The gold miners’ stocks have had a wild ride this month, surging then plunging. After hitting new upleg highs, the leading gold-stock benchmark collapsed in a sharp drawdown. That gutted bullish sentiment, bringing back worried bearishness. But despite that big swing, the uptrend of gold stocks’ young upleg remains intact. This sector is still marching higher on balance with gold, a bullish omen for further gains.
Did the Federal Reserve just usher in the next phase of the U.S. dollar’s decline?
On Wednesday, the central bank recommitted to leaving its benchmark interest rate near zero for the foreseeable future.
Fed officials also vowed to keep pumping cash into financial markets.
By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From The Great Recession Blog
I mentioned in a recent article that the weird thing about this recession is that it is the only one in which personal income has gone up during a recession. That, of course, is because of government assistance, which is making it so we don’t have to feel the pain of a recession that the government, itself, caused — through its massive debt, tax breaks for the 1%, reliance on the Fed to solve government’s problems, and most currently through its forced economic shutdown as a response to COVID-19 — something that even the WHO now says was failed policy that should never have happened — even though they helped make sure it did happen!
The current pullback in the precious metals sector is a buying opportunity. Since trading at a closing high of $2,064 an ounce on August 6, gold bullion has declined 8.34% as of this writing.1 Gold mining shares have followed suit, declining 9.26% since the August high. It is possible that gold and related mining shares could continue to chop sideways to lower until the U.S. presidential election results are known and even into yearend as the implications are sorted out. Whatever the electoral outcome, the path towards monetary debasement is bipartisan. It is crucial for investors to focus on the long-term trend and to avoid the distractions of short-term timing considerations.
Precious metals investors faced choppy market seas this week. Gold bobbed to a slight decline while silver essentially treaded water through Thursday’s close. Both are advancing strongly today.
Metals markets are being overshadowed by equities markets. The S&P 500 broke out to a 5-week high on Thursday. The rally comes on a rising tide of Federal Reserve liquidity coupled with on again, off again hopes for a stimulus deal in Washington.
More stimulus is definitely coming. The only question is how many trillions and whether they get dished out before or after the election.
By Alasdair MacLeod – Re-Blogged From GoldMoney
This article explains the effect of monetary inflation on GDP. Nominal GDP is directly inflated by additional money and credit, so GDP growth is simply a reflection of additional money in the economy. It gives no clue as to the underlying economic situation. Whether the monetary planners know it or not, targeting GDP growth with monetary expansion is a tautology. They only succeed in covering up a deeper recession, the cost of which will become apparent subsequently as the currency’s purchasing power declines. And despite the wealth destruction being wrought by currency debasement,
in the coming months we will see monetary expansion deployed more aggressively. An inflationary solution cannot succeed; but future GDP numbers will be artificially increased, encouraging policy makers to claim some success. But we should understand the simple relationship between increased quantities of money and the gains they impart to GDP, which will mislead macroeconomic analysts into thinking the economy is more resilient than it actually is.
The real US GDP plunged with a 31.4 percent annual rate in Q2 of 2020. In that regard, what’s next for the American economy and the gold market?
We all know that the second quarter was disastrous for the US economy. And now, it’s official. Last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis published the third real GDP estimate in the Q2. According to the report, the real GDP decreased at an annual rate of 31.4 percent (slightly better than the second estimate of 31.7-percent plunge), or 9 percent more from the previous quarter and the second quarter of 2019, as the chart below shows. In other words, the US economy has suffered the sharpest contraction since the government started keeping records in 1947.
By Clive Maund – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix
[This is a little more Alarmist than the usual article I post, but it provides a very different perspective on current events. –Bob]
The year 2020 will surely go down in the annals of history as one of the worst of all time, although the seeding event, the virus, occurred late in 2019. It is hard to comprehend the magnitude of the devastation that has been inflicted this year, all in pursuit of the objective of absolute power by a narrow clique of plutocrats.
The global economy, already teetering on the brink due to extremes of debt, has been severely impacted by their gigantic wrecking ball, with countless thousands of businesses destroyed or on the brink of failure, countless millions made unemployed, whole industries leveled, including the airlines, the catering industry, the event and hospitality industry, travel and tourism and restaurants, but even worse has been the damage inflicted on the social fabric.
GLOBAL ROYAL FAMILIES:
- Royal families have ruled Great Britain for centuries. They control massive wealth and exercise considerable influence in global affairs.
- The Dutch royal family is less visible.
- King Donald and Queen Melania are influential, but not royals.
- Prince William of Gates, Prince Jeffery of Amazonia, and Prince Elon of Teslovakia are new members of pretend royal families – “Tech Royalty.”
- Queen Hillary and King William of Clintonia are pretend royalty, but we aren’t going there…
- Other pretend royalty are Prince Barack and Princess Michelle from Obamanoya, and several Prince Georges from the Duchy of Bushington. Their days as pretend royalty are fading.
The overvaluation of stocks relative to the economy has placed them in such rarefied space that the market is subject to dramatic and sudden air pockets. Our Inflation Deflation and Economic Cycle model is built to identify both cyclical and secular bear markets and protect and profit from them.
However, what it cannot do, nor can anyone else, is anticipate every short-term selloff in stocks. While the IDEC strategy protects and profits from bear markets, it also tends to soften the blow from short-term selloffs and prevents us from panicking at the bottom of every brief correction. This was the case in the latest plunge that started on September 3rd and lasted just three brutal days.
The Fed has now officially changed its inflation target from 2%, to one that averages above 2% in order to compensate for the years where inflation was below its target. First off, the Fed has a horrific track record with meeting its first and primary mandate of stable prices. Then, in the wake of the Great Recession, it redefined stable prices as 2% inflation—even though that means the dollar’s purchasing power gets cut in half in 36 years. Now, following his latest Jackson Hole speech, Chair Powell has adopted a new definition of stable prices; one where its new mandate will be to bring inflation above 2% with the same degree and duration in which it has fallen short of its 2% target.
Retail sales growth has slowed down. What does it mean for the U.S. economy and the gold market? Retail sales increased 1.2 percent in July. The growth was worse than expected, which hit the U.S. stock market. As the chart below shows, the number was also much weaker than in the two previous months (8.4 percent gain in June and 18.3 percent jump in May), when it seemed that the economy started to rebound.
This article summarises why the credit cycle leads to alternate booms and slumps. It is only with this in mind that they can be properly understood as current economic conditions evolve.
The reader is taken through three monetary models: a fixed money economy, one governed by changes in bank credit, and finally the consequences of central bank intervention.
Classical economics provided the basis for an understanding of the effects of bank credit expansion. The theory, embodied in the division of labour, eluded Keynes, who was determined to justify an interventionist role in the economy for the state.
Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and BlackRock Financial Management are stacking up wealth like never before, thanks to the Great Recession 2.0, a.k.a. the Second Great Depression. Yet, the Fed maintains its recovery plans do not create wealth disparity.
Fed-hawk Ron Paul wrote this week,
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly both recently denied that the Federal Reserve’s policies create economic inequality. Unfortunately for Powell, Daly, and other Fed promoters, a cursory look at the Fed’s operations shows that the central bank is the leading cause of economic inequality….
In recent articles for Goldmoney I have pointed out the dollar’s vulnerability to a final collapse in its purchasing power. This article focuses on the factors that will determine the future for sterling.
Sterling is exceptionally vulnerable to a systemic banking crisis, with European banks being the most highly geared of the GSIBs. The UK Government, in opting to side with America and cut ties with China, has probably thrown away the one significant chance it has of not seeing sterling collapse with the dollar.
A possible salvation might be to hang onto Germany’s coattails if it leaves a sinking euro to form a hard currency bloc of its own, given her substantial gold reserves. But for now, that has to be a long shot.
And lastly, in common with the Fed and ECB, the Bank of England has taken for itself more power in monetary matters than the politicians are truly aware of, being generally clueless about money.
Conclusion: the pound is unlikely to survive a dollar collapse, which for any serious student of money, is becoming a certainty.
We can all be very confident that there will be no change to monetary policy for a very, very long time. But there is a fiscal cliff coming—and indeed has already begun.
It is clear that Mr. Powell is all-in on his unlimited QE and ZIRP. And, that he is “not even thinking about thinking about raising interest rates.” Therefore, the stock market does not have to worry about a contraction in the rate of money printing any time soon. However, equities could soon plunge due to the crash in the amount of fiscal support offered to the economy.
- Last month, the auto-loan and credit-card forbearance period ended
- On July 1, state and local government budget cuts kicked into high gear, as the $330 billion in aid already dispensed has been wasted
We are nearing that mid-point in July when I said we would start to see the news turn from euphoria-inducing reopening positives to depression-developing realism.
Speaking of stock-market bulls who are stampeding uphill on the euphoria side, I wrote,
Right now the farce is with them — reopening has arrived! And these stupid people will believe that means they were right about the “V,” virtually assuring they continue to bet the market up for a little while…. The reopening means economic statistics will improve rapidly. That will give a lot of stupid people many reasons to believe they were right to think the obliterated economy would experience a V-shaped recovery.
So far, the current economic situation, together with the response by major governments, compares with the run-in to the depression of the 1930s. Yet to come in the repetitious credit cycle is the collapse in financial asset values and a banking crisis.
When the scale of the banking crisis is known the scale of monetary inflation involved will become more obvious. But in the politics of it, Trump is being set up as the equivalent of Herbert Hoover, and presumably Joe Biden, if he is well advised, will soon campaign as a latter-day Roosevelt. In Britain, Boris Johnson has already called for a modern “new deal”, and in his “Hundred Days” his Chancellor is delivering it.
With stockmarkets barely ruffled, few are thinking beyond the very short-term and they are mostly guessing anyway. Other than possibly the very short-term as we emerge from lockdowns, the economic situation is actually dire, and any hope of a V-shaped recovery is wishful thinking or just brokers’ propaganda. But for now, monetary policy is to buy off all reality by printing money without limit and almost no one is thinking about the consequences.
Transmitting money into the real economy is proving difficult, with banks wanting to reduce their balance sheets, and very reluctant to expand credit. Furthermore, banks are weaker today than ahead of the last credit crisis, and payment failures on the June quarter-day just passed could trigger a systemic crisis before this month is out.
Look at the plethora of problems in my list of 2020 economic predictions, which are so severe and so likely to get even worse that it’s more difficult to imagine they won’t get worse than to believe they will. Some are so bad that just a few of them would plunge us into an abyss of social and financial catastrophes.
Here are my economic predictions for the remainder of 2020
This list of economic predictions is not hard to come up with. It is, however, the fact that it is so easy to predict these things this year that makes this year’s list so important.
We are reading now about possible regulations for air travel. In brief: passengers might be forced to spend hours at the airport. Authorities will perform medical checks, including possibly needles to draw blood, no lounges, no food or drink on board the plane, masks required at all times, and even denied the use of a bathroom except by special permission.
We would wager an ounce of fine gold against a soggy dollar bill that people will hate this. The majority of vacationers will not want to fly. A holiday is supposed to be fun, and air travel promises to be a lot less fun that it was in March.
Gold’s powerful post-stock-panic upleg hasn’t enjoyed buying support from the gold-futures speculators. These influential traders often drive and even dominate major gold-price trends. But they’ve been subtly selling into gold’s sharp recent rally. Their dogged skepticism is actually very bullish for gold in coming months. Gold-futures speculators are amassing big gold-futures-buying firepower that will be unleashed.
The maelstrom of extreme fear spawned by mid-March’s stock panic even briefly sucked in gold. It had surged to a 7.1-year secular high of $1675 during the initial weeks of that heavy stock-market selling. But once that went panic-grade, which is major stock indexes plummeting 20%+ in 2 weeks or less, even gold was dumped in the frantic dash for cash. Similar to prior panics, gold plunged 12.1% in just 8 trading days.
The doyenne of MMT, Stephanie Kelton, has published a book this week explaining modern monetary theory. This article examines the foundations of MMT which Kelton explained in an earlier video released last year.
Macroeconomics has become so far removed from reality that its practitioners cannot understand what is happening in the real economy. Never has this been more obvious than today. While they claim to be economically literate, macroeconomists are in thrall to their paymasters; a combination of government, quasi-government and financial institutions with a vested interest in not looking too closely at the full consequences of government economic and monetary policies. From this neo-Keynesian macro world, the latest spinoff is modern monetary theory, which is little more than a logical extension of Keynesianism —justifying intervention by the state and the use of fiat currency being expanded limitlessly. MMT is the end of the line for arguments based on macroeconomic fallacies that have their origin in Keynes.
Gold investment demand remains strong, buoying the yellow metal and its miners’ stocks. Investors have continued actively diversifying into gold despite soaring stock markets and weaker summer seasonals. The Fed’s extreme money printing fueling these precarious stock-market heights is perilously inflationary, making upping gold portfolio allocations essential. This ongoing capital shift is likely to keep pushing gold higher.
The dominant driver of gold’s major price trends is investment demand. While it isn’t the largest demand category, it varies greatly depending on global-financial-market conditions. The best global gold supply-and-demand data is only published quarterly by the venerable World Gold Council, in its must-read Gold Demand Trends reports. They highlight the big volatility inherent in gold investment demand in recent years.
One look at the chart of the U.S. financial markets against the backdrop of economic paralysis and suffering and one is immediately filled with a myriad of emotions. Sympathy for those that have been afflicted by the most recent pandemic; fear for the families whose primary breadwinner is now unemployed; confusion toward the proper course of action going forward; and finally outrage at the abject timidity of our citizens in responding to the orders laid down by these insipid politicians in response to the crisis.
As the welfare of future generations hangs in the balance, its tentativeness the direct result of government ineptitude, I keep asking myself a critical question: “When did the backbone of our people turn to mush?” If someone holding political office had told my grandfather to stop ploughing his fields or tending to his livestock because a sickness was spreading throughout the community, that charlatan would have wound up with buckshot adorning his gluteus maximus. How dare any group of elected bureaucrats ordain the shutdown of an economy?
Suppose you wanted to run an enterprise the right way (we know, we know, this is pretty far-out fiction, but bear with us). And, your enterprise has a $1 million dollar piece of equipment that wears out after 10 years. You must set aside $100,000 a year, so that you have $1 million at the end of 10 years when the equipment needs replacing. There’s a word, now archaic, to describe the account in which you set aside this money. From Wikipedia:
“A sinking fund is a fund established by an economic entity by setting aside revenue over a period of time to fund a future capital expense, or repayment of a long-term debt.”
Whether you borrowed the money to buy the equipment or whether you had equity capital to pay for it, the principle is the same. Unless your business is sinking, i.e. consuming its capital, you must replace your assets when they wear out. You must set aside a sinking fund.
Mike Gleason (Money Metals Exchange): It is my privilege now to interview our good friend, Greg Weldon, CEO and President of Weldon Financial. Greg has decades of market research and trading experience specializing in the metals and commodity markets and he even authored a book back in 2006 titled Gold Trading Boot Camp where we accurately predicted the implosion of the U.S. credit market and urged people to buy gold when it was only $550 an ounce. He’s made some fantastic calls over the last few years here on our podcast and it’s great to have him back with us.
We did speak to you back at the end of February before all this madness started. At the time, COVID-19 had begun seriously impacting economic activity in global markets, maybe not so much in the U.S. Now, just two months later, more than 30 million people have filed for unemployment, GDP was deeply negative in the first quarter and figures to be even worse here in Q2. But the equity markets are acting as if the worst is behind us. We got a major correction followed by an almost relentless rally. Our take is that equity markets are completely disconnected from reality. They are hitched, instead, to the Fed’s magic money machine. What is your take on how stock markets are behaving here, Greg?
Powell gave a much-awaited speech yesterday, in which he sent one bearish and two bullish messages for gold. What exactly did he say and what does it mean for the yellow metal?
Powell Sends One Bearish and Two Bullish Messages for Gold
Jerome Powell gave a speech yesterday at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The Fed Chair acknowledged the unprecedented depth of the coronavirus crisis, and its disastrous impact for the US labor market, something we also noted many times:
The scope and speed of this downturn are without modern precedent, significantly worse than any recession since World War II. We are seeing a severe decline in economic activity and in employment, and already the job gains of the past decade have been erased. Since the pandemic arrived in force just two months ago, more than 20 million people have lost their jobs.
April job report shows a terrible US labor market. Coronavirus destroyed 20.5 million jobs, pushing the unemployment rate to almost 15 percent. How far does the number reflect reality – and what does it actually mean for the gold market?
Apocalypse in the US Labor Market
14.7 percent. Remember this value well, as it will go down in history. This is the official US unemployment rate for April calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate soared from 3.5 percent in February and 4.4 percent in March. As the chart below shows, the spike is really historic, as such high level has not been seen in modern history.
Since the Great Recession hit in 2008, central banks have been in the business of keeping insolvent governments from defaulting through the process of pegging borrowing costs near zero. These money printers are now in the practice of propping up corporations–even those of the junk and zombie variety–by ensuring their cost of funds bears absolutely zero relationship to the credit quality of the issuer. To be clear, central banks have been falsifying public and now private bond prices to historic and monumental degrees just as the intensity of issuances and insolvency deepens.
And now, the Fed is bailing out bankrupt consumers with helicopter money in the form of enhanced and extended unemployment, grants through the Payroll Protection Plan and direct UBI to consumers through the CARES Act Recovery Rebates clause. All together there has been about $2.8 trillion worth of deficit spending so far.
With the stock markets near a critical juncture during the most-extreme economic dislocations of our lifetimes, big US stocks’ fundamentals have never been more important. After plummeting in a brutal stock panic on the catastrophic economic damage caused by governments’ draconian lockdowns to fight COVID-19, stocks have skyrocketed in a monster rally. Are these gains righteous or doomed to fail?
Mid-February feels lifetimes ago, when the flagship US S&P 500 stock index (SPX) surged to a series of new all-time-record highs. The last one at 3386.2 capped an epic secular bull that powered 400.5% higher over 11.0 years. That proved the second-largest and first-longest in all of US stock-market history, freakishly huge. Then COVID-19 viciously slammed the markets like a sledgehammer to the skull.
My friend Larry Kudlow always says that Profits are the mother’s milk of stocks. That used to be true when we had a real economy. But sadly, that is no longer factual because we now have a global equity market that is totally controlled by central banks. To prove this point, let’s look at the last few years of earnings. During the year 2018, the EPS growth for the S&P 500 was 20%; yet the S&P 500 Index was down 7% over that same time-frame.
Conversely, during 2019, the S&P 500 EPS growth was a dismal 1%; yet the Index surged by nearly 30%. What could possibly account for such a huge divergence between EPS growth and market performance? We need only to view Fed actions for the simple answer: it was the degree to which our central bank was willing to falsify asset prices.
The week closed with the Dow Jones’ BEV -17.5% line of resistance holding, though on Wednesday the Dow Jones did close above this critical level, for a few hours anyway. Friday’s close found the Dow Jones at its lows for the week. But for the bulls out there, hope springs eternal as there is always next week.
What if the Dow Jones clears this line of resistance? I’ll just have to find another important BEV level in the chart below to see if it’s willing to perform as a proper line of resistance, better than the BEV -17.5% level has. What BEV level had for years provided a line of support during the bull market’s advance that can now perform as a line of resistance?
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. April closed as the best month for the US stock market since the V-shaped recovery that followed the Black Monday stock market crash of 1987. April also delivered the deepest, broadest economic collapse of any month in history.
The economic collapse was simultaneously global. What is written here about the US can pretty well be said for all nations in the world. The collapse crushed jobs, personal income, consumer spending, consumer sentiment, car sales, and general economic activity more than any month in the history of the nation. Some of those sharpest declines happened in March, but April relentlessly drove to to greater depths. But stocks rose.
Silver is powering higher in a new bull market after getting clobbered in March’s stock panic. Investors have been flocking back to silver in the aftermath of that ultra-rare extreme-fear event. That brutal selloff also utterly wiped out speculators’ upside bets in silver futures, giving them massive room to buy back in. After being pummeled to record-low levels relative to gold, an epic silver mean reversion higher is underway.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote a popular essay “Big Silver Bull Running!”. It explained what happened to silver in this recent COVID-19 stock panic, and why silver soared in its wake. Sucked into that blinding fear maelstrom, silver was thrashed to a miserable 10.9-year low. This metal plummeted in a near-crash, fueled by speculators’ fastest long purge ever witnessed! That exhausted their selling, totally resetting longs.
That meant these super-leveraged traders’ capital firepower was fully available to buy back into silver. And much more bullish than that, strong and relentless silver investment demand emerged since that mid-March collapse. That’s evident in the soaring silver-bullion holdings of silver’s leading exchange-traded fund, the SLV iShares Silver Trust! This dominant silver ETF is the best daily proxy for global investment demand.
The massive set of stimulus measures rolled out last month by the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve has left many Americans wanting more… and politicians scheming for new ways to dole out additional trillions in cash.
Most taxpayers have already received their $1,200 “stimulus” payments. However, that one-time payment will do little to repair the long-term financial health of the 26 million (and rising) who are newly unemployed.
And it surely won’t bail out all the small business owners who were callously deemed “non-essential” and forced to shut down during this pandemic.
This article asserts that infinite money-printing is set to destroy fiat currencies far quicker than might be generally thought. This final act of monetary destruction follows a 98% loss of purchasing power for dollars since the London gold pool failed. And now the Fed and other major central banks are committing to an accelerated, infinite monetary debasement to underwrite their entire private sectors and their governments’ spending, to prop up bond markets and therefore all financial asset prices.
It repeats the mistakes of John Law in France three hundred years ago almost to the letter, but this time on a global scale. History, economic theory and even common sense tell us governments and their central banks will rapidly destroy their currencies. So that we can see how to protect ourselves from this monetary madness, we dig into history for guidance to see who benefited from the Austrian and German hyperinflations of 1922-23, and how fortunes were made and lost.
Will the Coronavirus be the catalyst of not just a depression but also major reduction in global population? The growth in world population since the 1850s has been explosive. In the 1850s there were 1 billion people and today we are 7.8 billion. Although many “experts” have extrapolated the growth to 10 billion and more in coming decades, this has in my view not been based on sound reasoning. Instead, as I been writing about and discussed many times the spike in population that we have seen in the last 170 years will not end well.
Anyone who can read a chart knows that a spike on a major sample doesn’t continue straight up. And it doesn’t just correct sideways either. At some point, a spike up is always corrected by a major spike down. I talked about this in my article from April 2018. Below is an extract from this article:
One of the many bothering issues about the coronavirus crisis, is whether it will turn out to be inflationary or deflationary. What do both of these scenarios mean for gold ahead?
US Inflation Rate Declines in March
Many people are afraid that the coronavirus crisis will spur inflation. After all, the increased demand for food and hygiene products raised the prices of these goods. Moreover, the supply-side disruptions can reduce the availability of many goods, contributing to their increasing prices.
On the other hand, the current crisis results not only from a negative supply shock, but also from a negative demand shock. As a result of uncertainty, people cling to cash and forego unnecessary expenses. In addition, social distancing means reduced household spending on many goods and services, which exerts deflationary pressure. The most prominent example is crude oil, whose price has temporarily dropped to just $20 a barrel (although this was partly due to the lack of agreement between OPEC and Russia). Lower fuel prices will translate into lower CPI inflation rate. Entrepreneurs, especially those with large stocks of goods, will probably lower prices to encourage shopping. Moreover, the appreciation of the US dollar means lower prices of imported goods.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse bring pain and reset expectations. They are, according to some sources, pestilence, war, famine, and death.
Pestilence: News stories besiege us about the dangers of COVID-19, the pestilence released upon the world by (take your choice) bats, the United States, China, or a bioweapon lab. This pandemic is creating trauma for everyone. Confidence in governments and health agencies will decline. Trust in central banks will, hopefully, reset to much lower levels. Paper assets and fake money will be unmasked and understood for what they are. Real money will (someday) be appreciated as the only money without counter-party risk. But until that day… the paper derivative exchanges on COMEX “manage” prices.
The title of Leo Tolstoy’s massive tome, War and Peace, which many have heard of but few have read, implies a cyclical alternation between these conditions, which never ends, no matter how great the level of technological advance, because of the nature of men, which does not change.
It is the same with the great economic cycles which alternate between boom and bust. Once a parasitic overclass gain absolute power and a society is riven with corruption, decadence, graft and nepotism then its downfall is assured and is only a matter of time – and what empowers the parasitic overclass more than anything else is a fiat money system, which enables them to award themselves unlimited funds the better to live off the backs of the labor of everyone else, and no entity on the planet provides a more graphic example of this than the US Federal Reserve.
Today the bulls did it it again. This market remains deeply entrenched in denial, soaring even as unemployment soars higher toward the grand summits of the Great Depression and with certain knowledge that many jobs will not return.
The U.S. stock market secured another strong advance on Thursday, despite an economic bombshell of historic proportions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) soared nearly 500 points after this morning’s jobless claims revealed a further 6.6 million unemployed. A gut-wrenching 16 million Americans have now filed for unemployment over the last three weeks…. Some investors are beginning to doubt the ongoing relief rally with many holding out for new lows.
Gold investment demand is soaring in the wake of the COVID-19 stock panic! Investors are rushing back into gold to diversify after seeing mind-boggling central-bank money printing and government spending. Since that epic monetary inflation won’t be unwound, and investors were radically underinvested in gold before the panic, this trend is likely to persist for years. It will catapult gold and its miners’ stocks far higher.
The most comprehensive look into global gold investment demand is published quarterly by the World Gold Council. Its experts have been deeply studying the gold markets for decades, which shows in their outstanding Gold Demand Trends reports. These must-read analyses are released about a month after calendar quarters end. But while that data is invaluable, in fast-moving markets like these it simply isn’t enough.
Can the U.S. economy actually be turned on and off like a light switch? What are the implications for investors if it can’t?
The shutdown of much of the American economy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has already created what is by far the single largest increase in unemployment in U.S. history in such a short period of time.
We are experiencing two quite distinct but interrelated forms of supply shortages that may just be in their early stages. One is the combined result of the collective (and very short-sighted) decision to make much of the world’s supply chain dependent on one nation, that of communist China, even while slashing the supply of inventory down to “just in time” levels, with no room for error.
Commentators routinely confuse the deflationary effects of a contraction of bank credit with the inflationary effects of central bank policies designed to offset it. Central banks always ensure their stimulus is greater, so inflation, not deflation, is always the outcome.
In order to understand bank credit, we must enter the mind of a banker and understand how it is created, why it is expanded and why expansion is always followed by a sharp contraction.
But we have now moved on from a simplistic credit cycle model, given the global economy was already facing a tendency for bank credit to contract before the coronavirus drove supply chains into the greatest global payment crisis in history. The problem is now so large that to maintain both economic stability and price levels for financial assets the central banks, led by the Fed, will have to issue so much base currency that fiat currencies will become almost worthless.
The Trump administration will seek an additional $250 billion to support small businesses hurt by the widespread economic shutdown and slowdown. Will the government and the Fed save the US economy? What would be the consequences for the gold market?
US Epidemiological Update
As of April 7, more than 360,000 people were confirmed to be infected by the coronavirus in the US, and more than 10,000 out of them died because of the COVID-19, as the chart below shows. Actually, the US is entering the worst period of the epidemic, as hospitals are struggling to maintain and expand capacity to care for infected patients.