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.
There was a lot of trade war talk at the end of last week. In fact, on Friday, some pundits said the trade war officially began. Last Thursday, President Trump said the US may ultimately impose tariffs on more than a half-trillion dollars’ worth of Chinese goods, and a round of tariffs went into effect. The United States began collecting tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods. China implemented additional tariffs on some import products from the United States immediately after US tariffs took effect, according to Chinese state media.
The stock markets shrugged it off. Both the NASDAQ and Dow were up over 100 points. In his latest podcast, Peter Schiff said the markets seemed to be saying, “Who cares about a trade war? Bring it on!”
Earlier this month, Peter Schiff said Federal Reserve policy is pushing us toward a no-growth, high-inflation economy.
Ron Paul digs down to the root causes of our economic woes in this in-depth look at the US financial system and the need for reform. Paul says a monetary crisis is coming. What will replace the dollar? Paul makes a strong case for gold.
The Dow Jones was up Friday, avoiding it ninth consecutive down day. As Peter Schiff noted on his most recent podcast, such a long stretch of declines is pretty rare. Eight straight down days has only happened 43 times since the Dow launched in 1896. The last time we had nine straight days of Dow Jones decline, Jimmy Carter was president.
Peter said this is a little ironic because he sees another Carter-era phenomenon on the horizon – stagflation.
The Japanese and Chinese aren’t buying US Treasuries. In fact, both countries reduced their holdings in April.
According to the US Treasury Department, the Japanese disposed of $12.3 billion in US debt. Meanwhile, Chinese Treasury holdings fell by $5.8 billion.
This could be a troubling development for the US government as it scrambles to fund its massive deficits and ever-growing debt.
At this point, the European Central Bank isn’t nearly as keen on raising interest rates as the Federal Reserve. The ECB announced Thursday it would likely hold its interest rate steady at zero through the summer of 2019.
“We decided to keep the key ECB interest rates unchanged and we expect them to remain at their present levels at least through the summer of 2019 and in any case for as long as necessary,” ECB President Mario Draghi said during a press conference.
As Peter Schiff pointed out in his most recent podcast, nobody expected the dovishness of the ECB and it roiled the markets. But ultimately, he thinks the Europeans will try to fight the wave of inflation that is about to engulf the planet. Meanwhile, the Fed probably won’t.
Jerome Powell is like a kid playing with matches and he’s dangerously close to starting a fire he isn’t going to be able to control.
The Federal Reserve nudged interest rates up again last week. It was the seventh hike since the Fed launched the current tightening cycle in December 2015. The Fed Funds Rate (FFR) currently sits at around 2%. Although this remains historically low, it may already be near the cycle peak. That means we may be close to a major economic downturn, as indicated by analysis by GoldMoney’s Alasdair MacLeod recently published at the Mises Wire.