Sometimes you need to look back at where we come from to understand where you’re going. Peter Schiff does just that in his May 27 podcast. He analyzes the stock market surge of last year and concludes the mainstream might be a little over-optimistic on where we’re heading. The recent surge in stocks isn’t based on economic reality. The economic reality is we’re an insolvent zombie nation. We’re just on a giant Fed-induced sugar high.
During a recent 60 Minutes interview, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said there is “no limit” to what the Fed can do. Indeed, the central bank has pulled out all the stops.
But while the actions of the central bank are extreme, we’ve seen them operate out of this playbook before, if not at this level.
The Federal Reserve and the US government are rerunning the exact same policies they turned to in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, but on a much grander scale. We have bigger QE, more money printing, more government spending and bigger deficits. Case in point — the money supply grew at a record rate in April with no sign of slowing down.
There seems to be mounting optimism that the US economy will rebound relatively quickly as states begin opening up and there is progress toward a coronavirus vaccine. But the optimism ignores deep problems in the US economy that existed before the pandemic – chief among them staggering levels of debt and the proliferation of zombie companies.
In the last couple of years, corporate debt has blown through the roof. So much so that the Federal Reserve issued warnings about the increasing levels of corporate indebtedness late last year.
For years, I have been warning that during the age of permanent stimulus (which began in earnest with the Federal Reserve’s reaction to the dotcom crash of 2000), each successive economic contraction would have to be met with ever larger, increasingly ineffective, doses of monetary and fiscal stimulus to keep the economy from spiraling into depression. I have also said that the enormity of the asset price gains over the last 10 years had increased the danger because reflating the bloated stock, real estate, and public and private debt markets would bring on doses of stimulus that could prove lethal for the economy. But even though I expected that the next financial crisis would be catastrophic, I thought that it would come into the world in the usual way, as a credit crisis triggered by over-leverage. But the Coronavirus ripped up those stage notes, and instead ushered in a threat that is faster and deeper than I imagined, and I imagined a lot. It’s a perfect storm, a black swan with teeth.
The Federal Reserve and the US government are rerunning the exact same policies they turned to in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, but on a much grander scale. We have bigger QE, more money printing, more government spending and bigger deficits. During his podcast, Peter Schiff said it was a mistake then, but they got away with it. They won’t get away with it this time.
Jerome Powell went on 60 Minutes last week and said there was “no limit” to what the Fed could do to support the economy. Of course, that’s not really true. All the central bank can really do is print more dollars. And the economy isn’t just about dollars. It’s about stuff. In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, Mike Maharrey talks about the real problem facing the economy – Powell’s “cure.” He also puts silver in the spotlight.
Earlier in the week, gold sold off on the announcement that initial trials on a coronavirus vaccine looked promising and on Thursday, gold was selling because, as CNBC put it, the yellow metal was “pressured by hopes of a swift recovery from the coronavirus-driven recession.” During a recent podcast, Peter Schiff said this just goes to show that people don’t understand gold or why its price is generally rising and why they need to buy gold now.
Despite Fed Chair Jerome Powell throwing cold water on the prospect of a quick economic recovery last week, there is still a lot of optimism out there. There is also an appalling lack of concern about all of the debt and money printing going on. In a recent podcast, Peter said nobody expects this to lead to an inflation crisis or a dollar collapse. But what can’t last forever won’t. And it won’t be a crisis — until it becomes one.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell went negative in a webcast speech on Wednesday, May 13.
I’m not talking about negative interest rates, although that could be coming down the pike as well. Powell went negative on the prospects of a quick economic recovery.
He’s right about the prospects for the economy, but he’s wrong about the solution. That’s because he doesn’t even realize it’s Fed policy at the root of the problem to begin with.
The consumer price index fell 0.8% in April, according to the latest Labor Department data. It was the biggest plunge in consumer prices since December 2008. year-over-year, the CPI is up 0.3.
By all indications, it appears inflation is the least of our problems despite massive Federal Reserve money-printing and unprecedented government spending. But in his podcast, Peter Schiff said you need to ignore the CPI because despite what it might indicate, inflation is a huge problem.