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.
When the market cap of equities reaches 183% of GDP and gov’t bonds yield near 0%, or even less overseas, the notion that one can just buy and hold a balanced portfolio is extremely dangerous. The minefield is not packed with IEDs, it is actually replete with tactical nukes.
One of those land mines would be the failure to keep government open and pass more stimulus. I have no special insight here except D.C. is famous for brinkmanship but always opts to spend more money in the end. Another problem would be the failure to have a peaceful transfer of power come Jan. 20th. Also, the failure of vaccines to prove to be safe, effective and long lasting would blow the whole recovery mantra sky high.
The conventional view of inflation is that it’s not only low, but dangerously low and in need of aggressive encouragement.
But that view is becoming increasingly hard to defend, given all the things that are soaring in price. Consider:
STORY AT A GLANCE – week ending November 27:
- Gold prices made a significant low during November or December in 8 of the last ten years. Gold prices are low and over-sold as of Nov. 27.
- The gold to S&P 500 ratio shows gold is inexpensive compared to the S&P over four decades of history.
- Gold and silver price lows are due now—which means between mid-November and late December. Now, or soon.
- The GDX to gold price ratio bottomed in 2016. Expect gold to rally and gold stocks to rise faster in the coming years.
- Stocks are making new highs. Craziness in politics and monetary policy are “off the charts.” Beware the consequences of both.
The global coronavirus pandemic has accelerated several troubling trends already in force. Among them are exponential debt growth, rising dependency on government, and scaled-up central bank interventions into markets and the economy.
Central bankers now appear poised to embark on their biggest power play ever.
US stocks are behaving amazingly well given the political and economic near-chaos of the past few months. This is probably the first recession that inflated rather than popped financial asset bubbles.
Why? Because panicked governments and central banks are dumping trillions of play-money dollars into the system, a big part of which flow directly into the brokerage accounts of the 1%.
By American Banker – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth
The Federal Reserve is primarily interested in looking at a central bank digital currency that would improve the payment system, rather than one that would replace the physical dollar, said Chair Jerome Powell.
“Unlike some jurisdictions, here in the United States we continue to see strong demand for cash,” he said Monday during a panel on cross-border payments and digital currencies hosted by the International Monetary Fund. “Moreover, we have robust and mature financial and banking sectors, and we have a highly banked population so that many — although not all — already have access to the electronic payments system.”
The Japanese word for goodbye is Sayonara. But it doesn’t just mean goodbye, it means goodbye forever. Unfortunately, that is what our country is doing to American Capitalism.
In the quixotic fantasy world of Keynesian economics, the more money a government borrows and prints the healthier the economy will become. Those who adhere to this philosophy also believe such profligacy comes without any negative economic consequences in the long run. This specious dogma contends that it is ok for a government to dig further into a big deficit hole during a recession because massive public spending will help the economy to climb out faster. And then, a government can cut spending in the good times, which leads to big budget surpluses.
We’re caught in a trap
I can’t walk out Because I love you too much baby
Elvis Presley’s rendition of Suspicious Minds topped the record charts in 1969. The lyrics portray a romance that couldn’t work, but was also impossible to escape. That’s also a good way to describe our relationship with government debt. We know it can’t last, but we can’t walk out. We love government spending and its benefits (like Medicare, Social Security, and unemployment insurance) too much.
The Founding Father and President Thomas Jefferson understood the extreme danger in handing over the issuance of the money to the bankers:
“The central bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the Principles and form of our Constitution. I am an Enemy to all banks discounting bills, or notes for anything but Coin. If the American People allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the People of all their Property until their Children will wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.” – Thomas Jefferson. (1743-1826).
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.
They say that time travels are impossible. But we just went back to the 1960s! At least in the field of the monetary policy. And all because of a new Fed’s framework. So, please fasten your seat belts and come with me into the past and present of monetary policy – to determine the future of gold!
At the end of August 2020, the Fed has modified its Statement on Longer-Run Goals and Monetary Policy Strategy – for the first time since its creation in 2012. As a reminder, the Fed will now target not merely a 2 percent rate of inflation, but an average inflation rate of 2 percent, which allows overshooting after the periods of undershooting. So, the Fed will try to compensate for periods of low inflation with periods of high inflation . Hence, on average , we will see a more accessible monetary policy and higher inflation – Good news for the gold bulls.
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.
Before I wade into my Q4 strategy analysis, I have to tell you that prior to last Tuesday’s “debate”, I was leaning toward a “neutral” investment strategy largely based upon the 2016 outcome where heavily-favoured Hillary Clinton was upset by the Trump Train at the last hour and in direct opposition to what EVERY poll was predicting. I have a theory about the 2016 election and just exactly WHY the pollsters got it so completely wrong. I will explain.
Precious metals markets are advancing this week as a massive new stimulus bill makes its way through Congress.
On Thursday evening the House of Representatives passed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill on a party line vote.
It’s a big deal whenever Congress commits to spending that kind of cash, especially when it’s money that has to be borrowed into existence. These days, though, it’s not that unusual for Washington to dole out trillions of dollars at a time.
Note: all references to inflation are of the quantity of money and not to the effect on prices unless otherwise indicated.
In last week’s article I showed why empirical evidence of fiat money collapses are relevant to monetary conditions today. In this article I explain why the purchasing power of the dollar is hostage to foreign sellers, and that if the Fed continues with current monetary policies the dollar will follow the same fate as John Law’s livre in 1720. As always in these situations, there is little public understanding of money and the realisation that monetary policy is designed to tax people for the benefit of their government will come as an unpleasant shock. The speed at which state money then collapses in its utility will be swift. This article concentrates on the US dollar, central to other fiat currencies, and where the monetary and financial imbalances are greatest.
For the week ending September 25, 2020:
- Gold (COMEX) was down $95 to $1,858.
- Silver was down $4.03 to $23.09. Yikes!
- The DOW was down 483 to 27,174.
- Tesla stock was down $34 to $407. Its all-time high was $502.
- John Mauldin expects $50 trillion in national debt by 2030.
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.
This article examines two inflationary experiences in the past in an attempt to predict the likely outcome of today’s monetary policies. The German hyperinflation of 1923 demonstrated that it took surprisingly little monetary inflation to collapse the purchasing power of the paper mark. This is relevant to the fate of the “whatever it takes” inflationary policies of today’s governments and their central banks. The management of John Law’s Mississippi bubble, when he used paper money to rig the market is precisely what central bank policy is aimed at achieving today. By binding the fate of the currency to that of financial assets, as John Law proved, it is the currency that is destroyed.
In an ephemeral world, few things survive. I am not talking about species or human beings whose existence on earth is also transitory. Instead I am referring to social and financial systems which are now coming to an end.
In July 2009 I wrote an article called The Dark Years Are Here. It was reprinted again in September 2018.
Here is an extract from my original article:
“The Dark Years will be extremely severe for most countries both financially and socially. In many countries in the Western world there will be a severe depression and it will be the end of the welfare state. Most private and state pension schemes are also likely to collapse. It will be a worldwide depression but some countries may only have a deep recession. There will be famine, homelessness and misery resulting in social as well as political unrest. Different type of government leaders and regimes are likely to result from this.
How long will the Dark Years last? There is a book called ”The Fourth Turning” written by Neil Howe.
Gold and silver investors who were hoping Wednesday’s FOMC meeting would be a catalyst for a major breakout move were largely disappointed.
The metals complex didn’t see an immediate boost from the Federal Reserve’s dovish policy meeting. Still, the central bank’s commitment to an accommodative monetary policy is set to play out not just over the course of a week, but of years to come.
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced it would continue to hold its benchmark interest rate near zero. That came as no surprise.
However, the extent of the Fed’s commitment to avoid any rate hikes in the future raised the eyebrows of many veteran observers of monetary policy. Not only did members of the central banking cartel vow to keep rates down for the remainder of the year. They also signaled there would be no rate hikes in 2021.
In the wake of the Fed’s promise of 23 March to print money without limit in order to rescue the covid-stricken US economy, China changed its policy of importing industrial materials to a more aggressive stance. In examining the rationale behind this move, this article concludes that while there are sound geopolitical reasons behind it the monetary effect will be to drive down the dollar’s purchasing power, and that this is already happening. More recently, a veiled threat has emerged that China could dump all her US Treasury and agency bonds if the relationship with America deteriorates further. This appears to be a cover for China to reduce her dollar exposure more aggressively. The consequences are a primal threat to the Fed’s policy of escalating monetary policy while maintaining the dollar’s status in the foreign exchanges.
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 U.S. stock market plunged last week. Will gold follow suit?
Last week, the U.S. stock market has seen strong selling activity. The S&P 500 Index has declined about 7 percent from its peak, while the Nasdaq Composite Index plunged more than 10 percent (entering a correction territory), below 11,000, as the chart below shows. It was the tech sector’s worst drop since the end of March, if not the quickest correction ever.
There can be little doubt that macroeconomic policies are failing around the world. The fallacies being exposed are so entrenched that there are bound to be twists and turns yet to come.
This article explains the fallacies behind inflation, deflation, economic performance and interest rates. They arise from the modern states’ overriding determination to access the wealth of its electorate instead of being driven by a genuine and considered concern for its welfare. Monetary inflation, which has become runaway, transfers wealth to the state from producers and consumers, and is about to accelerate. Everything about macroeconomics is now with that single economically destructive objective in mind.
By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle
I just finished with one of my readers, Bob Unger, and I thought Bob’s questions led to a well-rounded expression of how, over the past two years, our economy got to the collapse we are in now, how predictable the Federal Reserve’s policy changes and failures were, why economic recovery has stalled, and why the stock market was certain to crash twice this year, including why the second crash would likely hit around September.
I’ve found Bob’s interviews with others interesting, so I recommend checking out his YouTube page. I had no idea where the interview below would go, but it wound up encapsulating my main themes for the past two years:
(Other interviews I’ve done are linked in the right side bar where I usually just let people stumble onto them on their own.)
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.
Since posting new record highs in early August, the gold market has consolidated above $1,900/oz support.
A close below the $1,900 level would carry bearish implications for the near term.
Alternatively, a move back above $2,000/oz would likely be followed through to the upside with a rally to fresh highs. Silver, in turn, could be expected to run to new multi-year highs above $30/oz.
If you think that price inflation runs at about 1.6% you have fallen for the BLS’s CPI myth. Two independent analysts using different methods — the Chapwood Index and Shadowstats.com — prove that prices are rising at a far faster rate, more like 10% annually and have been doing so since 2010.
This article discusses the consequences of price inflation suppression, particularly in the light of Jerome Powell’s Jackson Hole speech when he downgraded the importance of price inflation in the Fed’s policy objectives in favour of targeting employment.
It concludes that the reconciliation between the BLS CPI figure and the true rate of price inflation is inevitable and will be catastrophic for the Fed’s policy of suppressing interest rates, its maximisation of the “wealth effect” of inflated financial asset prices, and for the dollar itself.
I’ve been saying the stock market will take a turn for the worst sometime between mid-August and October. Numerous market metrics now show a market that looks ready to turn over. The bear may soon be back in charge.
The futility of trying to stop the stampeding herd and the Fed fallacy
When I pointed out last January that the market was more perilously overpriced than ever and imminently ready to crash, the stock market took one of its most spectacular dives in history just a month later. (See: “Stock Market More Overpriced and Perilous Than Anytime in History.”)
Fed adopts a new strategy that opens the door for higher inflation. The change is fundamentally positive for gold prices.
So, it happened! In line with market expectations, the Fed has changed its monetary policy framework into a more dovish one! This is something we warned our Readers in our last Fundamental Gold Report:
the Fed could change how it defines and achieves its inflation goal, trying, for example, to achieve its inflation target as an average over a longer time period rather than on an annual basis.
As the Federal Reserve embarks on a new campaign to raise inflation rates, markets may be in for a change in character.
On Wednesday, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell announced that the central bank would be targeting an inflation “average” of 2%. By the Fed’s measures, inflation has been running below 2% in recent years. So, getting to a 2% average in the years ahead will require above 2% inflation for a significant period.
Here’s Powell attempting to explain himself from central bankers’ virtual Jackson Hole conference:
Those in favor of Judy Shelton’s approval by Congress, pursuant to her nomination to the Federal Reserve Board Of Governors, should not be surprised by the torrent of criticism directed at her.
A letter published and signed by former Federal Reserve officials and staffers called on the Senate to reject her nomination, stating that “Ms. Shelton’s views are so extreme and ill-considered as to be an unnecessary distraction from the tasks at hand…”
Her “extreme” views were referred to in a general statement of condemnation:
The hype and hope being promulgated by Wall Street and D.C. is that the imminent and well-advertised approval of vaccines will bring the economy back to what they characterize as its pre-pandemic state of health. However, even if these prophylactics are very efficient in controlling the pandemic and lead the economy back to “normal”, the state of the economy was anything but normal and healthy prior to the Wuhan outbreak.
The year over year change in GDP in the fourth quarter of 2020 from the trailing 12 months was just 2.3%. Admittedly, this wasn’t indicative of a terrible economy; but it also was very far from what many have portrayed as the best economy anyone has ever seen on the planet. Most importantly, to even get to that rather pedestrian level of just trend GDP growth for the year, the Fed had to slash interest rates three times in the five months prior to the start of 2020. And, please also remember that the Fed felt it necessary to return to Quantitative Easing (QE) in order to re-liquify the entire banking system and save the markets from crashing.
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.
As the federal government continues to bailout the economy and markets by creating trillions of unbacked pieces of paper and electronic digits, a handful of Congressmen hope to shine a new spotlight on the devastating effects of this runaway financial profligacy.
Congressman Warren Davidson (R-OH) recently announced the creation of the Congressional Sound Money Caucus. According to Congressman Davidson’s office, the caucus exists to promote sound fiscal and monetary policy in the United States with the goal of preserving the purchasing power of the U.S. Federal Reserve Note.
The disruptions caused by the pandemic of Covid-19 forced people, companies, governments, and organizations to challenge their basis assumptions about their ways of life and conduct. Some of them might be trivial such as more frequent and thorough hand-washing, but others are much more important, amongst them putting more emphasis on health that came suddenly under threat and social relationships that were so missing during the quarantine. So, the key question is when the epidemic is fully contained, what will be the “new normal” – and how it will affect the gold market?
The first characteristic feature of the post-pandemic world will be more people working and getting things done from home. The digital transformation has already started before the coronavirus jumped on human beings, but the Covid-19 epidemic has accelerated its pace, with further expansion in videoconferencing, online teaching, e-commerce, telemedicine, and fintech. After all these long years, it turned out that all these boring meetings really could have been e-mails or chats via Zoom, Skype or Teams. What does it mean for the economy and society?
Downturns in bank credit expansion always lead to systemic problems. We are on the edge of such a downturn, which thanks to everyone’s focus on the coronavirus, is unexpected.
We can now identify 23 March as the date when markets stopped worrying about deflation and realised that monetary inflation is the certain outlook. That day, the Fed promised unlimited monetary stimulus for both consumers and businesses, and the dollar began to fall.
The commercial banks everywhere are massively leveraged and their exposure to bad debts and a cyclical banking crisis is now certain to wipe many of them out. In this article we look at the global systemically important banks — the G-SIBs — as proxy for all commercial banks and identify the ones most at risk on a market-based analysis.
On Monday, the price of silver continued its epic skyrocket. We say this without hyperbole, this kind of price action does not happen every day. Or every year. It occurs perhaps once a decade. And the same can be said for Monetary Metals writing so many articles about silver in the span of a week!
So we wrote yet another article, showing that the fundamentals are keeping up, even though the price was rising (the hallmark of the last decade has been that rising abundance occurs with rising price—price brings more metal out of private hoards).
But before it could go live (it was written Monday night), the price was already moving down. And, holy cow, did it move down!
From $29, it dropped to under $25. About -14%.
Measured by the common man, we’re on the road to ruin. The US has been in decline for decades, but you can’t see that by looking at stocks. You can’t tell it from those who lie about the economy to make their living, but look at long-term real numbers, and you see an empire in decline that just got its wobbly legs kicked out by COVID-19.
The clamor of false profits
Listen to the kinds of false narratives being spun to claim the economy is largely recovering. Call it the relentless and unrealistic belief in a V-shaped recovery narrative or whatever you want to call it, but the nonsense is still flourishing, though not the economy.
For a long time, pundits talked excitedly about the rapid, V-shaped recovery. I never shared this view, finding it too optimistic and without basis in reality. Like Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park, I hate being right all the time, but it really seems that I was right about this issue. According to the July World Flash report by IHS Markit, we can read that “the new wave of infections has reduced the probability of a V-shaped cycle (…) and increased the risk of a double-dip recession (W-shaped cycle).”
The problem is the rising number of Covid-19 infections in large economies such as Brazil, India, or the United States, as the chart below shows (there is also the resurgence in cases in other countries, such as Australia or Japan, although the absolute numbers of infections are smaller).