Stocks got a boost on Friday and gold rose 1.8% on further signs that the Federal Reserve is capitulating.
An article in the Wall Street Journal basically confirmed the Fed is now thinking about winding down its quantitative tightening program. As a CNBC headline put it, “The Fed may be moving closer to ending its rally-killing balance sheet reduction.” As Peter put it in a recent podcast, “The Federal Reserve is having to prematurely abort quantitative tightening, which is exactly what I said they were going to do before they shrunk the balance sheet by the first dollar.”
Not too long ago, it was on autopilot, they were just going to leave it alone and it was going to keep on going and then the market started to cave and then they change that to, well, we’re data dependent and now the market starts to go down a little bit more and all of a sudden we’re almost done. “
Stock markets appear to have stabilized after a “December to remember.” But in his most recent podcast, Peter Schiff said we’re really just in the eye of a financial hurricane.
The selloff began after the September Fed rate hike. At the time, Peter called it the hike that broke the camel’s back. The market plunged in October and Wall Street ended up having its worst December since 1931. But over the last few weeks, things have calmed as we entered the eye of the storm.
What happens when central banks push interest rates to zero – in some cases below zero – and hold them there for nearly a decade?
You get debt.
Lots and lots of debt.
Record levels of debt, in fact.
Stock markets have been extremely volatile this week, with massive swings in both directions. The markets rallied on Wednesday, primarily due to optimism about progress in the trade war. On the week, the Dow is up around 100 points, but it also put in new lows.
In his most recent podcast, Peter Schiff said he thinks the volatility will continue. It’s a sign of trouble in the economy – trouble ultimately created by Federal Reserve monetary policy.
Remember back when Janet Yellen was heading up the Federal Reserve and she claimed there won’t be another financial crisis “in our lifetime?” You don’t have to think back too far. It was just about 18 months ago. Tuesday, June 27, 2017, to be precise. But now that Yellen has vacated the Eccles building and taken up residence at the Brookings Institute, she’s changed her tune. In fact, she’s singing an entirely different song.
During a talk at the City University New York, this week, Yellen said she fears there will be another financial crisis.
Assuming she doesn’t plan on dying any time soon, she apparently means within her lifetime.
October jobs numbers came out on Friday and everybody was all giddy about healthy growth. But in his most recent podcast, Peter Schiff said jobs are just another bubble about to burst.
What can skyscrapers tell us about the state of the economy?
A lot actually. In fact, you can predict economic crashes by looking at skyscraper construction, as economist Mark Thornton explains in this episode of It’s Your Dime.
After the dot.com bubble burst, the Federal Reserve swooped in and dropped interest rates to an artificially low level. In the mid-2000s, the economy boomed and the housing bubble inflated driven by the sudden influx of cheap credit. In 2007, it all began to unravel and the air started leaking out of the subprime mortgage bubble. Of course, everybody said, “Hey, nothing to worry about. Everything is great!”
And they were spectacularly wrong.