When you change the definition of words, it can create confusion. This is exactly why politicians have worked so hard to change the definition of inflation. As a result, a lot of people are very confused. In this Friday Gold Wrap podcast, host Mike Maharrey explains how the meaning of inflation has changed and why it matters. He also talks about signals flashing from the bond and real estate markets.
The Federal Reserve launched its fight against inflation earlier this month, but it wasn’t exactly shock and awe. The Fed raised interest rates by just a quarter percent. Peter Schiff called it the most anticipated and least significant rate hike ever. Meanwhile, the central bank continued to expand its balance sheet.
While the Fed’s tiny monetary policy adjustments won’t likely put a dent in inflation, they are already having an impact on the economy. Last week, mortgage rates charted their biggest weekly increase in 11 years.
How long will it take for rising rates to pop the housing bubble?
Are we heading toward housing crisis 2.0?
That remains to be seen.
Two things are for certain. This is a massive housing bubble. And the Fed is holding the pin.
Here’s another sign that the air is coming out of housing bubble 2.0.
Existing home sales fell 10.3% year-on-year in December. Sales, including single-family houses, townhouses, condos, and co-ops, dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.99 million homes, according to the National Association of Realtors. This ranks as the biggest year-over-year drop since May 2011 — in the midst of Housing Bust 1.0.
Peter Schiff put it pretty bluntly in a podcast last week. We don’t have a booming economy. We have bubbles. And it looks like the air is starting to come out of some of those bubbles. We see signs of trouble, particularly in interest rate-sensitive sectors such as real estate. As just one example, home sales in California have hit the lowest level in a decade. And it’s not just California. We’re seeing declines in many of the “most splendid housing bubbles” in America. Even more troubling is that we’re seeing these tremors and interest rates aren’t historically high.
But they are rising quickly. According to an article in Wolf Street, they may soon hit 6% and that could be the real tipping point.
If you have the choice between an investment with low risk and a high potential for return, or an investment with high risk and a low potential for return, which would you take?
The answer seems obvious, right? You want to take on the lowest risk possible while getting the best potential for a good rate of return.
Well, if you factor risk levels into your investment calculation, buying silver looks like a good bet right now – especially when compared to stocks and real estate.