The tactic by the Fed and Central Banks is to inflate the stock markets while manipulating the price of gold and silver lower. This achieves two goals: 1) it reassures the public’s faith by pumping up stock prices while the economic indicators continue to deteriorate and 2) it elevates the dollar while it destroys market sentiment in the precious metals.
So far, the strategy has worked. Some of the toughest gold and silver bugs are becoming extremely frustrated and downright bearish. You can’t blame them as this is typical human psychology. Although, extremes and manipulations never last forever and at some point in time they reverse.
If we look at the next series of charts, we can see just how extreme the gold & silver markets have become. In typical inflation-hyperinflations, stock and commodity asset prices rise together.However, since the Fed announcement of Q3, only certain asset classes have risen — mainly stocks, real estate and to a lesser extent, bonds.
The dual mandate of the Federal Reserve is a good one. It is charged with ensuring stable prices and maximum employment. That’s a good basic recipe, one which served the country well.
Ben, hope and manipulation are not trading strategies.
And notice what isn’t there. The Fed is not charged with distorting natural market pricing mechanisms to the point of perverting risk. It is not asked to promote ever increasing stock prices. It does not have to guarantee that property prices are rising. It is not asked to manipulate bond, equity or commodity markets. It is not asked to seek the profitability of ‘too big to fail/prosecute’ firms on Wall Street, or to promote their interests. It is certainly not asked to indulge in secret and complex financial transactions with no clear benefit to the wider public. Continue reading →
As The Doc discussed with Eric Sprott in our recent interview, the US exported $4 billion in gold in December. Eric pointed out that $4 billion is 2.5 million ounces of gold exported in a single month, when the US produces 8.8 million ounces annually. Eric asked rhetorically where 2.5 million ounces of gold were coming from. Courtesy Former Chairman Alan Greenspan and the minutes from a Dec 1992 FOMC meeting, we just may have the answer for Mr. Sprott…
How nice of you: that gift you just made to charity. No one asked you if you wanted to make the gift. No one asked you which charities you’d want to support. But still. You made it. So thanks. Well done.
If you’re confused – if, by chance, you don’t remember authorising anyone to pick your pocket to give to charity – then welcome to the world of financial services. Here’s how it works. Greedy, irresponsible morons on huge salaries and inflated bonuses take RBS, one of Britain’s leading banks, and trash it to the point of insolvency. Continue reading →
Over the coming weeks, we’re going to be hearing a lot about the ‘fiscal cliff’: the threat that some 5% of GDP is going to be ripped out of the economy in a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts. A fiscal slow-down on that scale will almost certainly trigger recession. The CBO thinks so, though their numbers look optimistic to me. (If you cut demand by 5%, more or less overnight, then you shouldn’t expect the economy to grow by more than 1% in the year following.)
The Feds solution to debt: more debt
Because the process of fiscal compromise acts itself out on the political stage – all big personalities and high drama – the media loves to report it. Loves to imply that vast questions are at stake, that political careers will stand or fall by the outcome.
But they’re not. Not really. This so-called ‘cliff’ is really just the first in a series of steps. The US budget is arguably the most distorted in the Western world. Greece and Japan may have higher debts, Italy and Portugal may have worse growth prospects – but for sheer budgetary insanity, the US is probably the world leader, combining huge current deficits with vast unfunded promises to retirees, and welfare entitlement program recipients. You don’t need to take my word for this. The IMF states, ‘under our baseline scenario, a full elimination of the fiscal and generational imbalances would require all taxes to go up and all transfers to be cut immediately and permanently by 35 percent. A delay in the adjustment makes it more costly.’ Continue reading →
Obama’s an accomplished individual. Smart, cool, in control. But his standout quality is probably his ability to create euphoria. Create it, sustain it, ride it. Watch the people celebrating with him at his victory rally in Chicago and you could easily believe that the USA had just won a war or beaten a recession.
Unfortunately for Obama, reality doesn’t have much time for speeches. The economy was dire going into the election. Coming out of it, you can almost hear the engine failing.
Let’s take the first indicator of failure – the stock market. The market mood darkened in September and October, then dropped abruptly as news of Obama’s victory sank in. I don’t actually think that’s because Wall Street hates Obama. I think it’s more that as the election hoopla dies away, investors realise how little they can expect from the government, how bad the economic situation really is. And, for that matter, how bad the political situation is. The House remains solidly Republican, the Senate comfortably Democrat – and the whole divisive status quo guaranteeing gridlock for another four years. Continue reading →
Those financial forecasters, like myself, who take a generally dark view of world affairs are known by a number of monikers: prophets of doom, killjoys, pessimists, Cassandras. And that last one is interesting.
Cassandra, in ancient Greek myth, was the daughter of King Priam of Troy. After Helen, she was considered the most beautiful woman on earth. Curly red hair, blue eyes, fair skin. (I know: she sounds more Irish than Turkish, but work with me.) Because of her beauty, the god Apollo fell in love with her and gave her the gift of prophecy. When she did not return his love – always a dangerous game when dating a god – he cursed her, ensuring no one would ever believe her prophecies. Continue reading →
QE has created the worlds biggest housing and equities bubbles in the UK markets
Last week, the Bank of England declared its intention to print another £50 billion. Hardly anyone noticed. That £50 billion will bring the Bank’s total money printing to around £425 billion, or about one quarter of British GDP. No one cares. Yesterday, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced its own plans for another round of “quantitative easing” — a euphemistic term for “destroying the currency.” Not to be left out, the ECB has announced plans for unlimited bond buying (though Germany has, thank goodness, set some limits.) Given that the bonds the ECB wants to buy are issued by increasingly bankrupt Mediterranean governments, the ECB too is doing what it can to wreck the currency it’s charged to protect.