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Fed Stimulus Leads to Stagflation

??Despite the full onslaught of Keynesian economic policies, including the injection of unheard of sums of printed money into the financial system, state sanctioned accounting tricks, negative real interest rates, massive deficit spending, and debasement of the U.S....

Stimulus Wears Off

The artificially engineered U.S. recovery is already starting to falter as a continuous procession of disappointing data continues to confirm the sad truth. Recent numbers on GDP, durable goods, housing, regional manufacturing, initial unemployment claims and leading...

Training Wheels Off, Crash Helmets On

Based on many pronouncements by economic policy makers, reams of articles by the top financial journalists and near continuous discussion on the financial news channels, it appears that the quantitative easing juggernaut that has steamed the high seas of...

Raising the Roof on the National Debt

Today the U.S. government officially borrowed beyond its $14.29 trillion statutory debt limit. And even though the Obama administration has assured us that accounting gimmickry will allow the government to borrow for another few months, the breach has given seeming...

Silver Takes it on the Chin

This week saw the type of downside volatility in the precious metals market that will be remembered for years to come. For those of us who have been long gold, and silver in particular, the memories will not be pleasant. While many had been expecting a pullback in...

Silver Set to Soar as Paper Folds?

As a result of active "demonetization" efforts by the IMF and its member central banks, gold and silver have experienced the type of volatility that has given conservative investors reasons not to perceive the metals as dependable cash alternatives. Instead gold and...

S&P Is Late to The Party…Once Again

The only thing more ridiculous than S&P's too little too late semi-downgrade of U.S. sovereign debt was the market's severe reaction to the announcement. Has S&P really added anything to the debate that wasn't already widely known? In any event,...

Inflation Destroys Real Wages

In the same vein as medieval physicians believed bloodletting would cure illness, modern snake-oil economists still perilously cling to their claim that rising wages and salaries are the cause of inflation. With my recent debates with these...

Will Precious Metals Survive the Double Dip?

It is rare in recent history for precious metals to appreciate in parallel with the broader stock market. Yet, this has been the case in the two years since the stock market began crawling out of the wreckage of the 2008 financial crisis. Although metals have vastly...

The Symptoms of Nuclear Hysteria

Imagine you invented a machine that revolutionized travel. You know your invention could cut local and long distance travel time substantially and vastly improve the ability for business to deliver freight efficiently. The invention would add trillions to global GDP....

The FED’s Core Incompetency and Inflation

For years the Federal Reserve has told us that in order to detect inflation in the economy it is important to separate "signal from noise" by focusing on "core" inflation statistics, which exclude changes in food and energy prices. Because food and energy figure so...

Fiat Money and The Inflation Knuckleball

By its very definition, fiat money is something created out of thin air: the word "fiat" is Latin for "let it be done" (as in, by decree). But the convenience that such a currency system offers central bankers is paid at the expense of...

Interest Rates Are on the Launch Pad

A few months ago, the chorus sung by the recovery cheerleaders reached a crescendo when expanding consumer credit statistics and surging US trade deficits provided them with "evidence" of an economic rebound. In declaring victory, they overlooked the very nucleus of...

?Quake Response Puts Yen on the Line

One of the immediate financial consequences of the catastrophic Japanese earthquake is that Japan needs to call on its huge cache of foreign exchange reserves to rebuild its shattered infrastructure. To pay for domestic projects, Japan will require...

?Japanese Fallout May Hit Treasuries

Japan is facing two meltdowns in the wake of its devastating earthquake. The first, and more critical, is the meltdown at the Fukushima I Nuclear Plant, 150 miles north of Tokyo. Surely, this is the greater near-term threat. But long-term, another threat looms, having...

Taps for the Dollar

It now appears that the United States has finally succeeded in its efforts to destroy confidence in the U.S. dollar. Given the currency's reserve status, its ubiquity in financial markets, and the economic power and political position of the United States, this was no...

Gold is Money: Morgan Opens Gold Window

Earlier this month, J.P. Morgan made an important announcement that received scant coverage in the media: the bank would now accept gold as collateral for loans. The move appears to have been well-timed, for in the ensuing weeks, the price of gold and silver climbed...

Arab Autocracies and US Inflation

Civil revolt is currently spreading across the Arab world. What began in Tunisia has now metastasized into Bahrain, Egypt and Libya. Though two dictators have been ousted, the chances that these regimes will fundamentally transform from autocracy to a system of free...

Geithner’s Failed Makeover

To counter the increasing demands that government reduce its micromanagement of the economy, last week the Obama Administration offered a fig leaf in the form of a white paper entitled "Reforming America's Housing Finance Market." In addition to marking the official...

Financial Disconnect

Despite last week's confusing employment data, the increasing threat of another decline in home values, political uncertainty in Egypt and the broader Middle East, and sharp pullbacks in some emerging markets such as Brazil, US stock markets continued to rise. It...

?The Two Faces of Ben Bernanke

Based on his recent public comments, Fed Chairman Bernanke seems determined to give the U.S. dollar the reputation of Egypt's Hosni Mubarak: an unwanted relic of the past that everyone agrees must go, but stubbornly clings to a privileged position. The...

Is The US Rally Sustainable?

This week, the financial media celebrated as the Dow closed above the 12,000 mark for the first time since June 19th, 2008. For many, this milestone is another sign that the financial nightmare of the past three years will soon fade in the rearview mirror. The...

Inflation is Here to Stay

In current economic analysis, inflation is largely in the eye of the beholder, and depending on how you choose to look, very different stories emerge. In the U.S., food and beverages count for just 16.4% of the CPI calculation. The Chinese apparently believe that the...

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