Federal Reserve

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Off the Cuff: QE Blues

Odds of a downward market correction just increased
Thursday, August 2, 2012, 10:53 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff with Mish & Chris podcast, Mish and Chris discuss:

  • Dashed hopes
    • What to expect now that the Fed and ECB have disappointed?
  • Growing signs of weakness in the economy
    • A strong defense is critical at this point
  • The continuing drought
    • ​More pain from the lack of rain

Now that the Fed has disappointed AND the ECB (after this recording) followed suit, the markets are asking where's my fresh, cheap liquidity? While Chris and Mish don't think that further quantitative easing will have any sustained or constructive impact, they do expect it is still coming. But it seems that greater pain in the financial markets is needed before action takes place. Chris, in particular, now warns of an impending market downdraft -- so a defensive position is highly advised. » Read more

Blog

When Quantitative Easing Finally Fails

Expect more radical action from Capitol Hill as the Fed prov
Wednesday, August 1, 2012, 9:23 AM

While markets await details on the next round of quantitative easing (QE) -- whether refreshed bond buying from the Fed or sovereign debt buying from the European Central Bank (ECB) -- it's important to ask, What can we expect from further heroic attempts to reflate the OECD economies?

The 2009 and 2010 QE programs from the Fed, and the 2011 operations from the ECB, were intended as shock treatment to hopefully set economies on a more typical, post-recession, recovery pathway. Here in 2012, QE was supposed to be well behind us. Instead, parts of Southern Europe are in outright depression, the United Kingdom is in double-dip recession, and the US is sweltering through its weakest “recovery” since the Great Depression.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

Recently-released data from all these regions now confirm that previous QE, at best, merely bought time against even more grueling outcomes. » Read more

Insider

Off the Cuff: The Fed's Increasing Impotence

Analyzing this week's "non-announcement" from the Fed
Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 8:04 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff with Mish & Chris podcast, Mish and Chris address:

  • Fed Fizzle
    • Even if/when the Fed decides to inject more liquidity, it's increasingly questionable whether that will have any real impact
  • Europe's Choice: Uncertainty or Panic
    • The day of reckoning is approaching, but Europe is showing us we still have time left to act
  • Crisis Fatigue
    • Don't deviate from your convictions. Just because something is taking longer than you expect doesn't mean it won't happen

The Fed disappointed the herd hoping for more QE (i.e., thin-air money printing) to be announced this week. Asset prices are drifting lower as a result, increasing the already-growing tension in world markets. Meanwhile the contagion in Europe seems to grow worse by the day. Even though it may feel tiring to stay ever-vigilant for a market dislocation, the risk is still worryingly high, so continue to remain on the defensive as best you're able. » Read more

video

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Here’s a quote from a Federal Reserve publication entitled “Putting it Simply”: When you or I write a check, there must be sufficient funds in our account to cover the check, but when the Federal Reserve writes a check there is no bank deposit on which that check is drawn. When the Federal Reserve writes a check, it is creating money.

Wow. That is an extraordinary power. Whereas you or I need to work to obtain money, and place it at risk to have it grow, the Federal Reserve simply prints up as much as it wishes, whenever it wants, and then loans it to us via the US government, with interest.

All dollars are backed by debt. There are two kinds of money out there. At the local bank level, all new money is loaned into existence. At the Federal Reserve level, money is simply manufactured out of thin air and then exchanged for interest-paying government debt. And perpetual expansion is a requirement of modern banking.

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Off the Cuff: Building Bailout Rumors

All eyes are turning to the Fed to bailout Europe
Thursday, June 7, 2012, 12:55 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff with Mish & Chris podcast, Mish and Chris tackle:

  • Rumors of Bailouts in Europe
    • Germany looks like it may be willing to compromise, and many pundits are hinting that the US may pitch in.
  • A 'Nannycrat' Future for the EU 
    • The clamor for more central authority is increasing, but will the populace vote for it?
  • A New Drachma Backed by Silver?
    • An interesting proposal worth considering...

The situation in Europe continues to drive market sentiment, as does increased speculation that -- to prevent contagion from crossing the Atlantic -- the Fed is preparing to ease again. With all of the machinations being discussed, there really is nothing new in terms of actual progress. The proposals being considered (like the new Spanish "FROB") are simply shell games designed for optical purposes, nothing more. The key question remains unanswered at this point: Who will take the colossal losses on Europe's bad debts? » Read more

Podcast

Robert Mish: Front-Line Evidence That We Are Nowhere Near a Gold Bubble

At closest, we're at a "2" out of 10
Friday, March 9, 2012, 4:46 PM

Robert Mish has been a precious metals dealer for nearly 50 years and knows what gold bubble mania looks like. We are nowhere near that stage, in his opinion.

Instead, he sees a US populace largely unappreciative of holding precious metal as a store of wealth, and engaged in a slow process of dis-hording their gold and silver to eager foreign buyers, who are more than happy to take the bullion back to their shores.

In terms of where we are on the gold mania spectrum, he sees us at a "2" out of 10.

But he foresees a very rude awakening ahead, as the populace eventually wakes up to the increasing damage that our over-debted global economy is doing to the purchasing power of world currencies. Because when the general investor finally realizes the protection the precious metals offer against currency debasement, much of the retail supply will already be out of the system, in very tight hands and largely overseas.

Moreover, when supply gets tight, there will be more challenges to obtaining physical bullion during a buying mania than there were during the last mania in 1980. There are many fewer local sources to exchange bullion these days, as much of that business is now transacted by online vendors dependent mail delivery to ship product, and they are more vulnerable to supply chain disruptions.

Be sure you're aware of how the form in which you hold your bullion will affect the price you get during a buying frenzy, when refining capacity is overwhelmed. You may find that your gold or silver sells at a hefty discount because it's not in a preferred format for trade. » Read more

Blog

The Screaming Fundamentals For Owning Gold And Silver

The investment thesis for precious metals
Wednesday, June 29, 2011, 9:22 AM

This report lays out an investment thesis for gold and one for silver.  Various factors lead me to conclude that gold is one investment that you can park for the next ten or twenty years, confident that it will perform well. My timing and logic for both entering and finally exiting gold (and silver) as investments are laid out in the full report.

The punch line is this: Gold and silver are not (yet) in bubble territory, and large gains remain, especially if monetary, fiscal, and fundamental supply-and-demand trends remain in play.

Introduction

In 2001, as the painful end of the long stock bull market finally seeped into my consciousness, I began to grow quite concerned about my traditional stock and bond holdings. Other than a house with 27 years left on a 30 year mortgage, these holdings represented 100% of my investing portfolio. So I dug into the economic data to see what I could discover. What I found shocked me. It's all in the Crash Course in both video and book form, so I won't go into that data here.

By 2002, I had investigated enough about our monetary, economic, and political systems that I decided that holding gold and silver would be a very good idea, poured 50% of my liquid net worth into precious metals, and sat back and watched.

Since then, my appreciation for and understanding of the role of gold as a monetary asset and silver as an indispensable industrial metal have deepened considerably.

Investing in gold and silver is still a good idea. Here's why.

Why own gold and silver?

The reasons to hold gold and silver, and I mean physical gold and silver, are pretty straightforward. So let’s begin with the primary reasons to own gold. » Read more

Podcast

Bad Medicine: Dr. Marc Faber on Bernanke's Quack Cures

Sunday, January 16, 2011, 6:53 PM

"If there's one institution in the US that consistently and repeatedly messes up everything, the Federal Reserve is that institution."

So says famed investor Marc Faber in an interview he gave to PeakProsperity.com this week. In it, Chris and he dive deep into the Fed activity (encouraged by Washington and Wall Street) responsible for the current severe health of our economic system. Both feel that once you understand the nature of the critical role the Fed now plays, you have much better clarity into what the most probable outcomes for our economy and financial markets will be. » Read more