Wake up and smell the coffee:
December 17, 2008
Wake up and smell the coffee:
December 17, 2008
u beat me to it, i was about to post the link
There’s always an angle huh?
Well, there’s nothing wrong with that I don’t think he needs the money.
He has to put it in book form because the dolts that he bothers dealing with on Faux News amongst others, keep cutting him off. And they’ve all been wrong. I don’t know why he bothers.
He’s been very strident about the decline of the dollar for a long time now. Plenty of clips on YouTube going back over 12 months and more.
Just check out some book reviews on Amazon.
While he might have been right about the credit crunch, Peter Schiff has an awful narrow and singular approach to investing. He threw all his money into the metal commodities market when it had clearly bubbled.
with all the bad news its worth having a look a look at this
December 29, 2008
January 7, 2009
January 9, 2009
The Fed’s Bubble Trouble
A few weeks ago when the Fed announced a strategy designed to bring down long-term interest and home mortgage rates through unlimited Treasury bond purchases, government debt staged a spectacular rally. To the unschooled market observer, the spike may be difficult to understand. After all, why would the value of Treasury bonds rise while their underlying credit quality is deteriorating faster than Bernie Madoff’s social schedule? The move is actually a perfect illustration of the tried and true Wall Street strategy of “buy the rumor and sell the fact”.
If it is well known that Fed will be a big purchaser of Treasuries, those buying now will be positioned to unload their holdings when the buying spree begins. If the Fed pays higher prices in the future, traders can earn riskless speculative profits. If the traders lever up their positions, as many are likely doing, even small profits can turn unto huge windfalls.
The downside of course, is that all of the demand for Treasuries is artificial. Treasuries are now in the hands of speculators looking to sell, not investors looking to hold. These players are analogous to the mid-decade condo-flippers who flocked to new developments for quick profits. They did not intend to occupy their properties, but rather flip them to future buyers. Once these properties came back on the market, condo prices collapsed, as developers were forced to compete for new sales with their former customers.
This is precisely what will happen with Treasuries. Just as the U.S. government issues mountains of new debt to finance the multi-trillion annual deficits planned by the Obama Administration, speculative holders of existing debt will be offering their bonds for sale as well. In order to prevent a complete collapse in the bond prices the Fed will be forced to significantly increase its buying.
However, since the only way the Fed can buy bonds is by printing money, the more bonds they buy the more inflation they will create. As inflation diminishes the investment value of low-yielding Treasuries, such a scenario will kick off a downward spiral. But the more active the Fed becomes in their quest to prop up bond prices, the bigger the incentive to hit the Fed’s bid. The result will be that all Treasuries sold will be purchased by the Fed. But with the resulting frenzy in the Treasury market, and with inflation kicking into high gear, we can expect that demand for other debt classes that the Fed is not backstopping, such as corporate, municipal and agency debt, to fall through the floor, pushing up interest rates across the board.
In order to “save” the economy from these high rates the Fed will then have to expand its purchases to include all forms of debt. If that happens, run-away inflation will quickly turn into hyper-inflation, and our currency will be worthless and our economy left in ruins.
To avoid this nightmare scenario, the Fed should pull out of the bond market before it’s too late and let prices fall to where real buyers, those willing to hold to maturity, re-enter the market. Given how high inflation will likely be by the time this happens, my guess is that long-term Treasury yields will have to rise well into the double digits to clear the market.
But we should know that the bursting of the bond market bubble will have even more dire consequences than the bursting of prior bubbles in stocks and real estate. Significantly higher interest rates and inflation that will result will severely compound the current problems. Imagine how much worse our economy would be if we faced double digit interest rates? In addition, not only will homeowners be confronted with record high mortgage rates, but the Government will be staring at trillion dollar annual interest payments on the national debt, making interest by far the single largest line item in the Federal budget. Just like homeowners who relied on teaser rates, the Government will face a similar problem when all its low-yielding short-term debt matures.
The grim reality of course is that when the real estate bubble burst the Government was able to “bail-out” private parties. However, when the bond market bubble bursts, it will be the U.S. Government itself that will be in need of the mother of all bailouts. If U.S. taxpayers or foreign creditors are unwilling or unable to pony up, and if the nightmare hyper-inflation scenario is to be avoided, default will be the only option. If misery really does love company, Bernie Madoff’s clients might finally find some comfort.
January 16, 2009
Credit Where Credit is Due
This week, in a speech before the London School of Economics, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke offered a perverse economic theory in his quest to gather support for never-ending Wall Street bailouts; “This disparate treatment, unappealing as it is, appears unavoidable. Our economic system is critically dependent on the free flow of credit, and the consequences for the broader economy of financial instability are thus powerful and quickly felt.” In other words, credit is the lifeblood of our economy, and the continued operation of credit providers is an issue of national security.
In truth, not all economies run on credit. But over the last decade, the United States became a bubble economy that needed unlimited credit to keep from collapsing. In a legitimate economy, it is not credit that fuels spending and investment, but simply income and savings. It’s too bad our Fed chairman does not understand the difference.
That American families now routinely rely on credit to make every-day purchases is a habit that needs to be broken and not encouraged. What we need in America is more restraint and less indulgence. For example, Americans in the current economy should not go into debt to buy new cars. Given the level of debt that weighs down the typical family, Americans should defer such purchases until they have paid down existing debt, or replenished their savings to the point where they can afford to pay cash. Until that time, Americans should continue driving their old cars. In the meantime, the untapped savings could be made available to local businesses that would use it to finance badly needed capital investments.
But such a drastic reversal in financial culture represents the kind of change that no one in the outgoing or incoming Administrations appears willing to consider. By providing perpetual support to lenders who have bankrupted themselves through bad loans, the government merely guarantees that bad economic behavior will continue.
Credit is indeed vital to an economy, but it does not constitute an economy within itself. The important thing to remember is that credit is scarce, and is limited by the stock of savings. Savings loaned to one individual is not available to be loaned to another until it is repaid. If it is never repaid, the savings are lost. Loans to consumers not only crowd out more productive loans that might have been made to business, but they have a far greater likelihood of ending in default. In addition, while business loans increase our capital stock and lead to greater productivity, loans made to consumers are merely spent, and do not create conditions that will make repayment easier. When businesses borrow to fund capital investments, the extra cash flows that result are used to repay the loans. When individuals borrow to spend, loans can only be repaid out of reduced future consumption.
One of the reasons we are in such dire straits is that consumers have already borrowed and spent too much. Many did so based on the false belief that ever-appreciating real estate would ultimately provide the means to repay their debts and finance their lifestyles. Now that reality has finally set in, why should the spending spree continue? The fact that a GDP comprised of 70 percent of consumption is currently contracting should not surprise anyone. In fact, such a contraction is long overdue and the government should not do anything to interfere.
In trying to perpetuate the illusion, the government wants to revive the spending spree that has led us to this disaster. But how can such actions possibly help? How will more debt improve the economy? Wouldn’t our circumstances be vastly improved if we paid off some of our debts and replenished our savings? Wouldn’t we be in better shape if instead of buying more stuff we concentrated on producing it?
The unpleasant reality is that years of bad monetary and fiscal policy have over encumbered our economy with debt and undermined our industrial capacity. The sooner we can begin to repair the damages, the sooner we can right the ship. If instead we merely administer more of the same, the ship will sink in a sea of inflation.
Mr. Schiff is president of Euro Pacific Capital and author of “The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets”
January 15, 2009
January 21, 2009John Browne
January 23, 2009
his father is in jail for not paying taxes=? wtf
Yup, He’s a tax protestor - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irwin_Schiff
Not sure if this has been covered before, but with the apparent collapse of the dollar on the horizon/massive US inflation, will the only 2 English speaking countries of the EU see a massive influx of American’s looking for jobs?
this guy Shedlock advises people on how to invest their $$$