U.S. dollar

Peter Schiff: ‘I Think This Recession Is Going To Be A Greater Recession’

Euro Pacific Capital CEO Peter Schiff, who correctly-called the housing bust and economic crisis last decade, just uploaded a new entry to The Schiff Report vlog on YouTube. On February 5, Schiff told viewers:

I think the recession that we are already in- and yes, the government will eventually admit this after the fact, just like they did with the Great Recession- but I think this recession is going to be a Greater Recession. I think it’s going to be deeper and longer lasting than the last one. And I don’t think the government is going to be able to save us with a stimulus. And I think that ship has long sailed. I think when the dollar starts to tank, and when it does, I think consumer prices in the U.S. are going to go up a lot more next time than they did last time…

I think now you’re going to see big increases in consumer prices. Remember the stagflation of the 1970s. Except this is going to have a lot more stagnation and a lot more inflation. And unlike what Ronald Reagan did at the end of that decade to put out that fire, nothing like that is going to happen this time because we can’t do it. We don’t have the tools. We can’t raise interest rates to fight inflation no matter how high inflation rises because that’s how broke we are. The only things keeping our institutions afloat, including the federal government, is artificially-low interest rates. And the more debt we have, the more important those low interest rates are to maintain the illusion of solvency. So, inflation is going to keep on going up and that is going to cause a flight from the dollar…


“Weak Jobs Report Not Weak Enough For Stocks”
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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Citi: ‘The World Appears To Be Trapped In A Circular Reference Death Spiral’

Citi (Citigroup Inc.), the New York City-based investment banking and financial services corporation, hasn’t exactly been a torchbearer of good economic news lately. Back on December 1, 2015, Citi strategists wrote in their 2016 outlook:

The cumulative probability of U.S. recession reaches 65 percent next year…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Citi’s 2016 recession probability call was the most bearish of several recent ones I pointed out last week:

• Janet Yellen- 10%
• Societe Generale- 10% and rising
• CNNMoney survey of economists- 18%
• Bloomberg survey economists- 19%
• Morgan Stanley- 20% in a worst-case scenario
• Bank of America/Merrill Lynch- 20%
• Citi- 65%

And Citi struck again today. Katy Barnato reported over on the CNBC website this morning:

The global economy seems trapped in a “death spiral” that could lead to further weakness in oil prices, recession and a serious equity bear market, Citi strategists have warned…

“The world appears to be trapped in a circular reference death spiral,” Citi strategists led by Jonathan Stubbs said in a report on Thursday.

“Stronger U.S. dollar, weaker oil/commodity prices, weaker world trade/petrodollar liquidity, weaker EM (and global growth)… and repeat. Ad infinitum, this would lead to Oilmageddon, a ‘significant and synchronized’ global recession and a proper modern-day equity bear market.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

All hope is not lost though, said Stubbs. Head on over to Barnato’s article here to read all about it.

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:

McGeever, Jamie. “CITI: There’s a 65% probability the US goes into recession next year.” Reuters. 2 Dec. 2015. (http://www.businessinsider.com/r-watch-for-us-recession-zero-interest-rates-in-china-next-year-citi-says-2015-12). 5 Feb. 2016.

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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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GoldSilver.com’s Mike Maloney Predicts U.S. Currency Crisis ‘Before The End Of This Decade’

One “crash prophet” who I check in on from time to time is Mike Maloney, a precious metals expert, advisor, and author who runs California-based GoldSilver.com (specializing in the instruction of precious metals investing and providing world-class gold/silver dealer services). This afternoon I watched two videos in which he was featured, and thought I should share his observations with Survival And Prosperity readers.

First off, in a video just uploaded onto his YouTube channel Tuesday, Mike Maloney informed viewers:

I’m making this video because I’ve noticed a major shift in the markets lately. Every trader, every investor, everybody in the world is looking at this. This is the Wilshire 5000 but the S&P or the Dow- they all look the same. There’s these major topping patterns, and we’ve put in a third, what looks like to everybody, a major topping pattern. And what we’re seeing is more, very, very large customers- people that are cashing out of the stock markets and going into gold and silver…

Here at GoldSilver, what we’re seeing is a shift from a whole lot of smaller purchases to some very, very big purchases coming in. It’s highly unusual. And what I get out of it is that people are scared. So I just wanted to update everybody on the markets, to me, look like they are topping out…


“Markets Topping Out, Large Investors Run To Gold – Mike Maloney”
YouTube Video

In the second video, Mike Maloney focuses on the “big picture.” Speaking to investment newsletter publisher Jay Taylor on his web-based radio show Turning Hard Times into Good Times, Maloney said in a video uploaded on YouTube on January 20:

I believe we’re going to have a currency crisis before the end of this decade. But everyone is going to feel it. And only precious metals investors are going to benefit from it…

Taylor asked Maloney:

I recall a discussion you and I and my friend Ian Gordon had up there in Vancouver two or three years ago in which you were almost in complete agreement with Ian’s views that we were heading into a deflationary implosion the likes of which probably would make the 1930s look like child’s play. Are you still of that view? And if so, isn’t the dollar then a store of value if we’re in a deflationary environment?

Maloney responded:

Yes it will be temporarily. It’s going to be the beneficiary. This will probably start out of China or Europe and there will be this temporary flight to what people have been taught is this safe haven- which is U.S. Treasury bonds. And that will make the dollar the beneficiary of this temporary event. But we are in for a global deflationary episode. And so the dollar will rise temporarily… And so you’re going to see one last pop in the dollar probably, but then you’re going to see gold take off like a rocket

Maloney envisions this deflationary event turning into a hyperinflationary episode. He finished the interview with the following:

I think the markets have topped right now. And we are in the space where over the next few years we’re going to see a really big crash…

What you’re going to probably see is a short-term dip in precious metals and you have to use- to me, I’m using this to buy. I think gold under $2,000 is just a bargain-and-a-half. So if you can buy down near $1,000, or if it does dip under $1,000- I don’t think you’re going to be able to get a whole lot of physical for under $1,000 but the stocks will be a bargain. This is the time right now. Before gold starts to spike is when you want to buy, not after. Then, it’s going to take off like a rocket one of these days and never look back…


“Michael Maloney-The Greatest Crisis in the History of Mankind is here!”
YouTube Video

“Pop in the dollar.” “Short-term dip in precious metals.” Sound familiar?

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.)

Maloney’s recently-revised (September 2015) gold and silver investing book…

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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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Jim Rogers Shares Investing Insights For 2016 And Beyond

Speaking of Singapore, once in a while I come across some terrific interviews of the “crash prophets.” This weekend I read one of well-known investor, author, and financial commentator Jim Rogers. James West, publisher/editor of the Midas Letter (“Emerging Public Company Research and Global Economic Commentary”), spoke to the Singapore-based investor and published the exchange on his newsletter’s website last Tuesday. They talked about everything (at least as it concerns topics I think Survival And Prosperity readers might be interested in). Rogers maintains what’s going on in the financial markets/system these days goes back to the 2008 global economic crisis:

WEST: Jim would you agree that the roughly 8 percent drop in global market indices since the beginning of 2016 is the harbinger of a continuation of the financial crisis that began in 2008?
ROGERS: Oh I know it is. There’s no doubt in my mind. China’s been able to support the world through a period of money printing and low interest rates, and that’s now come to an end cause China’s showing signs of slowing down. People say China’s to blame for all this mess, but China’s just a victim like the rest of us. We’re all victims James, we’re all victims, including American citizens. Our central bank has been a disaster…

Regarding investment advice for 2016, the chairman of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests, Inc., shared the following:

WEST: So where should an investor be, going into a 2016 that is so volatile and so fraught with the risk of another major market correction?
ROGERS: Well, who knows. What I have done is I’m short in the U.S. stock market – the nine or ten stocks that never go down – Amazon, Netflix… those things. I am short junk bonds in the U.S., I am long in China – mainly because I have to be long somewhere. So I’m short junk bonds, I’m short the U.S. stock market, I own a lot of U.S. dollars for the reasons I mentioned. That’s mainly where my money is. But who knows if I’ve got it right. I own some other stocks too that I’ve owned for decades…

Rogers provides additional insights into bonds, the U.S. dollar, gold, monetary policy, agriculture, commodities, silver, crude oil, and other topics. Like I said, terrific interview. Not wanting to steal West’s thunder, head on over to the Midas Letter website here to read it all.

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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Peter Schiff Predicts ‘A Horrendous Christmas,’ ‘The Dow Is Going To Rally From Here,’ And ‘Gold Stocks Are Going To Take Off’

Euro Pacific Capital CEO Peter Schiff just added a new entry to The Schiff Report YouTube vlog Friday. Schiff, who correctly-called the housing bust and economic crisis last decade, shared some forecasts with viewers. From the video:

I think that given the lousy jobs number that we just got, given the revision to the previous numbers making them worse, given now today’s factory orders and the economic data that we’re likely to get next week, I think before long- or it’s not going to be too long- before the Atlanta Fed GDP now reflects a negative print, a negative number, for third quarter GDP. Now, if we get a negative number for third quarter GDP, I bet we get another negative number that’s even bigger for the fourth quarter. Because if you look at the trend over the last six years or so, the fourth quarter is always weaker than the third. The third quarter is a stronger quarter. And if that quarter is weak, what does that tell you about the second quarter? It’s going to be even weaker. So if we get a negative third quarter, and then we get a negative fourth quarter, well, that’s a recession. Right? Technically that’s a recession. What the Fed going to do?

This is going to be a horrendous Christmas, that’s my forecast, as far as what the retailers are expecting and what they’re going to get. This is probably going to be the worst Christmas shopping season of the recovery. And I think next year a lot more layoffs are coming…

The Dow was down as much as 250 points or so early in the morning. But then the buyers came in because they realized, “Hey wait a minute! If the Fed isn’t going to raise rates, then this party can continue for a while longer.” And the Dow finished up 200 points. That’s a 450 point move. We were almost down at the Black Monday lows. I think this was a pretty significant reversal. My guess is that the Dow is going to rally from here. I don’t know if it’s going to rally to new highs- that would be a stretch. But I think right now, given the weakness of this report, I think that you can see some strength in the U.S. stock market…

This time, if the dollar rises based on an anticipation of rate hikes, and the hikes don’t even come, can you imagine how much selling there’s going to be on that fact, when you don’t even get the event that everybody’s been waiting for? That’s going to work in reverse for gold. People have been selling gold for the same reason. “Oh, the Fed’s going to raise rates- that’s going to be bad for gold.” You know, when the Fed raised rates last time, it was great for gold, because gold rose the whole time. But imagine how good it’s going to be for gold when everybody expects a rate hike, and instead we get QE 4. I think this is going to be the biggest up-leg of the gold bull market, which means the gold stocks are going to take off if I am right, because gold stocks today are cheaper than they were when the last bull market began when gold was under $300 an ounce. They’re cheaper now with gold at $1,130 than they were when gold was $270…


“Sept. Jobs Report Confirms Weakening Labor Market”
YouTube Video

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: ‘Inevitable’ QE 4 Will Lead To U.S. Dollar Crisis

On August 28, 2015, Euro Pacific Capital’s Peter Schiff spoke at The Jackson Hole Summit, “the first ever event to discuss monetary and fiscal policy at the same time as the Central Bankers are discussing policy,” according to sponsor American Principles Project. Schiff, who correctly-called the housing bust and economic crisis last decade, warned those in attendance that because the Federal Reserve isn’t allowing market forces to fix imbalances in the financial system, the United States is ultimately heading towards a dollar crisis. From the presentation:

The Fed needs to raise interest rates right now. Not because the economy can take it, but because it can’t. Because, again, it is a bubble that needs to be popped. The sooner we pop it, the better. But of course we’re going to find out that the Fed didn’t save us from the financial crisis. They simply interrupted it. And they kicked the can down the road. And we’ve now caught up to the can. And, the problem is, because we’ve delayed solving the problem- see, the financial crisis was the beginning of the solution. And the Fed interrupted it. The market was trying to fix what the Fed broke. Real estate prices coming down were part of the solution. Banks failing was part of the solution. That recession was part of the solution. And the Fed interrupted it. And instead they gave us an even bigger bubble. And now we’re going to have to deal with that…

All the real economic recovery is being prevented. The Fed has got it all dammed up with its monetary policy. But it’s afraid to release the dam because it’s going to unleash all of these forces, this creative destruction that is so necessary, because we cannot have this genuine economic recovery that would actually lift living standards and create good jobs for the American people. We can’t do that unless we allow this phony economy that’s been resurrected on the foundation of cheap money collapse. But nobody is going to allow that to happen…

And then they’re going to launch QE 4. Which nobody really understands. I think it’s inevitable. I said this from the beginning. I said that when they launched the very first round of quantitative easing that they had walked into, checked into, a monetary roach motel. That there was no way out. Once they went down this line, that we were in for the duration. You live by QE, you die by QE. I said we’d have more QEs than Rocky movies. And I think they had six of those. And of course they got progressively worse. And so I think QE 4 is going to be even worse than the last rounds. And ultimately… ultimately, where we are headed is to a dollar crisis…


“Peter Schiff at Jackson Hole Summit: The Monetary Roach Motel”
YouTube Video

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: Told You The Fed Was Bluffing On Rate Hikes

I recently highlighted an example of why Jeremy Grantham, the British-born investment strategist and founder/former chairman of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. (oversees $117 billion in client assets as of June 30), is one of Survival And Prosperity’s “crash prophets.”

The following also exemplifies why Peter Schiff, the CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital, belongs to that small group of individuals whose investment activities/recommendations I track on a regular basis.

From Schiff’s “Groundhog Day at the Fed,” published on the Euro Pacific Capital website last Friday:

Every dictator knows that a continuous state of emergency is the best means to justify tyrannical policies. The trick is to keep the fictitious emergency from breeding so much paranoia that routine activities come to a halt. Many have discovered that its best to make the threat external, intangible and ultimately, unverifiable. In Orwell’s 1984 the preferred mantra was “We’ve always been at war with Eurasia,” even though everyone knew it wasn’t true. In its rate decision this week the Federal Reserve, adopted a similar approach and conjured up an external threat to maintain a policy that is becoming increasingly absurd.

In blaming its continued inaction on “uncertainties abroad” (an excuse never before invoked by the Fed in the current period of zero interest rates), the Fed was able to maintain the pretense of a strong domestic economy, and its desire to lift rates at the earliest appropriate moment while continuing the economic life support of zero percent rates. Unbelievably, the media swallowed the propaganda hook, line, and sinker.

Over the summer it all seemed so certain. In mid-August the Wall Street Journal conducted a poll revealing that 95% of economists expected a rate hike by the end of 2015, with 82% expecting the first move to come in September. On July 29, Marketwatch reported that changes in Fed language were the “smoking gun” that made a September move a certainty. I was one of the few who publicly predicted that all the tough talk from the Fed was a bluff, and that there would be no hike in 2015. For taking that stance, I was largely ignored and ridiculed. In a July 16 interview on CNBC’s Futures Now (I am no longer invited to be on their television broadcasts), pundit Scott Nations took me to task for making the “outlandish” suggestion that the Fed would not raise in 2015, saying (to paraphrase):

“If price is truth and Fed funds futures are the collective wisdom of everybody in the world, and they are absolutely a lock for the Fed to raise rates by the end of the year, why is everybody else wrong and you are right?”

But now, in mid-September, it has all changed, far fewer economists expect a hike this year. However, despite this dramatic reversal, few have downgraded their forecasts or weakened their belief that the Fed remains committed to tighten policy…eventually. In other words, the Fed has achieved a complete communications victory.

Just like it has in prior statements, the Fed painted a picture of a stable and growing economy that was ready for a hike. In fact, in her press conference, Janet Yellen said that the Fed was “impressed” by the strength of the domestic economy. Although such statements began to resemble the film Groundhog Day, no one seems to tire of it.

A cornucopia of metaphors should have come to mind: The Fed’s bite had failed to live up to its bark; its “open mouth” operations wrote a check that its Open Market Committee was unable to cash; the Fed has become Lucy of the comic strip Peanuts, always promising to hold the football for Charlie Brown to kick, but always taking it away before he kicks it. Instead, the dominant theme of the coverage was that the Fed’s understanding of the global economy was just better than the rest of us. It apparently understood that a 25 basis point increase in rates in the U.S. could ripple through to the world markets and could potentially push China’s tottering stock market into the abyss. That was a risk it believed was not worth taking.

To keep the story line going requires that the steady torrent of negative data be ignored (see manufacturing data in September Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey of Philly Fed]. Similar weakness is evident in business investment, productivity, and consumer confidence numbers. Based on those data sets, conventional Keynesian “wisdom” suggests the Fed should be preparing a fresh round of stimulus, not readying its first economic sedative in nine years.

The big news is the introduction of “international developments” as an ongoing input into the Fed’s rate deliberation process. This addition allows the Fed nearly limitless latitude to perpetually kick the can down the road. After all, it is a great big world, and it will always be possible to find a problem somewhere. A Reuters article issued after the decision describes the new reality (9/18/15, Howard Schneider):

“It is a situation that could leave the Fed stranded in its hunt for a rate liftoff until the entire global economy is growing in sync, and the horizon is clear of risks.”

So there you have it. The Fed is no longer just the central bank of the United States, but the central bank of the entire world. As such it will need to consider any possible negative impacts, anywhere, before it pulls the trigger. This isn’t just moving the goalposts; it is dismantling them completely, putting them in crates, and losing them in a government warehouse…much like the Ark of the Covenant at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie.

The height of yesterday’s absurdity came during Janet Yellen’s press conference when Ann Saphir from Reuters asked her about the possibility that interest rates could stay at zero “forever.” While characterizing that likelihood as “extreme,” Yellen incredibly stated that she could not rule out the possibility. Of course the absurd suggestion that American civilization may never see rates above zero did not even raise eyebrows in the mainstream media. But the statement itself raises some interesting questions about Yellen’s actual thinking. First, how can she really be contemplating at 2015 rate hike, if she cannot even rule out the possibility of rates remaining at zero forever? Second, is she really that naïve and arrogant to believe that currency markets would allow the Fed to hold interest rates at zero indefinitely, without creating a dollar crisis, even if the Fed wanted to hold them there?

As I have maintained continuously, rate hike talk from the Fed is just a bluff to disguise its inability to tighten, as even small increases could be sufficient to prick the biggest bubble it has ever inflated. It is no coincidence that the stunning 170% increase in the Dow Jones, that occurred between March 2009 and the end of 2014, happened while the Fed was stimulating the economy almost continuously with QE, and that the rally came to an abrupt end when the QE stopped.

The recent 10% correction on Wall Street confirms to me just how sensitive the markets remain to the prospect of any rates higher than zero. In reality, that sell-off was a much greater factor than China in keeping the Fed quiet. That steep correction occurred at a time when most forecasters believed that a September hike was in the cards. For years, they had known that a rate hike was coming, but they always thought it would arrive when the economy was healthy. But when the big day became a clear and present danger, and the economy was still less than optimal, markets began to panic. It was only when Fed officials came out with publicly dovish statements that the sell-off ended. Despite this obvious connection, the markets are still blaming China, despite the fact that big sell-offs in China had been occurring for much of 2015 without sparking follow on panics in the U.S.

As a result, it should be clear that ongoing Fed decision-making is not just “data dependent” (and now we are talking about international, not just domestic, data), but also “market dependent,” meaning the Fed won’t raise rates if markets sell off sharply on expectations that it will raise. Given these impossible conditions, perhaps a perpetual zero rates are not so outlandish. But the reality is Central banks can’t really control interest rates across the spectrum, just the short end of the curve…when markets really panic, they won’t be able to stop economically devastating interest rate spikes on the long end.

In the meantime, I can only hope that the foreign exchange and commodity markets are finally getting the picture that the Fed appears impotent. The tremendous rally in the dollar over the past 18 months was predicated on the belief that interest rates would be rising in the U.S. just as they were falling everywhere else. Now that that premise is in tatters, the dollar should be giving back its undeserved gains. Recent moves in the foreign exchange market reveal that this is the case.

When the year began, opinion was divided between those who thought the Fed would move in March, and those who thought it wouldn’t happen until June. When June came and went, September became the odds-on favorite. Now those same experts are once again divided between December and sometime in 2016. When will these “experts” finally connect the real dots and discover that the monetary medicine that the Fed has doused over the economy since 2008 has only created a weak and utterly dependent economy. A rate hike is supposed to be a signal that the economy has a clean bill of health. But as the patient fails to recover, another dose of QE will be just what the doctor orders.

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Sniff, sniff, sniff. I smell another Peter Schiff Was Right YouTube video in the offing…

(Editor’s notes: Permission to publish article granted by Euro Pacific Capital; 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)

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

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Peter Schiff: ‘The Whole U.S. Economy Is One Gigantic Bubble At This Point’

Back to finance and investing matters. In 2012, “crash prophet” Peter Schiff predicted Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve would attempt to inflate another asset bubble to revive the U.S. economy.

The CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital underestimated how successful they would be- in terms of inflating multiple bubbles.

Schiff, who correctly called the housing bust and 2008 economic crisis, was on the phone with Free Talk Live discussing the student loan bubble last Sunday when he told listeners:

I think we have a much bigger bubble. The bubble in student loans is a small part of what’s actually going on. The government has managed to reflate the housing bubble, the stock market bubble, but we have a bond market bubble, a dollar bubble, a consumer loan bubble. The whole U.S. economy is one gigantic bubble at this point. That’s all we’ve got left. And that’s why interest rates have been at zero percent for almost seven years because the Fed is desperately trying to keep the air in these bubbles. It doesn’t want them to deflate. It doesn’t want to pop them. That’s why I don’t believe they’re actually planning on raising interest rates. I think they recognize that they cannot prick this bubble because it will be much worse than the bursting of the housing bubble or the dot-com bubble. But there is no avoiding this. The government has created this disaster and there’s no way around it. They’re just trying whatever they can to delay the inevitable. But because they’ve succeeded in delaying it, they’ve just made it much, much worse. It’s going to be a lot worse. So people really have to protect themselves from this. More so than I think in past crises…

Owning gold is one way to protect yourself. But people should also diversify. They shouldn’t only have gold. But they should definitely have some gold. But they should also invest internationally.


“The US Economy Is One Giant Bubble”
YouTube Video

Schiff later warned:

So there’s a lot, I think, that’s going to happen to really upend the status quo. And I think a lot people are going to go broke in this next crisis. And if you’re not prepared for it, you could suffer that fate. So I think it’s more important now, even than with the dot-com bubble or the housing bubble because this one is going to have much more profound consequences for typical Americans when it bursts. I think we’re going to see a big loss of value of the dollar, not just internationally and not just for tourists going to Europe. But as Americans try to buy things here in America. Things that they used to be able to afford are going to be completely unaffordable for the vast majority of Americans.

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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