Thursday, April 2, 2015

"Don't worry, debt is fine"---Alfred E. Newman

The Titanic Sinks At Dawn
by Gary Christenson

What Titanic? The RMS Titanic, or any of the following:

A titanic quantity of derivatives – say 1,000 Trillion dollars. A derivative crash was at the center of the 2008 market meltdown. It could happen again since there is now more debt, leverage, and risk than in 2008.

A titanic accumulation of debt – global debt is approximately $200 Trillion. Global population is about 7,000,000,000 so there is about $28,000 in debt per living human being. If global debt were backed by all the gold mined in the history of the world, an ounce of gold would back $36,000 in debt. Gold currently sells for less than $1,200. Gold is undervalued and there is an excess of debt.

A titanic increase in debt in the past decade. Official US debt increased by over $10,000,000,000,000 in the past ten years. What did the US gain from the increase of $10 Trillion in debt? Are debt accumulation and expense policies materially different in Europe or Japan? Was the debt used to create productive assets or was it just flushed down the toilet into non-productive expenditures? THE BENEFIT IS GONE, BUT THE DEBT REMAINS. This debt accumulation policy is neither good business nor sustainable.

A titanic bond bubble. Since interest rates are currently at multi-generational lows, or 700 year lows in Europe, or perhaps all-time lows, that strongly suggests a bubble in bonds. Would you buy a bond from an insolvent government knowing the government will pay you next to nothing in interest over the next ten years? Further, the government is guaranteeing a devalued currency so any dollars, euros, or yen you eventually receive will be worth much less in purchasing power than today.

A titanic currency bubble in the US dollar, which just hit a 12 year high after a parabolic rise since May last year. Experience with parabolic rises suggests extreme caution.

A titanic collapse in the crude oil market. Supply is strong, demand is weak, and prices have fallen to about $45 from about $105 last June. The last time crude oil prices fell was from July to October 2008, a most difficult time.

The titanic creation of paper assets such as bonds, currencies, and stocks has created substantial risk. That risk has spilled over into the crude oil, gold and silver markets since they are strongly influenced by the paper derivative markets – paper contracts for crude oil, paper gold, and paper silver. Leverage and derivatives magnify risk. The instability will eventually create a second version of the 2008 recession/depression...


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