As Jim Rickards put it in a recent column, there’s a lot of “happy talk” coming out of Washington D.C.
To hear Donald Trump tell it, we might be in the midst of the greatest US economy in history. When the Q2 GDP number came in at 4.1%, the president called it “an economic turnaround of historic proportions.” Of course, Trump isn’t alone in his optimistic hyperbole. Politicians and pundits all across the mainstream keep telling us everything is great. They see growth from horizon to horizon. Employment is booming. Americans are spending.
The problem with all the happy talk is that it doesn’t have much to do with reality. The Trump economy looks pretty much like the Obama economy.
Peter Schiff appeared on RT America recently to talk gold.
The host noted the decline in the price of the yellow metal over the last few months and asked Peter if he thought it was because of the Fed’s interest rate hikes. Peter said, “No.” He said he thinks it has more to do with the “collective delusion among investors around the world.”
The cost of living continues to ratchet up in the United States.
You don’t need me to tell you this. You probably feel the squeeze in your own wallet. As Peter Schiff pointed out in his most recent podcast, the average wage rate has gone up 2.7% in the last year. Meanwhile, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has increased by 2.9% during the same period. The CPI almost certainly understates the cost of living, but even if you take that number at face value, Americans are losing ground.
Most people accept inflation as “part of life.” But why? Why do prices steadily increase? As Nick Giambruno put it in an article published by the International Man, “This is all a predictable consequence of the US abandoning sound money.”
Pretty much everybody in the mainstream is giddy about the US economy. As Charles Payne on Fox Business put it, “The Trump economy continues to fire on all cylinders.”
Payne rattled off a long list of positive indicators, from increasing wages, increasing consumer confidence, and strong spending and income numbers. Payne said this is all “building on what’s already been an amazing economy.”
And then Peter Schiff came on and dumped cold water on the party.
Last month, we reported that the global yield curve inverted, signaling the possibility of a looming recession. While narrowing to levels not seen since right before the 2008 financial crisis, the yield curve has not inverted in the US. In his most recent podcast, Peter Schiff said he doesn’t think it’s going to happen. He said we may even see a steepening yield curve in the coming months. But this is not because there’s not going to be a recession.
It’s time to get real. This grand economy everybody keeps telling us about is actually a house of cards built out of cheap money and debt. And it won’t take much to blow it over.
A recent article by Reuters reveals just how precarious the so-called economic recovery really is. According to the report, the bottom 60% of American income-earners accounted for most of the rise in spending over the past two years even as their finances worsened. The data shows that the rise in median expenditures has outpaced before-tax income for the lower 40% of earners in the five years to mid-2017. In other words, poor and middle-class Americans are driving the US economy by spending more than they earn.
Gold got off to a roaring start in 2018, with the price rising more than 4% during the first quarter. But the yellow metal finished June down the same amount and has continued to fall during July. Despite the weakness in gold over the last couple of months, the World Gold Council says several factors provide some optimism for the rest of the year. In its mid-year outlook report, the WGC pinpointed three primary macro trends that will likely boost gold in the coming months
The following article was written by Peter Schmidt. Any views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Peter Schiff or SchiffGold.
When Nixon closed the gold window in August 1971, the US found itself in exactly the same economic circumstances as Britain had in September 1931 when she reneged on her gold standard obligations. If Ben Bernanke’s theory on the Great Depression is correct – namely, that ‘countries that left gold earlier also recovered earlier’ – the United States should have received an enormous economic shot in the arm after finally freeing itself from its formerly golden fetters.
So what has all the resulting money creation and credit expansion from the Fed’s PhD economists with total freedom of action wrought since 1971? A cursory review of the automobile industry, which is not an unreasonable proxy for the entire US economy, reveals that the economy did not receive a shot in the arm by freeing central bankers from their “golden fetters”– unless of course the shot was loaded with some sort of highly-toxic economic poison.