Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. US Housing Market Real Estate Crash The Next Shoe To Drop – Part II - Chris_Vermeulen
2.The Coronavirus Greatest Economic Depression in History? - Nadeem_Walayat
3.US Real Estate Housing Market Crash Is The Next Shoe To Drop - Chris_Vermeulen
4.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications and AI Mega-trend Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
5. Are Coronavirus Death Statistics Exaggerated? Worse than Seasonal Flu or Not?- Nadeem_Walayat
6.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications, Global Recession and AI Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
7.US Fourth Turning Accelerating Towards Debt Climax - James_Quinn
8.Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis and Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Britain's FAKE Coronavirus Death Statistics Exposed - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Commodity Markets Crash Catastrophe Charts - Rambus_Chartology
Last 7 days
Stock Market Uptrend Continues? - 4th Aug 20
The Dimensions of Covid-19: The Hong Kong Flu Redux - 4th Aug 20
High Yield Junk Bonds Are Hot Again -- Despite Warning Signs - 4th Aug 20
Gold Stocks Autumn Rally - 4th Aug 20
“Government Sachs” Is Worried About the Federal Reserve Note - 4th Aug 20
Gold Miners Still Pushing That Cart of Rocks Up Hill - 4th Aug 20
UK Government to Cancel Christmas - Crazy Covid Eid 2020! - 4th Aug 20
Covid-19 Exposes NHS Institutional Racism Against Black and Asian Staff and Patients - 4th Aug 20
How Sony Is Fueling the Computer Vision Boom - 3rd Aug 20
Computer Gaming System Rig Top Tips For 6 Years Future Proofing Build Spec - 3rd Aug 20
Cornwwall Bude Caravan Park Holidays 2020 - Look Inside Holiday Resort Caravan - 3rd Aug 20
UK Caravan Park Holidays 2020 Review - Hoseasons Cayton Bay North East England - 3rd Aug 20
Best Travel Bags for 2020 Summer Holidays , Back Sling packs, water proof, money belt and tactical - 3rd Aug 20
Precious Metals Warn Of Increased Volatility Ahead - 2nd Aug 20
The Key USDX Sign for Gold and Silver - 2nd Aug 20
Corona Crisis Will Have Lasting Impact on Gold Market - 2nd Aug 20
Gold & Silver: Two Pictures - 1st Aug 20
The Bullish Case for Stocks Isn't Over Yet - 1st Aug 20
Is Gold Price Action Warning Of Imminent Monetary Collapse - Part 2? - 1st Aug 20
Will America Accept the World's Worst Pandemic Response Government - 1st Aug 20
Stock Market Technical Patterns, Future Expectations and More – Part II - 1st Aug 20
Trump White House Accelerating Toward a US Dollar Crisis - 31st Jul 20
Why US Commercial Real Estate is Set to Get Slammed - 31st Jul 20
Gold Price Blows Through Upside Resistance - The Chase Is On - 31st Jul 20
Is Crude Oil Price Setting Up for a Waterfall Decline? - 31st Jul 20
Stock Market Technical Patterns, Future Expectations and More - 30th Jul 20
Why Big Money Is Already Pouring Into Edge Computing Tech Stocks - 30th Jul 20
Economic and Geopolitical Worries Fuel Gold’s Rally - 30th Jul 20
How to Finance an Investment Property - 30th Jul 20
I Hate Banks - Including Goldman Sachs - 29th Jul 20
NASDAQ Stock Market Double Top & Price Channels Suggest Pending Price Correction - 29th Jul 20
Silver Price Surge Leaves Naysayers in the Dust - 29th Jul 20
UK Supermarket Covid-19 Shop - Few Masks, Lack of Social Distancing (Tesco) - 29th Jul 20
Budgie Clipped Wings, How Long Before it Can Fly Again? - 29th Jul 20
How To Take Advantage Of Tesla's 400% Stock Surge - 29th Jul 20
Gold Makes Record High and Targets $6,000 in New Bull Cycle - 28th Jul 20
Gold Strong Signal For A Secular Bull Market - 28th Jul 20
Anatomy of a Gold and Silver Precious Metals Bull Market - 28th Jul 20
Shopify Is Seizing an $80 Billion Pot of Gold - 28th Jul 20
Stock Market Minor Correction Underway - 28th Jul 20
Why College Is Never Coming Back - 27th Jul 20
Stocks Disconnect from Economy, Gold Responds - 27th Jul 20
Silver Begins Big Upside Rally Attempt - 27th Jul 20
The Gold and Silver Markets Have Changed… What About You? - 27th Jul 20
Google, Apple And Amazon Are Leading A $30 Trillion Assault On Wall Street - 27th Jul 20
This Stock Market Indicator Reaches "Lowest Level in Nearly 20 Years" - 26th Jul 20
New Wave of Economic Stimulus Lifts Gold Price - 26th Jul 20
Stock Market Slow Grind Higher Above the Early June Stock Highs - 26th Jul 20
How High Will Silver Go? - 25th Jul 20
If You Own Gold, Look Out Below - 25th Jul 20
Crude Oil and Energy Sets Up Near Major Resistance – Breakdown Pending - 25th Jul 20
FREE Access to Premium Market Forecasts by Elliott Wave International - 25th Jul 20
The Promise of Silver as August Approaches: Accumulation and Conversation - 25th Jul 20
The Silver Bull Gateway is at Hand - 24th Jul 20
The Prospects of S&P 500 Above the Early June Highs - 24th Jul 20
How Silver Could Surpass Its All-Time High - 24th Jul 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Get Rich Investing in Stocks by Riding the Electron Wave

Price Inflation and Asset Deflation, the Reversal of 25 Years of Booming Markets

Stock-Markets / Deflation Jul 14, 2008 - 05:54 PM GMT

By: Adrian_Ash

Stock-Markets

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleAFTER TWENTY-FIVE YEARS of booming asset markets, it's getting hard to keep hold of your money, let alone grow it.

Inflation is destroying fixed-income bonds. Stocks have tipped into a bear market, down more than one-fifth worldwide. Real estate suffers both over-supply and an historic shortage (too many units vs. no mortgage finance). And this is clearly no time to launch a business relying on discretionary spending, consumer debt or prompt payment.


As for cash-on-deposit, you're fighting not only tax and inflation, but also the very real threat of banking failure. Anyone taking sizeable profits elsewhere has to go "on risk" until they've found a new home for their wealth.

"I ronically," reports MortgageNewsDaily.com, "while the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) maintains a 'watch list' of banks in need of close supervision, IndyMac did not appear among the 90 names on the current roster."

Between the demise of Countrywide in March and its own collapse last week, IndyMac was briefly the second-largest independent mortgage provider in the United States . Now one-in-twenty of its customers is owed a deposit exceeding the insured US limit of $100,000. Attracted no doubt by the bank's offer of 4.75% per year in interest – twice the interest paid most everywhere else on $50,000 or above – they're now uninsured to the tune of $1 billion.

Of course, in hindsight, it's easy to guess the good reason why IndyMac was paying above-market interest. Like everyone else, it needed the cash – only much more so! And until the FDIC either finds a buyer or goes ahead with running the new IndyMac Federal Bank as a going concern, those uninsured depositors have been told they can access only one-half of their funds. The other half-a-billion remains out of reach

The takeover of IndyMac is expected to drain $4-8 billion from the FDIC's insurance pool. Quite what the Fed's new loans to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will do to the purchasing power of what's left – plus the Treasury's explicit promise to underwrite their bonds – remains to be seen. They owe some $5.5 trillion between them. Now the credit-ratings agency Standard & Poor's puts the full cost of a tax-funded bail out of the two government-sponsored home lenders at between $420bn and $1.1 trillion.

That compares, as the RGE Monitor reports, with a final cost to US taxpayers of $250bn for the Savings & Loan rescue of the mid-1980s (inflation-adjusted).

No bail out, of course, and the destruction of wealth hardly bears thinking about. But just what would an extra $1.1 trillion in US obligations mean for the value of existing dollars and T-bonds?

"[He] caused an Iron Chest to be brought, and put the Money in it, then drove Posts into the Ground in his Cellar, and chained it down to the Stakes, then chained it also to the Wall, and barricaded the Door and Window of the Cellar with Iron, and all for fear, not of Thieves to steal the Money, but for fear the Money, Chest and all should fly away into the Air..."

So wrote the anonymous hack behind The Chimera , a pamphlet recalling the French Way of Paying National Debts for investors in London in 1720. The French way, the author explained – just before the British got caught using the same trick – was to print new paper money in whatever quantity took the government's fancy, and use this new currency to pay off its creditors. It worked only as long as the paper retained some level of trust.

The anxious (if not deranged) investor described above was owed 10,000 crowns in such paper. But he gladly sold his claim for 2,500 in actual coin. Because a smaller quantity of very real wealth still beats a great sum of value-less debt.

Is that where investors today should hide their wealth, securely and safely? Inflation in prices and deflation in assets is an ugly combination. It also turns the "Long Boom" of the last 25 years on its head. So a growing number of advisors would point you to that long-forgotten asset class – physical gold or perhaps silver – as a rare store of wealth.

It might also help that you can chain down this wealth behind a thick vault door, deep underground.

"There really is no other place to hide," believes Stephen Platt, an analyst at Archer Financial Services. " Gold 's about the only real currency out there that might hold value."

Even after trebling in price from the low of eight years ago, there may be plenty of room for gold to rise from here. "In 1959, the amount invested in gold was about one-fifth of the market value of all US common stocks," writes Peter Bernstein in his classic, The Power of Gold . "In 1980, the $1.6 trillion invested in gold exceeded the market value of $1.4 trillion in US stocks."

The sum total of gold investment lags far behind the value of stock and bond markets today. Indeed, a 2005 study from Tocqueville Asset Management noted that, if taken altogether, "the market cap of all above-ground gold – including central bank reserves – [now] equals about 1.4% of global financial assets.

"In 1934 and 1982," on the other hand, "when investor stress reached extreme readings, that percentage was between 20% to 25%." If you wanted to steal a march on the market, you might want to consider moving that portion of your wealth into physical gold today.

No, the metal isn't guaranteed to keep gaining as "investor stress" rises to match the Great Depression or early '80s recession. But nor will its value fly away into the air.

For as long as the cost of living is rising but asset-prices are falling, that should prove a major advantage over holding bonds, stocks or cash.

By Adrian Ash
BullionVault.com

Gold price chart, no delay | Free Report: 5 Myths of the Gold Market
City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning in London and a regular contributor to MoneyWeek magazine, Adrian Ash is the editor of Gold News and head of research at www.BullionVault.com , giving you direct access to investment gold, vaulted in Zurich , on $3 spreads and 0.8% dealing fees.

(c) BullionVault 2008

Please Note: This article is to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it.

Adrian Ash Archive

© 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