Recovery

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: Gold Fundamentals ‘Great Right Now’ As U.S. Recovery A ‘Myth’

Euro Pacific Capital’s Peter Schiff appeared on the CNBC show Futures Now on March 20. The financial commentator and author talked about a number of issues, including the Federal Reserve, gold, and inflation. On gold, Schiff told viewers:

The fundamentals have favored higher gold prices all along. The fundamentals for gold were great at the beginning of 2013. They were great at the end. They’re great right now. It’s just that most people don’t understand how great they are. They believe the myth of the U.S. recovery. They believe that the Fed can actually unwind its balance sheet, that it can end QE, that it can raise interest rates, and that the economy is going to keep on expanding. None of that is going to happen. It’s all fantasy.

We’re going to have QE Infinity. There is massive inflation. And it’s going to manifest itself in substantially higher gold prices.

The ensuing short debate between Schiff and economist/investor/hedge-fund manager Mark Dow about inflation was also interesting to watch. Perhaps those two can set up something “official” down the road.


“Mark Dow vs. Peter Schiff on Gold, Inflation, Fed”
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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Record Net Worth Result Of Fed Blowing Bubbles In Housing, Stocks?

I was surfing the Internet last night when I read something about Americans’ net worth making a comeback. Neil Shah reported on The Wall Street Journal website Thursday:

Americans’ wealth hit the highest level ever last year, according to data released Thursday, reflecting a surge in the value of stocks and homes that has boosted the most affluent U.S. households.

The net worth of U.S. households and nonprofit organizations rose 14% last year, or almost $10 trillion, to $80.7 trillion, the highest on record, according to a Federal Reserve report released Thursday. Even adjusted for inflation using the Fed’s preferred gauge of prices, U.S. household net worth—the value of homes, stocks and other assets minus debts and other liabilities—hit a fresh record…

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

I can’t say I’m surprised to hear of this rebound in net worth. After all, Euro Pacific Capital’s Peter Schiff has been warning for a couple of years now that the Federal Reserve is inflating new asset bubbles via tremendous amounts of stimulus (quantitative easing) to spark some sort of economic recovery in the wake of the bursting of the housing bubble and global financial crisis that reared its head in the fall of 2008. I blogged back on September 18, 2012:

In his September 14 entry on the The Schiff Report YouTube video blog, Schiff, who correctly-predicted the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble and 2008 global economic crisis, explained to viewers what QE3 was really about:

This is the plan that Ben Bernanke has. Ben Bernanke’s plan to revive the U.S. economy, and create jobs, is to inflate another housing bubble. That’s it. That’s what the Fed’s got. That’s what it came up with. As if the last housing bubble worked out so well for the economy, that the Fed wants an encore…

How is another housing bubble going to solve anything. Now one thing that Ben Bernanke hasn’t figured out yet- it ain’t gonna work. No matter how much he tries, no matter how much air he blows in to that housing market, he’s not going to reflate that bubble. There are simply too many holes in it, and there is no precedent for relating a busted bubble. More likely, all that cheap money is going to go someplace else…

Schiff asserted the Federal Reserve was trying to inflate another housing bubble.

Instead, there’s suggestions both housing and the stock market look “frothy” these days.

Suppose the Fed did in fact want to inflate new asset bubbles. If the central bank aimed to spread the wealth around in an attempt to jump-start the economy, it doesn’t seem to be happening. Shah noted in that WSJ article:

But the rebound, while powerful, has been tilted in a way that limits the upside for the broader U.S. economy and is increasingly leaving behind many middle- and lower-income Americans…

That means that even as wealth increases, it’s increasingly going to the affluent.

In addition to the affluent, much of the wealth surge is going to older Americans. Both groups are less likely to spend their gains and more likely to save, Mr. Emmons said. Meanwhile, sheer demographics—the retirement of the baby boomers and America’s aging population—are increasing the ranks of the nation’s savers.

The upshot: While American households overall are getting wealthier, the benefits for the economy may prove limited until such improvements reach more people.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“The benefits for the economy may prove limited until such improvements reach more people.”

I fear another financial crisis will have paid us a visit before such prosperity is achieved.

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

Source:

Shah, Neil “U.S. Household Net Worth Hits Record High.” The Wall Street Journal. 6 Mar. 2014. (link). 7 Mar. 2014.

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Peter Schiff: U.S. GDP Fell From 2.8 Percent In 2012 To 1.9 Percent In 2013

“Investor Warren Buffett says the economy continues the steady improvement that began in fall of 2009 and he remains optimistic despite Russia’s advance into Ukraine.

Buffett appeared on the business cable channel CNBC Monday morning after releasing an upbeat annual letter to his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. shareholders over the weekend. Buffett is chairman and CEO of the Omaha, Neb., conglomerate.

Buffett said the reports he gets from Berkshire’s 80-odd subsidiaries in a variety of industries show that the economy is growing at a moderate rate, despite swings in investors’ mood.

“The American economy for five years has been moving at a fairly steady rate upwards —not as fast as people would like — but I think that absolutely continues now,” he said…”

-Associated Press, March 3, 2014

Well-known stock investor Warren Buffett has been bullish on the U.S. economy for some time now. Not so for a number of the “crash prophets,” including Peter Schiff. The Euro Pacific Capital CEO and Chief Global Strategist added a new entry Friday on his YouTube video blog The Schiff Report where he pointed out that U.S. GDP numbers for the past two years tell a different tale than the one Buffett shared with CNBC viewers this morning. Schiff observed:

The GDP numbers that were released today for the fourth quarter the government came back and revised down. It was a downward revision to fourth quarter GDP. They originally told us the economy grew by 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter. And today, they revised that down to just 2.4 percent. 2.4 percent.

Now, if you look at the entire year of 2013, the GDP grew by 1.9 percent. For the year.

In 2012- the prior year- the GDP grew by 2.8 percent.

Now, wait a minute. President Obama said in his many speeches in late 2013 that this is the year the recovery became real. That we finally have the real recovery that he’s been promising.

Well wait a minute. If GDP in 2013 was up by 1.9 percent, but it was up by 2.8 percent in the year before when the recovery wasn’t real- how is the recovery more real when the economy is growing more slowly now than it was before?


“Recovery Fantasy Persists Despite Contrary Data”
YouTube Video

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

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Monday, March 3rd, 2014 Crash Prophets, GDP, Recovery No Comments

Marc Faber Shares Outlook And Advice At Barron’s 2014 Roundtable

Each year around this time, the weekly financial magazine Barron’s hosts their investor “Roundtable.” Swiss-born money manager and investment advisor Marc Faber was one of the participants in 2014, and starting on January 18 the publication started disseminating the investment advice of Dr. Faber and other Roundtable members. The financial website Zero Hedge zeroed-in on what the publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report had to say at this year’s Roundtable. According to “Tyler Durden,” Dr. Faber:

• Is bearish on U.S. stocks, and the Russell 2000 in particular. Faber recommended shorting the Russell 2000.
• Is bearish on the U.S. economic recovery, recommending the purchase of 10-year Treasury notes
• Has a lot of cash, has bought Treasury bonds, and has about 20 percent of his net worth in gold. Regarding the precious metal, Faber went so far as to “recommend the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF [GDXJ], although I don’t own it. I own physical gold because the old system will implode. Those who own paper assets are doomed.”
• Offered up his investment forecast for Asian real estate, India, Vietnam, and Turkey and it’s currency- the Lira

The piece provided good insight into Dr. Faber’s investment outlook and activities, which you can read in its entirety on the Zero Hedge website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (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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Goldman Sachs Misses Big On 4 Of Last 5 Year-End Gold Price Predictions

Speaking of Goldman Sachs this evening, yesterday I caught their year-end price forecast for an ounce of gold. Jeff Morganteen wrote on the CNBC website Monday afternoon:

Bad news for “gold-bugs”- bullion’s current beginning-of-the-year rally will not only lose steam, but prices could drop sharply by the end of 2014, according to Goldman Sachs’ Jeffrey Currie.

Currie, Goldman’s head of commodities research, told CNBC on Monday he had an end-of-year price target of $1,050 per ounce for gold, a 16 percent drop based from current prices of $1,251. The main culprit? Economic recovery…

I used to blog about these “end-of-year price targets” for gold from the major financial institutions starting back in early 2007, when I ran Boom2Bust.com, “The Most Hated Blog On Wall Street.”

Not so much anymore.

Why’s that? I’m not sure. Perhaps it was because I felt the many forecasts I blogged about over time weren’t turning out to be too accurate.

After reading that Goldman Sachs year-end gold price prediction, I decided to dig up this particular financial institution’s forecasts- made almost a year in advance- for the last five years. What I found pretty much confirmed my suspicions:

2009 Goldman Sachs year-end gold price forecast? $795
New York spot gold price on December 31, 2009? $1,096.20
Goldman Sachs off (under) by $301.20

2010 Goldman Sachs year-end gold price forecast? $1,350
New York spot gold price on December 31, 2010? $1,421.60
Goldman Sachs off (under) by $71.60

2011 Goldman Sachs year-end gold price forecast? $1,690
New York spot gold price on December 30, 2011? $1,566.40
Goldman Sachs off (over) by $123.60

2012 Goldman Sachs year-end gold price forecast? $1,940
New York spot gold price on December 31, 2012? $1,675.20
Goldman Sachs off (over) by $264.80

2013 Goldman Sachs year-end gold price forecast? $1,800
New York spot gold price on December 31, 2013? $1,205.50
Goldman Sachs off (over) by $594.50

Except for its 2010 end-of-the-year gold price prediction, Goldman Sachs was off by more than $100 in its forecasts for the other four years.

Most striking was the 2013 prediction, where the New York City-based multinational investment banking firm was off by almost $600.

I’m not trying to give Goldman Sachs a hard time over these forecasts. If anything, I want to use this example to share with you a lesson I learned a long time ago observing gold, which is how incredibly difficult it is to successfully predict the price of an ounce of gold a long way out.

And to do it on a regular basis? Does such talent even exist?

I would think if it did, Goldman Sachs would employ it.

Down the road, I’ll look at other year-end gold price forecasts from other major financial institutions and do the 5-year comparison with them. Who knows? One of them might turn out to be relatively accurate with their predictions, and able to do it consistently.

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

Source:

Morganteen, Jeff. “Gold to tank in 2014: Goldman Sachs.” CNBC.com. 13 Jan. 2014. (http://www.cnbc.com/id/101331595). 14 Jan. 2014.

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Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 Commodities, Precious Metals, Recovery No Comments

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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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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November Jobs Report ‘Rather Sucked’?

While researching an earlier post, I came across quite a few glowing mainstream media headlines concerning the release of the lastest U.S. employment numbers.

“Strong” was the adjective used most to describe the November jobs report.

Although television personality and CNBC Mad Money host went so far as to call it “kind of perfect”:



ANY CHARACTER HERE

So, was November really “kind of perfect” for employment in the U.S.?

Or, is the devil in the details- once again?

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Employment Situation Summary” this morning:

The unemployment rate declined from 7.3 percent to 7.0 percent in November, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 203,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in transportation and warehousing, health care, and manufacturing…

Both the number of unemployed persons, at 10.9 million, and the unemployment rate, at 7.0 percent, declined in November. Among the unemployed, the number who reported being on temporary layoff decreased by 377,000. This largely reflects the return to work of federal employees who were furloughed in October due to the partial government shutdown.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Ah, returning federal workers who were furloughed. As to how many, Paul Davidson chimed in on the USA TODAY website:

Unemployment rose in October because the federal government furloughed about 450,000 workers during the 16-day shutdown. The jobless rate, in turn, was expected to fall in November as those employees were back at work.

Ah, 450,000 returning government workers.

Anyone else detect a horned figure among the employment data?

As for the 203,000 jobs created in November, I wonder how many are low-paying ones? I just thought I’d ask, considering what Chris Isidore wrote on the CNN Money website this morning about this year’s hiring trends:

So in what sectors have the jobs been created? Nearly 1 million of the jobs have come in relatively low-wage sectors. These include retail, leisure and hospitality, temporary workers and some segments of health care such as home health care and nursing homes. That’s almost half the jobs added.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Just tallying up those areas mentioned by Isidore, I already get 64,000 jobs. Considering there are other low-paying job areas not mentioned by Isidore but part of the report- couriers and messengers (9,000 new jobs last month), for example- and it becomes obvious a lot of low-paying jobs were created once again in November.

As I pointed out back on November 7, 2012:

Burger flippers won’t be spearheading a U.S. economic recovery anytime soon.

President Obama and his supporters like to talk up job creation. But as Isidore also pointed out:

Even with three straight years of adding more than 2 million jobs, the economy has not recovered from the huge loss of nearly 9 million jobs in 2008 and 2009.

The economy will need to add an additional 1.3 million jobs to get back to how many people had jobs when the recession started. And the U.S. adult population has grown by more than 13 million people in those six years. So even getting back to the number of jobs before the recession won’t get the economy completely out of the hole. The Economic Policy Institute calculates the overall jobs shortfall is still at nearly 8 million jobs.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“The overall jobs shortfall is still at nearly 8 million jobs.”

I know- it’s all Bush’s fault, right?

Before I let you go, keep in mind the following that was also pointed out by the folks over at CNN Money in a related piece this morning. Annalyn Kurtz reported:

Only about 63% of Americans over the age of 16 participate in the job market — meaning they either have a job or are looking for one. That’s nearly the lowest level since 1978, driven partly by Baby Boomers retiring, but also by workers simply giving up hope.

That would help explain all these working-age adults I see driving around during the day in the Chicagoland area who don’t seem to be heading in to or out of some workplace.

I was still a young kid back in ’78. But I’ve asked people who were old enough to know back then what they thought about economic conditions at that time.

Unanimously, they thought they “rather sucked.”

Which could also be said of employment conditions and the jobs report from last month.

You can read the entire November jobs report on the BLS website here.

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

Sources:

Davidson, Paul. “Nov. job gains, 203,000: jobless rate, 7.0%.” USA TODAY. 6 Dec. 2013. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/12/06/jobs-report-november/3881983/). 6 Dec, 2013.

Isidore, Chris. “Five key numbers behind the jobs recovery.” CNN Money. 6 Dec. 2013. (http://money.cnn.com/2013/12/06/news/economy/jobs-numbers/index.html?iid=lead2). 6 Dec. 2013.

Kurtz, Annalyn. “Unemployment falls to 7%.” CNN Money. 6 Dec. 2013. (http://fox43.com/2013/12/06/unemployment-falls-to-7/#axzz2miKFbxKf). 6 Dec. 2013.

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Peter Schiff: ‘The U.S. Is Entering Another Recession,’ ‘Big Wake-Up’ For Gold Price Coming

Speaking of gold tonight, Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital was patched into the CNBC Futures Now TV show this past Tuesday, where he issued a recession warning and gold price forecast to viewers. Schiff addressed the price of gold first, and said:

I think it’s going a lot higher. I mean, certainly five or ten years from now it will be much higher than it’s going to be a year from now. But does that mean that gold can’t be lower? No. I mean, obviously, anything can happen in the short run. I think gold should be a lot higher than it is right now. But a lot of people don’t agree with me, and that’s why it’s lower. You have a lot of people selling gold. You have a lot of traders who are shorting gold because they don’t understand the macroeconomics. Again, they believe in this U.S. recovery. It’s an illusion. They believe that tighter monetary policy is around the corner. It’s not. Looser monetary policy is around the corner. The U.S. is entering another recession. And look how weak the economy is. Look how weak the recovery was. And now we’re going back into recession again, and interest rates are already at zero. All they can do is dial-up the size of the QE. And when people get their hands around that- when they realize QE hasn’t actually helped, it’s actually hurt. And we’re going to get more of it because it doesn’t work, and it’s never going to work. And the economy is going to continue to deteriorate, and we’re going to try and paper it over with a flood of money- that’s going to be a big wake-up for the price of gold. And I think the price is going to go straight up. And I think people who aren’t in it are going to be disappointed. And the people who are short- it’s going to be more than disappointment. It’s going to be a lot of pain there when people watch the price of gold go straight up and they sold it lower.

You can watch the segment here on CNBC’s website.

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: If Fed Starts Tapering, U.S. Will Be Back In Recession

Time to talk money this morning. Only one “crash prophet” had anything notable to say in the past couple of days. The CEO and Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital, Peter Schiff, appeared on CNBC’s Closing Bell last Friday. Schiff, who is credited with predicting the U.S. housing bust and economic crisis that reared its ugly head late in 2008, told viewers:

If the Fed begins to taper- which I don’t think it’s going to do- we’ll be back in recession. It’s not going to be good for stocks. The whole rally is based on QE. That’s why the Fed’s going to keep the monetary spigots open. Because they want to keep the phony recovery, and they want to keep inflating these asset bubbles in the stock market and in the real estate market. But the problem for the market is, the more the Fed succeeds in pushing up the market now with QE, the further it’s going to fall once the QE stops. Because it has to end eventually, otherwise the dollar is going to collapse, and it’s not going to matter what your stock portfolio is worth, because you’re not going to be able to buy anything.

When asked about the Fed not planning to start tapering until the economy is fundamentally better, Schiff replied:

It will never get better fundamentally until they stop QE. QE is preventing the economy from fundamentally recovering from the damage. So the Fed is going to keep doing it. Again, it’s like a drug. The QE keeps us high, but if we lose the drug then we go through withdrawal. We’re never going to have a genuine recovery until the Fed lets us have a real recession. So when they take away the QE, then we’re going to go right back into recession. It’s even going to be bigger than the one in ’08 and ’09, because a lot of damage has been done structurally to our economy, because the Fed has interfered with the recovery with all the QE.


“Fed Taper Will Trigger Recession”
YouTube Video

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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: ‘An Economy That Lives By QE Dies By QE’

“The Federal Reserve decided Wednesday to hold monetary policy steady, saying that conditions remained too weak to pull back from its bond-buying program.

By a vote of 9 to 1, the Fed decided to maintain the pace of its $85 billion-per-month asset purchase plan.”

-MarketWatch.com, October 30, 2013

Another Federal Open Market Committee meeting has come and gone, and with it, the decision by the U.S. central bank to reduce, or “taper,” its $85 billion-per-month stimulus program.

Peter Schiff, CEO and Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital, appeared on Canada’s only all-business and financial news television channel BNN last Friday, and correctly-predicted once again that the Federal Reserve wouldn’t start tapering its quantitative easing just yet. Schiff told Business News Network viewers:

My view has been consistent since the beginning. I said when the Fed first launched QE1 that it was a mistake. That they had checked into the equivalent of the monetary roach motel. That they had no exit strategy. That QE would continue indefinitely. That we would have increasing doses of this monetary heroin. And, eventually it’s going to come to an end. Not because the Fed tapers. The Fed’s actually going to do the opposite of tapering- they’re going to up the dosage. It’s going to end when there’s a currency crisis. When the dollar collapses, and then that morphs into a sovereign debt crisis. That’s going to force the Fed’s hand. But until then, it’s just going to pretend that there’s an exit. It’s going to pretend that there’s tapering. But it can’t do it, because it can’t remove the QE without removing the recovery and putting the economy back into a worse recession than before the Fed began this experiment.

When asked about the possibility of a “beginning to the reduction of bond purchases,” Schiff replied:

No. Because when they even talked about it last time- when the Fed talked about the possibility of maybe reducing QE- interest rates went way up, and that threatened to unravel the housing recovery, the bull market in stocks, and so the Fed had to back off. The Fed is saying that it’s only going to take away the punch bowl if the party keeps going. But the party’s going to stop if it takes away the punch bowl. That is the predicament that it’s in. You know, an economy that lives by QE dies by QE.

Schiff talked of bubbles in housing and stocks, and warned viewers:

But ultimately, those bubbles are going to burst. If the Fed eventually does the right thing, and lets interest rates rise, we’ll have a worse financial crisis than 2008. If it does the wrong thing, and doesn’t let interest rates rise, but keeps printing money instead, then we’re going to have runaway inflation and a much bigger financial disaster than what would happen if the Fed just let rates rise.


“Fed Will Do The Opposite Of Tapering- And Print More Money!”
YouTube Video

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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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