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Economic Slow-down Bullish For Precious Metals

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It is infuriating to precious metals investors to watch the community of zombie-economists continuing to make the same mistake, month after month, year after year (and once again today) with a very simple economic dynamic. As our economies slow down (and very possibly crash), it is inevitable that inflationary pressures will worsen – not ease. This is a function of extremely simple arithmetic, and thus should be understandable even to an economist.

We start with the fact that few Western economies (and none of the larger ones) are solvent. What this means is that an economic slow-down does not imply mere deflation. It implies debt default. While we could plug in virtually any Western economy to demonstrate this principle, two current examples should suffice: Greece and the UK.

Greece is obviously the most blatant example of Western insolvency. However, what has taken place in Greece directly implies that all major Western economies are hopelessly insolvent.

Greece has now (supposedly) benefitted from two official rescues, not to mention numerous minor operations to try to stabilize its fraud-sabotaged debt market. In the last, futile bail-out bond investors had a 75% haircut imposed upon them[URL: http://www.centralbanking.com/central-banking/news/2161419/imf-board-approves-eur28-billion-greece], with the option being to turn down the “offer” – and end up with a 100% loss. In other words, Greece has just suffered a near-total default.

Yet mere days after this latest Final Solution to the Greek debt crisis, here is what the bankers were saying:

The restructuring deal doesn’t do anything to put Greece on a sustainable path. A third bailout will become necessary.

Let me repeat this, so there can be no confusion about what this directly implies. Even after lighting a match to 75% of Greece’s national debt, the banking community isn’t remotely convinced that Greece is solvent, reflected by them maintaining their “junk” rating on Greece’s debt.

If Greece is still insolvent sitting with only 25% of its debt-load, what does that say about all of the other Western economies being crushed under the weight of 100% debt-loads? It’s very simple. Any nation which was less than four times as “solvent” as Greece prior to its default is now less solvent than Greece today. That is not an opinion. That is arithmetic.

Are there any Western nations that were (or at least might have been) more than four times more solvent than Greece? Yes, but the list is short enough to mention them all: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and perhaps Canada. Apart from Canada, they are all small economies. However, with Canada’s current government producing nothing but record-deficits, its inclusion on that list is highly dubious.

Again, this is not a matter of opinion but rather a simple statement of arithmetic. Looking at the list of all nations ranked by debt-to-GDP ratios, Greece used to be 5th worst on that list, and worst in Europe with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 144%. However, when we slash that debt by 75%, suddenly Greece has the best debt-to-GDP ratio in all of Europe.

Obviously Greece should not suddenly be regarded as the most solvent economy in Europe. It’s economic dynamics still leave it with structurally unsustainable deficits. However, the exact same argument could be used regarding Canada, which now has a higher debt-to-GDP ratio than Greece, record deficits, and a government making zero effort to bring the spiraling debt back under control.

Note that this residual insolvency of Greece’s economy despite a 75% default is the product of the Friedman Austerity inflicted upon that economy. Since Day 1 of that failed experiment, every measurement of Greece’s economy along the way has been below expectations. Clearly, rather than making things better, Greek austerity only made that economy less solvent.

Once again, I don’t have to rely upon my own naked opinion here, but can point to empirical evidence. In the case of the UK, we have another Western nation with a farcical “AAA” credit rating, implying that the UK is as solvent as any nation in Europe. This begs the question: if the UK is solvent, then why are its deficits getting larger as it attempts to tighten its belt?

Let me back-track for a moment here. Since defining solvency is a very slippery task, let us create a simple, practical definition – tautological in nature. A solvent nation is one who upon expending maximum effort is able to bring its finances under control, eventually leading to a balanced budget.

While we may have difficulty defining solvency, defining insolvency is much simpler. Any nation which is incapable of ever balancing its budget is insolvent, since the only possible mathematical fate for all such debtors is bankruptcy. Now let us return to the UK.

The current UK government has made it clear to its own population and markets that it is making maximum effort to control its gargantuan deficit, which is proportionately larger than those of Germany, France, or even perennial debt-sinner Italy. What is the result of this maximum effort?

The UK just reported the largest deficit for the month of February in its entire history, nearly double the deficit it reported one year ago. In other words, not only is Friedman Austerity failing in the UK as well, it’s clearly making things much, much worse – just as it did in Greece. Once again this begs an obvious question: if “austerity” leads to debt-default even when the other nations around you are still spending and (supposedly) still growing, how will these austerity-plagued economies fare when the other profligate Western debt-sinners start to tighten their belts too?

Understand that bankers and politicians alike have been soiling their shorts on a regular basis because even the debt-default of the tiny economy of Greece (representing less than 1% of Western GDP along with Japan) threatened to cause all of these debt-dominoes to topple. Along with this, the $1.5 quadrillion derivatives market (starting with the $60+ trillion Ponzi-scheme known as the credit default swap market) would instantly implode.

This means a similar default event for an economy the size of the UK guarantees the complete collapse of the banksters’ entire, paper empire. Yet when the UK’s best efforts at deficit-control result in a doubling of deficits, even the conveniently blind ratings agencies will not be able to maintain the UK’s “AAA” sham much longer.

The moment that the UK loses that credit-rating, it becomes the next Greece. Loss of that fraudulent debt-rating means soaring interest rates and interest payments, increasing the size of the deficits still further. This instantly puts the UK into the same death-spiral as Greece, where higher interest rates makes it less solvent, which causes the credit rating to erode further, which causes still higher interest rates. Debt-default is the only possible ending.

It is a market fraud of the highest order when Greece, with the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in Europe is still regarded as a “junk debt” market – and a certainty to default again. Meanwhile, the UK has a debt-to-GDP ratio double that of Greece, just recorded the worst February deficit in its history, and enjoys a “AAA” rating, implying zero risk of default.

To this point, I haven’t even mentioned the world’s worst deadbeat: the United States. The U.S. has the world’s largest debt (even the “official” one), the world’s largest deficit, and it has made no effort to bring either one under control. Meanwhile, unofficially it hides obligations amounting to roughly seven times its official debt – and nearly double the size of the entire global economy. It was for these reasons (and many others) that I previously concluded the U.S. economy is more insolvent than that of Greece, and that was before the 75% write-down of Greek debt.

One by one, all of the debt-sinners (the UK, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Japan, France, Canada and the U.S.) have a choice: print-and-spend (like the U.S. and Canada), or shrink-and-default (like Greece and the UK). Choosing the road of printing-and-spending is so simple even the economists can understand it: exponential money-printing causes all of these currencies to go to zero, igniting hyperinflation. In that scenario, prices for most hard assets soar into the stratosphere, led by precious metals.

The shrink-and-default scenario is slightly more complex, and thus utterly incomprehensible to almost all economists. As Friedman Austerity causes these economies to shrink so fast that deficits increase despite this sadistic belt-tightening, these failed economies quickly come to a crossroads – like Greece.

There is either a realization of hopeless insolvency, followed quickly by a debt-default; or there is more willful blindness. In the latter case, the debts/deficits mushroom still higher, then that realization occurs, then there is an even bigger debt-default. The only theoretical alternative to that scenario (for nations with their own printing presses) is to suddenly reverse to print-and-spend mode. However, so close to debt-default, all that such a desperation measure implies is substituting (even more devastating) hyperinflation in lieu of a default. All roads lead to (at best) a default on $10’s of trillions of worthless bonds – counting only the U.S., UK, and Japan – and at worst hyperinflation.

Boiled down to four words: paper goes to zero.

Then there is the fantasy-world in which the economists dwell. In that “world”, when they see shrinking economies, all they are genetically capable of seeing is “deflation” (i.e. falling prices). However, part of the reason why Friedman Austerity quickly destroyed the economy of Greece, and will soon do so to the UK (et al) is that you can’t have falling prices while money-printing increases exponentially.

What the morally/intellectually bankrupt government of the UK conveniently leaves out while calling itself a “deficit fighter” is that UK money-printing remains at all-time highs. Obviously when you have a zero-growth economy (to be charitable) while money-printing continues at an annual rate of 10+% then prices will continue to soar – as they did in Greece, and are doing in the UK.

Put aside the absurd lies known as inflation statistics. Anyone who eats food on a regular basis knows that food-inflation is running at between 10% and 20% per year. And since the poor and working-poor (now vast majorities in our populations) can afford little other than food, they become poorer by 10% to 20% per year – as this economic sadism accomplishes nothing except reducing all ordinary people to serfs.

There is no mathematically feasible scenario where an economic slow-down (even another “crash”) would/could lead to falling prices. Every scenario ends with either a downward spiral into debt-default (while prices keep rising), or the cowardly escape of the printing press – and inevitable hyperinflation. Note that in a crash-scenario (as we saw in 2008), deficits explode, money-printing explodes, and prices go up, not down for basic necessities.

Speaking of “basic necessities”, are we to believe that the holders of those $10’s of trillions of bonds are just going to sit there with their worthless paper – like Captains going down with their ship – and passively absorb 75% (or 100%) losses? Or, are bond-holders more likely to act like rats deserting a sinking ship, and seek to flee into an asset-class which they know will not (and cannot) go to zero?

Call me a cynic, but I envision most of the bond-parasites as falling into that latter category. Thus, if we do not see our governments pull back from the abyss of debt-default (and choose suicide by hyperinflation instead); then quite obviously we will see an unprecedented exodus (i.e. mass panic) in Western bond markets.

Note that precious metals price-suppression has minimized the values of the world’s only truly safe assets (gold and silver), and thus the size of the sector itself. The attempt by bond-holders to flee into the sanctuary of the (tiny) precious metals market can be thought of as the world’s largest herd of elephants seeking to (simultaneously) squeeze through the eye of a needle. However, the fact that few elephants could save themselves in this manner will not stop many from trying. The collapse of the bond market implies the explosion of the gold and silver markets.

After two years of devastating Friedman Austerity, it’s now too late for the people of Greece. Those ordinary people who held euros which have plummeted in value rather than gold and silver (which have soared in value) have now been reduced to Third World peasants.

It’s still not too late for many ordinary people in other Western economies. Flee the financial destruction and economic slavery guaranteed to the holders of the bankers’ paper. Seek the 5,000 year security of gold and silver.

Purchase only real, physical bullion. The bankers can flood the market with “paper” gold and silver. Indeed, that paper-fraud is the only thing holding down the prices. However, just as the bankers’ fraud in the U.S. housing market has been unmasked, just as the fraud of the CDS market has now been unmasked, and just as the fraud in the bankers’ bond market is about to come unglued; so too the paper-fraud in the precious metals market is doomed to fail.

This provides investors (and potential investors) with an interesting point to ponder. If gold and silver prices can soar by more than 600% with the bankers doing everything in their power to hold down those prices, where are those prices headed when their manipulation fails completely?

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Jeff Nielson
...
written by Jeff Nielson, March 23, 2012
Bernanke having a lecture series this week defending the Federal Reserve Bank policies and listing the reasons why Gold would be a bad idea for backing a currency, demonstrates how much the Banksters know they are approaching the Cliff of Insolvancy. Jeff's article above clearly shows where the inept politicians and banksters have brought the world economic system to the edge of collapse. While Bernanke attacked Gold and Silver, other Central Banks and governments around the world are buying all the precious metals they can get at a reasonable price.


Yes Paxjds, with Bernanke having used up all of his monetary tools, he now spends his days behaving either like a traveling salesman or a court jester (pick your favorite metaphor). smilies/wink.gif
Jeff Nielson
...
written by Jeff Nielson, March 23, 2012
Many around the web have commented on the recent blatancy of the interventions, suppressions, etc. It's as if JPM and the regulators et al could give a sh*t whether or not the sheeple are on to the game. It may be more than arrogance or psychopathy; because it also appears that the fascist control state has ramped up with the sheeple being incrementally herded into a ever decreasing circle of remaining freedoms. Connecting the dots it would appear that the elites know full well that extend and pretend is on life support and that what lies in store will happen sooner rather than later.


Apberusdisvet, what we saw going back a year ago is that (at their current level of manipulation) they were no longer capable of controlling the market. So they have simply engaged in even MORE extreme manipulation tactics.

This dramatically increases the likelihood of them being caught "red-handed" in this fraud, or simply blowing-up themselves and the gold and/or silver sector.

I still see this heading toward some sort of confiscation event.
paxjds
...
written by paxjds, March 22, 2012
Bernanke having a lecture series this week defending the Federal Reserve Bank policies and listing the reasons why Gold would be a bad idea for backing a currency, demonstrates how much the Banksters know they are approaching the Cliff of Insolvancy. Jeff's article above clearly shows where the inept politicians and banksters have brought the world economic system to the edge of collapse. While Bernanke attacked Gold and Silver, other Central Banks and governments around the world are buying all the precious metals they can get at a reasonable price.
China apparently cares more about its citizens as it encourages its citizens to buy precious metals. With the BRIC nations and smaller third world countries buying precious metals, Bernanke must think he is EFHutton, and that We the People actually believe what he is saying. I think most of the world has it right, and Bernanke with his cohorts in Europe are sounding more and more like a used car salesman.
Apberusdisvet, youve got it right in your reply!
apberusdisvet
...
written by apberusdisvet, March 22, 2012
Jeff: many of us see the same general outcome that you do; the only question is timing. Many around the web have commented on the recent blatancy of the interventions, suppressions, etc. It's as if JPM and the regulators et al could give a sh*t whether or not the sheeple are on to the game. It may be more than arrogance or psychopathy; because it also appears that the fascist control state has ramped up with the sheeple being incrementally herded into a ever decreasing circle of remaining freedoms. Connecting the dots it would appear that the elites know full well that extend and pretend is on life support and that what lies in store will happen sooner rather than later.

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