Guest Post: Heresy And The U.S. Dollar

Tyler Durden's picture

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bigwavedave's picture

I like this article up until the chart. The rest is crap. Wont bother with Part II

akak's picture

I agree, and fuck all those ignorant fools who voted your comment down.

The problem with the above analysis (such as it is), and the chart, is that both rely on the fundamentally flawed assumptions that 1) a fiat currency can actually rise in value (i.e, purchasing power) over any prolonged period to any meaningful extent, which is historically undocumented and politically absurd, and 2) that the contrived and artificial US Dollar Index is the same thing as the US dollar, which it is NOT.  The DXY is merely a measure of the US dollar against other, more-or-less equally depreciating fiat currencies.  As such, it is an all but meaningless measure over any significant timeframe --- a given value of the DXY today compared to the same DXY value 30 years ago patently does NOT represent the same datum, as the purchasing power of the US dollar 30 years ago was multiples of its depreciated value (purchasing power) today.

If one is strictly interested in the short-term, with a narrow and blinkered focus which ignores the big picture, then yes, perhaps the above US dollar analysis may have some validity, IN THE SHORT TERM.  But most of those who are not beholden to the financial and political status-quo (which excludes most traders by definition) will realize that without question the long-term trend for the US dollar is guaranteed to progress in only one direction: down, down, down --- and you can take that analysis to the bank (just don't take your gold there).

Fedophile's picture

Traders understand inflation and its effect on purchasing power.

LeBalance's picture

Purchasing power of USD over last 100 years:

Or one might look at the Price of Gold over the last decade.

I am uncertain how staring at the above data one arrives at the conclusion that the dollar is in any sort of uptrend.  But maybe in some illusionary "let's compare against other paper assets" one can.

akak's picture

I am uncertain how staring at the above data one arrives at the conclusion that the dollar is in any sort of uptrend.  But maybe in some illusionary "let's compare against other paper assets" one can.

To claim that the dollar is "rising" is analogous to standing on the deck of a sinking ship, next to another sinking ship, while that other sinking ship begins to take on water more rapidly, and then proclaiming "Gee, look, that ship is now lower than mine --- I must be rising out of the water!"

css1971's picture

I prefer the parachute analogy.

Having said that. If fiat money is devaluing, other assets would by definition be increasing in price. I'm not seeing it. I'm seeing them decreasing just now, so where is the inflation happening?

According to RobotTrader that would be consumer discretionary stocks. Commodities? Nope all are tanking. I'd actually like to know cos that's where you put the money. At the moment, that looks like UUP.

Here's the thing which gold and silver bugs need to remember... 95% of money is credit, not fiat, and credit can and does vanish in a puff of paid off principal.

The problem is not and never has been gold vs fiat. The problem is fractional reserve banking vs full reserve banking.

zhandax's picture

In any endeavor, the line between here and there is not straight.  Especially not in the markets.  It is not universally accepted yet that all fiat is doomed to fail.  Therefore, the jagged chart between now and the future.  Don't doubt it, but don't trust that there will be a straight line decline, because there won't.

css1971's picture

I agree which is why trading is the simple practice of stepping on the up elevator while others are taking the down elevators.


All_Is_Well's picture

Gold cannot and does not "vanish in a puff". It is the realization of that fact that makes gold money.

DosZap's picture

Commodities? Nope all are tanking.

Well, I wonder why?.

Could it be becaue the CME has beaten them to death w/margin hikes?.I think YES.

Where would G & S be now, if the CME had not hit it with the hikes?,over $2k for gold,I am certain of that.

The key is like the Utah bill, get rid of PAPER PM's, and let them)( PM's) find their true value relative to the fundies.

pcrs's picture

A slippery slope. Wars all over the place, but now there are 6 wars going on simulatneously. That will require a lot of printing.

akak's picture

I have no doubt that the better ones do, but I still question how many Americans, at least, of ANY financial persuasion really understand it (aside from the central bankers who foster it and inflict it upon us).

AldousHuxley's picture

Thus...TBTF...if regulators don't understand it, if Buffett doesn't understand it, if Soros doesn't understand it, if the Goldman CEO doesn't understand it, if the risk managers don't understand it, then WTF are they doing with our money?

css1971's picture

Ah, the old Hanlon's Razor. I happen to disagree, malice explains much more.


Sam Clemons's picture

The article writer doesn't appear to understand verbal inflation.  Unnecessarily verbose attempt at trying to be intellectual and deep.

jeff montanye's picture

excellent insights akak.  particularly liked your comment about the difference between the purchasing power of the dollar (measured against goods and services) vs. the dxy (measured against other currencies).  it is that difference, especially in times like the last three years (or ten) that makes the argument for gold particularly compelling.  of course it might also be true that a relatively stronger dollar could assist the coming equity decline.

Smithovsky's picture

His post had absolutely nothing to do with the purchasing power of the dollar, all he's saying is that, to traders, dollar-long is the winning (short-term) trade at the moment.

Decent article, although it took him thirty paragraphs and a chart to basically say "traders do the trade which has the highest probability of making money and don't care about fundamentals".


akak's picture

Granted, within the relatively short time frame of the attached chart, the purchasing power of the dollar has not greatly diminished.  However, I have seen more than a few analysts attempt to make utterly specious but similar analyses using multi-decade charts of the DXY, which is either ignorant or disingenuous in the extreme, precisely for the reasons which I gave above.

Smithovsky's picture

Why did someone put words into the author's mouth and start talking about purchasing power of the dollar?  He didn't mention it once.  All he said was that the orthodox view is that the dollar is doomed, but he didn't disagree with it, just said it to make his main point that the traders don't care about the long-term view.  To them, the way to increase the profits in their trading accounts in the following weeks is to stay long dollars.  It's implied that when the charts turn bearish, the traders will reverse their positions, but not until then.

Technical analysts are quacks to me, by the way.  But hey, to each his own.

I bet a lot of people here were thinking of the same one thing when he mentioned confirmation bias.  

akak's picture

Perhaps it was my mistake to begin discussing the purchasing power of the US dollar, as my initial glance at the DXY chart above led me to believe that it was a decade-long one, in which case the purchasing value of the dollar WOULD be entirely relevant, as the DXY is very pointedly NOT a measure of the absolute value of the US Dollar, merely a comparison of its current relative value against several other, simultaneously and continuously-depreciating world fiat currencies.  Anyone who would use such a long-term chart of the DXY is a fool or a pro-dollar propagandist, but I cannot lay that accusation against the authors here in this particular case.

disabledvet's picture

as i disable my rich text again...i agree with this provided it's understood across all fiat classes. in short all money is basically worthless. numbers however don't lie no matter how much all of you do. the assmumption that the purpose of the system is to blow itself up would be hysterical were it not so wrong. GREED can blow up your financial system...just as much as FEAR can prevent it from having any recovery for decades. LUCKILY WE HAVE A STUDENT OF HISTORY AS THE HEAD OF OUR CENTRAL BANK. He saw the greed and was man enough to fear it and respond by dropping those interest rates to zero--even "Quantitatively Ease." He now feels the fear...but since he anticipated that he is now "Twisting" show that this fear is a healthy sign of confidence returning so "be not afraid" for this particular fear is helping us focus on the task at hand and thus giving us all a chance to be rewarded for our professionalism. I know...I know...none of you Trust in Ben. Who do you trust in then? Or what even?

akak's picture


Thanks for the laugh!

It's one thing to be a student of history --- but quite another thing to have learned the proper lessons from its study.  From the look of things, and based on his every congressional testimony, public statements and official publications, Ben was either heavily involved with a beer bong during his student years, or else lay in a coma for those four years.  I used to believe that the man was simply utterly and completely clueless (as are all Keynesians, by definition), but after his massive campaign of financial repression and wholesale monetary carpet-bombing, I am now more inclined to believe that he is pure evil.

LeonardoFibonacci's picture

I am wounded but not slain, i will lay me down to bleed a while and rise to fight again! Our markets are not efficient, they are manipulated for the elite to take away from the sheeple.  Soon even pension funds will be destroyed and the middle class will get screwed / FUBAR.  The elite will one day fear the uprising when they sit in their dining rooms while the looters and commomers come in hoards to make their own justice prevail.  The elite should fear that day & that of the judgement of God!

Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

By the time the looters arrive, they will have been long gone.  All of the big money people have residences all over the world.  You won't find any looters in the Caymans, Bahama, Uruguay or a dozen other safe havens.

Ima anal sphincter's picture

Take the country back. Take the military back. Find these pukes and DEAL with them.

X.inf.capt's picture

they cant hold it together forever....

lets get this over with.....

and rebuild it for the youth...

we owe them that....

Quixotic_Not's picture

Rebuild what?

The country has been looted, ALL of its wealth extracted offshore and/or leveraged against by the Ivy League brethren -- The Politeers and the Banksters (who are brilliant in their deceptions btw)...

And what exactly do I owe the youth of an electorate that can't help themselves but vote for the (D) & (R) Free Shit Empire™?

I am not a Democrat and/or a Republican - I am an AMERICAN - And I don't owe the progeny of the huddled mongrels two pennies!

As far as I care, the whole diseased puss-nation can eat each other!

Of course, I've been preparing for just this TWILIGHT ZONE scenario since the dumbed-down-to-succumb sheepsters rejected Perot's life line and chose TBTF/TPTB Clintoon for the best actor category...

Good luck young'ins, you're all about to reap the whirlwind your family chose for you!

Bonus point:  Who is John Locke and what did he mean to the Sons Of Liberty?

X.inf.capt's picture

you do it your way, ill do it mine....

you want to see americans eat each other, kill each other....

o.k. to each his own...

ill do what i can to help, and i will not fight....

p.s. locke, founder of liberalism....his writing influenced the founding fathers....

Quixotic_Not's picture

"locke, founder of liberalism"

You have to be fuckin' jokin?

Locke's second treatise not only destroyed the "Divine right of kings" once and for all, it was the legal precedent that established the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

I'm not surprised though, you do sound like one of those educated, yet ignorant, socialist/progressives that would LOVE to see the AMERICAN experiment die.

FWIW, in the former Democratic Republic of the USofA, it was Unconstitutional to issue debt based currency (Art. 1, Sect. 10), but that didn't stop the tyrannical likes of Abe Lincoln or FDR...

The solution is simple, but the We the People are too divided and the sheeple too stupid and/or addicted to the (D) & (R) Free Crap Empire™...

The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions ~ John Locke 1690

Hell, even the so-called enlightened don't get it...

Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience. ~ John Locke 1690

In a "free" society, not everyone is economically "equal"; Ergo, in a society where everyone is economically "equal", no one will be "free".

Self-delusion and unrealistic expectations are correlated with debt (e.g. fiat currency), big surprise.

Good luck with your new country Thankfully I got to experience the golden years and WORKED HARD, without DEBT, to prepare for the rest of my wife's and my time on this lil' mud ball spinnin' round the sun...

P.S.  I never want "want to see americans eat each other, kill each other....".

The riff raff I referred to are definately not AMERICANS, and they chose the bed they made...not me!

X.inf.capt's picture

Liberalism originally meant liberty before it hijacked by the socialist movement...
I understand your frustration....I volunteer working with vets, and none of us are doing as well as we were 3 years ago...yeah, I get it...
See the American dream die? My direct ancestor fought at Yorktown, a rebel...
No, I don't want it to die, and will not make it happen
Socialist, i m an American, and as an American I'll help my fellow Americans, not kill them....any of them.

Quixotic_Not's picture

Well, the .gov declared a HOT war against We the People 18 years ago, when they torched 80 men, women and CHILDREN at Waco, which fyi was brought about by ex-vets working as enforcers for the Ivy League banksters/politeers.

It woke me up, and I strove to help the Patriot movement educate Americans, but all we found was Democrats and Republicans.

Nary an AMERICAN to be awoken to the threat facing the Republic founded by the Sons of Liberty...

And as a progenitor of the AMERICAN experiment (two families on the Sons of the Revolution Charter) I can tell you that I found myself a man without a country.

It's over, and what is coming I'm afraid will make the fascist/socialist upheavals of the early 20th century look tame by comparison...

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. ~ John Adams

Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company...Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism. ~ George Washington

If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen. ~ Samuel Adams

QN out!

X.inf.capt's picture

good night', QN.

excellent debate, hope to do this again....

again, you do what you will,

and ill do what i will,

see ya at the other side of this collapse.

+1 to you

p.s. i didnt like what happened at waco either, but i blame ms. reno for that, not the people following orders, it was one of the reasons i resigned...the leadership of the mid 90's.

Alea Iactaest's picture

When I looked at the chart I was really worried that I saw a very bullish formation. Trick question? Maybe. I kept looking for something I was missing, some bearish tell.

After reading the rest of the article I need to take a break. The chart *does* look bullish. And that could wreak havoc with any number of trades I've been considering.

Cliff Claven Cheers's picture

If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

luckylogger's picture

This is a very good piece and addresses the reasons most fail, including me more than once. Very good job and thanks for posting, will share with my friends and soon to be yours!!!

GOOD JOB !!!!!!

Arkadaba's picture

Liked it too. Well written and logical.

wcvarones's picture

The DXY is a soft target, because it's one bullshit paper currency against a basket of other bullshit currencies.


Will the Euros print faster than Zimbabwe Ben?  Probably.  The Canadians and Australians and Chinese?  Probably not.

Sure the DXY could go higher.  But I wouldn't bet against hard assets in a world of global competitive devaluation.


Shall we play a game?

Love to. Let's play Global Competitive Devaluation.

Wouldn't you prefer a nice game of chess?

Later. Let's play Global Competitive Devaluation.



Atlas Shrieked's picture

Agreed, but the DXY is heavily weight against the Euro.  So when the Euro tanks, the DXY strengthens, despite the USDollar being debased by the Fed.  It explains why gold and silver experience weakness, but the debasement has a bigger effect, and that's why on occasion the USDollar and gold move in tandem, instead of inversely.

akak's picture

Good points, Atlas.  And it bears repeating, as you alluded, that the US dollar is NOT the same thing as the artificial and rather arbitrary US Dollar Index, which does not even weigh the US dollar against all other world currencies, but against only a handful of those which were significant to US foreign trade in 1970 or so, and which pointedly includes neither the Mexican peso, the Chilean peso, the Brazilian real, the Taiwanese dollar, the Malaysian ringgit, the Korean won, the Indonesian rupiah, nor most significantly, the Chinese yuan.

lewy14's picture

[Edit - redundant to the comment above]

Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

It sucks for investors in this age.  All assets are overvalued on a cash flow basis relative to risk/reward which offers a decent margin of safety.  If you sit in cash then inflation gets you, unless of course a torrent of deflation is unleashed.  Meanwhile, gold is awfully bubbly along with every other asset class.  Dow $3,200 anyone???

gramps's picture

Golds inflation adjusted all time high is $2400 and that is according to the governments bullshit inflation statistics. When we experience a global reserve currency crash do you think that number will hold. Any "investor" that doesn't own gold is an idiot.

Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

I thing you just might have a slight case of "confirmation bias".

Caviar Emptor's picture

@Lucius: you're decribing the "biflation conundrum" : inflation erodes cash and savings, deflation is taking down asset values and net worth with it. Both can and are happening at the same time. There won't be a wave of mass deflation because TPTB won't allow it. Bernank just said so again this week. His choice instead is biflation which he mistakenly believes gives him some cover for failed policies. It won't

DosZap's picture

Lucius Corneliu...

Gold is not BUBBLY, it's being artificially held down, it should be( if you consider the fundies) at $5k an ounce now.

Our Dollar is simply asswipe, #1 in the group of asswipe currencies of a lower degree.

How would you like it to be the winner of the BEST,WORST athelete at an event.

Makes me cheer.

The ONLY reason it's UP, is the rest of the planets currencies are worse.

We are on par w/ Greece.


RagnarDanneskjold's picture

I put the QE dates on this chart of the euro.

U.S. dollar inflation (money supply includes credit) ended in 2008 at the peak of credit creation. Since then, the fedgov's borrowing has offset private sector deleveraging, but with the Tea Party victory and move towards austeity, deleveraging is now greater than debt increases. It is the acceleration that matters, not the direction. Even if the total credit were growing, a decline in growth leads to an economic slowdown, but now we're into pure deleveraging territory. The super committee may be a "joke" in the long-term, but if they cut $1 of spending now, that's $1 more in deleveraging. Besides the issuance of Treasuries, the only thing holding down the greenback was the Federal Reserve's QE programs.

Protectionism also grows more popular, and it may go global. China loses a trade war with America, big time, if America raises tariffs generally to prevent businesses just hopping over to another cheap location. Foreigners will buy fewer Treasuries because they will have fewer USD.

What does the European financial system need more of? Dollars. Where are assets headed as they escape from Europe, China and elsewhere? USA.

Demand for dollars is rising, supply of dollars peaked in 2008, went sideways until 2011, and has started going down.