Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold Final Warning: Here Are the Stunning Implications of Plunging Gold Price - P_Radomski_CFA
2.Fed Balance Sheet QE4EVER - Stock Market Trend Forecast Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
3.UK House Prices, Immigration, and Population Growth Mega Trend Forecast - Part1 - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Gold and Silver Precious Metals Pot Pourri - Rambus_Chartology
5.The Exponential Stocks Bull Market - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Yield Curve Inversion and the Stock Market 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
7.America's 30 Blocks of Holes - James_Quinn
8.US Presidential Cycle and Stock Market Trend 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Dear Stocks Bull Market: Happy 10 Year Anniversary! - Troy_Bombardia
10.Britain's Demographic Time Bomb Has Gone Off! - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
The Deep State vs Donald Trump - US vs Them Part 2 - 21st May 19
Deep State & Financial Powers Worry about Alternative Currencies - 21st May 19
Gold’s Exciting Boredom - 21st May 19
Trade War Fears Again, Will Stocks Resume the Downtrend? - 21st May 19
Buffett Mistake Costs Him $4.3 Billion This Year—Here’s What Every Investor Can Learn from It - 21st May 19
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast 2019 May Update - Video - 20th May 19
A Brief History of Financial Entropy - 20th May 19
Gold, MMT, Fiat Money Inflation In France - 20th May 19
WAR - Us versus Them Narrative - 20th May 19
US - Iran War Safe-haven Reasons to Own Gold - 20th May 19
How long does Google have to reference a website? - 20th May 19
Tory Leadership Contest - Will Michael Gove Stab Boris Johnson in the Back Again? - 19th May 19
Stock Market Counter-trend Rally - 19th May 19
Will Stock Market “Sell in May, Go Away” Lead to a Correction… or a Crash? - 19th May 19
US vs. Global Stocks Sector Rotation – What Next? Part 1 - 19th May 19
BrExit Party EarthQuake Could Win it 150 MP's at Next UK General Election! - 18th May 19
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast 2019 May Update - 18th May 19
US Economy to Die a Traditional Death… Inflation Is Going to Move Higher - 18th May 19
Trump’s Trade War Is Good for These 3 Dividend Stocks - 18th May 19
GDX Gold Mining Stocks Fundamentals Update - 17th May 19
Stock Markets Rally Hard – Is The Volatility Move Over? - 17th May 19
The Use of Technical Analysis for Forex Traders - 17th May 19
Brexit Party Set to Storm EU Parliament Elections - Seats Forecast - 17th May 19
Is the Trade War a Catalyst for Gold? - 17th May 19
This Is a Recession Indicator No One Is Talking About—and It’s Flashing Red - 17th May 19
War! Good or Bad for Stocks? - 17th May 19
How Many Seats Will Brexit Party Win - EU Parliament Elections Forecast 2019 - 16th May 19
It’s Not Technology but the Fed That Is Taking Away Jobs - 16th May 19
Learn to Protect your Forex Trading Capital - 16th May 19
Gold Ratio Charts Offer The Keys to the Bull Market - 16th May 19
Is Someone Secretly Smashing the Stock Market at Night? - 16th May 19
Crude Oil Price Fails At Critical Fibonacci Level - 15th May 19
Strong Stock Market Rally Expected - 15th May 19
US China Trade Impasse Threatens US Lithium, Rare Earth Imports - 15th May 19
Gold Mind Reader's Guide to the Global Markets Galaxy: 'Surreal' - 15th May 19
Trade Wars and Other Black Swan Threats to Your Investments - 15th May 19
Our Long-Anticipated Gold Momentum Rally Begins - 15th May 19
Defense Spending Is Recession Proof - Defense Dividend Stocks - 15th May 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

U.S. House Prices Analysis and Trend Forecast 2019 to 2021

Last Warning? Negative Real US Interest Rates Igniting Inflation

Interest-Rates / Credit Crisis 2008 Aug 01, 2008 - 01:17 PM GMT

By: Adrian_Ash

Interest-Rates

Best Financial Markets Analysis Article"...First warning? Gold doubles as the Greenspan Fed makes real interest rates negative for the first time in 25 years. Now his successor is at it again..."

SO ALAN GREENSPAN – former chairman of the Federal Reserve – thinks this equals the Great Crash, if not out-bads it.


"It's getting increasingly evident that this is a once-in-a-century type of phenomenon," he told the ever-fragrant Maria Bartiromo in an interview with CNBC this week, "not the standard type of liquidity crisis that we have seen in the past.

"It's verging on the issue of solvency."

To gauge the true scale of this crisis, Greenspan went on, just consider the fact that it took sovereign credit to stabilize first the UK and then US financial systems. When Northern Rock went belly-up last Sept. and then Bear Stearns blew up this spring, Treasury bonds had to be lent out like adjustable-rate home loans circa 2006, covering short-term black holes with government debt.

Without these loans of government bonds, the banks simply wouldn't lend to each other. They needed securitized tax payments to gain the credibility needed for raising new funds in the market. Short of offering government debt to put up as collateral, they found the cost of borrowing money – when they found any money to borrow – simply too high to bear.

"It's still very evident from [inter-bank lending] spreads that we have not gotten closure yet," Dr.Greenspan continued, pointing to the ongoing premium charged for loans backed by anything other than sovereign credit. So to fix the problem – or at least tease it out for months if not years – clearly the world needs more government bonds for the big banks to borrow and put up against cash loans in the market.

"It's essentially, fundamentally the price of homes in the United States which are determining...the ultimate collateral of mortgage-backed bonds, pretty much around the world."

Looking ahead, he concluded that "we're still nowhere near the bottom of the home-price thing" – the word "thing" standing in for "crash...collapse...crisis...deflation" and all the other phenomena Greenspan must still believe can never apply to real-estate prices.

As key contractor, if not the architect, of today's pan-global banking crisis, he chose to keep US interest rates way below the rate of inflation – making debt pay and savings a suck of real value – for three years straight starting in August 2002.

That period marked the first run of sub-zero returns paid-to-cash since the inflationary '70s, back when loose money worldwide led to a bubble in prices that needed 20% interest rates to revive the world's faith in the Dollar.

The start of this decade also saw the Gold Price – dormant-to-dead ever since the US took that strong medicine at the start of the '80s – double inside five years.

"First warning," as Marc Faber wrote in his Gloom, Boom & Doom Report of Sept. '07, of trouble ahead.

"Ultra-expansionary US monetary policies with artificially low interest rates led to bubbles all over the world and in every imaginable asset class. The price of Gold more than doubled in nominal terms and against the Dow Jones Industrial Average."

So why didn't gold take a dive when Greenspan's successor – Ben Bernanke – tip-toed his way back to 4% real rates of interest in late 2006...? Because early gold buyers never believed the Fed would succeed in keeping rates there. With housing now a political issue – and home ownership a god-given right for even the flakiest debtors – the first sign of trouble would cause a collapse in real rates, destroying the value of money in the hope of achieving "Reflation Part II".

Hey, it worked after the Tech Stock bubble blew up. Why not again? And faced with a much greater crisis, or so Ben Bernanke believes, he's managed to out-Greenspan the Maestro...pushing real US interest rates way down to minus 3% and worse.

Take Gold as a marker of stress, and the true extent of today's crisis becomes clearer still. Bear Stearns' fire-sale to J.P.Morgan in mid-March – which required an open-ended loan of $29 billion from the Federal Reserve – saw Gold jump to $1,032 per ounce. We think it's signal that Alan Greenspan ignores it.

"Central banks, of necessity, determine what the money supply is," as he told Congress in a 1999 hearing. "If you are on a gold standard or other mechanism in which the central banks do not have discretion, then the system works automatically.

"The reason there is [now] very little support for the gold standard is the consequences of those types of market adjustments are not considered to be appropriate in the 20th and 21st century. I am one of the rare people who have still some nostalgic view about the old gold standard, as you know, but I must tell you, I am in a very small minority among my colleagues on that issue."

Today, almost a decade later, the Federal Reserve and its peers across the world are trying to prevent the money supply from shrinking again. That was the fear amid the "Deflation Scare" of 2002, which caused the Fed to ordain sub-zero rates, creating not only the bubble in housing but also the collapse of true money values against oil, food and pretty much all raw materials.

The world's nostalgia for gold, in response, has seen it treble in price vs. the Dollar and more than double against the Euro, Yen and British Pound. But the cheerleader for cheap money when running the Fed, Alan Greenspan points instead to government bonds when gauging the size of today's crisis. A true policy wonk, Greenspan thinks only of political bail-outs to protect the system, rather than considering how private investors might choose to protect themselves and their wealth.

Heaven knows they won't get any help from Bernanke's repeat of the Maestro's "reflationary" error.

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