by Nathan McDonald, Sprott Money:
The market stands on a sinkhole, waiting for the next feather to drop. A feather that will bring down the system and send us into another economic crisis that will make the 2008 crash look like an opening act.
For years, I and many others within the precious metals space have written about a hidden war unfolding behind the scenes. To those with wide open eyes, you can see it, you can feel it. I am speaking of the currency and trade wars that Jim Rickards has written extensively about in many of his books—and now, things have ratcheted up to a whole new level.
Over the course of the past week, the jawboning from the US government has turned into action, and they have placed a number of trade tariffs on China . This is part of a campaign promise that President Trump made, and it appears he intends to keep it, no matter how much it might “rock the boat.”
These steps caught many investors off guard, including seasoned market veterans, as they have been so used to the government making bold statements but never following through with any real action.
Not this time. And the stock market is reflecting this new reality.
Chinese markets were sent for a roller coaster of a ride yesterday, dropping by 3-5% throughout the day, with key stocks dropping over 10% alone. A sea of red could be seen across the charts as the once-cold trade war turned hot.
Today, it is the US markets’ turn, as China fired back overnight, sending Western markets plummeting.
These actions sent the plunge protection team into full swing, resulting in this morning’s pre-open bounce . Unfortunately, I don’t see them being able to hold back the floodgates for too long, as this trade war will only accelerate from this point on. Neither side looks willing to back down.
The reality is, this is going to get incredibly messy and will lead to intense volatility within the markets. The one thing that markets hate more than anything else is uncertainty, and we are about to get it in spades.
Fortunately, any of you well established in your precious metals position are sitting on a healthy insurance policy—i.e. gold and silver. They, unlike the markets, thrive in times of uncertainty.
Over the coming weeks, we will get a clearer picture as to who truly holds the upper hand and who is willing to take these threats to the next level. Both parties have extreme leverage on their side.