Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.US Paving the Way for Massive First Strike on North Korea Nuclear and Missile Infrastructure - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Trump Reset: US War With China, North Korea Nuclear Flashpoint - Video - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Silver Junior Mining Stocks 2017 Q2 Fundamentals - Zeal_LLC
4.Soaring Inflation Plunges UK Economy Into Stagflation, Triggers Government Pay Cap Panic! - Nadeem_Walayat
5.The Bitcoin Blueprint To Your Financial Freedom - Sean Keyes
6.North Korea 'Begging for War', 'Enough is Enough', is a US Nuclear Strike Imminent? - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Bitcoin Hits All-Time High and Smashes Through $5,000 As Gold Shows Continued Strength - Jeff_Berwick
8.2017 is NOT "Just Another Year" for the Stock Market: Here's Why - EWI
9.Gold : The Anatomy of the Bottoming Process - Rambus_Chartology
10.Bitcoin Falls 20% as Mobius and Chinese Regulators Warn - GoldCore
Last 7 days
Comfortably Numb: Surviving the Assault on Silver - 17th Oct 17
Are Amey Street Tree Felling's Devaluing Sheffield House Prices? - 17th Oct 17
12 Real-Life Techniques That Will Make You a Better Trader Now - 17th Oct 17
Warren Buffett Predicting Dow One Million - Being Bold Or Overly Cautious? - 17th Oct 17
Globalization is Poverty - 17th Oct 17
Boomers Are Not Saving Enough for Retirement, Neither Is the Government - 16th Oct 17
Stock Market Trading Dow Theory - 16th Oct 17
Stocks Slightly Higher as They Set New Record Highs - 16th Oct 17
Why is Big Data is so Important for Casino Player Acquisition and Retention - 16th Oct 17
How Investors Can Play The Bitcoin Boom - 16th Oct 17
Who Will Be the Next Fed Chief - And Why It Matters  - 16th Oct 17
Stock Market Only Minor Top Ahead - 16th Oct 17
Precious Metals Sector is on Major Buy Signal - 16th Oct 17
Really Bad Ideas - The Fed Should Have And Defend An Inflation Target - 16th Oct 17
The Bullish Chartology for Gold - 15th Oct 17
Wikileaks Mocking US Government Over Bitcoin Shows Why There Is No Stopping Bitcoin - 15th Oct 17
How to Wipe Out Puerto Rico's Debt Without Hurting Bondholders - 15th Oct 17
Gold And Silver – Think Prices Are Manipulated? Look In The Mirror! - 15th Oct 17
Q4 Pivot View for Stocks and Gold - 14th Oct 17
Gold Mining Stocks Q3’17 Preview - 14th Oct 17
U.S. Mint Gold Coin Sales and VIX Point To Increased Market Volatility and Higher Gold - 14th Oct 17
Yuan and Gold - 14th Oct 17
Tips for Avoiding a Debt Meltdown - 14th Oct 17
Bitcoin Hits New All-Time High Above $5,000 As Lagarde Concedes Defeat and Jamie Demon Shuts Up - 13th Oct 17
Golden Age for GOLD, Dark Age for the Stock Market - 13th Oct 17
The Struggle for Bolivia Is About to Begin - 13th Oct 17
3 Reasons to Take Your Invoicing Process Mobile - 13th Oct 17
What Happens When Amey Fells All of a Streets Trees (Sheffield Tree Fellings) - Video - 13th Oct 17
Stock Market Charts Show Smart Money And Dumb Money Are Moving In Opposite Directions—Here’s Why - 12th Oct 17
Your Pension Is a Lie: There’s $210 Trillion of Liabilities Our Government Can’t Fulfill - 12th Oct 17
Two Highly Recommended Books from Bob Prechter - 12th Oct 17
Turning Point Nations On The Stage - 11th Oct 17
The Profoundly Personal Impact Of The National Debt On Our Retirements - 11th Oct 17
Gold and Silver Report – Several Interesting Charts - 10th Oct 17
London House Prices Are Falling – Time to Buckle Up - 10th Oct 17
The S&P Is A Bloated Corpse - 10th Oct 17
Are Gold and the US Dollar Rallying Together? - 10th Oct 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

3 Videos + 8 Charts = Opportunities You Need to See - Free

Drowning in Debt Developed Economies Between Rock and a Hard Place

Economics / Global Debt Crisis Apr 07, 2010 - 04:02 AM GMT

By: Puru_Saxena

Economics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe developed nations are over-extended, their debt levels are ballooning and their governments are creating copious amounts of money.  Put simply, most industrialised nations are now caught between a rock and a hard place.

After years of excesses, the developed world is slowly beginning to realise that you cannot continue to live beyond your means and spend your way to prosperity. 


Today, US national debt stands just north of US$12 trillion, its fiscal deficit for this year alone should come in around US$1.6 trillion and the nation faces mind-boggling deficits for as far as the eye can see.  Furthermore, demand for US government debt has begun to wane and this implies that the Federal Reserve will have to resort to creating even more money over the following years. 

Make no mistake; the US cannot afford higher interest-rates and in order to keep a lid on the government bond yields, we are convinced that the Federal Reserve will resort to debt monetisation.  In other words, the central bank will create new dollars in order to fund the deficits.  Needless to say, this money-creation will be extremely dilutive and end up undermining the viability of the world’s reserve currency. 

If our assessment is correct, within the course of this decade, the interest-payments on the existing government debt will become so large that the US Treasury will need to issue new debt just so that it can keep paying interest on its outstanding debt.  When that happens, you be sure that foreigners will not be eager buyers of US government debt. Therefore, the Federal Reserve will have to create additional money, just to keep the Ponzi-scheme going.  And when all else fails, the US will simply debase its currency, thereby repaying its creditors in significantly depreciated dollars.

Although our prognosis may sound far-fetched, we want to remind you that throughout history, currency debasement has been the norm rather than the exception.  Let us put it simply, the US is now left with three options:

  • Sovereign default (unimaginable)
  • Severe economic contraction (unlikely)
  • Currency debasement (most probable)

For the risk of being thrown out of power, the policymakers will certainly not admit to an outright sovereign default. For such an event would cause a revolution within the US and shock-waves throughout the economy.  So, this drastic measure can be ruled out. 

Next, we are also sure that policymakers in the US will not swallow the bitter pill and pursue sound monetary policies, so this option is also out of the question. 

Finally, it is obvious to us that policymakers in the US will have no hesitation in opting for the inflation pill.  By diluting the supply of money and eventually debasing their currency, policymakers in the US will create the illusion of prosperity via rising nominal asset prices.

Unfortunately, severe monetary inflation and currency debasement is likely to occur not only in the US but in most developed nations.  Remember, a host of nations such as Japan, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal and the UK are also swimming in an ocean of debt.  Moreover, their populations are ageing and this will put further pressure on these countries’ finances. 

So, in this ‘new era’, whereby most of the ‘advanced’ economies are on the edge of bankruptcy, various paper currencies will come under close scrutiny.  Now, if all these rogue nations decide to inflate and debase, then this basket of paper money will depreciate against hard assets such as gold.  It is worth noting that during times of economic uncertainty when confidence in financial assets is low, gold always assumes the role of a currency.  This has happened since the beginning of time and history will probably repeat again.  When investors try and protect the purchasing power of their savings and gold is re-monetised, its price will sky-rocket.

Another reason why you should own some gold is the looming inflation threat.  Remember, in an effort to prop-up the banking system, central banks in most nations pumped trillions of dollars into the economy and this newly created money is now sitting as excess reserves.  So far, these excess bank reserves have not permeated through the economy, but when they do, prices will surge and gold will serve as a store of value.

Although currency debasement and inflation are good enough reasons to hold on to some gold, the biggest bullish factor is that real (inflation-adjusted) interest-rates are now negative in most nations.  Thanks to the central banks’ reflationary efforts, short-term interest rates today are way below the official inflation rate. Therefore, holding cash is now a loss-making proposition and thus, seasoned investors are turning to gold.

On the supply side of the equation, it is worth noting that central-banks have now become net buyers of gold.  After years of selling bullion, the public sector has done an about face and this is very positive for the yellow metal.  Currently, the creditor nations in Asia are sitting on mountains of foreign exchange reserves and in an effort to diversify out of paper, they will surely add to their gold holdings.  Recently, we have seen China and India buy huge amounts of gold and you can bet your bottom dollar that they will continue to add to their tiny positions.

In summary, we maintain our view that gold is in a secular bull-market and every investor should own some bullion as an insurance policy.  At present, gold mining stocks are undervalued relative to gold bullion, so those seeking extra leverage should consider investing in dominant gold producers.  Finally, in our view, the high cost South-African gold producers which do not hedge their production offer the maximum leverage to gold. And at current prices, these companies are being given away.

Puru Saxena publishes Money Matters, a monthly economic report, which highlights extraordinary investment opportunities in all major markets.  In addition to the monthly report, subscribers also receive “Weekly Updates” covering the recent market action. Money Matters is available by subscription from www.purusaxena.com

Puru Saxena

Website – www.purusaxena.com

Puru Saxena is the founder of Puru Saxena Wealth Management, his Hong Kong based firm which manages investment portfolios for individuals and corporate clients.  He is a highly showcased investment manager and a regular guest on CNN, BBC World, CNBC, Bloomberg, NDTV and various radio programs.

Copyright © 2005-2010 Puru Saxena Limited.  All rights reserved.


© 2005-2017 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - 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

Catching a Falling Financial Knife