We have all read the latest crop of media articles challenging gold’s investment relevance. The typical approach to bearish gold analysis is to attribute hypothetical fears to gold investors, and then point out these concerns have failed to materialize. Sprott believes the investment thesis for gold is a bit more complex than simplistic motivations commonly cited in financial press. We would suggest gold’s relatively methodical advance since the turn of the millennium has had less to do with investor fears of hyperinflation or U.S. dollar collapse than it has with persistent desire to allocate a small portion of global wealth away from traditional financial assets and the fiat currencies in which they are priced.
“A depression is coming? Let’s put interest rates at zero. The economy is still in trouble? Let’s have the central bank print trillions in new securities. The banks are not lending? Let’s change the accounting rules and offer government guarantees and funds. People are still not spending? Let’s have negative interest rates. The economy is still in the tank? LET’S BAN CASH TRANSACTIONS!”
A cashless society is promising to have very tangible costs to our liberties and future prosperity.
As far as the Central Banks are concerned, this is a good thing because if investors/depositors were ever to try and convert even a small portion of this “wealth” into actual physical bills, the system would implode (there simply is not enough actual cash).
There's little interest, forcing retirees to spend down their principal. It's no accident, as Keynes called for the “euthanasia of the rentier.” Fed Chair Yellen is a New Keynesian.
With each passing year the currency fell in value to ever more absurd depths until by November 1923 an ounce of gold - which had cost 170 Marks only five years previously - was trading at 87,000,000,000,000 Marks per ounce. Silver saw similar price gains (see chart) - or rather to put it more accurately silver too remained a store of value and maintained purchasing power as the currency collapsed.
Whether this week’s disaster was human error or not, the larger certainty is that the system has been chronically starved of capital. But the solution is not for a bankrupt government in Washington to pour more money down the Amtrak rat hole in the name of “infrastructure investment”, as the big spenders are now braying in the wake of this week’s disaster in Philadelphia. Instead, Amtrak should be put out of its misery once and for all. Otherwise its longstanding hazard to the taxpayers is likely to be compounded by even more public safety disasters like this week’s tragic event.
The trends in both Japanese income and spending moved downward not at the inception of the tax increase but at the very start of QQE itself. Science is the study of observation whereas monetary economics has become the science of avoiding them. If economists want to see recovery in that they should be honest about so redefining the term. BoJ is two years into QQE and the hole that has been dug for the Japanese people is enormous, so it will be extremely difficult at this point just to get back to even without ever accounting for lost opportunity for compounding and time. Maybe that doesn’t count as the typical, natural recession but it is nothing short of a man-made disaster.
What happens is that economic growth eventually runs into limits. Many people have assumed that these limits would be marked by high prices and excessive demand for goods. In my view, the issue is precisely the opposite one: Limits to growth are instead marked by low prices and inadequate demand. Common workers can no longer afford to buy the goods and services that the economy produces, because of inadequate wage growth. The price of all commodities drops, because of lower demand by workers. Furthermore, investors can no longer find investments that provide an adequate return on capital, because prices for finished goods are pulled down by the low demand of workers with inadequate wages.
Here is more insight to the recent USD rally... And why nothing looks like it seems!
The prices of gold and silver reflect the deflationary view to the exclusion of the likely outcome of all this experimentation. There is no doubt that many dealers believe that gold and silver are merely commodities, otherwise they would be chasing their prices upwards in a dash for cash. Future historians should be puzzled.
We heard from several central banks in the last few days, and what they had to say was just one more reminder that we are in a Hill Street Blues financial world. So, hey, let’s be careful out there - and then some!
Democrats are moving on a “$12 by ‘20” pitch, whereby they hope to have the minimum wage hiked to $12 within the next five years. The rationale is simple: restore the purchasing power Americans once had and you will restore robust economic growth. Ok, maybe it's not that simple, because as Republicans note, raising the pay floor by nearly 70% may well cost America jobs, thus making things worse for the very people the wage hike was meant to help.
"The War on Cash is the attempt by governments to phase cash out of their economies. Governments hate cash because they hate the financial privacy cash makes possible. And they prefer that you keep your money in a bank to help prop up an unsound fractional reserve banking system." As Ron Paul warned, “The cashless society is the IRS’s dream: total knowledge of, and control over, the finances of every single American.”
The Consumer Price Index measures the falling dollar, but only partially. As interest rates drop, you get less on your capital. Yield Purchasing Power shows the full damage.
At a stunning pace of 608 words in just 4 minutes, The Wall Street Journal's Fed-Whisperer, Jon Hilsenrath, has proclaimed his "common knowledge" meme for today's FOMC statement. Confirming that officials "aren’t at this point alarmed about the first quarter slowdown," and in fact stating they are confident of spending picking up due to consumer sentiment (which just fell)... which leaves them signalling no shift in policy stance - i.e. rate hikes are coming whether the economy can handle it or not...