January 1, 2009
With the massive monetary expansion experienced in recent months and the promise for unprecedented levels of money and credit supply increase in coming months, the United States Federal Reserve looks on paper to be sending America straight into hyperinflation. Germany’s post-World War I Weimar Republic, post-World War II Hungary, 2001 Argentina, and present day Zimbabwe are all analogous examples of massive debt monetization, which all led to hyperinflationary disaster. Never before has the entire world’s economy been linked to one nation’s, however, as is the case today with the United States.
In a case of economic mutually assured destruction, foreign creditor nations and their central banks can’t afford to spark a run on the US Dollar, because it would kill their own export-based economies, as well as devalue their debt repayments and foreign exchange reserves. But the United States has been financing consumption through debt for decades and has resorted to monetary expansion to finance its debt and deficit spending, which is only going to increase with Barack Obama’s infrastructure and social programs. The Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) itself amounts to $700B, all of which will essentially be “printed.” Foreign demand for US debt is all but gone, as creditor nations are now attempting to unwind their USD positions. Huge creditor nations like China and Iran were net sellers of US Treasuries in recent months, attesting to the weakening of the American debt bubble. So where’s all this excess liquidity go?
The answer is gold, and it is the only way to prevent the hyperinflationary scenarios referenced above from materializing in the United States.
The Fed has been on a money printing binge of unprecedented proportions, but has been able to thus far “trap” the excess liquidity from reaching the consumer level, which is what causes price inflation. It started a massive foreign currency sale this summer through the Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) that led to a supply increase of Euros and suppression of dollar usage. It has been liquifying troubled banks by issuing them T-bills financed through monetization in exchange for toxic assets by utilizing reverse repurchase agreements. And it has used the recent deleveraging and commodity collapse (partially caused by credit defaults in many of the overleveraged institutions that were supporting the commodity bull) to supply the temporary demand for US Dollars and feeding its own foreign exchange reserves.
But the excess liquidity thus far is trapped in time-sensitive and manipulated instruments now, and without a demand for American debt, it has to go somewhere. As T-bills expire and the stock market descends further, actual currency is going to be released out of sequestration into the economy. The Fed cannot allow the market to breach below its November lows, unless it wants widespread insolvency in insurers and banks, which are legally required to halt operations in the event of insolvency. I’ve heard estimates of 7500 and 8000 in the Dow as being minimum support levels that, if broken for an extended time, would lead to economic collapse in America as financials would all go under. To prevent this and to finance Obama’s deficit spending, actual dollars will have to be injected into the system and they will be.
This article was posted: Thursday, January 1, 2009 at 6:03 am