting back stimulus. He told viewers:

The Fed, I don’t believe, is going to carry out the taper talk. Maybe it will begin it, but it’s certainly not going to follow through. And I think it will reverse course, and ultimately be buying a lot more mortgages and Treasuries each month than it’s doing right now. And that’s because without the support of the Fed, long-term interest rates are heading a lot higher, and our economy is too broke to afford it. The highest rate we can really afford is zero at this point. And the markets haven’t figured this out yet- that we have a phony recovery. It’s a bubble masquerading as a recovery.

When asked where people should be putting their money then, the CEO of Euro Pacific Precious Metals recommended:

I’m not bearish on stocks. I’m bearing on the U.S. dollar. I’m bearish on paper. People just assume I’m all gloom and doom. So, I think the stock market’s going down. If the Fed did the right thing for the economy, and let interest rates go up, the stock market would come crashing down. But, I don’t believe the Fed is going to do the right thing. They’re going to keep doing the wrong thing. This bubble is too big to pop. The Fed knows it. So they’re going to keep on supplying air. So yes, stocks are going to go up, but the dollar is going to go down a lot more in real terms. And yes, gold is going to go up. If you really want to invest in the stock market, look around the world. There are much better opportunities in foreign stocks, in the emerging markets, that hasn’t been the place to be in 2013, but it probably will be the place to be in 2014 and going forward.


“The Fed knows this bubble is too Big to Pop”
YouTube Video

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

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am 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 presented herein.)

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Jim Rogers: Fed Will Reverse Taper, Leading To ‘Disaster In The End’

Well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers was recently interviewed by BBC News. The interview was published on their website on December 24, and in it, Sharanjit Leyl asked the former investing partner of George Soros what effect “tapering” would have on the U.S. economy. Rogers explained:

It will not have much effect on the economy. It will have an effect on the financial markets, and therefore, indirectly on the economy. What will happen is, they will taper. They will do some more. Eventually the markets will get scared. They will go down all over the world. And then the bureaucrats and the academics at the Fed will panic, and they will start printing money again. And everybody will say, “Phew! It’s okay.”

Leyl asked the Singapore-based investor, “Will it be okay though?” To which Rogers replied:

No. Sharanjit, it’s a disaster for the world. It’s unmitigated disaster. This is the first time in world history- recorded history- that all the major central banks in the world are printing staggering amounts of money at the same time. There’s an artificial sea of liquidity out- look out the window. You’ll see the ocean of liquidity rising, rising, rising. This is going to be a disaster in the end.


BBC News Video

Rogers mentions 2015, 2016 in the interview. On December 5, I blogged that he appeared two days earlier on The Lang and O’Leary Exchange, a Canadian business news television series which airs weekdays on CBC Television and CBC News Network. The CEO of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests warned host Amanda Lang:

Well, eventually Amanda, when the next big collapse comes- and we’ve had them every four to six years since the beginning of the American republic and the Canadian republic- you’re going to see serious, serious problems. The next correction when it comes- because the debt is so very very high. You know, 2008 was worse than 2002 because the debt was so much higher. You wait until 2015 or 16, Amanda. The debt has gone through the roof. The next one is going to be very bad. Be very careful. Be prepared, be worried, and be careful.

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

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Marc Faber Shares 2014 Predictions

“Doctor Doom” Marc Faber shared his 2014 predictions on the CNBC/Yahoo! Finance investing show Talking Numbers on December 19. The Swiss-born investment advisor and fund manager predicted the following for next year:

1. The S&P 500 won’t surpass its November 19, 2013, high of 1,813
2. Facebook, Tesla, Twitter, Netflix, and Veeva Systems are “grossly overvalued,” and shorting a basket of these stocks will return at least 30 percent next year
3. Physical precious metals, gold shares, and Vietnamese stocks are “buys”

On precious metals, the publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report told viewers:

Given all the money printing that is going on globally- not just in the U.S.- and given that the total credit as a percent of the advanced economies is now 30 percent higher than in 2007 before the last crisis hit, I think that gold is a good insurance. So I would buy some physical gold here…

I’d rather buy something that is reasonably priced. And I think gold shares are very inexpensive. So a basket of gold shares, I think, next year could easily appreciate 30 percent.

Dr. Faber was bullish on other equities as well. He said:

I think the Vietnamese stock market, which this year was up 22 percent- which is not bad for an emerging market- will continue to go up.

You can watch the entire Talking Numbers segment with Marc Faber on the Yahoo! Finance website here.

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

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am 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 presented herein.)

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Peter Schiff Bashes QE, Taper Lite, Gold Bears

“Gold Set for Worst Annual Tumble Since ‘81”

-FOX Business website headline, December 23, 2013

“Gold’s safe-haven role is over: strategist”

-MarketWatch.com headline, December 23, 2013

“I wouldn’t buy gold with my worst enemy’s cash: Strategist”

-CNBC.com headline, December 22, 2013

Not only have I been waiting to hear Euro Pacific Capital CEO Peter Schiff’s take on last week’s “taper” of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program, but also his opinion on the latest bout of gold selling.

Schiff, who correctly called the recent housing crash and 2008 global economic crisis, just uploaded a new entry to The Schiff Report, his YouTube video blog. Schiff told viewers on December 20:

We have never had more stimulus- both monetary and fiscal- than we have right now. This is record-breaking, Keynesian stimulus. And it’s barely working. Yes, it’s inflating a stock market bubble. It’s inflating a real estate bubble. But it’s not creating genuine economic growth. And it never will. It is not raising living standards for the vast majority of Americans. And it isn’t creating productive, high-paying jobs. And it never will. And Ben Bernanke doesn’t understand that.

Like fellow “crash prophet” Marc Faber, Schiff believes the Federal Reserve will eventually pursue more, not less, bond-buying in the future. He explained:

Why did gold sell off? “Because everything is great.” “Because the Fed has done the impossible.” “It’s tapered and it hasn’t hurt anything.” This is what everybody believes. That the Fed has accomplished its goal. It hasn’t done anything. It’s talked about doing a tiny bit. But again, as far as I’m concerned, monetary policy is even easier now than it was before they announced this trivial taper lite. And the rest of the taper is probably never going to happen because the Fed is going to have to buy more bonds, not fewer bonds, to keep this whole house of cards from imploding.

Now, is gold going to continue to fall? I don’t know. My gut is that it’s probably still finding a bottom around 1,200. There is plenty of legitimate support for gold all around the world. Yes, all the speculators who are convinced that everything is great. The same people that thought it was great in 2007. Or it was great in 1999. That crowd, completely clueless about actual economics, is convinced that there is no reason to own gold. And so, they’re going to sell it, they’re going to short it. But there is a larger community around the world, particularly I think a lot of the emerging markets, central banks, China in particular, that see it differently. And they’re using this opportunity to buy as much gold as they can so that when the speculators and the investors figure out how wrong they’ve got it, and they realize that they need to be buying gold not selling it, there won’t be any gold left to buy because they would have already sold it. And the people who bought it from them aren’t going to sell it back. The gold that China bought- they’re never going to sell it. I don’t care how high the price of gold goes. They want that gold as reserves for their currency because they know the dollars that they have in reserve are eventually going to be Monopoly money. It’s going to be confetti. So they need something real to back up their own currency, and they want gold.

And so, I think that we need to be taking advantage of this opportunity. And don’t be worried about all the negativity that’s out there and all the professionals who are writing gold’s obituary. They’ve written it before, they’ll write it again. But I still think that the bull market has a long way to go. Ultimately, we are still heading for a currency crisis.


“Taper Lite: Bernanke Tightens Monetary Policy by Easing it!”
YouTube Video

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

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am 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 presented herein.)

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Marc Faber Predicts ‘Tapered’ QE Will Rebound, Go ‘Substantially Higher’

Okay- time to talk money and investing this week. Swiss-born investment advisor and fund manager Marc Faber appeared on CNBC’s Futures Now last Tuesday and talked about the future of the Federal Reserve’s now $75 billion monthly bond-buying program. “Doctor Doom” predicted:

They will never end QE for good. They will continue. But the programs, once they are introduced- they usually keep on going. They may do some cosmetic adjustments. But in my view, within a few years, the asset purchases will be substantially higher than they are today.

The editor/publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report added later:

Economic recovery, or so-called recovery, by June of next year will be in the fifth year of the recovery. So at some stage the economy will weaken again, and at that point, the Fed will argue, “Well, we haven’t done enough, we have to do more.”


“Marc Faber: The Fed will never end QE”
CNBC Video

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

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Economic Fiction

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity may have noticed I didn’t blog much last week. Truth be told, I was reading and watching a lot of blog-related material that I want to address in the coming weeks. I didn’t pay as close attention to the news as I would a “normal” week. But it was hard not to notice all the “rosy” talk about the U.S. economy. Sure, some decent economic reports have come out. Problem is, I don’t have much faith in them as I saw some years back how they can- and subsequently have been- manipulated to be more positive than if the numbers hadn’t been fudged.

As far as I’m concerned, the United States economy and larger financial system are still in big trouble at the end of 2013. The so-called “recovery”?- primarily the result of massive amounts of “stimulus” and new debt that the Federal Reserve and Washington chose to employ to paper-over an economic disaster that reared its ugly head in 2008.

Come to think of it, the “recovery” reminds me a lot of that scene from the 1994 film Pulp Fiction, where Uma Thurman’s character receives a healthy dose of adrenaline after she OD’s:


(Warning: Squeamish readers may not want to watch)
YouTube Video

Just substitute the economy for Ms. Thurman and massive amounts of “stimulus” for the adrenaline, and you might get an idea of what I’m talking about.

Euro Pacific Capital’s Peter Schiff remarked some time ago about all the stimulus going into the economy. He basically pointed out that since there’s been so much of it, it’s only reasonable to expect the recipient would appear to be recovering. Perhaps even full of vitality. However, remove the stimulus and regression eventually sets in.

And that’s where I think we’re heading.

Now, I’m not just talking about a recession. It’s a little bit more complicated.

As I mentioned before, not only has there been a tremendous amount of stimulus being deployed, but trillions and trillions of dollars worth of new debt accrued as well. The United States was a financial “house of cards” before. All this new debt heaped on top of it has made it even more unstable. Worse- Washington has demonstrated time and time again they have no serious intention of putting a halt to the nonsense.

Therefore, not only am I expecting a U.S. recession, but a financial crash as well.

Regrettably, I just can’t see any way around it at this point in time.

I don’t know how much time we have left before the nation hits the proverbial brick wall, but our “financial reckoning day” is coming.

Washington and the Fed got lucky when they were able to kick the can down the road back in 2008. Eventually, that luck will run out.

Here’s hoping as many Americans as possible are prepared for that inevitable occasion.

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

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Peter Schiff Predicts More QE In 2014 Will Prevent Stock Bear Market

Never let it be said that Euro Pacific Capital CEO and Chief Global Strategist Peter Schiff is nothing but a “permabear.”

Schiff appeared on CNBC’s Closing Bell yesterday and shared his 2014 outlook on the show. Schiff, who correctly predicted the U.S. housing crash and ongoing economic crisis, told viewers:

I think if the Fed does taper, the only way we’re going to get a rally is if they undo the taper and start doing more QE. I don’t expect Janet Yellen to taper at all- I expect her to continue to talk about it, but not do it. I think investors are really underestimating the severity of the problems that underlie the structure of the U.S. economy and the degree to which the Fed is masking, and actually exasperating, those problems with QE.

And so I think we’re going to get more QE, but it’s not necessarily that bullish for the stock market. It will prevent the bear market that would otherwise take place. But I think it will cause investors to look more overseas. Maybe some of the markets that they’ve been ignoring as they’ve been tripping over each other to buy U.S. stocks I think are pretty expensive.


“Will market bulls continue run into 2014?”
CNBC Video

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

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am 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 presented herein.)

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Marc Faber: ‘We Are In A Gigantic Speculative Bubble’

Swiss-born investment advisor and fund manager Marc Faber issued another warning about stocks being in a bubble this past Friday. Appearing on CNBC’s Squawk Box, “Doctor Doom” told viewers:

I’ve been quite positive for equities after 2009 when they became very cheap. But recently I have to say that we are once again in a massive financial bubble in bonds, in equities. We are in a bubble in asset prices that have gone up dramatically. Farmland is up ten times over the last ten years. And Bitcoins are up now. And who knows what next will go up. But, we are in a gigantic speculative bubble. And as I have said, I haven’t shorted any stocks yet because they may still move up. But I don’t see any value in stocks any longer, except very few sectors…

So I think that financial assets, if you look at the next five to ten years’ expected returns, but these returns will be very low.

Now can the market go up another twenty percent before it tumbles? Yeah, it can go up even more, if you print money.


“Marc Faber: No value in stocks”
CNBC Video

Dr. Faber, who became famous for advising clients to get out of the U.S. stock market one week before the October 1987 crash, also warned of a bubble in financial assets on CNBC’s Fast Money on November 19. He said:

I see a bubble in everything that relates to the financial sector. We have a bubble in bonds. We have a bubble in low-quality bonds. We have a bubble in equities. If you look at the financial sector as a percentage of the global economy, it’s very large. We have a huge debt bubble, and it’s only getting bigger. It’s not getting any smaller.

So we are the bubble. Everything that is in the financial sector is the bubble, and it’s been pumped up by central banks.

I don’t know about you, but talk about bubbles seems to be growing these days.

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

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am 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 presented herein.)

Source:

Navarro, Bruno J., “Superbear Marc Faber sees opportunities.” CNBC. 19 Nov. 2013. (http://www.cnbc.com/id/101212211). 1 Dec. 2013.

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Jeremy Grantham: Next Stock Market Bust ‘Sometime Within Two Or Three Years’

I just finished reading the latest installment (covering Q3 2013) of Jeremy Grantham’s quarterly investment letter. Grantham is the co-founder and chief investment strategist of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. (GMO), and has a special talent for correctly-calling the direction of the financial markets. In “Ignoble Prizes and Appointments,” Grantham predicted yet another market “bust” shortly. Grantham wrote:

But back to Yellen, who has happily gone along with the failed Fed policy of hoping madly for a different outcome despite repeating exactly the same thing. The past consequences of this strategy have been so dire on two occasions and threaten to be just as bad again sometime within two or three years.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Unlike fellow “crash prophets” Marc Faber and Peter Schiff, Grantham doesn’t think stocks are in a bubble. Yet. He declared:

In equities there are few signs yet of a traditional bubble.

But added:

I would think that we are probably in the slow build-up to something interesting – a badly overpriced market and bubble conditions. My personal guess is that the U.S. market, especially the non-blue chips, will work its way higher, perhaps by 20% to 30% in the next year or, more likely, two years, with the rest of the world including emerging market equities covering even more ground in at least a partial catch-up. And then we will have the third in the series of serious market busts since 1999 and presumably Greenspan, Bernanke, Yellen, et al. will rest happy, for surely they must expect something like this outcome given their experience. And we the people, of course, will get what we deserve. We acclaimed the original perpetrator of this ill-fated plan – Greenspan – to be the great Maestro, in a general orgy of boot licking. His faithful acolyte, Bernanke, was reappointed by a democratic president and generally lauded for doing (I admit) a perfectly serviceable job of rallying the troops in a crash that absolutely would not have occurred without the dangerous experiments in deregulation and no regulation (of the subprime instruments, for example) of his and his predecessor’s policy. At this rate, one day we will praise Yellen (or a similar successor) for helping out adequately in the wreckage of the next utterly unnecessary financial and asset class failure.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Due to the Brtish-born investment strategist’s superb track record in calling the stock markets, when he talks, I listen. Attentively.

In the meantime, Grantham- whose individual clients have included Secretary of State John Kerry and former Vice President Dick Cheney- had this to say about U.S. equities:

In the meantime investors should be aware that the U.S. market is already badly overpriced – indeed, we believe it is priced to deliver negative real returns over seven years – and that most foreign markets having moved up rapidly this summer are also overpriced but less so. In our view, prudent investors should already be reducing their equity bets and their risk level in general.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

One of the most insightful investment letters yet from the “crash prophet,” which you can read in its entirety on the GMO website here (.pdf format).

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

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am 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 presented herein.)

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Quote- No, Headlines- For The Week

Something different for readers this week. Instead of a quote, here’s two news headlines which made my eyes roll upon spotting them this weekend…

“Dow 20,000 here we come: It’s different this time”

-MarketWatch.com, November 22, 2013

“It’s different this time.”

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard this phrase uttered over the years as some asset bubble was being inflated.

It’s not just me either.

From Michael Kling on the Moneynews website back on May 23, 2013:

Time and again, as stock prices continue rising to unsustainable heights, stock enthusiasts have preached, “This time is different.”

And it’s not just stocks either.

From Charles Hugh Smith on LewRockwell.com this past Halloween:

Defenders of current real estate valuations can draw upon an array of justifications, but they boil down to the same one used to justify valuations in every asset bubble: this time it’s different.

As for my two cents? Like I commented on a Chicago Tribune article last week, it’s my belief that after the economic crisis reared it’s ugly head in the fall of 2008, home prices nose-dived, and the “Great Recession” took hold, Washington and the Fed only managed to paper over the situation and monetary policy was designed to inflate a new asset bubble (or two, what the hell) to “save” the U.S. economy and larger financial system. Subsequently, we find ourselves immersed in QE Infinity and what some of those who correctly-predicted the “Panic of ’08″ and housing crash see as new bubbles forming in residential real estate and equities.

I don’t envision this ending well.

Speaking of the Tribune, here’s another headline that made me cackle in disbelief.

“Breakthrough deal curbs Iran’s nuclear activity”

-Chicago Tribune website, November 24, 2013

All I can say about this hopium-infused headline is that I expect one of two scenarios down the road:

1. Downtown Tehran packed to the gills as the Islamic Republic of Iran parades its first nuclear weapon for the entire world to see. Those in the know understand state actors in this region of the world can only salivate over the prospect of having a nuke in their arsenal- Iran included. Realpolitik, people.

2. A mushroom cloud over an Israeli or U.S. city. If the technology/opportunity presents itself, an electromagnetic pulse originating from a nuclear device detonated in the atmosphere over one of these countries (more bang for the buck).

Of course, all bets are off over these two scenarios taking place if some one (the Israelis?) take out Iran’s growing nuclear capabilities with military force.

Question is, is that even possible anymore given the time Iran has had?

Again, there’s others who think the claim that the interim pact reached betwen Iran and China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, and the United States “curbs Iran’s nuclear activity” is one big joke.

Enter Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, “the world’s foremost value investor” with a net worth of $20 billion as of March 2013 according to Forbes magazine. Here’s what the Saudi royal had to say about a potential deal with Iran. From Jeffrey Goldberg on Bloomberg.com Friday night:

“There’s no confidence in the Obama administration doing the right thing with Iran,” he told me, with a directness that would make Benjamin Netanyahu blush. “We’re really concerned — Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Middle East countries — about this.”

It is quite something for a Saudi royal to state baldly that his country is part of a tacit alliance with Israel, but Saudi leaders, like Israel’s leaders, are frantic with worry that an overeager Obama will accede to Iran’s desire to become a threshold state, one whose nuclear program is so advanced that it would only need several weeks to assemble a deliverable weapon. Alwaleed, like Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, believes that Iran, in its ongoing negotiations with the world’s major powers, will pocket whatever sanctions relief it gets without committing to ending its nuclear program. “Why are they offering relief?” he asked. “Keep the pressure on. Sanctions are what brought about the negotiations to begin with! Why not keep the pressure up?”

Obama, Alwaleed says, is a man who is in desperate political straits and needs a victory — any victory — to right his presidency. “Obama is in so much of a rush to have a deal with Iran,” he said. “He wants anything. He’s so wounded. It’s very scary. Look, the 2014 elections are going to begin. Within two stamonths they’re going to start campaigning. Thirty-nine members of his own party in the House have already moved away from him on Obamacare. That’s scary for him.”

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Note Goldberg’s headline for his Bloomberg piece:

“Iran Is Playing Obama, Says Saavy Saudi Prince”

Iran is “playing” Obama and many others, judging by the buzz being reported in the mainstream media this Sunday.

Not me. I just can’t see Dow 20,000 being sustained just yet or Iran’s nuclear aspirations being curbed through diplomacy any time soon.

Sources:

Kling, Michael. “New Yorker: No Stock Bubble- This Time Is Different.” Moneynews.com. 23 May 2013. (http://www.moneynews.com/InvestingAnalysis/stock-market-bubble-different/2013/05/23/id/506002). 24 May 2013.

Smith, Charles Hugh. “What Real Estate Bubble? Oh, You Mean the One That’s Bigger Than the 2007 Bubble?” LewRockwell.com. 31 Oct. 2013. (http://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/10/charles-hugh-smith/what-real-estate-bubble/). 24 Nov. 2013.

Goldberg, Jeffrey. “Iran Is Playing Obama, Says Savvy Saudi Prince.” Bloomberg.com. 22 Nov. 2013. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-22/iran-is-playing-obama-says-savvy-saudi-prince.html). 24 Nov. 2013.

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

(Editor’s note: I am 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 presented herein.)

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