It’s time to bid a fond farewell to 2020. Good riddance and don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out!
Of course, the New Year also means it’s time for — resolutions.
Confession: I’ve never been good at resolutions. In fact, I refuse to make them. Why set yourself up for failure? But get this; now I’m not only supposed to make resolutions for myself. I have to make them for my pets!
Ummm – no.
The year 2020 is coming to a merciful end. As it was with pretty much everything, it was a nutty year for the economy and the precious metals markets. We all hope 2021 will be better, but it seems unlikely that it will be any less nutty. In this special Thursday episode of the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, host Mike Maharrey takes a look back at 2020 and speculates on what could lie ahead in 2021.
So far, the US has escaped negative interest rates as a matter of central bank policy. Back in May, many thought a Fed move to negative rates was a real possibility. Of course, much of the world has operated under negative rates as a matter of policy for years. The European Central Bank (ECB) launched negative rates in June 2014. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) introduced negative rates in January 2016. Both are still maintaining a negative rate policy today.
While the Fed has resisted the temptation of a negative rate policy so far, that doesn’t mean Americans have escaped the reality of below-zero real rates. In fact, the world is awash in negative-yielding debt.
Peter Schiff has been saying that all of the “help” the US government and the Federal Reserve have offered up during the coronavirus pandemic isn’t helping. In fact, it’s made the situation worse. In a podcast last month, Peter said that all of the money printing and stimulus allowed people to keep spending, but they aren’t producing anything.
The problem is government doesn’t seem to understand the difference between money that is actually earned by being productive and money you get just because the Federal Reserve or some other central bank conjures out of thin air. When you’re productive, you’re helping to grow the economy. When the Fed prints money, all they’re doing is distorting the economy and increasing the cost of living.”
Peter Schiff has been driving home the fact that the Fed’s extraordinary monetary policy isn’t helping the economy. In fact, it’s setting the stage to destroy it.
Peter points out that the Fed seems to think inflation is the cure for what ails us. That means the monetary and fiscal policies that resulted from COVID are here to stay.
The Federal Reserve has increased the money supply by an astounding amount. This is by definition inflation. But the mainstream insists this isn’t a problem because we haven’t seen a big jump in the consumer price index. CPI has been creeping up, but it hasn’t reached the mythical 2% level. The Fed has signaled it will allow inflation to above that level for some time once it gets there. This should cause concern. As Peter Schiff said, the question is whether or not the Fed can keep doing this indefinitely and the answer is no.
Eventually, the dollar has to give way.”
The People’s Bank of China was the first central bank to roll out a digital currency. The digital yuan recently got a boost when China’s biggest online retailer announced it has developed the first virtual platform to accept the Chinese digital currency.
Digital currency is nothing more than a virtual banknote or coin that exists in a digital wallet on your smartphone instead of a billfold or a purse. Digital currencies issued by central banks are backed by the state, just like traditional fiat currency.
Peter Schiff shared his son’s Christmas list and drew a rather disconcerting conclusion – a lot of Americans think like a 7-year-old kid.
Saxo Bank recently projected silver will soar to $50 an ounce in 2021, powered by loose monetary policy along with the push for “green energy.” Bloomberg Intelligence is now making a similar call, saying silver will be “the primary metal” benefiting from electrification and quantitative easing in 2021.
Gold set a new record earlier this year and briefly traded above $2,000 an ounce. In a recent report, Bloomberg Intelligence senior commodity strategist Mike McGlone predicted silver will follow gold toward a record high of its own.
President Trump threw a wrench into coronavirus stimulus relief, calling the massive spending bill “a disgrace” and threatening to veto the legislation if Congress doesn’t go back and up the individual checks from $600 to $2,000.
It remains unclear how the politics will play out. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted “Let’s do it!” putting pressure on Sen. President Mitch McConnel to go along with the increased stimulus. What is pretty certain is stimulus is coming down the pike – whether sooner or later. Before Trump made his surprise remarks, Peter Schiff talked about the stimulus bill on his podcast.