Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.War on Cash, Bank of England Planning Hyper QE, Scrapping Cash for Digital Currency - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Stock Market End Run Smash Crash Looks Imminent... - Clive_Maund
3.Europe Refugee Crisis, UK to Repatriate 120,000 Hungarian Economic Migrants Back to Hungary - Nadeem_Walayat
4.The Great Deflation Will Destroy All Bubbles – These Too - Harry_Dent
5.Deflation Signals Abound for U.S. Dollar, Forex Markets and Commodities - Rambus_Chartology
6.U.S. Housing Market Two Outs in The Bottom of The Ninth - James_Quinn
7.Poland, Czech, Slovakia and Hungary Refugee Hypocrisy After Flooding UK with 4 Million Economic Migrants - Nadeem_Walayat
8.The Two Real Reasons Crude Oil Prices Are Currently Slipping - Dr. Kent Moors
9.R.I.P. Interest Rates - Andrew Snyder
10.Steps from a Deep October Stock Market Selloff - Bob_Loukas
Last 5 days
A Key Oil Price Trend That Everyone Is Missing - 6th Oct 15
Stock Market Turn Appears to Have Been Made - 6th Oct 15
Designing a Dividend Growth Portfolio for a Specific Retirement Yield Objective - 6th Oct 15
Peter Schiff Predicts Gold Price Breakout - Video - 6th Oct 15
Theresa May Declares War on Immigration - Conference Speech Full Transcript - 6th Oct 15
Is Russia Plotting To Bring Down OPEC? - 6th Oct 15
Target Date Funds As Aid In Retirement Investment Portfolio Design - 6th Oct 15
Stocks Bear Market Apocalypse Imminent Crash Gets Nuked Again - 6th Oct 15
Redesigning Internet and Facebook to Explore Their Full Potentialities... - 5th Oct 15
Nightshades Curb Your Enthusiasm - 5th Oct 15
U.S. Recession Watch, High-Yield – Rising Defaults - 5th Oct 15
The Social Challenge to Find Humanity in Capitalism - 5th Oct 15
Fed Interest Rate Hike: "I don't care. It doesn't really make much of a difference" - 5th Oct 15
Gold Rose 2.2%, Silver Surged 5.4% After Poor Jobs Number On Friday - 5th Oct 15
Gold, Silver Precious Metals: a Critical Week Ahead - 5th Oct 15
Stock Market Correction Still in Force - 5th Oct 15
Gold Price Change in Character - 5th Oct 15
Putin’s Blitz Leaves Washington Rankled and Confused - 4th Oct 15
More Selling for Stock Market, Gold? - 4th Oct 15
Gold And Silver – A Reality Check - 3rd Oct 15
Stock Market Primary IV Still, or Primary V Underway? - 3rd Oct 15
The Oil Industry’s Day of Reckoning - 3rd Oct 15
U.S. Interest Rate Hikes Keep On Slippin' Into the Future; Treasury Yields Sink Again - 3rd Oct 15
China's Stock Market Crashing; Time for Panic or Restraint - 3rd Oct 15
SPX Stocks Bulls Struggle to Regain the Upper hand... - 2nd Oct 15
The Two Faces of Stock Market Volatility - 2nd Oct 15
Money Supply and the Fed’s Serious Inflation Risks - 2nd Oct 15
Stock Market How Bad Can This Get, And How Fast? - 2nd Oct 15
A Worrying Set Of Recession Signals - 2nd Oct 15
Negative Jobs Report Sents SPX, TNX Lower - 2nd Oct 15
Don't be Fooled by the Recent Equity market Rallies. Its a Bear Market, Stupid! - 2nd Oct 15
US Bond Market - How to Fix This - 2nd Oct 15
Survival Secrets from Colorado Resource Investing Front Lines - 2nd Oct 15
What Two Risks From Rising Interest-Rates Could Each Trigger A New Global Crisis? - 1st Oct 15
Stock Market S&P 500 Volatility-Based Price Probability Range - 1st Oct 15
Dow Stock Market About To Crash Like October 1929? Get Your Physical Silver - 1st Oct 15
Stock Market Negative Expectations Once Again - Will It Break Down? - 1st Oct 15
Advice for Biotech Investors: 'Hold Your Powder' 'til Winter - 1st Oct 15
Best Short-Term Commodity Market Opportunities - Video - 1st Oct 15

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

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


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

Puru Saxena

Website –

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.

© 2005-2015 - 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

Biggest Debt Bomb in History