As Trump takes office today, we look forward at the inevitable conflict to come between the President and the Fed. The tug-of-war may come thanks to the Fed’s target 2% inflation, the Fed’s lack of tech savvy, or something completely different.
Donald Trump and Janet Yellen Look to Be on a Collision Course
A New York Times article points out some interesting scenarios where President-Elect Trump’s economic policies may be at odds with the traditional stance of the Fed. The main sticking point may be in defining what amounts to a “growing” economy. Irwin said he sees a situation where Trump’s advisors may see the target 2% goal in GDP growth as inadequate, look instead to 3.5%-4%.
Only a few days after President-elect Trump’s comments talking down the dollar, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen has sent the greenback rebounding today with strong hints of multiple interest rate hikes “a few times a year” for the next few years.
Yellen and the FOMC raised the federal funds rate by a quarter point at December’s meeting where the Fed Chair said rising employment levels and edging inflation have lead to “considerable progress” for the economy. In response, gold prices fell from $1,161.84 to $1,141.77 as investors made moves into the greenback. At that time, Yellen had indicated that the committee believed a series of rate increases would be appropriate if economic trends stayed within acceptable ranges.
In podcast 221, Peter Schiff shows how Trump’s policies seem to be over before they even get started, and takes the New York Fed President to task for reckless advice to homeowners.
Peter said he sees the President-Elect’s recent comments to the Wall Street Journal about the overvaluation of the dollar as representing an unstated “falling dollar” policy—one that candidate Trump espoused his entire campaign.
The geopolitical uncertainty of Brexit and Trump’s approaching inauguration are sending precious metals on an early rally for the year.
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May is clarifying her plans to ensure the UK makes a clean break from the EU’s single market, expressing the desire to remain a “good friend and neighbor in every way,” according to Bloomberg. However, her diplomatic tone is also backed by warnings about any attempts to punish the UK for its decision to leave the European bloc.
Peter Schiff appeared on MSNBC’S “Up with Chris Hayes” with a panel of other experts and pundits to debate the Fed’s role in the housing bubble, Republican views on the economy, and the effects of inflation on prices.
Peter had a spirited exchanged with Karl Smith, Economics Professor from the University of Carolina, on the causes of the housing crisis. Smith took the typical stance of blaming complicated investment instruments for creating confusion in the market. Peter countered with the primary cause stemming from a combination of artificially low interest rates and Fannie and Freddie’s role in making cheap mortgages available to too many people who couldn’t afford them.
Fed Up Friday: Gold Still Strong Investment, Regardless of FOMC Direction
This week marked the full release of the 2011 FOMC transcripts, revealing troubling details from the meeting notes. As the Federal Reserve looks to see a big shakeup in 2017, gold is looking at a win-win situation. Learn more in this week’s Fed Up Friday.
Three Elements that will Stir Up the Fed in 2017
Trump’s administration represents a changing of the guard in Washington, and the Fed is not immune. Out of everything expected, a few key changes will really shake things up for the FOMC. First, in 2017 we’ll be getting 3 new voting members. Their records seem to lean more dovish than the counterparts they’ll be replacing, which may influence the number of rate hikes for 2017.
Second, the Fed’s plan shows that they don’t feel the need for fiscal policy to achieve their monetary goals. From their perspective, the nation has reached peak employment – (regardless of how many are actually underemployed) – and fewer barriers are in their way to increase inflation.
Finally, Trump will be selecting new members to fill two vacant slots on the Fed Reserve Board. That and Yellen’s term expiring in early 2018 should be the big moves for building a new monetary regime.
While many small business owners are celebrating Barak Obama’s exit as Commander-In-Chief, Peter Schiff is skeptical about Trump repealing enough Federal regulations to help return us to a free market. Small business owners face many more problems finding financing and handling business regulations than corporations.
Donald Trump’s press conference gave gold a rollercoaster ride on Wednesday as prices hit a 6-week low ahead of the president-elect’s speech, only to rally back to its highest point in 7 weeks. Spot gold moved from $1,176.94 to $1,198.40, the highest since late November.
Investors made a move into the yellow metal after the dollar took a tumble, according to Reuters. Stocks saw a negative move as well. Pharmaceutical stocks lead an overall decline in the market after Trump made comments about drug companies “getting away with murder” by price gouging their customers.
In his weekly radio address to his citizens, Venezuela’s post-Hugo Chavez leader, President Nicolas Maduro, announced he would raise the minimum wage for the fifth time over the last year. The bump puts the minimum salary at 40,683 bolivars or $60 per month, according to Reuters.
The new minimum wage represents a 322% cumulative increase since February 2016 and is an attempt to protect citizens’ wages from “mafia attacks,” according to Maduro. The President attributed his country’s woes to anti-socialist political opponents and capitalists who have created an “economic war” to foment disorder and unrest.
In his latest podcast, Peter Schiff illustrates the important differences between cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and a gold transaction account like Goldmoney when it comes to convenience and preserving wealth. Essentially, it comes down to the technological risks and the price volatility of the underlying currencies. Here’s a breakdown of Peter’s major points:
One advantage cryptocurrencies have over physical precious metals is the ease of transaction, but it comes at a cost. Bitcoin is a completely digital currency, so you can spend or transfer it just like cash. However, with a Goldmoney account, gold owners can now enjoy the same convenience, whether they’re depositing, sending or receiving transfers through an app or paying with a Goldmoney MasterCard.
“It’s not about Goldmoney being the substituted for Bitcoin,” Peter explains. “It’s gold itself. Gold is what you want to own, not Bitcoin. Goldmoney makes gold as convenient to use as Bitcoin. In fact, I think more convenient to use when it comes to commerce because you can deposit some of your gold in your Goldmoney account and now it takes all of those liquid characteristics that so many people like about Bitcoin.”