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Schiff on Market Overtime: Bitcoin Has No Value 

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Peter recently appeared on Market Overtime with Oliver Renick for an interview. In their wide-ranging discussion, Peter speaks on monetary policy, the reliability of inflation data, and reasons to avoid Bitcoin.

Contrary to the popular narrative, gold’s recent rise is not because of world conflicts. Inflation is the driving force behind the metal’s price action:

“This is just the beginning of a massive re-pricing of gold, and people aren’t even buying it yet. You have central banks buying, but investors aren’t even buying gold. Retail investors, the institutions— they’re not in the market at all. They don’t even understand why gold is rising. They’re attributing it to geopolitical risks, but it’s all about inflation. The key is that the markets have the inflation story wrong. The Fed rate hikes up to five and a quarter, five and a half, have not been nearly enough to put the inflation genie back in the bottle.”

As the media and policymakers begin to question the feasibility of a 2% inflation target, their preferred measures of inflation are probably not as accurate as they should be:

“I’d say [inflation’s] at least double what the CPI is. So if the government claims inflation is two, it’s four. And when they claimed it was nine, it was probably 18. People are struggling. It’s a lousy economy. People’s real incomes have been eviscerated by inflation. They’re forced to work multiple jobs. They’re drowning in a mountain of debt, and we’re headed for a major disaster.”

Lurking under the economy’s surface are decades of residual damage from artificially low-interest rates, especially in the housing and banking sectors:

“The entire banking system is insolvent. That’s the big problem— when interest rates were kept at zero, and all these homeowners were refinancing their mortgages at 3%. The banks own all that paper. They’re insolvent now! They own all these treasuries. Thanks to the government— the Fed— the entire US banking system is insolvent. And if the Fed actually raised interest rates to an appropriate level, all the banks would fail, including all the too-big-to-fail banks.”

The omens of economic disaster remind Peter of warnings he made in the early 2000s:

“I kept warning about the mistakes the Fed was making, and the housing bubble, and the financial crisis that was going to hit when the bubble popped. People would say, ‘When, when, when?’ Well, I don’t have a date. I just know that it’s going to happen. I can’t tell you exactly when. It’s the same thing now. But a lot of things have happened now, just like they did in 2007, that indicated that the day of reckoning was getting closer.”

Pivoting to the crypto vs. gold debate, Peter argues gold’s value stems from non-monetary uses that Bitcoin lacks:

“They say, ‘Bitcoin is a store of value,’ but it doesn’t have any value. You can’t store what you don’t have. The reason gold is a store of value is I can take the gold that I have and in a hundred years, I can make a watch with it. I can conduct electricity with it. I can use it in medicine, in dentistry. Gold has a real purpose in the world. It is a commodity that is used throughout industry.”

He thinks Bitcoin’s recent highs are driven by ETF hype, perhaps a prime example of the “greater fool” theory:

“The public was dumping their gold stocks to put their money into these ETFs. But the problem is, when the people who bought these ETFs want to get out, it will be impossible. … There won’t be enough demand for the people who bought to get out. The price is going to crash. We’re going to see the biggest Bitcoin crash we’ve ever seen. … These are paper hands. They’re not diamond hands.”

Bitcoin and gold are categorically different assets, and investing in Bitcoin is a risky bet:

“Look, if you want to go in Bitcoin, take the money that you would have used to buy lottery tickets or if you’re planning a trip to Vegas, instead of playing craps or roulette, you can gamble with Bitcoin. But don’t confuse it with an investment. It’s not even a legitimate speculation. It’s just pure gambling.”

Be sure to check out Peter’s other recent interview on Fox Business, and stay tuned for Peter’s response later this week to Jerome Powell’s remarks made on Tuesday, April 16th.

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