Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Is the Stocks Bull Market Over? Dow Trend Forecast into End January 2015 - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Gold and Silver Stocks Apocalypse Now, Bear Market Review - Rambus_Chartology
3.NHS Baldrick Plan to Spread Ebola Across UK - Sheffield, Newcastle, Liverpool, London Hospitals - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Ebola Terror Threat Suicide Bio-Weapons Threatens Multiple 9/11's, Global Plague - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Second-Richest Man Says Mortgages Now a "No Brainer" - Dr. Steve Sjuggerud
6.Gold And Silver Still No End In Sight - Michael_Noonan
7.NHS Baldrick Plan to Spread Ebola Across UK - Sheffield, Newcastle, Liverpool, London Hospitals - Nadeem_Walayat
8.The Gold Bug is Set to Bite Back - EWI
9.How Alibaba Could Capitalize on the EBay-PayPal Split - Frank_Holmes
10.The Consequences of the Economic Peace - John_Mauldin
Last 5 days
Focus on Graphite Companies with Green Energy and Technology Strategies - 22nd Oct 14
Crude Oil Price Hitting Bottom - 22nd Oct 14
Evidence of Another Even More Sweeping U.S. Housing Market Bust Already Starting to Appear - 22nd Oct 14
Gold Or Crushing Paper Debt Stocks Crash? - 22nd Oct 14
India Gold Demand Surges 450% and Bank of Russia Demand At 15 Year High - 22nd Oct 14
Bitcoin Stock Exchange Could Be "More Valuable than Alibaba" - 22nd Oct 14
Currency War - How to Profit from a Stronger U.S. Dollar - 22nd Oct 14
Banks Hold Treasuries and Make Loans- 22nd Oct 14
Gold and Silver Timing is Everything - 22nd Oct 14
Don't Get Ruined by These 10 Popular Investment Myths (Part VII) - 22nd Oct 14
Follow the Baby Boom to Biotech Stock Profits - 22nd Oct 14
Copper, Nickel and Zinc Won't Be Cheap for Long - 22nd Oct 14
How Will We Know That the Gold & Silver Price Bottom Is In? - 21st Oct 14
Is Gold as Dead as Florida Hurricanes? - 21st Oct 14
First Swiss Gold Poll Shows Pro-Gold Side In Lead At 45% - 21st Oct 14
The Similarities Between Germany and China - 21st Oct 14
The REAL Reason Why the Stock Market Turned Down - 21st Oct 14
Petrobras is a 'Scheme, Not a Stock' - 21st Oct 14
Stocks Bear Market Indicator Is Off the Mark - 20th Oct 14
Stock Market Ideal Turning Point is at Hand - 20th Oct 14
Investors Quit Complaining, The Environment is Perfect Right Now - 20th Oct 14
Ebola Armageddon Could Trigger a Rebirth in Gold and Silver Prices - 20th Oct 14
Gold vs Euro Risk Due To Possible Return of Italian Lira - Drachmas, Escudos, Pesetas and Punts? - 20th Oct 14
Stocks Rebounded Following Recent Sell-Off, But Will It Last? - 20th Oct 14
U.S. Responsible for West Africa Ebola Outbreak Says Liberian Scientist - 20th Oct 14
Stock Market Intermediate B Wave has Started - 20th Oct 14
Gold Stocks Analysis – FNV, CG, NCM, SBM - 19th Oct 14
Stock Market Primary IV Wave Counter Trend Rally - 19th Oct 14
Gold And Silver - Financial World: House Of Cards Built On Sand - 18th Oct 14
Anatomy of a Stock Market Sell-Off - 18th Oct 14
Why OPEC Has Declared an Oil War on Russia - 18th Oct 14
Gold and Silver Extreme Shorting Peaks - 18th Oct 14
Bitcoin Price Fall to $350? - 18th Oct 14
Tesco Supermarket Crisis Worse To Come as Customers Vanish! - 18th Oct 14
Sheffield Roma Crisis School Place Application's Fraud Perfect Storm - 17th Oct 14
Stock Markets, Commodities and Indicators - 17th Oct 14
“Save Our Swiss Gold ” - Game Changer For Gold? - 17th Oct 14
How to Trade the Ebola Stock Market Sell-Off - 17th Oct 14
When... Not if... Crude Oil Price Drops Below $70 - 17th Oct 14
Either You're The Butcher or You're The Cattle - 17th Oct 14
Gold Benefits from Market Uncertainty - 17th Oct 14
Stock Market Pullback Underway, Euro downside, Commodities - 17th Oct 14
Stock Market Seven Year Cycle and A Correction Ahead? - 17th Oct 14
Three Ways to Play Uranium: Top Stock Picks - 17th Oct 14
America Flirts With Deflation - 17th Oct 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Stocks Epic Bear Market

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.


© 2005-2014 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

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014