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February 12 2018

moneymetals

Reckless Deficit Spending by Congress Set to Wreck the Dollar

U.S. equities got a free ride on the Trump train after his election, even as Federal Reserve officials hiked interest rates. That ride may have ended last week.

Hiked rates

If commentators are correct and the blame for recent selling in the stock market falls on the burgeoning fear of rising interest rates, it looks like Fed tightening is finally having the effect many predicted when the cycle began.

Most currently expect the FOMC to continue with hikes at about the same pace set in 2017. They have gotten away with several hikes, but attempting several more will be harder for them.

The question is whether the Fed’s tolerance for pain is any higher under new chairman Jerome Powell. We’d wager that it won’t take much in the way of flagging stock prices and slowing growth to have them reversing course and punching the stimulus button.

No one should bet that last week’s rally in the dollar means the bottom is in. The next few years look downright terrifying for the greenback. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Congressional Republicans embarrassed themselves last week by proving the lip service they pay toward fiscal conservatism is nothing but lies. The Republican leadership shepherded through $300 billion in additional spending. Furthermore, they once again completely suspended the limit on borrowing;
  • The Treasury will be issuing staggering amounts of new debt to fund the Congressional spending spree. Last fall’s tax cut may be good news for taxpayers, but it will also magnify federal deficits. Net new debt in 2018 is expected to be $1.3 trillion – the highest since 2010!
  • President Trump will soon begin the push for a trillion-dollar infrastructure program. That will almost certainly be paid for with additional borrowing.
  • The creditworthiness of the U.S. is once again back in the news. Rating agency Moody’s raised the idea of a downgrade for U.S. debt last week.

​Continue reading (source)​

October 27 2017

moneymetals

September 12 2017

moneymetals

Trump Suggests Eliminating the Debt Ceiling – Dollar Falls

Those who paid any attention to the financial press last week saw the following narrative; President Donald Trump betrayed Republicans by cutting a deal with Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer. They agreed to punt on the borrowing cap until December and spend $15 billion for hurricane relief.

Americans are supposed to conclude that Trump is flip-flopping, and that Republicans aren’t responsible. Dig just a little, and you’ll find only one of those things is true.

Debt ceiling

Trump is flip-flopping, no question about that. The president campaigned on promises to honor the borrowing limit. This tweet from 2013 if what candidate Trump had to say on the matter: “I cannot believe the Republicans are extending the debt ceiling — I am a Republican & I am embarrassed!”

But any implication that Republican leaders in Congress actually oppose more borrowing is patently false. Republicans in Congress overwhelmingly supported the deal. It was passed in the House with a vote of 316 to 90. The Senate voted 80 to 17.

Some who voted in opposition likely only did so for the sake of appearances. Others thought the president and Democrats did not go far enough. GOP leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell wanted a deal to suspend the borrowing cap for much longer than the 3 months they got.

Make no mistake – lots of Republicans share the commitment to unlimited borrowing with the President and Democrats.

At least the currency markets seem to have gotten it right. Last week’s decline in the dollar may be a recognition the debt ceiling – the final pretense of borrowing restraint – will soon be going away. The sooner investors at large arrive at this conclusion, the better it will likely be for owners of hard assets.

Article Source: https://www.moneymetals.com/news/2017/09/11/trump-eliminate-debt-ceiling-001154

September 07 2017

moneymetals

Debt Ceiling Capitulation Spells Trouble Ahead for the Dollar

“Frustration” no longer adequately describes what reformers in Congress – along with millions of investors and taxpayers who voted for reform – are feeling. For many, hopelessness is beginning to set in on the prospects for tax, budgetary, and monetary reform following Wednesday’s GOP capitulation on the debt ceiling.

Democrats shamelessly exploited the Hurricane Harvey disaster to couple the $7.85 billion disaster aid package with demands on unrelated issues in the budget. Congress didn’t pay for the bill with offsetting spending cuts, as the Club for Growth and other fiscal conservatives had urged.

U.S. dollar chart - september 6, 2017

Instead, this emergency spending (and more to come) will simply be added to the national credit card.

If there’s any fiscal upshot, it could be for those holding contra-dollar investments such as precious metals. The U.S. Dollar Index has been in a downtrend all year. It may now have impetus to fall further.

Months of legislative failure and inaction have caught up with Republicans. A recent Fox News poll shows that only 15% of voters approve of the job Congress is doing. Now – faced with a disaster in Texas and another one on the way in Florida that could inflict hundreds of billions of dollars more in damage – Republicans are being pushed by circumstances beyond their control.

Their president has all but given up on them. He is, understandably, beyond frustrated with feckless Republican leadership on Capitol Hill.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate spoiler vote John McCain have seemingly devoted more effort to publicly criticizing President Donald Trump’s choices of words than passing GOP legislation.

This week, President Trump foisted the “DACA” immigration issue upon a Congress that doesn’t want to have to deal with it on top of everything else now on their capitulation schedule for the rest of the year.

Trump’s abrupt move left Americans confused as to what he wants Congress to do with President Obama’s illegal DACA amnesty directive. Trump had campaigned against it. Now apparently he wants DACA “legalized” in some form.

Trump Joins with Democrats on Debt Ceiling Extension

Perhaps Trump now sees reaching out to Democrats as his only viable political path forward. On Wednesday, according to Politico, Trump “turned on Republican leaders in Congress when he caved to Democrats’ demands to raise the debt limit and fund the government for three months, setting up a brutal year-end fiscal cliff.”

The three-month extension could give conservatives another shot at attaching reforms to the next funding bill. But so far Republicans have been outmaneuvered at every turn by Democrats and the forces of more spending and more debt.

President Trump’s decisions on Federal Reserve appointments in the months ahead will be critical. They will majorly help determine the outlook for interest rates and the value of the Federal Reserve Note, commonly thought of as the U.S. dollar. 

Continue to the full article: (Original Source)

August 07 2017

moneymetals

Sen. Hatch: Those Opposing More Debt ‘Don’t Deserve to Be Here’

Republican leaders in Congress, with the urging of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, are anxious to raise the federal borrowing limit from $19.8 trillion – no strings attached.

The only hitch is those pesky conservative voters who were promised restraint by party leaders. GOP establishment hopes to quietly pass a “clean” bill to raise the debt ceiling – a direct betrayal of that voter base – don't currently enjoy enough support from other Republican members who still consider themselves accountable. So a deal with the Democrats beckons.

Republicans technically have the power to finally honor the limit on borrowing by reducing spending. After all, Republicans control both Congress and the White House.

Sen. orrin hatch (r-ut)

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) says any
politician who opposes more debt
“doesn’t deserve to be here.”

The last thing most Republican voters want is for McConnell and Ryan to start cutting deals with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer for a debt ceiling hike and MORE spending. But that may be exactly how this batch of sausage gets made. Watch for a coalition of big government Republicans and Democrats to leave future generations holding the bag – yet again.

GOP Senator Orrin Hatch is scornful of anyone in his party trying to impose spending restraint. He had this to say: “Some conservatives think they can get some programs cut. Well, that’s not gonna happen… We have to pay our bills and anybody who doesn’t want to do that doesn’t deserve to be here.

Hatch and his friends in leadership – on both sides of the aisle – share a bizarre philosophy when it comes fiscal responsibility. They insist that the best way to meet obligations is to embrace perpetual deficit spending and simply borrow without limit to cover it.

As far as they’re concerned, any elected officials with an opposing view don’t even belong in Washington DC.

Continue reading..

August 02 2017

moneymetals

Raising the Debt Ceiling Means Jacking Up Future Inflation

The dramatic failure of the U.S. Senate’s last-ditch Obamacare repeal effort leaves Republicans so far without a major legislative win since Donald Trump took office. No healthcare reform. No tax reform. No monetary reform. No budgetary reform.

July 24 2017

moneymetals
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