There is no safe haven, Marc Faber tells Bloomberg TV's Tom Keene, "The best you can hope for is that you have a diversified portfolio of different assets and that they don't all collapse at the same time." Bank deposits are no longer safe; money and treasury bills are not 100% safe; and equities in the US are relatively expensive by any valuation metric. However, at around $1250, gold is a buy, Faber adds on the basis of the ongoing monetization of debt globally. The debt ceiling debacle will lead to the Fed stepping up to directly fund the government (something it already implicitly does but mainstream media prefer not to consider). Faber clarifies the idiocy of the discussions, "both parties want to spend, it's just on different things," with "the idiocies of government" having grown way too large, wasting money everywhere... the Democrats are "buying votes" and the Republicans funding the military complex. The debt-ceiling is merely a symptom of the problem, Faber concludes, that "government has grown disproportionately large and that retards economic growth."
For the greater part of human history, leaders who were in a position to exercise power were accountable for their actions. The problem we are faced with today is that our political and (frequently) business leaders are not being held responsible for their actions. Thomas Sowell sums it up well: "It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong." Fortunately, there is an institution that exercises control over the academics at the Fed; it is called the 'real' market economy... and it has badly humbled the professors at the Fed.
"One day this whole credit bubble will be deflated very badly - you are going to experience a complete implosion of all asset prices and the credit system..."
During a recent round-table discussion (accessible below), Marc Faber explained his asset allocation strategy and his incredulity at what the Fed is doing.
"I have around 25% in gold... and it's my insurance policy. It is important that one day when the so-called shit hits the fan - and I think the Fed is well on its way to creating that situation - you have access to your gold, that it is not taken away."
Faber goes on to discuss his lack of surprise at the Fed's un-Taper, the wealth in-equality impacts, and Asia's growing lack of faith in the USD.
Two hours prior to the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) release, gold was trading below $1,300/oz but started to gradually tick higher prior to surging higher on heavy volume, minutes prior to the release of the FOMC statement.
FX markets, stock, bond and commodity markets did not see similar large moves.
A few years back Chairman Bernanke was asked by a financial reporter how confident he was that the Fed could easily start the process of withdrawing from the accommodation of “unorthodox” monetary policy. Some might argue (ourselves included) that the answer 'should' be something like “very confident” or “We feel we have the right tools and the right people to manage that process”. Instead the answer given was “100%”. At last week's press conference, Chairman Bernanke, in CitiFX Technicals' view, looked like the “cat that got the cheese", despite the more downbeat message he was giving? Why? Because he got his way. In their “conspiracy theory” interpretation it is likely that Janet Yellen’s nomination will indeed be announced in the near future and that tapering is now firmly back off the table despite the guidance given in recent months to the contrary. Bonds seem to agree (so far).
"There is nothing safe anymore, because the money-printing distorts all asset prices," is the uncomfortable response Marc Faber gives to Thai TV during this interview when asked for investment ideas. Faber explains how we got here "massive money-printing and ZIRP creates a huge pool of liquidity that does not flow evenly," as it washes from Nasdaq stocks to real estate to emerging markets and so on. Each time, "the bubble inflates and then is deflated as the capital (liquidity) floods out." The Fed, based on the doubling of interest rates since they began QE3 "has lost control of the bond market," Faber warns; adding that while he expects some "cosmetic tapering," the Fed members and other neo-Keynesian clowns will react to a "weakening US and global economy," and we will be a $150 billion QE by the end of next year, as the world is held hostage to US monetary policy.
With rumors this evening of the White House calling around for support for Yellen, Marc Faber's comments today during a Bloomberg TV interview are even more prescient. Fearing that Janet Yellen "would make Bernanke look like a hawk," Faber explains that he is not entirely surprised by today's no-taper news since he believes we are now in QE-unlimited and the people at the Fed "never worked a single-day in the business of ordinary people," adding that "they don't understand that if you print money, it benefits basically a handful of people." Following today's action, Faber is waiting to seeing if there is any follow-through but notes that "Feds have already lost control of the bond market. The question is when will it lose control of the stock market." The Fed, he warns, has boxed themselves in and "the endgame is a total collapse, but from a higher diving board."
Of course, everyone knows that one of these is a speculative asset that people will buy (and not sell) no matter how high the price on the basis that The Fed will continue to print money and subsidize 'valuations' and the other is a long-term asset to preserve wealth. But which of these assets would one expect to react to a considerably hotter-than-expected inflation print and dramatically worse-than-expected retail sales print? The answer (for all those efficient market, hyperbolic discounting types) may surprise...
Faber begins by noting that "a deflationary bust, whenever it may happen (tomorrow or 10 years), is inevitable; and is the opposite of an increase in prices from inflation." Of course, it is the central banks' response to even the fears of that bust (e.g. whether it washes around the world - from EM to DM) that will turn an asset-deflationary bust into a hyperinflationary collapse in fiat currencies; and focused on the long-term, 'Gloom, Boom, & Doom Report's' Marc Faber looks at how to preserve wealth through this as he ranges from the obsolescence risk of equities to the political risk of real estate and banking risks of cash and deposits. Faber reflects on various lessons from the past (hyperinflations, wars, banking crises) and geographies as he moves from asset class to asset class highlighting the pros and cons of each. Preferring a mix of gold and diversified real estate (and not government bonds), Faber warns investors to be highly skeptical of anyone who believes they can forecast what is going to happen over the next 5-10 years.
As usual, Gloom, Boom, and Doom's Marc Faber pulls no punches in this brief interview on CNBC's Futures Now. When asked what is the catalyst for the crash he expects in US equity markets (following crashes in various markets around the world), he shocks a stunned anchor looking at equity markets near all-time highs with some ugly truths - "interest rates are no longer a tail-wind, earnings growth is not there, and emerging economies are collapsing (so no global growth)." However, with asset allocators "swimming in the pool of liquidity" it is hard to say 'when' it will occur especially as money floods out of EM markets. Critically though, it is Syria (and the spillover) that has Faber most concerned; as he concludes that Western governments "meddling" is "going to be a disaster."
In a little under 90 seconds, the venerable "Gloom, Boom, and Doom"er draws a number of eery similarities between the fundamental and technical backdrop before 1987's equity market collapse and the current environment. With the 3rd Hindenburg Omen in 4 days suggesting anxiety is high, maybe he is on to something.
In an important diversion from a pure markets focus, Marc Faber outlines his concerns and hopes for the "economic battle between the US and China," noting that as the gap between the Western world and the US narrows so "through trading links, [China] has more and more influence," especially (he adds) in Africa. His biggest fear, and one stoked every day, is that if the Chinese economy slows down meaningfully, they will depreciate their currency, leaving the world's largest economies "in a mode of protectionism - not just through import quotas - but through currency manipulation." And for now Russia is happy just tp upset the US via diplomatic means, but, Faber warns, should we see commodity prices slide further, low growth in Russia may prompt further actions - especially given US interference in markets and politics.
While we know that the Fed will be forced to taper in the short-term as it desperately avoids the 'appearance' of outright monetization that a falling deficit will create, Marc Faber sums up the endgame perfectly in this clip: "I don’t think they will come to their senses for the simple reason that insane people don't realize that they are insane." Faber adds, "they think they’re doing a great job," and in fact they believe - in general - that "if anything, we need to do more, not less." The 'forced-taper-to-plunge-to-untaper' progression means it's going to get worse; as Faber notes, QE/printing will continued indefinitely "until the system breaks down." Having printed this much money with such dismal results, Faber concludes, "the Fed is completely clueless."
The mainstream media would have us believe that the U.S. economy must be in great shape since the stock market has been setting new all-time record highs this month. But is that really true? Yes, surging stock prices have enabled sales of beach homes in the Hamptons to hit a brand new record high. However, the reality is that stock prices have not risen dramatically in recent years because corporations are doing so much better than before. In fact, the growth in stock prices has been far, far greater than the growth of corporate revenues. The only reason that stock prices have been climbing so much is because the Federal Reserve has been flooding the financial system with hundreds of billions of dollars that it has created out of thin air. The Fed has created an artificial stock market bubble that is completely and totally divorced from economic reality. Meanwhile, everything is not so fine for the rest of the U.S. economy.