Friday, March 5, 2021

Tag: Dollar

MOVE IN COMMODITIES, DOLLAR, INTEREST RATES – ROAD TO HYPERINFLATION

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by Egon von Greyerz, Gold Switzerland:

2018 is starting right on cue. Inflationary pressures have been latent for quite some time but have recently shown the world what is to come in the next few years.

How could anyone believe the propaganda that there is no inflation. It has of course suited the market manipulators. But the fake wizardry of the central bankers is now about to be revealed. Since the early 1980s the interest rate cycle were in a strong down trend. When the financial crisis started in 2007, central banks panicked and rates were rapidly lowered around the globe.

US short term rates went from 5% in 2007 to zero in 2008 and stayed at that level until late 2015. In many countries rates were lowered to negative like in Japan, the Euro area, Switzerland, Sweden etc. Low or negative interest rates defy all economic principles and distort the equilibrium of a normal market economy. They discourage savings and without savings there can be no sound investments. Instead, investments have been made with printed or borrowed money. Due to the low cost of money many high risk projects have been undertaken.

Low or negative interest rates also lead to irresponsible deficit spending by governments. This is why global debt has gone from $120 trillion in 2006 to $240 trillion today.

Explosion in money supply will lead to inflation explosion

Normally this explosion of money would have created very high inflation or hyperinflation. But since virtually none of the fabricated money went to the normal economy, published inflation has been non-existent. Anyone buying food, or paying bills of course knows that official inflation is a fiction of governments’ imagination. And although the official figures show no inflation, there has been an explosion in asset prices. Stocks, bonds and property have all soared. US stock markets for example are up 4 times since 2009.

These assets bubbles do not benefit normal people. They take away valuable investment into the real economy to the benefit of the top 1-5%. This is a very dangerous trend that eventually will lead to social unrest or revolution.

But we have now reached a stage when the explosion in money supply will have a major influence on the real economy. The inevitable consequences of the totally irresponsible mismanagement of the economy that I have been forecasting for quite some time are now starting to take effect.

WATCH COMMODITY PRICES, INTEREST RATES AND THE DOLLAR

The most critical areas to watch are commodity inflation, interest rates and the dollar. These three markets are now giving clear signs of the coming inflation and subsequent hyperinflation.

If we start with inflation, official statistics are useless as I mentioned above since these figures are totally manipulated. A very good indicator of inflation are commodities. Below is a chart of the GS commodity index versus the S&P since 1971. That ratio is at an all time low and below the 1971 and 1999 lows. This cycle is now turning and the ratio is likely to go well above the 1974, 1990 and 2008 highs. Thus the minimum target is 10 which is a 10-fold increase from here. This means that stocks will fall at least 90% against commodities. Since the precious metals will be the main beneficiaries of the commodity boom, stocks are likely to fall at least 95% agains gold and silver.

COMMODITIES VS STOCKS

Looking at a short term chart of commodities, the CRB index bottomed in Feb 2016 and is up 30% since then. Since June 2017 the CRB is up 20% and since mid Dec 2017 it is up 8%. This is a clear indication that inflation is now going up fast.

Read More @ GoldSwitzerland.com

What Could Pop The Everything Bubble?

A crisis that can’t be solved by just printing more dollars

by Charles Hugh Smith, Peak Prosperity:

I’ve long held that if a problem can be solved by creating $1 trillion out of thin air and buying a raft of assets with that $1 trillion, then central banks will solve the problem by creating the $1 trillion out of thin air—nothing could be easier.

This is the lesson of the past eight years: if a problem can be solved by creating new money and buying assets, then central banks will solve that problem.

Problem: stock market is declining. Solution: create new money and buy, buy, buy stock index funds. Problem solved! Market stops falling and quickly rebounds as “central banks have our backs.”

Problem: interest rates are inhibiting lending and growth. Solution: create a few trillion units of currency and buy enough sovereign bonds to drop interest rates to near-zero.

Problem: nobody’s left who can afford to buy the new nosebleed-priced flats that underpin China’s miracle-grow economy. Solution: create new currency, lend it to local government agencies who then buy the empty flats.

Problem: stagnant employment and deflation. Solution: create a trillion in new currency, buy a trillion in new government bonds that then fund infrastructure projects, i.e. bridges to nowhere.

And so on. Any problem that can be solved by creating a few trillion out of thin air and buying assets will be solved.  The mechanism to solve these problems—creating currency out of nothing—is like a perpetual motion machine: there are no intrinsic limits on the amount of new money that can created at near-zero interest, as the interest payments can be funded by new money.

Even better, the central bank (the Federal Reserve) buys Treasury bonds with the new currency that generate income, which is then returned to the Treasury: a perpetual-motion money machine!

The policy of creating trillions in new currency and buying trillions in assets has inflated an everything bubble, a bubble in all the asset classes being supported or purchased by central banks and their proxies.

Many observers wonder what, if anything, could pop the everything bubble.

This leads to an interesting question: what problems can’t be solved by creating another trillion and buying assets?

What Problems Can’t Be Solved by Creating Another Trillion and Buying Assets?

The past eight years have created the comforting illusion that essentially all problems in the modern era of globalized, centralized, debt-based, state-cartel capitalism in all its flavors (Chinese, Japanese, European, American, etc.) can be solved by creating as many trillions as are needed (whatever it takes) and buying assets or issuing guaranteed lines of credit with the new currency.

But there are some structural problems that can’t be solved by this mechanism. Some are primarily economic, some are primarily political-social, but all of them affect the entire system, not just the financial realm.

Inflation

We’re told that inflation—the loss of purchasing power of a currency—is near death and this greatly saddens the globe’s central bankers, who desperately need inflation to push wages higher and reduce the burden on debtors.

So let’s say, just as a thought experiment, that central banks get their much-desired inflation, but it runs hotter than their 2{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} annual target.  Once inflation is embedded in expectations and the supply chain, printing another trillion and using it to buy stocks, bonds, empty flats, etc. won’t make inflation go away.  Rather, the inflation in asset valuations generated by endless central bank buying if assets ends up feeding real-world inflation as all this new currency doesn’t actually produce more goods and services; it simply expands the supply of currency sloshing around the world looking for speculative yield.

The chorus of voices advocating for Universal Basic Income (UBI) is growing, and central banks will increasingly be pressured to issue new currency to fund UBI and its equivalents—what’s known as helicopter money, as the central bank issues currency that then funds deficit spending, i.e. the government dropping cash into the real economy.

Helicopter money comes in a variety of forms: debt forgiveness, negative tax rates (i.e. tax rebates to those who owe no income taxes), and cash stipends such as UBI. In every case, this helicopter money doesn’t expand the supply of goods and services; all it does is expand the funds available for consumption.

While China may be able to export deflation in goods that are tradable, that is, commoditized goods that can be made anywhere and shipped to markets elsewhere, nontradable goods and services such as local government services, housing, groceries, fast food, most healthcare services, haircuts, education, etc.—the bulk of the real economy—soar in price as the supply of money expands faster than the supply of these goods and services.

This is why inflation is already running extremely hot in nontradable sectors (which are often dominated, funded or controlled by the public sector/government), while deflation is still visible in tradable goods such as TVs, software, etc. I covered real-world inflation rates in The Burrito Index: Consumer Prices Have Soared 160{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} Since 2001 (August 1, 2016))

Much of the real-world inflation in sectors such as healthcare is invisible to protected classes because it’s being absorbed by employers and the government, a topic I covered in Inflation Isn’t Evenly Distributed: The Protected Are Fine, the Unprotected Are Impoverished Debt-Serfs (May 25, 2017)

Read More @ PeakProsperity.com