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July 05 2018

moneymetals

Trump’s Trade Wars Could Spark Global Flight to Gold

President Donald Trump’s “America First” trade policies are upending decades of global arrangements and entanglements. Globalists are aghast that the leader of the free world is openly confrontational toward NAFTA, NATO, the European Union, United Nations, and World Trade Organization.

In rebuffing the global community by pursuing unilateral tariffs and vowing to win trade wars against both rivals and putative allies alike, Trump is playing a high stakes game. Trump’s trade wars could test the U.S. dollar’s status as world reserve currency.

According to economist Brad Schiller, “Nations are willing to accept U.S. dollars in exchange for their goods because they trust that the dollar will retain its value… The long history of U.S. dollar stability gives the U.S. this unique trade advantage — a key reason we can import more goods than we export year after year.”

Schiller, like many conventionally trained economists, seems to believe that our ever-growing trade deficit benefits us. In the near term, we do get to consume more things. But countries that are sending us stuff in exchange for our dollars are effectively accumulating claims on our future.

China holds title to an enormous hoard of U.S. dollar IOUs. U.S. taxpayers now owe China more than $1.2 trillion. China ran a $366 billion trade surplus in 2017 alone.

President Trump has moved to impose tens of billions of dollars in tariffs on China and other trading partners including Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. They have responded with retaliatory tariffs affecting everything from wheat crops to Harley-Davidsons.

United states tariffs

Winning trade wars may not be as easy as Trump had thought.

Dying U.S. Senator John McCain, a longtime Trump detractor and globalist, is among those who are actively rooting against the U.S. administration and consoling foreign countries.

“To our allies: bipartisan majorities of Americans remain pro-free trade, pro-globalization & supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values. Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t,” McCain ranted on Twitter.

It's not clear the failed former presidential candidate speaks for “bipartisan majorities of Americans” as he boasts. Nor is it clear that these foreign alliances reflect our “shared values.”





June 29 2018

moneymetals

Frank Holmes: Tariff War Akin to Raising Taxes, Recession Looms

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in Frank Holmes, CEO and Chief Investment Officer at U.S. Global Investors. Mr. Holmes has received various honors over the years, including being named America's Best Fund Manager for 2016 by the Mining Journal. He is also the co-author of the book, The Goldwatcher: Demystifying Gold Investing and is a regular guest on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business, as well as right here on the Money Metals podcast.

Frank, welcome back and thanks for joining us again. How are you today?

Frank Holmes: I'm great, and it's great to be chatting with you about this languishing gold market.

Mike Gleason: Yeah, we certainly have a lot to talk about. Never a dull moment here in these markets. To start out here, Frank, when we had you on back in March, we talked about the steel and aluminum tariffs Trump imposed. Things have escalated since then. The president is talking about tariffs on European automobiles and another $2 billion on imports from China. We're very curious about what impact this trade policy might have on the dollar and, by extension, precious metal. So far, at least, the dollar has been strengthening, but we aren't sure how seriously the markets are taking the possibility of a trade war becoming a currency war. If that happens, the U.S. certainly seems vulnerable. We have by far the most to lose given the dollar's status as a global reserve currency. What do you make of the recent strength in the dollar, and where do you think things may be headed if we wind up in a full-blown trade war?

Frank Holmes: Well, first, what I'd like to say is I wrote a piece said, "President Trump, you can't suck and blow a balloon at the same time." It was a just amazing feat to get corporate taxes down, and that was really the catalyst that launched the stock market, that fulfilled and provided visibility for the next several years of robust economic growth. When I talk to all the macroeconomists, all the macro analysts who are pointing out that immediately Walmart increased salaries as a consumer company, and a manufacturing company started spending more money on factory upgrades. 10 years since they've really spent a lot of money on durable goods. And that was really important for the metals as a whole.

But with this whole tariff war, well, that's basically raising taxes. Tariffs are always an indirect tax on an industry or sector of the economy, and it's defeating. And this week, the Fed chair was saying that, Powell, that he's getting feedback that exports are starting to be canceled because of the tariff battle right now. So I think the combination of the stronger dollar along with the tariff battle is only going to set us up for a recession faster than we thought, unless he can tune back what he's been talking about.

But I think to understand capital markets, the flows of funds, that historically when the two-year government bond, which is the bond that relates to all the short-term currency fluctuations, they compare 90 days and two-year government yields to the inflationary rate of their country, and then they look at all the countries and compare them to net positive return. And right now, the U.S. dollar is strong because the two-year government bond is above the dividend yield of the S&P 500. Well, as soon as that happened, immediately, pension fund institutions stopped buying stocks because they can turn around and get a guaranteed yield for the next two years with no risk on a dividend yield that's higher than what the S&P's forecasted to deliver in the future of two years and giving now.

So that creates this VIX explosion. And then we have this sort of fear that rates are going to continue to rise with the CPI number because inflation is rising, and that's put a dent in the price of gold and made the dollar strong. But a strong dollar at this stage, along with tariffs, is the worst thing for economic growth and prosperity. And Trump's ego is big enough and rational that he wants growth and he wants economic growth, so I think we're going to see in the second half, we've had a peak in rates, and we'll see rates come off. And I think then you'll see this move in the price of gold.

Mike Gleason: Setting aside any ramifications for the dollar, do you think the U.S. can win a trade war? I mean, the president certainly seems confident. On the one hand, we agree with an observation you made when we spoke last, China has stolen a lot of intellectual property, and it would be nice if we could do something about that. But on the other hand, tariffs are bound to raise prices for Americans. It's a tax, like you said, and there are plenty of examples of trade restrictions and that sort of central planning leading to all sorts of unintended consequences. So how do you rate the president's chances for success here, Frank?

​Read/Listen to the entire article here. ​


March 19 2018

moneymetals

Larry Kudlow Toes Wall Street’s Anti-Gold Company Line

Gary Cohn resigned as President Donald Trump’s Chief Economic Advisor on March 6th. He and Trump didn’t see eye to eye on the recently imposed tariffs and the President selected CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow to replace him Wednesday. Perhaps it was Kudlow’s experience on television that got him the job.

Larry kudlow

It doesn’t look like he was chosen for his intellectual honesty. Kudlow was quite vocal with his own opposition to tariffs.

He has suddenly done an about face and now says he can “live” with targeted tariffs. However, it gets worse than simply flip-flopping on trade.

In one of his very first interviews after accepting the post, Kudlow offered this bit of advice to investors: “I would buy King Dollar and I would sell gold.”

The dollar went on a dramatic losing streak during Trump’s first year in office – one of its worst annual performances in decades. Of course, that is just a single year.

The fiat dollar has been in almost continual decline versus real assets since the Federal Reserve’s establishment 105 years ago. It has lost 98.5% of its purchasing power relative to gold since then.

Kudlow must have seen the forecasts which show federal deficits spiking higher as the combination of tax cuts and higher spending wreak havoc on the budget. The tariffs should further weigh on the U.S. dollar as higher steel and aluminum prices drive inflation.




Continue reading...(here)

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)​

January 05 2018

moneymetals

Gordon Chang: Blowup w/ China or North Korea Could Change Almost Everything Overnight

Without further delay, let's get right to this week's exclusive interview. 

Gordon chang

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in Gordon Chang, author, television pundit, and columnist at the Daily Beast. Gordon is a frequent guest on Fox News, CNBC, and CNN, among others, and is one of the foremost experts on Asian economics and geopolitics, having written books on the subject and it's great to have him back on with us.

Gordon, it's a real honor to have you on again, and thanks so much for your time today. I know it's been a busy week for you given all of your media appearances, and we're grateful that you could join us today. How are you?

Gordon Chang: I'm fine, thank you, and thank you so much, Mike. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Mike Gleason: Well, there are many things to cover here given all that's going on right now. We certainly appreciate your expertise, particularly when it comes to the developments in Asia. There's a lot going on in that part of the world with big implications for investors. Let's start with North Korea. That's obviously been at the forefront of the news this week with tensions getting ratcheted up again.

Kim Jong-Un and President Trump are both bragging about their nuclear arsenals. The over the top posturing on both sides makes it hard to gauge just how seriously the threat of nuclear exchange should be taken. The market seems to have stopped paying attention for the most part. Please give us your thoughts on the matter. Is there any likelihood the disagreement over North Korea's nuclear weapons program will escalate beyond words, Gordon, or is this war only going to be fought on Twitter?

Gordon Chang: If you look at Twitter, this certainly is a matter of concern, but I think the reality is much different. Right now, Kim Jong-Un, the ruler of North Korea, is feeling sanctions. We saw a hint of that in his New Year's address where he referenced it, at least indirectly, and at one point he actually called the sanctions an existential threat.

What he's trying to do right now with his overture to South Korea is to get the South Koreans to shovel money into his regime. What he would like in return for sending two figure skates to the winter Olympics in South Korea next month would be for South Korea to lift sanctions to resume inter-Korean projects, like the Kaesong Industrial Complex, and also for more North and South Korean aid.

I don't think that those expectations are realistic. Some of what he wants would be a violation of UN sanctions, and President Trump's policy has been to cut off the flow of money to Pyongyang so it can't launch missiles or detonate nukes. This is going into, I think, a very crucial period, because if you look back in history, and I'm talking seven decades, we have seen North Korea engage in military provocations shortly after making peace overtures. And this whole concept of the Olympics and his opening of dialog with South Korea, that's a peace overture.

Mike Gleason: We've got two huge wild cards at the forefront of all this with President Trump and Kim Jong-Un being rather unpredictable, to say the least. Is Trump's tit-for-tat responses to his adversary here going to make diplomacy harder to achieve as our allies might have a hard time joining in full force to combat the North Korean threat?

Listen/Read the entire podcast here: (source)

December 26 2017

moneymetals

Trump’s Tax Cuts: The Good, The Bad, and the Inflationary

At last, tax reform is happening! Last week, President Donald Trump celebrated the passage of the most important legislation so far of his presidency.

The final bill falls far short of the “file on a postcard” promise of Trump’s campaign. It even falls short of the bill trotted out by Congressional Republicans just a few weeks ago. It is, nevertheless, the most significant tax overhaul in more than a decade.

Corporations and most individual taxpayers will see lower overall rates. That’s the good news.

Unfortunately, there is also some not so good news investors need to be aware of.

Because no spending cuts will be attached to “pay” for the tax rate reductions, the legislation will grow the budget deficit by an estimated $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion over the next decade. The actual number could end up being smaller…or bigger, depending on how the economy performs. But more red ink will spill.

The GOP tax bill is effectively a debt-financed stimulus package. It will boost economic growth in the near term while saddling taxpayers with larger long-term debt burdens.

“Even if we get the kind of growth we hope to get,” admitted GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan, “You cannot grow your way out of the entitlement problem we have coming.”

He’s referring to tens of trillions of dollars in unfunded Social Security and Medicare obligations. They are all but politically impossible to tackle, except through the voodoo of new debt and currency creation that will keep benefits flowing with devalued dollars (i.e., inflation).

​Continue reading... (source)​


October 24 2017

moneymetals

Trump May Reappoint Yellen as Fed Chair after All

Candidate Donald Trump was none too kind to current Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen during his 2016 campaign. However, the President’s tone with regards to Yellen and Fed policy has been softening since his election.

Trump met one on one with Yellen and other top contenders last week and now appears quite open to the idea of reappointing her to another four-year term.

Janet yellen

Trump may reappoint UC Berkeley
Janet Yellen

Trump told CNBC in September of last year that Yellen should be “ashamed” for acting partisan. He accused the Fed of maintaining extraordinarily low interest rates at the request of former President Barack Obama and Democrats who wanted stimulus and credit for economic growth. Given an opportunity, he suggested he would find someone new as Fed Chair.

Now that has been thrown into question. Following his recent interviews with the candidates, Trump told Fox Business, “Most people are saying it’s down to two: Mr. (John) Taylor, Mr. (Jerome) Powell. I also met with Janet Yellen, who I like a lot. I really like her a lot. So, I have three people that I’m looking at, and there are a couple of others.”

Trump now favors Yellen’s low interest rate policy. He said in July of Yellen, “I’d like to see rates stay low. She’s historically been a low-interest-rate person."

Continue to the full article (source

September 18 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 14 2017

moneymetals

July 24 2017

moneymetals
moneymetals

June 08 2017

moneymetals

How Would Markets React If Trump Is Actually Forced Out of Office?

Donald Trump’s policy agenda – and his very presidency – are in jeopardy...

...at least if you believe the chatter on cable television.

Yes, for weeks now, the big media outlets have been stirring up talk of impeachment. One narrative after another – Russia, Comey, Kushner, etc. – yet no conclusive evidence of any “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Looking at impeachment

Still, Democrats in Congress smell blood in the water… and they have readied articles of impeachment for introduction as soon as an opportunity presents.

But investors don’t seem particularly concerned about the implications of political turmoil intensifying in Washington.

The stock market keeps edging higher with minimal volatility.

The only hint of politically driven jitters all year came on May 17th. The Dow Jones Industrials slid by nearly 400 points as reports surfaced that former FBI Director James Comey was asked by President Trump to stop his investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

A few days later, the Dow rallied back up to its previous highs. The traditional safe-haven of gold is up modestly on the year but has yet to see any major sort of panic buying. Perhaps investors don’t believe the Trump presidency is at risk – or perhaps they don’t think it matters much if Trump gets pushed out of office.

Read the entire article here.

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