By Jim Willie:
Imagine a doctor who administers an elaborate treatment for a man suffering from multiple broken bones, joint arthritis, and fallen foot arches. The quack doctor orders massive amounts of liquids as though he has a horrible case of dehydration. The confused doctor also permits unlimited freedom of movement around the hospital and its grounds to the patient, as part of the blunt treatment. The man still cannot walk right or breathe normally, has trouble lifting any significant weight with the arms, and stumbles around from shaky legs. But he has plenty of fluids and freedom to roam. With the heavy mistreatment that is badly off the mark, he has a new problem, diarrhea and bloat together. His doctor has clear failing incompetence, but still is given respect. The doctor is the US Federal Reserve, led by the poor economist who never ran a business, the mad professor from Princeton University. His claim to fame was revisionist history of the Great Depression. He was chosen to be the bagholder, to print money until no tomorrow. The USFed balance sheet is almost totally ruined, without hope of repair. The clumsy professor posing as USFed Chairman actually admitted in public that he is confused why the USEconomy remains moribund, unresponsive to all the special treatment administered so thoroughly. Bernanke admits his incompetence and confusion. The national economy desperately requires a housing market revival that cannot come since banks are constipated with foreclosed homes in still rising inventory. The misguided licensed doctor continues to ply his trade, directing the wreckage, confused at the helm. Now the hospital is overrun by victims of the USEconomy, sinking under the weight of debt.
At least the health care sector is expanding as a business, the government sector too. Neither is productive. Meanwhile, the nation sinks into a depression, the debt approaches a default, and the USDollar faces extinction through revolt, rejection, and evasion. The nation suffers from lost direction, absent leadership, and unspeakable corruption from the climax of the Fascist Business Model introduced by the last administration with large doses of fear. The dominant themes in the USCongress and Executive branch are clearly paralyze, polarize, and partisan. Tainted money has been followed by tainted morality, policy, justice, and representation, enough to invite a public response. Let's take a quick look at numerous pressure points, broken parts, and centers of ailment. The doctor is extremely busy in confusing both the patient and anxious family. They are repeatedly told the patient is on the mend, but he keeps falling down when attempting to move on his own power. The family has lost faith in the doctor, but no other medical professionals seem any more enlightened.
THE ULTIMATE PROBLEM OF INSOLVENCY
The national officials have grotesquely misdiagnosed the problem. It is not one of liquidity. Rather the problem is widespread systemic insolvency and absence of industry for legitimate income and high level bank corruption that has caused a national sclerosis. Inefficiency reigns supreme, like with any fascist business model climax. The corporate leaders and political leaders sold out two to three decades ago. As long as the national policy is off the mark on recognition of the ultimate problem, no solution will come. Jamming a solution after a wrong diagnosis leads to tragic results. All the problems in the USEconomy from summer 2008 are actually worse today. No solution is even attempted. Mountains of money have been wasted, undermining the USDollar. In my view, the diagnosis is intentionally made incorrect in order to continue the elite largesse. The blunt instruments of the USFed are obviously from the wrong toolbag.
TURNING POINT, NOT BROKEN BRETTON WOODS
The turning point was not breaking the Bretton Woods Accord in 1971, the movement off the gold standard. Obviously, that was an extremely significant event, but analysts miss the original wart that changed the financial complexion. My viewpoint is different from most within the gold community. The turning point was the Vietnam War, whose costs forced the federal deficits to an extreme, the first $1 trillion in the national debt. At the time, when the Jackass was in college chasing frisbies and coeds, that first trillion was hugely important. The reaction was the broken Bretton Woods Accord in order to avoid a run on the national gold treasury held by the USGovt. The ultimate irony is that 20 years later, the Rubin Gang lowered the gold lease rate, enabled raids on Fort Knox for $trillion profit by the Wall Street bankers in private gains. The USDollar has had no collateral ever since, the basis for a vaporous currency, and a grand setup for debt default. The emphasis on war remains a high priority, even a sacred topic not permitted in debate. The budget battle has effectively removed the military budget when making proposals for spending cuts, precisely as the Jackass forecasted two months ago.
GOLD READY TO RESUME
With all the lousy USEconomic news (no need to provide ample detail), the obvious nature of continued fiscal and monetary stimulus has permeated into the financial markets. The most direct beneficiary has been the S&P500 stock index. Stocks have jumped off the double bottom tested low. The entire stock and commodity market can be appropriately described as a risk trade, as in risk of paper securities. The silly empty bluff by the USFed has been called. The USGovt debt limit will be raised, even if on a temporary basis by a small amount. The absurd gesture to release US Strategic Petroleum Reserve crude oil, coupled with a similar release of IEA European oil, has seen an effect come and gone. It was not exactly minimal, but surely fleeting and meaningless. They will replace those reserves with more costly oil, no doubt. No solution has come for the global monetary mess with fracturing sovereign debt. No lasting solution has come to Greece, although the ineffective means will assure that another month of tranquility will come, except for minor events like street riots. No lasting solution will ever come to the USGovt budget, where spending cuts are obstructed and tax hikes are obstructed, and war spending will continue into oblivion.
Gold has benefited from the lost credibility of the global monetary system, from the loss of unquestioned faith in the central bank franchise system. Gold represents the mirror image of the crumbling monetary system and its soured debt foundation, managed by dubious central bankers. The system will perpetuate its ruinous debasement of money itself, since the power structure will struggle to preserve itself. It is that simple. In no way will JPMorgan or Citigroup or Bank of America voluntarily commit to bankruptcy and debt restructure, accompanied by impaired asset liquidation. They are the insolvent pillars of the US financial syndicate, firmly in power, never to release that power unless from cold dead fingers. The Gold & Silver prices will continue to make new highs in the second half of the year. We should look forward with juicy anticipation to all the back-peddling by countless analysts who claimed the anti-USDollar trade was over. It was just resting in consolidation. The battle cry remains INFLATE OR DIE!! The system will continue to seek vast resuscitation via harmful inflation, or implode. The latest lousy USTreasury auctions should be viewed as having great importance. The USFed will continue its debt monetization or face failed auctions. Notice the strong signal for continued debt coverage in the S&P500 stock index itself. Crude oil has recovered. Gold & Silver have bottomed. Onward and upward. The great spring shock was administered in empty threats.
POLITICS & ILLUSION, NO SOLUTION
In the last three years, at least 100 direct questions have come to my INBOX or telephone, asking what solution might come. My answer has been consistent, that no solution is even pursued. The objective is not remedy, but rather retained power by the banksters. Any meaningful remedy must begin with a foundation of liquidated failed insolvent big US banks. That will never happen, since they hold the power over the USGovt and control the USDollar printing press. We are witnessing moral hazard over the top, the acceptance of the most dangerous risk. The entire concept of Too Big To Fail for banks ensures no serious attempt to deal with the problems, no meaningful policy to encourage recovery, and a sinking toward systemic failure. The business model leads always to a climax of ruin.
THE CAN HAS GONE NUCLEAR
The Rubin Doctrine has a more colloquial translation, of kicking the can down the road. Even Joe Kernan of CNBC fame coined the phrase of kicking the can into the cul-de-sac, a dead end. My preference is the jump shift in metaphor, where the can has gone nuclear. Those who kick it are infected. Whatever the can touches is infected. The air on the road is infected. The latest Greek example with austerity measures points out the futility. One year ago a bailout solution was handed to Greece. In no way did it resemble a solution It was a grand cover of big bank exposure, nothing more. The process will continue until the people interrupt the handouts to the bankers. If not added public debt, then added money supply has been abused to redeem Southern European debt held by the bankers. A great irony presents itself, since a Greek Govt debt default might trigger huge Credit Default Swap contract payouts by AIG, now obligated by the USGovt. Increasingly, but secretively, many deals have been cut to collateralize the Greek debt. In fact, a private source informs that in Greek dock warehouses, an estimated 200 to 400 billion Euros in shrink wrapped unopened cargo containers lies in limbo. The EuroNotes come in Greek denomination, but also German and other national markings. The pressure is strong to avoid a removal of the Euro currency, even though fully broken. The owners of the vast hoard of EuroNotes are scared witless and sweating profusely, fearful of loss from obsolescence or retirement. The funds were from secret payment to purchase stakes in major properties like telecom firms, shipping firms, media firms, commercial properties, and more. The owners struggle to put the funds into the system without detection.
FAILED KEYNESIANISM TURNSTYLE
Despite the failure of the entire textbook theory of government stimulus through debt propagation, the policy continues without end. Extended to the Great American Politburo for administered price controls, it is failing in public view. It will continue until conclusion, a national debt default. The centers of cancerous thought continue to be the University Chicago, Harvard University, and lately Stanford University. The purveyors of failed economic and monetary policy typically come from these dens of heresy. They serve as Fed Governors and members of the White House Council of Economic Advisors. Hardly a one has any business experience, but they do have impressive credentials, complete with lofty theses about something equally abstruse as useless. Wall Street has colluded effectively with the titan schools, offering them decades of chaired posts, plenty of prestige to go around.
QE2 NOT AN ECONOMIC STIMULUS
What a laughable concept that the Quantitative Easing was to stimulate the USEconomy!! Not even close. In fact, the Stimulus Bill had only a trifle stimulus inherent either. It was primarily about plugging the vast state budget shortfalls, which have reappeared in full force. Even the name Quantitative Easing is an insult to human sensibilities. It is hyper monetary inflation, which would sound bad. Heck, Neo-Conservative was another euphemism a few years ago. It also fooled the public, an easy task. The actual beneficiaries of QE and QE2 were the big banks. They were given freshly printed electronic funds for their toxic bonds in a vast redemption process. They have been given nearly infinite credit lines to speculate in the easy USTreasury carry trade. They borrow at near 0% and invest in long-term bonds. In the process, low rates enable the big US banks to play the carry trade while their balance sheets fall backwards from the crippled housing and property credit asset. The practice keeps long-term rates down. The USGovt is hard pressed to find willing investors in USTreasurys. So QE and QE2 really helped to compensate for those scarce investors.
THE MONETARY POLICY BLUFF
Anyone who truly believes that QE will stop lacks intellectual muscle. Already this week, three USTreasury auctions took place. All three were borderline dismal. The main advantage for the USGovt again was the slide deeper into recession for the USEconomy. The effect exposes the destructive inter-relationship, since the USGovt needs a stumbling moribund USEconomy in order to sell its USTreasurys, the packaged USGovt debt. During the last several months, the USFed has been the buyer, directly or indirectly, for 70% of the USTreasury debt securities. Apply the indirect argument to include the inventory of bonds gobbled by obligation from Primary Bond Dealers. They typically have been recycling their USTBills and USTBonds back to the USFed during Permanent Open Market Operations in three weeks on average, an abomination. With foreign creditors backing away and the USFed supposedly buyers no more, a huge vacuum cometh. Again, anyone who truly believes that QE will stop lacks intellectual muscle.
USGOVT DEBT LIMIT STENCH
The power merchants in Washington DC are playing a dangerous game. They have been attempting, much like the Europeans, to redefine what debt default means. The debt rating agencies have been rushing on stage to clarify the matter. The one party refuses to budge on tax hikes. The other party refuses to budge on spending cuts. Both sides obediently leave alone the sacred war. The sad fact of life is that Wall Street banks would sink into a failure pit in three months time without the wards. A glimpse of what might happen with a closer flirtation on debt default has been seen with a quick move in the 10-year USTNote yield from 2.86% low last week to the 3.18% Thursday. It rises to give a quiet alarm.
INTEREST COST WILL SOAR IF EXIT FROM ZIRP
The most basic reason why extreme monetary inflation will continue is the absent demand for USTreasurys. The most convincing practical argument down the road only a little in time is that the entire USGovt debt structure cannot afford higher borrowing costs. The Zero Interest Rate Policy has been blessed as near permanent. Debt Monetization as policy goes hand in hand with ZIRP. Since the US banking system died in September 2008, the USGovt deficits have exploded past $1.5 trillion annually. Most of the recently issued debt securities have been in the very short term maturities, a trend begun by the Clinton Admin. If QE is halted, then short-term yields would rise and long-term yields would rise. The result would be a doubled borrowing cost for the USGovt debt. Not gonna happen! Inflation as policy will rule!!
UNITED STATES IS GREECE TIMES HUNDRED
The national implosion, disintegration, and ruin of Greece is in full view. The plight of the United States debt situation is 100 times worse than Greece. The people of Athens are angry, with focus of their anger on the duplicitous and corrupted politicians who favor the bankers and yield to their demands. The people of the United States are angry but less perceptive. They still believe the mean nasty oil producers are lifting gasoline prices, still believe mean nasty speculators are lifting food prices, still believe mean nasty Chinese are lifting import prices, but have clearly come to believe that mean nasty bankers are illegally foreclosing on their homes. The intentional poor education on economic and financial matters has left the American public as mere cannon fodder on the financial battle field. The great advantage of the Printing Pre$$ has spared the American marketplace of much higher rates. Like Greece, the nation flirts with debt default. The artificially low interest rates, the result of dictated monetary policy with the fortification of Interest Rate Swaps, have conspired to avoid heavy borrowing costs for the USEconomy. The bond market gives a false signal. In Athens, the bond yields are out of sight high, from 20% to 30%, due to a broken insolvent wrecked system. In the United States, the bond yields are out of sight low, from 0% to 3%, due to a broken insolvent wrecked system. The paradox and irony are incredibly ugly, stark, and confusing. The US is Greece, and only the true experts are aware. Leaders in both nations are sweating profusely and quaking in their boots. They each march backwards into debt default.
EMPHASIS ON HOME PRICES
If one were to be told in 1960 that the USEconomy would turn up or down depending upon the housing market, the reaction would be a conclusion of stupidity and break from reality. In 2004, when the Hat Trick Letter was hatched, my belief was firm that the dependence upon a string of asset bubbles for wealth creation in the USEconomy would end in a national catastrophe. My forecast was for a chronic housing decline to begin around 2007 or 2008, one to thrust the nation into an endless recession and lethal insolvent condition. It is happening precisely as expected in broad strokes, and much as imagined in the details. The nation exchanged legitimate factory income for home equity sources of funds after the great Chinese industrial buildup. The corporate feudalists in the United States betrayed the American workers and invested in China. They began that process in the 1980 decade with the PacRim investment that was triggered by Intel, the semiconductor chip maker. So here we stand with housing firmly lodged in the septic field of lost dreams. The national USEconomy cannot recover unless the housing market rebounds and revives. It will not, at least it will not until home prices fall to 30% below construction costs. What a travesty awaits this market in climax!!
BLOAT OF BANK INVENTORY
Supposed experts actually discuss early signs of a housing market recovery, but they sound like idiots. They overlook the ugly shadow inventory held by banks. Almost never does the financial press touch the ugly factor of bank owned home inventory. Imagine over a million homes held on bank balance sheets, an extra inventory held in secondary fashion. It will be years before the inventory clears, and when it does, the home prices will be 20% lower. Analysts spout their nonsensical perspectives not worth squat. Even Shiller during interviews avoids the topic of the enormous bank inventory acquired from foreclosures, some perhaps illegally. Like with many other statistics, the analysts focus on the headline news and avoid the meat of the story. The meat is often rancid. The housing market cannot rebound. It cannot revive. It is a wrecked market. It is weighing down the already insolvent big US banks. It is dragging down the USEconomy. Housing is actually the key factor that will assure a USGovt debt default, since it replaced industry in function. The system has forfeited and abandoned its industrial base. The nation must be re-industrialized, a process not even begun.
TAXATION CHOKEHOLD ON JOB GROWTH
A little known fact by the investment community and public at large is that the USGovt taxes the business sector at a higher rate than any other of the top 18 industrial nations. Yet one administration after another talks about growing the USEconomy and enabling the creation of new jobs. They are hardly sincere. The tax policy along with oppressive regulations are the main problem, not even addressed. The recent folly of the Obama Health Care program has actually exacerbated the problem. The great economic policy failures of the last four decades feature one case after another of raising tax rates and realizing lower tax income. The economic corps has no brain in trust. They learn nothing. They push the nation into the abyss.
STATISTIC LIES & PAINTED BILLBOARDS
The Clinton Admin started the process, with sage counsel provided by Robert Rubin. They deceive with statistics. Substitution, hedonics on value, curious adjustments, bogus models, bias galore, they all contribute to corrupted statistics. Imagine a patient in a hospital whose temperature cannot be properly measured, whose blood pressure cannot be properly measured, whose blood sugar cannot be properly measured, whose heart rate cannot be properly measured, whose brain waves cannot be properly measured, whose blood gases cannot be properly measured, whose antigens cannot be properly measured, whose organ function cannot be properly measured. The patient surely could not be given proper treatment. The attendant staff would have no clue of what medication or therapy to offer. That is the USEconomy.
DESTROY OIL PRODUCTION IN THE MENA REGION
The story of the Libyan War is typical. The American public is told of murder of US civilians by the hands of Qaddafi. Sure, he is a vile specimen. Whether or not he was in the midst of launching a Petro Dinar with gold backing is possible. Not in debate though is the $90 billion in Qaddafi funds located in European and US banks that have been frozen. The word frozen always sounds better than seized or stolen. It is motive for war. Wealth is transferred. The story of the Libyan War dominated the news in April. The heist is complete. Move on, nothing to see. The destabilization of the entire Middle East and North African theater is well along. Their oil production might be the secondary target. The oil barons might want a much higher crude oil price, and curtailment of global oil supply. Their sprawling corporations and vast properties might include numerous locations where development awaits, if only the crude oil price would climb above the $150 level. If it does, the blame can be put squarely on Libya. The shutdown of the Gulf of Mexico succeeded in removing considerable oil supply. Despite Cushing Oklahoma crude oil facilities being flush with supply, a release of the reserve oil supply was deemed necessary. Question that motive.
THE PEOPLE NOT PREPARED
After years of mis-education, the American people are not prepared to defend themselves. They have seen their home equity vanish. Over 28% of US households live under the oppressive stench of negative equity, which puts them in a consumer straitjacket. They have seen their pension funds damaged, if not from direct value then in purchase power value. They have been subjected to non-stop propaganda that gold offers no yield, is a dead asset, and cannot aid an economy. Yet gold was the best performing asset in the 2000 decade. Amazingly, after a near COMEX default event, amidst global sovereign debt crisis, as government debt threatens default in numerous trouble spots, at a time when all major currencies are being debased in unspeakable fashion, the US press media networks have succeeded in some part in convincing the US public even since May 1st that gold is not the place to find refuge and security. They sell the USTreasury bond as safe haven still. Less than 2% of the American public owns gold in any way. Less than 2% of US managed mutual funds or pension funds have any significant gold ownership. Yet the babbling US press talks about the gold market being a bubble. The actual asset bubble is the USTreasury Bond market. Unlike housing, the bond sucks capital out of the system as part of its Black Hole function. It slows the USEconomy from its small yield offered to savers and pensioners. The speculation it encourages does greater damage to the USEconomy, inducing investors to search for the next asset bubble instead of rebuilding the industrial base. Only those Americans who leave behind the financial markets dominated by paper values will survive to thrive in the next chapter.