Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold vs Cash in a Financial Crisis - Richard_Mills
2.Current Stock Market Rally Similarities To 1999 - Chris_Vermeulen
3.America See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon - Part2 - James_Quinn
4.Stock Market Trend Forecast Outlook for 2020 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Who Said Stock Market Traders and Investor are Emotional Right Now? - Chris_Vermeulen
6.Gold Upswing and Lessons from Gold Tops - P_Radomski_CFA
7.Economic Tribulation is Coming, and Here is Why - Michael_Pento
8.What to Expect in Our Next Recession/Depression? - Raymond_Matison
9.The Fed Celebrates While Americans Drown in Financial Despair - John_Mauldin
10.Hi-yo Silver Away! - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
Is Natural Gas Price Ready For An April Rally? - 8th Apr 20
Market Predictions And The Business Implications - 8th Apr 20
When Will UK Coronavirus Crisis Imrpove - Infections and Deaths Trend Trajectory Analysis - 8th Apr 20
BBC Newsnight Focuses on Tory Leadership Whilst Boris Johnson Fights for his Life! - 8th Apr 20
The Big Short Guides us to What is Next for the Stock Market - 8th Apr 20
USD Index Sheds Light on the Upcoming Gold Move - 8th Apr 20
The Post CoronaVirus New Normal - 8th Apr 20
US Coronavirus Trend Trajectory Forecast Current State - 7th Apr 20
Boris Johnson Fighting for his Life In Intensive Care - UK Coronavirus Crisis - 7th Apr 20
Precious Metals Are About To Reset Like In 2008 – Gold Bugs, Buckle Up! - 7th Apr 20
Crude Oil's 2020 Crash: See What Helped (Some) Traders Pivot Just in Time - 7th Apr 20
Was the Fed Just Nationalized? - 7th Apr 20
Gold & Silver Mines Closed as Physical Silver Becomes “Most Undervalued Asset” - 7th Apr 20
US Coronavirus Blacktop Politics - 7th Apr 20
Coronavirus is America's "Pearl Harbour" Moment, There Will be a Reckoning With China - 6th Apr 20
Coronavirus Crisis Exposes Consequences of Fed Policy: Americans Have No Savings - 6th Apr 20
The Stock Market Is Not a Magic Money Machine - 6th Apr 20
Gold Stocks Crash, V-Bounce! - 6th Apr 20
How Can Writing Business Essay Help You In Business Analytics Skills - 6th Apr 20
PAYPAL WARNING - Your Stimulus Funds Are at Risk of Being Frozen for 6 Months! - 5th Apr 20
Stocks Hanging By the Fingernails? - 5th Apr 20
US Federal Budget Deficits: To $30 Trillion and Beyond - 5th Apr 20
The Lucrative Profitability Of A Move To Negative Interest Rates - Pandemic Edition - 5th Apr 20
Visa Denials: How to avoid it and what to do if your Visa is denied? - 5th Apr 20 - Uday Tank
WARNING PAYPAL Making a Grab for US $1200 Stimulus Payments - 4th Apr 20
US COVID-19 Death Toll Higher Than China’s Now. Will Gold Rally? - 4th Apr 20
Concerned That Asia Could Blow A Hole In Future Economic Recovery - 4th Apr 20
Bracing for Europe’s Coronavirus Contractionand Debt Crisis - 4th Apr 20
Stocks: When Grass Looks Greener on the Other Side of the ... Pond - 3rd Apr 20
How the C-Factor Could Decimate 2020 Global Gold and Silver Production - 3rd Apr 20
US Between Scylla and Charybdis Covid-19 - 3rd Apr 20
Covid19 What's Your Risk of Death Analysis by Age, Gender, Comorbidities and BMI - 3rd Apr 20
US Coronavirus Infections & Deaths Trend Trajectory - How Bad Will it Get? - 2nd Apr 20
Silver Looks Bearish Short to Medium Term - 2nd Apr 20
Mickey Fulp: 'Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste' - 2nd Apr 20
Stock Market Selloff Structure Explained – Fibonacci On Deck - 2nd Apr 20
COVID-19 FINANCIAL LOCKDOWN: Can PAYPAL Be Trusted to Handle US $1200 Stimulus Payments? - 2nd Apr 20
Day in the Life of Coronavirus LOCKDOWN - Sheffield, UK - 2nd Apr 20
UK Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Trend Trajectory - Deviation Against Forecast - 1st Apr 20
Huge Unemployment Is Coming. Will It Push Gold Prices Up? - 1st Apr 20
Gold Powerful 2008 Lessons That Apply Today - 1st Apr 20
US Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Projections Trend Forecast - Video - 1st Apr 20
From Global Virus Acceleration to Global Debt Explosion - 1st Apr 20
UK Supermarkets Coronavirus Panic Buying Before Lock Down - Tesco Empty Shelves - 1st Apr 20
Gold From a Failed Breakout to a Failed Breakdown - 1st Apr 20
P FOR PANDEMIC - 1st Apr 20
The Past Stock Market Week Was More Important Than You May Understand - 31st Mar 20
Coronavirus - No, You Do Not Hear the Fat Lady Warming Up - 31st Mar 20
Life, Religions, Business, Globalization & Information Technology In The Post-Corona Pandemics Age - 31st Mar 20
Three Charts Every Stock Market Trader and Investor Must See - 31st Mar 20
Coronavirus Stocks Bear Market Trend Forecast - Video - 31st Mar 20
Coronavirus Dow Stocks Bear Market Into End April 2020 Trend Forecast - 31st Mar 20
Is it better to have a loan or credit card debt when applying for a mortgage? - 31st Mar 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Coronavirus-stocks-bear-market-2020-analysis

Financial and Euro Debt Crisis, Preparing for What’s Next

Stock-Markets / Financial Markets 2010 May 28, 2010 - 11:54 AM GMT

By: David_Galland

Stock-Markets

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleDavid Galland, Managing Editor, The Casey Report writes: Oh, what a tangled web we live in.

On one side of the Atlantic, there is a fundamentally broke European Union. On the other, the world’s largest debtor nation, these United States.


Rotate the globe and you discover China, the world’s most populous nation: a nation whose economy is desperately dependent on export revenues, without which its government may find it hard to meet the population’s soaring aspirations. And who is China’s largest trading partner? The European Union, that’s who.

The web also encompasses the role that the U.S. dollar plays in the relationship between the European Union and the Chinese. Or, more specifically, the role the peg plays that China maintains with the U.S. dollar. As long as the U.S. dollar is weak, the Chinese yuan is weak and therefore competitive in European markets.

The problem now is that, with the euro falling, in order to remain competitive, Chinese companies must reduce their margins. Therein lies the rub, because the razor-thin margins of the Chinese companies – estimated to be on the order of just 2% -- face the very real danger of thinning to the vanishing point. After which the best a Chinese company will be able to hope for is to make up its losses on volume.

That was a joke.

It gets more tangled. Because as the euro falls, the competitiveness of eurozone companies on world markets rises, adding further pressures on the trade that China so desperately needs (and that the U.S. would like more of as well). In this race to the bottom that the editors of The Casey Report have been warning of, the latest leg goes to the Europeans, though no conceivable improvement in their exports will offset the crushing debt burden that is now laying the continent low.

While this chapter in the unfolding saga may not end with the phrase, “And so it was that the eurozone collapsed and its common currency passed into the annals of history,” as this chapter is still being worked on, it could end that way.

Likewise, with China’s #1 market on the thin edge of becoming uneconomic, so, too, the current chapter might end with the myth of the Chinese miracle being shattered. And the U.S.?

To get to a rational assumption about the U.S., we need to ponder the fate of the dollar, as this plays a mighty role in the global economy.

We begin our pondering by recognizing that, given the massive sovereign – and private – debt load, there’s no way that the central banks of Europe or the U.S. are going to voluntarily raise interest rates anytime soon. To do so would be akin to Count Dracula voluntarily stepping into the sunlight.

Regardless of the wishes of the sovereign debtors, whether rates rise – especially when it comes to medium and long-term paper – is almost entirely driven by market forces. And what market forces might cause rates to rise?

• One is that the supply of new credit greatly outstrips demand. We already know that the U.S. is blowing out Treasuries in a manner not dissimilar to the way that the Deepwater Horizon well is blowing out crude.

• However, dominating the news just now is the massive bailout organized by the European Union in an attempt to beat back the troubles besetting eurozone banks with balance sheets buried in the unpayable sovereign debt of the PIIGS – an amount that could exceed a trillion dollars. This bailout will require, á la the U.S., a serious ramping up of the supply of eurozone sovereign debt.
 

With one important difference – while the situation in the U.S. is untenable, as it is not front page news, it is not urgent.

Therefore, at this point in the crisis, while LIBOR is on the rise, the U.S. Treasury is again enjoying a wonderful uptick in demand for its trash and that, in turn, is driving U.S. rates down and helping to prop the dollar up.

Still with me?

Getting circular here, we return to the fact that China’s link to the dollar means that its currency is likely to keep rising in relation to the common currency of its largest trading partner – the eurozone. And per above, that risks shoving a stick into the spokes of the Chinese economy.

On that point, an excellent recent commentary by Eclectica fund manager Hugh Hendry included a quote by China’s Vice Commerce Minister Zhong Shan in the Wall Street Journal: “Water doesn’t boil if it is heated to 99 degrees Celsius. But it will boil if it is heated by one more degree.” And, “A further rise in the yuan by a very small magnitude might cause fundamental changes.”

A serious downturn in China will have big consequences. For instance, as Hendry also points out, while China represents just 7% of the world’s GDP, it currently consumes upwards of 30% of the world’s aluminum, 47% of the steel, and 40% of the copper.

So what are we to make of all of this? How are we to invest?

Until there is some semblance of clarity in just how badly banged up the balance sheets of the European banks are, and whether the governments of that region will be able to pull the oars in sync, the euro is in for a lot of trouble. Counter-trend reversals aside, parity with the U.S. dollar is not out of the question.

That increases the potential for China to hit a wall, at which point the world will find itself facing a whole new set of problems. Per many past comments on the topic, for us the myth of China has long sounded eerily like that of Japan in its now past glory days. All of which is to say that, in the current chapter of the crisis, the U.S. dollar is likely to regain its aura of being the fair-haired lad of the global financial community, albeit a deeply dysfunctional fair-haired lad.

For commodity investors, that gives rise to the clear potential that the base metals and energy sectors are going to come under considerable pressure.

As will gold, if for no other reason than that when the trading herd sees the dollar rising against the euro, it reflexively hears “sell gold.”

Of course, with the “safe harbor” trade back in vogue, the U.S. government will redouble its efforts to paper over the nation’s systematic problems – a papering over that will only accelerate as it becomes apparent that the economy is headed for the next leg in the crisis.

While the timing is impossible to predict, I suspect that in a relatively short period of time (three months? Six months?) it will become clear to absolutely everyone that the U.S. has no intention of changing its spendthrift ways, making it no safe harbor, at which point the show for tangible assets – gold, above all – will really get moving.

The way to play the situation is to follow our constant advice to have a heavier-than-normal concentration of cash in your portfolio and look to use corrections to steadily build positions in gold and the high-quality gold stocks. And, as energy is also under pressure – pressure that would intensify if China stumbles – you need to be researching the sector now, with an eye toward building a solid portfolio in that sector as well. Not quite yet, but soon.

Now, having shared those prognostications, a caveat is in order.

Namely that no one can tell the future. The best we can do is to examine the data and try to make rational assumptions. Those are my assumptions, but I may have overlooked many a critical factor in this immensely complex and interconnected world.

And, of course, more than just about any time in living memory, there is a heightened probability that a black swan might land and turn everything on its head.

Even so, a portfolio whose core is heavy with cash against near-term deflation and that gives you the flexibility to buy tangible assets when they get cheap… bolstered by a solid position in gold to ward off the effects of an all-but-certain future inflation, and a winner in crisis as well… and which focuses on a slow build of shares in high-quality precious metals and energy companies… should pretty much get you through any conceivable scenario that may come to pass.

David Galland is managing editor of The Casey Report. He and his colleagues – among them investing legend Doug Casey and Chief Economist Bud Conrad– constantly analyze economic data, recent and historical market moves, as well as the news, to predict big-picture trends and find the best opportunities to profit from them. Read about their favorite investment for 2010 – a play that’s an absolute no-brainer for all in-the-know.

© 2010 Copyright Casey Research - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 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

6 Critical Money Making Rules