Rising U.S. interest rates signal “hyperinflationary depression”
One of my favorite sources for real statistics is John Williams' site: Shadowstats.com. For those not familiar with his work, Williams' is a highly respected U.S. economist, who has previously been invited to speak to the U.S. Congress.
Williams has dedicated his site to producing authentic, U.S. economic statistics. By this, I mean that Williams has discarded all of the methods of lying-with-numbers which the U.S. government has invented over the last thirty years – and calculates real statistics, using the same methodology employed before this “pollution” of statistics began.
Thus, his calculations are not only extremely useful for getting a genuine picture of the current state of the U.S. economy, but unlike all other current, calculations his numbers can also be directly compared to previous eras – because the methodology in the calculations is the same.
It was Williams who first coined the phrase “hyperinflationary depression” a few years ago to describe what he saw as the certain future for the U.S. economy. More recently, he did an updated essay on this subject one year ago.
Williams has foreseen two dynamics in the U.S. economy. First, crippling levels of debt, combined with gigantic, excess-inventories of numerous, U.S. asset classes means that these assets will continue to deflate – no matter how much money the U.S. government stuffs into Wall Street vaults. Thus, an asset “depression” will continue in the U.S.
Second, insane levels of money-supply growth (i.e. more new debt) in the U.S. and most of the rest of the world ensures that there will be a dramatic surge in prices of all assets in relatively scarce supply, meaning primarily commodities – and especially precious metals. In countries with very weak currencies (like the U.S.), rapid rises in commodity prices combined with rapid devaluation of the currency will lead to extremely high inflation. With the highest debt-levels in the industrialized world, and the weakest economy, Williams expects the U.S. to bit hit hardest - with hyperinflation.
With this context, the recent spike in U.S. interest rates, despite all-out efforts to manipulate these rates lower by the U.S. government, is a clear sign of Williams' prophecy coming to fruition.
The first consequence of this spike was immediate: U.S. mortagage-applications are plummeting. Mortgage applications from two weeks ago sunk by a sickening 14% week-over-week – and 37% since the most recent peak in activity only one month earlier. With U.S. interest rates still rising, expect the next report to be even worse.
This immediately torpedoes the wishful thinking by the Obama regime that “distressed”, U.S. homeowners would somehow be able to “refinance” their way out of foreclosure. Looking ahead, as the next, huge wave of mortgage-resets approaches (see “U.S. mortgage-crisis to get MUCH worse in 2010-11”), millions of homeowners who can barely manage their payments today are doomed to lose their homes as these resets kick-in – in roughly six months time (and for two years after that).
While the U.S. propaganda-machine tried to hype a tiny up-tick in U.S. existing home sales last week, the reality is that even this “good news” is actually merely setting up the U.S. market for another crippling, down-leg (see “U.S. housing-sector stability dependent on vultures”). Speculators are buying over-priced, U.S. homes at foreclosure sales – duped into believing a “bottom” is near, thanks to incessant propaganda which fraudulently predicts this (again and again).
Meanwhile, the collapse in the U.S. commercial real estate market has just begun. With U.S. interest rates soaring upward, the largest block of commercial real estate “maturing debt” in history ($178 BILLION this year alone) now must somehow be refinanced. Obviously, there will not be nearly enough market “chumps”, willing to throw away their money – by buying into a market just beginning to collapse.
This has two additional implications for the U.S. economy. First, it shows how ridiculous the lies are which are emanating from U.S. banksters about “improving profitablity”. These fraud-factories, who are boldly predicting “repayment” of billions in TARP loans, will undoubtedly soon be attempting to mooch additional trillions to bail out their leveraged bets.
With grossly inadequate loan-loss reserves for U.S. banks, every category of U.S. debt is simultaneously at record levels of delinquencies (except for commercial real estate, which won't start breaking records until next year). And the U.S. financial crime syndicate has leveraged all this debt by a minimum of 10:1 – and a maximum (in their hidden, “off balance sheet assets”) of 30:1. Thus, even a 10% loss on any of these “assets” guarantees a 100% loss for the banksters.
Even more insolvent than they were a year ago, these fraud-factories will not be willing to make concessions to “under-water” U.S. homeowners facing foreclosure. This closes off the last ray of false-hope for the U.S. housing sector.
This reality confronts the U.S. economy, just as the number of delinquent mortgages hit yet another all-time record of over 12%. Millions of these homeowners are hopelessly “under water” on their mortgages, and thus have absolutely no incentive to continue making payments.
All this doom-and-gloom does not even begin to take account of the horrific implications for the broader, U.S. economy – caused by higher interest rates. This will further impair margins for all U.S. businesses (especially the U.S. financial crime syndicate), and continue to fuel crippling, U.S. unemployment (see “U.S. economy to lose 20 MILLION jobs this year”).
However, in the rest of the world, what we are seeing is that the tidal wave of new “liquidity” is already being transmitted through soaring commodity prices. Gold, silver, oil, grains, and even some base metals are all seeing rapid moves higher in their prices. With U.S. debt-instruments guaranteed to continue to deflate (see “U.S. Bond Bubble Bursts – bye-bye equities rally”), it is obvious which assets are being targeted with all this new money.
Much higher commodity prices guarantee much higher prices for many of the basic necessities: food, clothing, and energy costs. Thus, at the same time the collapse in U.S. asset prices are robbing Americans of more trillions in wealth, and record numbers of Americans are losing their jobs, households will be “squeezed” much harder through soaring prices.
This is the future which was promised by John Williams, years ago. Sadly, for Americans, “the future is now.”