Most Popular
1. It’s a New Macro, the Gold Market Knows It, But Dead Men Walking Do Not (yet)- Gary_Tanashian
2.Stock Market Presidential Election Cycle Seasonal Trend Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
3. Bitcoin S&P Pattern - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Nvidia Blow Off Top - Flying High like the Phoenix too Close to the Sun - Nadeem_Walayat
4.U.S. financial market’s “Weimar phase” impact to your fiat and digital assets - Raymond_Matison
5. How to Profit from the Global Warming ClImate Change Mega Death Trend - Part1 - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Bitcoin Gravy Train Trend Forecast 2024 - - Nadeem_Walayat
8.The Bond Trade and Interest Rates - Nadeem_Walayat
9.It’s Easy to Scream Stocks Bubble! - Stephen_McBride
10.Fed’s Next Intertest Rate Move might not align with popular consensus - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
Micro Strategy Bubble Mania - 10th May 24
Biden's Bureau of Labor Statistics is Cooking Jobs Reports - 10th May 24
Bitcoin Price Swings Analysis - 9th May 24
Could Chinese Gold Be the Straw That Breaks the Dollar's Back? - 9th May 24
The Federal Reserve Is Broke! - 9th May 24
The Elliott Wave Crash Course - 9th May 24
Psychologically Prepared for Bitcoin Bull Market Bubble MANIA Rug Pull Corrections 2024 - 8th May 24
Why You Should Pay Attention to This Time-Tested Stock Market Indicator Now - 8th May 24
Copper: The India Factor - 8th May 24
Gold 2008 and 2022 All Over Again? Stocks, USDX - 8th May 24
Holocaust Survivor States Israel is Like Nazi Germany, The Fourth Reich - 8th May 24
Fourth Reich Invades Rafah Concentration Camp To Kill Palestinian Children - 8th May 24
Banxe Reviews: Revolutionising Financial Transactions with Innovative Solutions - 3rd May 24
MRNA - The beginning of the end of cancer? - 3rd May 24
The Future of Gaming: What's Coming Next? - 3rd May 24
What is A Split Capital Investment Trust? - 3rd May 24
AI Tech Stocks Earnings Season Stock Market Correction Opportunities - 29th Apr 24
The Federal Reserve's $34.5 Trillion Problem - 29th Apr 24
Inflation Still Runs Hot, Gold and Silver Prices Stabilize - 29th Apr 24
GOLD, OIL and WHEAT STOCKS - 29th Apr 24
Is Bitcoin Still an Asymmetric Opportunity? - 29th Apr 24
AI Tech Stocks Earnings Season Opportunities - 28th Apr 24
S&P Stock Market Detailed Trend Forecast Into End 2024 - 25th Apr 24
US Presidential Election Year Equity Performance in the Presence of an Inverted Yield Curve- 25th Apr 24
Stock Market "Bullish Buzz" Reaches Highest Level in 53 Years - 25th Apr 24

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Shifting Sands of Foreign Economic Policy Impacting on America's Shores

Economics / Government Intervention Aug 13, 2009 - 02:41 AM GMT

By: John_Browne


The monstrous typhoon that pounded away at coastal areas of the Pacific last weekend certainly qualified as a disaster for anyone who happened to be in its path. But for those of us safely in bed, the storm not only provided some remarkable meteorological footage, but also a stealth lesson in economics.

The most dramatic image, which involved a water torrent sucking away the sand beneath a stoutly built six-story hotel, struck me as an apt metaphor for the current economic environment. As the hotel’s foundations became exposed, the building toppled over like a massive domino. It was a vivid reminder that no structure, no matter how mighty, is safe if its foundation is weak.

Since the financial deluge erupted last year, the authorities, at least in the United States, have concentrated their repair efforts on the upper floors of our economy, and have virtually ignored the rotting foundation beneath.

Since 1971, when President Nixon broke the last link between gold and the U.S. dollar, American politicians have unleashed an ever-increasing number of entitlement projects designed to boost consumerism. With some 70 percent of our economy now based on consumption, we can safely say they accomplished their aim.

Following Alan Greenspan’s financing of the largest asset boom in the history of the Fed, America now faces massive deleveraging and a severe recession. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that neither the Obama Administration nor Congress have the slightest appetite for the political costs of deleveraging. Instead, the government has decided to lavish unprecedented trillions more of borrowed dollars on preventing a natural deleveraging from taking place.

Today, the official U.S. Treasury debt stands at a shocking $13 trillion, or 100 percent of the (declining) total wealth created in the United States each year (GDP). But total federal debt amounts to an almost unimaginable $56 trillion, or 4.3 times GDP.
Notwithstanding this precarious state of affairs, the government intends to spend trillions more dollars on wealth-consuming entitlement projects such as education, health care, auto sales, and the pursuit of fruitless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

America still has the largest economy in the world, but that doesn’t mean that it is the richest. Although Americans enjoy one of the world’s highest standards of living, they are also its largest debtors. As a result of the debt, which is subtracted from output, the worldwide rank of U.S. GDP is not first, as most would expect, but fifteenth!

For many years, two factors have prevented rank-and-file Americans from perceiving the weakness of our economic foundation. First, the international reserve status enjoyed by the U.S. dollar has delayed severe price erosion and allowed Americans to buy imports at a falsely advantageous price. Second, American living standards have long been heavily financed from abroad, most notably today by China.

The Chinese have recently expressed grave concerns about depreciation of their dollar-denominated assets and openly challenged the reserve status of the dollar. As Chinese support is vital to our currency’s continued viability, these threats are bound to exert downward pressure on the price of the dollar. In short, China is increasingly unwilling to finance America’s falsely high standard of living. If the Chinese pull out, where else can the U.S. turn?

Last week, in response to questions about the sustainability of Washington’s spending spree, Tim Geithner uttered one of the more ambiguous phrases ever from a sitting Treasury Secretary, saying, “the government will have to do what the government has to do.” His comments went unexplained and could have referred to massive future tax increases. More ominously, they could have hinted any measure from an extended “bank holiday,” to currency exchange controls, or even to a massive devaluation of the U.S. dollar (similar to the 75 percent devaluation instigated by Franklin Roosevelt in 1934).

Increasingly, it appears that the government is aware that its reckless expenditures will be financed less by foreigners and increasingly by current, and more importantly future, U.S. taxpayers – and potentially by a severe devaluation of the dollar.

It does not take a student of architecture to grasp that America’s very structure is becoming more and more vulnerable to the shifting sands of economic policy being made in foreign capitals, and blowing upon our shores.

For a more in depth analysis of our financial problems and the inherent dangers they pose for the U.S. economy and U.S. dollar denominated investments, read Peter Schiff's new book For an updated look at his investment strategy order a copy of his just released book " The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets ." Click here to order your copy now .

For a look back at how Peter predicted our current problems read the 2007 bestseller " Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse ." Click here to order a copy today .

By John Browne
Euro Pacific Capital

More importantly make sure to protect your wealth and preserve your purchasing power before it's too late. Discover the best way to buy gold at , download my free research report on the powerful case for investing in foreign equities available at , and subscribe to my free, on-line investment newsletter at

John Browne is the Senior Market Strategist for Euro Pacific Capital, Inc.  Mr. Brown is a distinguished former member of Britain's Parliament who served on the Treasury Select Committee, as Chairman of the Conservative Small Business Committee, and as a close associate of then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Among his many notable assignments, John served as a principal advisor to Mrs. Thatcher's government on issues related to the Soviet Union, and was the first to convince Thatcher of the growing stature of then Agriculture Minister Mikhail Gorbachev. As a partial result of Brown's advocacy, Thatcher famously pronounced that Gorbachev was a man the West "could do business with."  A graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Britain's version of West Point and retired British army major, John served as a pilot, parachutist, and communications specialist in the elite Grenadiers of the Royal Guard.

John_Browne Archive

© 2005-2022 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in