Friday, December 31, 2010
One benefit of hyperinflation...
by Egon von Greyerz
We now live in a world where governments print worthless pieces of paper to buy other worthless pieces of paper that combined with worthless derivatives, finance assets whose values are totally dependent on all these worthless debt instruments. Thus most of these assets are also worth-less.
So the world financial system is a house of cards where each instrument’s false value is artificially supported by another instrument’s false value. The fuse of the world financial market time bomb has been lit. There is no longer a question of IF it will happen but only WHEN and HOW. The world lives in blissful ignorance of this. Stockmarkets remain strong and investors worldwide have piled into government bonds in a perceived flight to safety. Due to a century of money creation (and in particular since the 1970s) by governments and by the fractal banking system, investors believe that stocks, bonds and property can only go up. Understanding risk and sound investment principles has not been necessary in these casino markets with guaranteed payouts for anyone who plays the game. Maximum leverage and derivatives have in the last 10-15 years driven markets to unfathomable risk levels, with massive rewards for the participants.
In the meantime central banks are cranking up the printing presses but as Bernanke recently said quantitative easing is an “inappropriate” description of what should be called “securities purchases”! Who is he kidding? What the Fed is buying has nothing to do with “securities”. There is no security whatsoever in the rubbish the Fed is purchasing. They are buying worthless pieces of paper with worthless pieces of paper. This is the Ponzi scheme of all Ponzi schemes.
Let us be very clear, this financial Shangri-La is now coming to an end. The financial system is broke, many western sovereign states are bankrupt and governments will continue to apply the only remedy they know which is issuing debt that will never ever be repaid with normal money.
The result of massive money printing is a collapsing currency, leading to escalating prices and eventually hyperinflation. This is in simple terms how every hyperinflationary period in history has happened. If in addition, there are world shortages of food, energy and other commodities, this will accelerate the process.
There are currently a number of indicators all pointing to escalating money printing and an imminent start of a hyperinflationary era. Here are some of them:
1. Fiscal Gap widening at alarming rates in many major economies.
2. Commodity prices at all-time highs.
3. Long term interest rates rising.
4. Most Currencies falling.
5. Precious Metals at all-time highs against most currencies.