Wednesday, September 25, 2013

FED's Non-Taper Damage Control


James Bullard successfully sells markets on an Oct. taper. When will traders learn that it's not what Fed officials say that matters, but what they actually do? It reminds me of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. No matter how many times she assures him that she will hold the ball in place, she always yanks it away just before his foot makes contact. Yet Charlie Brown falls for it every time.

- Source, The Schiff report:

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Taper That Wasn't

By: Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

The Fed's failure today to announce some sort of tapering of its QE program, despite the consensus of an overwhelming percentage of economists who expected action, once again reveals the degree to which mainstream analysts have overestimated the strength of our current economy. The Fed understands, as the market seems not to, that the current "recovery" could not survive without continuation of massive monetary stimulus. Mainstream economists have mistaken the symptoms of the Fed's monetary expansion, most notably rising stock and real estate prices, as signs of real and sustainable growth. But the current asset price bubbles have nothing to do with the real economy. To the contrary, they are setting up for a painful correction that will likely be worse than the one we experienced five years ago.

Given the strong anticipation for a taper announcement, today's relief rally should come as no surprise. However, the Fed's inaction should be perceived by many as an admission that the economy is fundamentally weak. Once that possibility takes hold, today's euphoria is likely to dissipate. Perhaps the Fed's inaction may cause many to wonder if the economy is not as strong as they believed. This could ultimately lead to an even bigger sell off than what we would have seen today if the Fed had come through with a taper announcement.

A major factor in the current "recovery" is the confidence that has been created by rising stock and real estate prices. On Wall Street confidence can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If the Fed were to make its fears more explicit that confidence could drift away. As a result, I believe that they chose a path of continuous obfuscation. But in so doing they lost control of the message.

The Fed knows that the appearance of economic health would evaporate if stimulus were withdrawn. But like Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, it also knows that the markets can't handle the truth. Over the past year Ben Bernanke and other top Fed officials have tried mightily to communicate to the markets that no decisions had been made on the future and timing of QE reductions and that its moves would depend on the data. On many occasions they even hedged the automatic nature of their data triggers and moved the goal posts that supposedly guided their policy. But as a result of this continuous obfuscation, the Fed lost control of its message.

Despite its efforts toward vagueness, the markets nevertheless made definite conclusions. In addition to the overwhelming consensus of economists who had predicted a taper announcement for today, many even offered precise measures of how big the taper would be (median forecasts were that bond purchases would be trimmed by between $10 and $15 billion per month). As the Fed had not dashed these expectations strongly enough, today's non-event comes as a surprise to most. However, as I have mentioned many times in the past, the Fed has checked into a monetary Roach Motel. Getting out will be infinitely harder than getting in. In fact it will be likely impossible to get out without tipping the country back into recession.

If stock and home prices continue to rise, and if the unemployment picture appears to brighten as a result of a shrinking workforce, the Fed may have an increasingly difficult time explaining why they are failing to cut back on a policy that many mistakenly assume is no longer needed. Look for the rhetorical pretzels to get ever more complex and the goalposts that would trigger an action to become completely mobile.

But the reality is that the economy will never regain true health as long as the stimulus is being delivered. Despite trillions already administered, the workforce is shrinking, energy usage is down, the trade balance is weakening, savings are down, inflation is showing up in inconvenient places, debt is up, and wages are flat. So while QE has succeeded in hiding the truth, it hasn't accomplished anything of substance. Unfortunately, the Fed is only interested in the headlines.

We also must understand that even if the Fed were to deliver a small reduction in bond purchases, such a move would change nothing. The Fed would still be adding continuously to its enormous balance sheet while presenting no credible plans to actually withdraw the liquidity. As I have pointed out many times, it simply can't do so without pushing the economy back into recession. Although this would be the right thing to do, you can rest assured that it won't happen.

We should also recall where this all began. When QE1 was first launched Bernanke talked about an exit strategy. At the time I maintained the Fed had no exit strategy. But now questions about an exit strategy have been replaced by much more delicate taper talk. But easing up on the accelerator without ever hitting the brakes will not stop the car or turn it around.

Bernanke has maintained that his purchases of government bonds should not be considered "debt monetization" because the Fed intends to only hold the bonds temporarily. In recent years however talk of actively selling bonds in the portfolio have given way to more passive plans to simply hold the bonds to maturity. But this is a convenient fiction. When the bonds mature, the Fed will have little choice but to roll the principal back into Treasury debt, as private bond buyers could not easily absorb the added selling that would be required to repay the Fed in cash. Judged by his own criteria then, Bernanke is now an admitted debt monetizer.

Following this playbook, the Fed will likely maintain the pretense that tapering is a near term possibility and that it has a credible plan on the shelf to bring an end to QE. In reality the Fed is stalling for time and hoping that the economy will inexplicably roar back to life. Unfortunately, hope is not a strategy.

- Source, Euro Pac:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Peter Schiff on Jobs


Peter Schiff testifies before Congress on the economy but specically on where jobs are going and went in America.

Peter Schiff`s comments on the economy, stock markets, politics and gold. Schiff is the renowned writer of the bestseller Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse.

- Source:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What Syria Means for the Price of Gold


Can the gold recovery continue? Peter Schiff, Euro Pacific Capital, owns gold and silver, and discusses where the metals are headed next, with CNBC's Mandy Drury and the Futures Now Traders, Jeff Kilburg at the CME and Anthony Grisanti at the Nymex.

- Source, CNBC:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Oil Prices Headed for $200 a Barrel


Peter Schiff appears on CNBC's "The Closing Bell". Where he discusses how the Syria conflict is affecting the price of oil.

- Sources:

http://www.SchiffRadio.com

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Most Bullish Environment for Gold

“They’re going to keep printing until we have a currency crisis . . . and that is the most bullish environment for gold. Don’t wait for the crisis to buy because you are not going to like the price.”

- Source, Peter Schiff via USA Watchdog:

Friday, September 6, 2013

Inflation Numbers Are Going to Get Bigger

“So, when interest rates go up because the world realizes we have too much debt relative to the size of our economy, consumers can’t spend any-more and now the economy collapses in size and the debt balloons . . . This is a huge, huge crisis. The question is: When is it going to come to a head? I think it’s a lot sooner than anybody thinks” Schiff predicts, “It’s going to be harder and harder for the U.S. government to borrow money from abroad which means the Fed is not going to be tapering. They’re going to print more and more money to buy the bonds nobody else wants. That means the inflation numbers are going to get bigger, and the government is going to have to lie even more.”

- Peter Schiff via USA Watchdog:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Economy Built on Bad Foundation

The Fed is trying to build skyscrapers on a bad foundation. Each subsequent structure it builds not only collapses, but also weakens the foundation that much more. The result is that subsequent structures collapse at increasingly lower heights and require more effort to build. Instead of trying to build, the Fed could concentrate on repairing the underlying foundation. That might delay construction, but in the end the buildings will be much sturdier.

- Peter Schiff via Business Insider:

Monday, September 2, 2013

Janet Yellen is Bullish for Gold

“If it’s solely based on which Fed Chairman is the most bullish for gold and silver, I would say that would be Janet Yellen. No matter who’s put in at the Fed, they are going to keep printing because that’s all they can do.”

- Source, USA Watchdog:

Like this post? Subscribe to our free gold and silver newsletter