Sunday, February 27, 2011
Is our economy doomed?
All who enjoy hearing a meaty Marc Faber fire and brimstone sermon, that cuts through the bullshit, will be happy to know that the Gloom, Boom and Doom author conducted a 40 minute interview with the McAlvany Financial Group, which covers all the usual suspects: gold, silver, precious and industrial metals, the "crack up boom", the future of the Ponzi and capital markets in general and much more. Of course, it wouldn't be a Faber interview without the requisite soundbite: "I think we are all doomed. I think what will happen is that we are in the midst of a kind of a crack-up boom that is not sustainable, that eventually the economy will deteriorate, that there will be more money-printing, and then you have inflation, and a poor economy, an extreme form of stagflation, and, eventually, in that situation, countries go to war, and, as a whole, derivatives, the market, and everything will collapse, and like a computer when it crashes, you will have to reboot it." Of course, on a long enough timeline...
Key extract from the Faber speech:
I think we are all doomed. I think what will happen is that we are in the midst of a kind of a crack-up boom that is not sustainable, that eventually the economy will deteriorate, that there will be more money-printing, and then you have inflation, and a poor economy, an extreme form of stagflation, and, eventually, in that situation, countries go to war, and, as a whole, derivatives, the market, and everything will collapse, and like a computer when it crashes, you will have to reboot it.
For the investor, the question is: How do I navigate through this complete disaster that is going to unfold? And I think if you look at different asset classes – real estate, equities, bonds, cash, precious metals – I suppose that you have to be diversified. I think real estate in the U.S. may go down another 10% or so, or even 15%, but I am always telling people, if you can buy the piece of land or the house you like, what do you actually care if it does down another 10%? If everything I bought in my life had only gone down 10-15%, I would be very rich, because a lot of things became worthless, especially loans to friends, and bonds, and so forth.
Look at the history, for example, of Germany, for the last 100 years. They had World War I. They had the hyper-inflation in World War II. The bond-holders got wiped out three times. If you owned Siemens, and you still own Siemens today, it was not a fantastic investment, but at least you still have something. You were not wiped out. I think that in equities you will be better off because you have an ownership in a company, than by being the lenders to companies, and the lenders, especially, to governments.
Faber on the key distinction between nominal and real, which nobody on CNBC seems to grasp yet, why gold now is cheaper than it was in 1999, and on the Dow and gold reaching parity.
In a money-printing environment, it is very difficult to know what is actually cheap and what is expensive. Is the price of wheat high, or is it low? Inflation-adjusted, it is extremely low. In nominal terms, it is relatively high. I believe that, in March 2009 when the S&P was at 666, the market was actually much cheaper than is generally perceived, because of the money-printing, and I do not anticipate that we will see 666 on the S&P again, in nominal terms.
In other words, they are going to print so much money that the S&P could be at, perhaps, 2000, but in real terms, it could be down below the lows of March 6, 2009. Maybe in gold terms, we could one day reach a ratio of Dow Jones to gold of 1-to-1, as we were in 1980. In other words, the Dow could be perhaps at 10,000 or 12,000, and gold could be at the same level.
That is why I am advising people to accumulate gold. Can gold have a correction? Yes, there has been a little bit too much euphoria about gold, and we may have a correction, but I do not think we are in a bubble in the price of gold. In fact, I could make a case that gold, at this level of $1400 an ounce, is cheaper than in 1999, when I look at the unfunded liability growth of the U.S., at the credit growth of the U.S., and at the household growth, and at the money printing, and at all the wealth creation that happens in China and Russia.
Read more and watch video: