On Tuesday, US stock markets rallied. The Dow was up over 500 points. That led a lot of people to conclude that the recent declines were just a correction. But as Peter Schiff pointed out in his most recent podcast, bear markets have rallies. Just because the market goes up a few days doesn’t mean we haven’t entered a bear market. The fact is — at this point we just don’t know.
But the dynamics are in place for a bear market. In fact, Peter has said the recession is obviously coming.
The US national debt increased by $1.27 trillion in fiscal 2018. If you expected the pace of borrowing to slow in fiscal 2019, you’ll be disappointed. In just the first 11 business days of the new fiscal year, the US government added another $138 billion of debt to the total. That brings the total national debt to a staggering $21.654 trillion — or as Wolf Street put it “debt out the wazoo.”
Meanwhile, the two biggest buyers of US Treasuries are in a selling mood.
On Oct. 10, the IMF released its Global Financial Stability report, highlighting increased levels of risk revealed by a number of global metrics. Just after the report was released, stocks in the US, Europe and Asia lost 4%, 3% and 4% respectively over three days.
As a recent investment update released by the World Gold Council points out, although stocks rebounded and regained some of those losses, the IMF report and subsequent market pullback “underline the relevance of holding gold in the near and long term.”
Yesterday, the Hungarian central bank announced it recently boosted its gold reserves 10-fold.
According to its website, the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) now owns 31.5 tons of gold, up from 3.1 tons. It was the first significant purchase of gold by Hungary since 1986.
A statement by the bank said the increase in gold stocks was intended to increase financial stability and strengthen market confidence.
The Dow Jones fell 831 points Wednesday, a decline of more than 3%. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 charted its biggest daily decline since February and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 4.08 percent. This follows on the heels of a 200-point drop in the Dow last week after the 10-year US Treasury yield hit the highest level since 2011.
In a podcast last week, Peter Schiff said rising interest rates could serve as the pin that pricks the stock market bubble. In his most recent podcast, Peter said the stock market rout seems to confirm his feeling and warned a recession will follow.
US stock markets plunged Wednesday, shedding over 800 points. Could the be the popping bubble Ron Paul recently said was on the horizon? That remains to be seen. But equities in many emerging markets have been shedding value for several months. Take India for instance. As a recent article in the Economic Times of India put it, “Asset classes are in a state of churn. One look at the chaos in domestic equities is enough to suggest that not all is well with this segment.”
So what are Indian investors doing? Buying gold.
Americans continue to pile up debt, adding to numbers that were already at record levels.
US consumer debt increased by $20.1 billion in August, pushing total consumer credit to a record $3.94 trillion, according to the latest numbers from the Federal Reserve. That comes to a 6.2% annual growth rate.
The end of last week was tough on US stock markets. The Dow fell off about 200 points on Thursday and another 180 on Friday. But despite those drops, the Dow was only down slightly on the week. The NASDAQ, on the other hand, fell more than 3% last week and the S&P 500 was off about 1%.
As Peter Schiff pointed out in his most recent podcast, the catalyst was rising interest rates, which the markets have been basically ignoring up until last week. Granted, the stock market drops weren’t steep compared to an October crash, but there is still plenty of time left in the month. Peter noted that high interest rates served as the backdrop for Black Monday in October 1987.