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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The “Cheap Money” Trap

The US Fed led by Ben Bernanke has created a fiscal death trap for unknowledgable investors. There is a mirage that has blinded investors and duped them into a sense of comfort and security. As the stock market continues to rage on with zero fundamentals it becomes more and more apparent that this is going to end badly.

GDP growth is an out-and-out lie... Real job creation is non-existent... Inflation is rising (don’t believe the government)... And let’s not forget America’s nearly $17 trillion debt that hovers over our heads like a 2 ton anvil.

The government and the media are all pitching an economic recovery, but just ask yourself does

·         Declining Incomes

·         Hidden Inflation

·         Hidden Unemployment

Constitute an economic recovery. Does 1.5% growth reflect an economic recovery?

The present fiscal policy is to continually print new money which keeps the Banks balance sheets looking good and this money also artificially keeps interest rates low. Presently the FED is printing over $1T per year to keep the Banks propped up. This isn’t capitalism; it is a private enterprise through government. Without all the printing the Banks would fail, in a true capitalistic enterprise the Banks would be allowed to fail and then the recovery could begin.

So now we have an artificially inflated stock market that is not allowed to correct itself as would happen in a true market. Make no mistake; stocks are only going up because of increased liquidity from the Fed and corporate measures that reduce costs (reduction in workforce and other general administration cutbacks).

 The average investor has no idea that 80% of trades executed in the stock market are done by high-frequency trading algorithms. And those algorithms are operating on flawed data (see: "official" unemployment rates). The flawed data is all manipulated through government controls and reporting. Do you really believe the inflation numbers, unemployment numbers and other leading and lagging indicators put out by the government? Just look around you, what is happening to food prices? What is happening with energy costs? How many of your neighbors are working at full time jobs?

So the only sign we have that things are going well is a stock market that's no market at all.

This week the FED once again decided to keep the pedal to the metal and continue to print more money. They know that if interest rates were allowed to rise in the short term we would be looking at a crash of the bond market, a real correction in the stock market and the insolvency of many banks in the system. The problem is that while the cheap money keeps the Banks and Stock Market afloat it also consistently erodes the value of the dollar. At this moment the markets are driven by bad news in an opposite direction; in other words bad news is good news and good news is bad news. The market is totally upside down in its thinking because investors realize that bad news makes the FED continue to print money. Sadly this ride has to end regardless of market conditions.

There is a point at which your debt is worthless and there are no buyers. Presently the largest purchaser of US debt is the FED. That means we are purchasing our own debt with money we are presently printing. The market for US debt is continuing to shrink and the only way to keep it going is for the US to print money and purchase their own debt. This type of strategy wouldn’t even be acceptable in an ECON 101 class.

The more damning dilemma is the reserve currency status. Presently the US has the ability to print their own money and control their interest rates because of the global status of being the reserve currency. The continued devaluation of the dollar will make it less attractive as the reserve currency. This will open the door for China to become the reserve currency and then the US will have to actually pay down the insurmountable debt that will be left.

Why is any of this important? Well you must be aware and make decisions which will allow you to keep your wealth. If you simply stand on the sidelines and wait it out you will find nothing left in your cupboard. It is time to take action and make smart decisions about money.

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