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April 20 2018

moneymetals

Jim Rickards Forecasts New Financial Crisis & Makes Prediction About Gold

Well now, without further delay, let’s get right to this week’s exclusive interview.

Jim rickards

Mike Gleason: It is my great privilege now to be joined by James Rickards. Mr. Rickards is Editor of Strategic Intelligence, a monthly newsletter and Director of the James Rickards Project, an inquiry into the complex dynamics of geopolitics and global capital. He's also the author of several bestselling books including The Death of MoneyCurrency WarsThe New Case for Gold and The Road to Ruin. In addition to his achievements as a writer and author, Jim is also a portfolio manager, lawyer and renowned economic commentator, having been interviewed by CNBC, the BBC, Bloomberg, Fox News and CNN, just to name a few. And we're happy to have him back on the Money Metals Podcast.

Jim, thanks for coming on with us again today. We really appreciate your time as always and how are you?

Jim Rickards: I'm doing great Mike, great to be with you. Thank you.

Mike Gleason: Well Jim, I figure a good place to start here is with one of your most recent books. We want to get your take on the state of the world economy. In your book titled The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites' Secret Plan for the Next Financial Crisis, you make some very interesting comments. Now while the financial media is talking about booming stock markets and accelerating GDP growth, you aren't quite as optimistic. We both know that most of the growth we've seen in recent years has been built with huge amounts of central bank stimulus and the fundamental problems that drove the last financial crisis have hardly been resolved. In fact, you think the next financial catastrophe isn't too far away and many among the elite are getting ready for it. If you can, briefly lay out some of what you've been seeing.

Jim Rickards: Sure Mike, you touched on two different threads. One is, let's call it the short to intermediate term, which is how's the economy doing? What would the forecast be for the year ahead? What do I think about stocks and so forth? That's one part of the analysis, but the other one is a little bigger and a little deeper, which is what about another major financial crisis, a liquidity crisis, global financial panic and what would the response function be to that.

Let me separate. They're related because, I mean the point I always make is that there's a difference between a business cycle recession and a financial panic. They're two different things. They can go together, but they don't have to. For example, October 29, 1987, the Stock Market fell 22% in one day. In today's Dow terms that would be the equivalent of 5,000 Dow points, so we're at 26,000 or whatever, as we speak, a 22% drop would take it down about 5,000 points. You and I both know that if the Dow Jones fell 500 points that would be all anybody would hear about or talk about. Well, imagine 5,000 points. Well, that actually happened in percentage terms in October 1987. So, that's a financial panic, but there was no recession. The economy was fine and we pulled out of that in a couple of days. Actually after the panic, it wasn't such a bad time to buy and stocks rallied back. Then, for example in 1990, you had a normal business cycle recession. Unemployment went up. There were some defaults and all that, but there was no financial panic.

In 2008, you had both. You had a recession that began in 2007 and lasted until 2009 and you had a financial panic that reached a peak in September-October 2008 with Lehman and AIG, so they're separate things. They can run together. Let's separate them and talk about the business cycle. I'm not as optimistic on the economy right now. I know there's a lot of hoopla. We just had the big Trump Tax Bill and the Stock Market's reaching all time highs. I mean, I read the tape. I get all that, but there are a lot headwinds in this economy. There's good evidence that the Fed is over-tightening.

​Read/Listen to the full podcast (here) ​

February 15 2018

moneymetals

U.S. Public Debt Surges By $175 Billion In One Day

After the U.S. Government passed the new budget and debt increase, with the President’s signature and blessing, happy days are here again. Or are they? As long as the U.S. Government can add debt, then the Global Financial and Economic Ponzi Scheme can continue a bit longer. However, the days of adding one Dollar of debt to increase the GDP by two-three Dollars are gone forever. Now, we are adding three-four Dollars of debt to create an additional Dollar in GDP. This monetary hocus-pocus isn’t sustainable.

Well, it didn’t take long for the U.S. Government to increase the total debt once the debt ceiling limit was lifted. As we can see in the table below from the treasurydirect.gov site, the U.S. public debt increased by a whopping $175 billion in just one day:


U.S. debt increased 175 billion feb 2018

I gather it’s true that Americans like to do everything… BIG. In the highlighted yellow part of the table, it shows that the total U.S. public debt outstanding increased from $20.49 trillion on Feb 8th to $20.69 trillion on Feb 9th. Again, that was a cool $175 billion increase in one day. Not bad. If the U.S. Government took that $175 billion and purchased the average median home price of roughly $250,000, they could have purchased nearly three-quarter of a million homes. Yes, in just one day. The actual figure would be 700,000 homes.


Continue reading... (source)

February 06 2018

moneymetals

DANGER AHEAD FOR U.S. GOVT: Unable To Service Debt As Interest Rates Surge

The U.S. Government is in serious trouble when interest rates rise. As interest rates rise, so will the amount of money the U.S. Government will have to pay out to service its rapidly rising debt. Unfortunately, interest rates don’t have to increase all that much for the government’s interest expense to double.

According to the TreasuryDirect.gov website, which came back online after being down for nearly a month, reported that the average interest rate paid on U.S. Treasury Securities increased from 2.2% in November 2016 to 2.3% in December 2017. While this does not seem like a significant change, every increase of 0.1% in the average interest rate, the U.S. Government has to pay an additional $20.5 billion in interest expense (based on the $20.5 trillion in total U.S. debt).

Already, the U.S. Government is off to a BANG as it’s interest expense paid for the first three months of the year increased to $147 billion compared to $139 billion in the same period last year:

US oct dec 2015 2017 interest expense

This chart was taken directly from the TreasuryDirect.gov site, with my added annotations. As we can see, the U.S. Government paid $126.5 billion to service their debt Oct-Dec 2015. We must remember, the U.S. Government Fiscal period starts in October. So, in just two years, the interest expense the U.S. Government paid for Oct-Dec increased more than $20 billion. Now, what is interesting is that the average interest rate in Dec 2015 was 2.33%, but in Dec 2017 it was only 2.31%. Thus, it was actually lower, even though the interest expense increased by $20 billion.

The reason for the $20 billion increase in the interest expense during Oct-Dec 2017 versus Oct-Dec 2015 was due to a more than $2 trillion increase in U.S. debt over that two-year period. So, the U.S. Government will have a serious problem as interest rates really start to rise… and that doesn’t even include the continued increase in total U.S. debt.

Check it out here (source)

January 30 2018

moneymetals

Illinois’ Debt Crisis Foreshadows America’s Financial Future

Those wanting a glimpse into the future of our federal government’s finances should have a gander at Illinois. The state recently “resolved” a high-profile battle over its budget. Taxpayers were clubbed with a 32% hike in income taxes in an effort to shore up massive underfunding in public employee pensions, among other deficiencies.

But, predictably, it isn’t working. People are leaving the state in droves.

Illinois the land of debt

In fact, Illinois now leads the nation in population collapse. Statistics show people leaving the state at the rate of 1 every 4.3 minutes and the state dropped from 5th place to 6th in terms of overall population.

Turns out that people with options aren’t planning to stand there and take the epic tax increase.

Illinois officials’ hands are tied. Decades ago, public employee unions successfully lobbied for an amendment to the state constitution which prevents cuts to pensions. The taxpayers are hostages.

Illinois officials are instead considering one final gambit, one well-tried by many insolvent governments through history. They will address the problem of too much debt by borrowing even more money. Specifically the plan under review calls for selling $107 billion in debt in the largest ever municipal bond offering.

Worse, the state would use the borrowed funds to invest in financial markets. The state would purchase stocks and other securities near their all-time highs.

The Illinois credit rating has suffered in recent years, so borrowing costs will be higher. That means the state will need to take on even greater levels of risk to generate returns. What could go wrong?

Illinois is demonstrating a universal truth which certainly still applies at the national level. Governments do not voluntarily shrink. They grow until they can no longer be sustained. Then they get desperate – just before the default.

(Original Source)


January 12 2018

moneymetals

World Debt Is Rising Nearly Three Times As Fast As Total Global Wealth

Some nasty dark clouds are forming on the financial horizon as total world debt is increasing nearly three times as fast as total global wealth. But, that’s okay because no one cares about the debt, only the assets matter nowadays. You see, as long as debts are someone else’s problem, we can add as much debt as we like… or so the market believes.

Now, you don’t have to take my word for it that the market only focuses on the assets, this comes straight from the top echelons of the financial world. According to Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2017, total global wealth increased to a new record of $280 trillion in 2017. Here is Credit Suisse’s summary of the Global Wealth 2017: The Year In Review:

According to the eighth edition of the Global Wealth Report, in the year to mid-2017, total global wealth rose at a rate of 6.4%, the fastest pace since 2012 and reached USD 280 trillion, a gain of USD 16.7 trillion. This reflected widespread gains in equity markets matched by similar rises in non-financial assets, which moved above the pre-crisis year 2007’s level for the first time this year. Wealth growth also outpaced population growth, so that global mean wealth per adult grew by 4.9% and reached a new record high of USD 56,540 per adult.

Total global wealth 2000-2017, current exchange rates (chart 1) | total global wealth 2000-2017, constant exchange rates (chart 2)

This year’s report focuses in on Millennials and their wealth accumulation prospects. Overall the data point to a “Millennial disadvantage”, comprising among others tighter mortgage rules, growing house prices, increased income inequality and lower income mobility, which holds back wealth accumulation by young workers and savers in many countries. However, bright spots remain, with a recent upsurge in the number of Forbes billionaires below the age of 30 and a more positive picture in China and other emerging markets.

There are a few items in the Credit Suisse’s summary above that I would like to discuss. First, how did the world increase its global wealth at a rate of 6.4% in 2017 when world oil demand only increased 1.6%??

​Continue reading (source) ​

October 27 2017

moneymetals

October 11 2017

moneymetals

STUNNING U.S. GOVERNMENT DEBT INCREASE IN PAST FEW DAYS... While No One Noticed


As the stock market continues to rise on the back of some of the worst geopolitical, financial, and domestic news, the U.S. Treasury has been quietly increasing the amount of government debt, with virtually no coverage by the Mainstream or Alternative Media. So, how much has the U.S. debt increased in the past few days? A bunch.

The surge in U.S. debt that took place over the past two days all started when the debt ceiling limit was officially allowed to increase on Sept 8th. In just one day, the U.S. Treasury increased the public debt by $318 billion:

Debt increase september 8, 2017

(chart courtesy of TreasuryDirect.gov)

The was the first time in U.S. history that the public debt rose over $20 trillion. I mentioned this in my article, The U.S. Government Massive ONE-DAY Debt Increase Impact On Interest Expense & Silver ETF:

The U.S. Treasury will have to pay out an additional $7 billion interest payment for the extra $318 billion in debt it increased in just one day. Again, that $7 billion interest payment is based on an average 2.2% rate multiplied by the $318 billion in debt. Now, if we compare the additional $7 billion of U.S. interest expense to the total value of the silver SLV ETF of $5.8 billion, we can plainly see that printing money, and increasing debt becomes a valuable tool for Central Banks to cap the silver price.

Thus, when the U.S. Treasury increased the public debt by $318 billion, it will also have to pay an additional $7 billion in an annual interest payment to finance that debt. However, that large one-day debt increase was over three weeks ago. What’s been going on at the U.S. Treasury since then? Let’s just say; they have been very busy… LOL.

On the last update in September, the U.S. Treasury increased the debt by nearly $40 billion on the very last day of the month:

Debt increase september 2017

(chart courtesy of TreasuryDirect.gov)

As we can see, the U.S. public debt increased from $20,203 billion ($20.203 trillion) on Sept. 28th to $20,245 billion on Sept 29th. Overall, the U.S. debt increased $83 billion more since the $318 billion one-day increase on Sept 8th. Which means, the total debt increase was $400 billion in a little more than three weeks. However, the U.S. Government must be making up for lost time when the debt ceiling was frozen from March 15th to Sept 7th.


​Continue to the full article. (Source)​

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 11 2017

moneymetals

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.

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