Why Jim Grant Thinks It’s Time to Abolish The Fed

By Rick Ackerman – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

[Jim Grant is an old-school observer of this economic age and one of its most brilliant commentators. Following is the speech he gave in accepting the 2019 Bradley Prize, which recognizes those who have helped further the principles and institutions of American exceptionalism. RA]

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a blemish on the age that so many of us know the name of the Federal Reserve chairman. In a better world, that government functionary would be as obscure as what’s-his-name, the home plate umpire who got no arguments calling balls and strikes at Yankee Stadium the other night. Who elected the Greenspans, Bernankes, and Powells to be the arbiters of interest rates, asset prices, the rate of inflation and who knows what else? It wasn’t Alexander Hamilton. Nor was it the Fed’s own founders. If the authors of the 1913 Federal Reserve Act could return to earth to inspect their handiwork, the shock might kill them all over again.

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A River of Denial Floods Markets Everywhere

US GDP Not All It Was Cracked Up To Be

You may be worried my prediction that a recession will start sometime this summer is not looking too good. So was I after first-quarter corporate earnings started coming in better than what economists expected. Except that barely “beating expectations” is kind of pathetic when expectations are dumbed down as far as they were.

(Note that I have also stated each time I repeat this prediction that we won’t know until half a year beyond summer whether or not it happened, because initial GDP reports are often revised down after the next quarter (perhaps in order to make the next quarter look better quarter on quarter) as facts come in more clearly and because no recession is officially declared until a month after two full quarters have seen total GDP decline — not a decline in the growth rate, but an actual drop in GDP.)

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Gold – Preparing For The Next Move

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Money

The global economic outlook is deteriorating. Government borrowing in the deficit countries will therefore escalate. US Treasury TIC data confirms foreigners have already begun to liquidate dollar assets, adding to the US Government’s future funding difficulties. The next wave of monetary inflation, required to fund budget deficits and keep banks solvent, will not prevent financial assets suffering a severe bear market, because the scale of monetary dilution will be so large that the purchasing power of the dollar and other currencies will be undermined. Failing fiat currencies suggest the dollar-based financial order is coming to an end. But with few exceptions, investors own nothing but fiat-currency dependent investments. The only portfolio protection from these potential dangers is to embrace sound money – gold.

The global economy is at a cross-road, with international trade stalling and undermining domestic economies. Some central banks, notably the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England were still reflating their economies by supressing interest rates, and the ECB had only stopped quantitative easing in December. The Fed and the Peoples’ Bank of China had been tightening in 2018. The PBOC quickly went into stimulation mode in November, and the Fed has put monetary tightening and interest rates on hold, pending further developments.

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On Board Keynes Express To Ruin

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Last week, I ranted about the problem with our monetary system and trajectory: falling interest rates is Keynes’ evil genius plan to destroy civilization. This week, I continue the theme—if in a more measured tone—addressing the ideas predominant among the groups who are most likely to fight against Keynes’ destructionism. They are: the capitalists, the gold bugs, and the otherwise-free-marketers. I do not write this to attack any particular people, nor indeed as an attack at all. My purpose comes from my belief that to fix a problem, one must understand the nature of the problem.

I highlight these groups because, if there is ever to be a real movement to reform our monetary system, it would come from one of these groups, or ideally an alliance among all three. However, that is not in the cards today. Let’s look at why not.

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Looking At Market Capitalization

By Mark J Lundeen – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Another week of nothing much happening with the Dow Jones; since last Friday it has advanced by only 42.44 points.  What’s to make of that?  After the impressive advance that began after December 24th the market is taking a break.  Don’t be surprised should the coming weeks bring more of the same.

However I remain short-term bullish, expecting the Dow Jones to make additional BEV Zeros in the BEV chart below come this spring or summer.  These anticipated (but not guaranteed) new all-time highs will be the last hurrah of a monster bull market that began in August 1982.  Following them come the deluge; a deflationary bear market that will claw back most of the inflationary gains seen since Ronald Reagan was president.

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Who Knows the Right Interest Rate

By Keith Weiner -Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

On January 6, we wrote the Surest Way to Overthrow Capitalism. We said:

“In a future article, we will expand on why these two statements are true principles: (1) there is no way a central planner could set the right rate, even if he knew and (2) only a free market can know the right rate.”

Today’s article is part I that promised article.

Let’s consider how to know the right rate, first. It should not be controversial to say that if the government sets a price cap, say on a loaf of bread, that this harms bakers. So the bakers will seek every possible way out of it. First, they may try shrinking the loaf. But, gotcha! The government regulator anticipated that, and there is a heap of rules dictating the minimum size of a loaf, weight, length, width, depth, density, etc. Next, the bakery industry changes the name. They don’t sell loaves of bread any more, they call them bread cakes. And so on.

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Rising Rates Falling Assets

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Last week, we wrote about the concept of discounting. This is how to assess the value of any asset that generates cash flow. You calculate a present value by discounting earnings for each future year. And the discount rate is the market interest rate. We said:

“If the Fed can manipulate the rate of interest, then it can manipulate the value of everything…

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How We Went from Fake Recovery to Freefall

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Until you got to this tax and spending deal a year ago, it was one of the most hated bull markets. The markets steadily climbed one wall of worry after another, and the problem was that the economic data did not confirm it.

Bloomberg

That’s right. The market was not rising for the past ten years due to a healthy underlying economy. On the contrary, the market was rising due to the Federal Reserve pumping out stratospheric amounts of thin-air money, all of which needed somewhere to land.

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Transition Into Economic Night

By Gary Christenson – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The economic world is always changing, but the 2018-2019 period will mark an important transition. Consider credit market debt, interest rates, stock indices, individual stocks, and several ratios.

TOTAL CREDIT MARKET DEBT per the St. Louis Fed.

That measure of U.S. debt increased exponentially from 1951 to 2007 at a rate of 8.8% per year. However, the rate from 2008 to 2017 has been only 2.6% per year. A sixty-year trend changed during the 2007-08 financial crisis. As suggested by others the U.S. reached debt saturation. The economy has not recovered since the crisis. The graph of credit market debt supports that thesis.

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The Credit Cycle Is On The Turn

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

We are on the verge of moving into an era of high interest rates, so markets will behave differently from any time since the early-1980s. There are enough similarities with the post-Bretton Woods era of the 1970s to give us some guidance as to how markets are likely to evolve in the foreseeable future.

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A 50% Market Decline & No Way To Stop It

By Michael Snyder – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

Is Ron Paul about to be proven right once again?  For a very long time, Ron Paul has been one of my political heroes.  His willingness to stand up for true constitutional values and to keep saying “no” to the Washington establishment over and over again won the hearts of millions of American voters, and I wish that there had been enough of us to send him to the White House either in 2008 or in 2012.  To this day, I still wish that we could make his classic work entitled “End The Fed” required reading in every high school classroom in America.  He was one of the few members of Congress that actually understood economics, and it is very sad that he has now retired from politics.  With the enormous mess that Washington D.C. has become, we sure could use a lot more statesmen like him right now.

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Italy Calls Europe’s Bluff, And The Euro Loses Either Way

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

When Italy elected a bunch of rowdy populists back in March, the rest of the eurozone assumed (or at least hoped) that the weight of responsibility would bring Rome back into line. But so far the Italians appear to be serious about ending austerity and forcing the ECB to finance their spending ambitions. The just-passed Italian budget calls for a rising deficit, in direct disobedience of Continental (read German) authorities.

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A Submerging Global Economy

By Egon von Greyerz – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Many emerging markets are now turning to submerging markets as country after country is experiencing falling economies, currencies and stock markets.

The currency is often the best indication of a country’s economic health. Just look at these six currencies submerging into obscurity:

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Liquidity Preference Rising

By Keith Weiner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Picture a scene in one of those action moves. Two guys are fighting for control over the steering wheel. The car is going 75mph, the road is narrow, and there is a drop over a cliff on one side. And there are lots of sharp curves.

Central Planning

This is a pretty good picture of the action at our central banks. Desperate men are fighting for who gets control of the monetary steering wheel, and for which rules to use to determine when to turn left and when to turn right. One side wants central planning with discretion and the other wants central planning with rules. Among the latter, a debate now rages whether to use inflation, GDP, or another measure.

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“Debt Saturation” Plain And Simple

More Signs Of Inflation: Home Prices Jump Again And “$3 Gas Is Coming”

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Cornflakes and milk may or may not be getting more expensive, but some higher-profile things are rocking like it’s 1979. Houses, for example:

Home prices just took the biggest jump in four years

(CNBC) – Homebuyers, hold onto your wallets. The gains in home prices are getting bigger as the supply of homes for sale gets leaner.

The median price of a home sold in March surged 8.9 percent compared with March 2017, according to Redfin, a real estate brokerage. It is the biggest annual increase in four years. Redfin tracks prices in 174 local markets and calculated the median home price at $297,000.

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5 Big Drivers of Higher Inflation Rates Ahead

By Stefan Gleason – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Investors got lulled into a state of inflation complacency. Persistently low official inflation rates in recent years depressed bond yields along with risk premiums on all financial assets.

That’s changing in 2018. Five drivers of higher inflation rates are now starting to kick in.

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Epochal Stock Market Flash Crash

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

It took sixteen months to build the exceptionally steep Trump Rally, and just one week to eliminate a quarter of it. While I wouldn’t call that jolting reversal a stock-market crash in the ordinary sense, the largest one-day point fall in the history of the market (by far) certainly marks a massive change in market conditions. From this point forward, it won’t be the same market it was.

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Rob From The Middle Class Economics

By Gary Christenon – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Much of our financial world functions as a “Rob from the Middle Class” economy. The system robs from the middle class and poor via “money printing” and inflation of the currency supply!

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Mazda Crossovers For Moms

After a 15 year love affair with my Mom SUV, it’s time to think about another. I attended the Houston Auto Show to try on cars like shoes.

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Lemmings in Full Gallup Towards Cliff

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From http://www.pentoport.com

Its official…the stock market has broken above 23,000, and its valuations should now scare even the most mind-numbed carnival barker on Wall Street. The forward 12-month PE ratio is 18, compared to the 10-year average of just 14. The 12-month trailing PE for Pro-forma earnings, which takes into account non-recurring items that seem to recur ever quarter, is trading at 20 times earnings. But on a reported earnings basis—the number you report to the SEC under penalty of the law and according to GAAP standards–the 12-month trailing PE is 25.5 times earnings.

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Did The Fed Just Ring A Bell At The Top?

By Graham Summers – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Very few investors caught on to it, but a few weeks ago the Fed made its single largest announcement in eight years.

First let me provide some context.

For eight years now, the Fed has propped up the stock market. In terms of formal monetary policy the Fed has:

  • Kept interest rates at ZERO for seven years making money virtually free and forcing investors into stocks and junk bonds in search of yield.
  • Engaged in over $3.5 TRILLION in Quantitative Easing or QE, providing an amount of liquidity to the US financial system that is greater than the GDP of Germany.

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Wall Street And Bear Scat

By Mark J Lundeen – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

As seen in the Bear’s Eye View (BEV) chart below, the last all-time high for the Dow Jones Index happened on March 1st.  Since then however, it’s been slowly deflating.  The post-election run up in the Dow Jones (enclosed in the Red Circle) was an excellent advance; one of the best in the post March 2009 market.  So we shouldn’t begrudge the bulls should they now take a rest before their next upward assault on the stock market, which I’m sure they are planning.  However, some plans never get past their conception stage.

I like this BEV chart for the Dow Jones.  It displays each advance and percentage decline of the Dow from its 09 March 2009 bottom (6,547) to its last all-time high of 01 March 2017 (21,115.55).  The typical correction was a little over 5%, with only four double digit declines (none greater than 17%) since March 2009.

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The Great Western Economic Depression

By Jeff Nielson – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Western economies are “recovering”. How do we know this? We are told this, over and over and over again by our governments. Then this assertion is repeated thousands of times more by the dutiful parrots of the corporate media.

The problem is that in the real world there is not a shred of evidence to support this assertion. In the U.S.; ridiculous official lies were created claiming the creation of 15 million new jobs . In reality, there are three million less Americans with jobs today than at the official end of the “recession”.

These imaginary jobs are invented by assorted statistical frauds, with the primary deceit being so-called “seasonal adjustments”. To be legitimate, all seasonal adjustments must to net to zero at the end of each year. Instead, in the U.S.A., the biggest job creator in the nation every year is the calendar.

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2016 Debt Binge Produces (Surprise!) 2017 Inflation. Guess What That Means For 2018?

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Just as everyone was finally accepting the idea of deflation and negative interest rates, inflation decides to pay a return visit. In the past day, articles with the following headlines appeared in major publications around the world:

Swiss inflation rises at highest monthly rate in 5 years

China February producer inflation fastest in nearly nine years

Year-over-year import prices at highest level in five years

ECB keeps bond-buying, rates unchanged amid inflation flare-up

Food inflation doubles in a month as UK shoppers start to feel the pinch

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Will The FED Tell Every American To Buy Gold Before It Destroys The Dollar?

By Egon von Greyerz – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Western Central Banks have a real knack for timing the sale of their gold reserves. They are absolute experts when it comes to picking the bottom of the gold market. Central banks in the UK, Switzerland and Norway, to mention a few, timed their sales to perfection. The only problem is that they all sold at the absolute bottom between 1999 and 2004. That was of course the time to buy gold and not to sell. But the Finance ministers in charge of Western economies have no understanding of economics. They don’t even understand that their absolute destruction of paper money is always revealed by the gold price.

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