¹²The U.S. Path To Collapse
By National Inflation Institute | 1 September 2010
The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission today held hearings with former Lehman Brothers Chairman Dick Fuld. They are trying to figure out why Lehman Brothers was allowed to collapse, with the belief that the failure of Lehman Brothers caused the financial crisis of 2008. The truth is, the failure of Lehman Brothers was a result of the crisis and allowing them to fail was the only correct decision the government made during the crisis.
The pain that was felt after the collapse of Lehman Brothers is nothing compared to the pain that will come when we begin to feel the effects of bailing out the rest of Wall Street. U.S. second quarter GDP growth was revised down on Friday from 2.4% to 1.6%. In order to get this 1.6% GDP growth, the U.S. government had to spend $3.7 trillion on bailouts, stimulus bills, the buying of mortgage backed securities, and other commitments.
General Motors reported today that their August deliveries fell 25% from one year ago to 185,176 vehicles. The U.S. government used "cash for clunkers" to buy GDP growth in 2009, but that growth stole from future automobile sales. NIA believes that GM's sales decline is a sign that the U.S. will likely see a sharp contraction in GDP beginning in the third-quarter, which will lead to the Federal Reserve implementing the mother of all quantitative easings and cause a massive sell off in the U.S. dollar.
Christina Romer, outgoing Chairwoman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, today called for more government spending and less taxes as a way to bring down unemployment. The combination of more government spending and less taxes equals massive inflation, but this represents the state of mind in Washington today. Inflation is still the last thing on their minds because they don't see it yet.
Even though we might not see massive across the board price inflation at this time, gold and silver prices have been surging ever since NIA released its article "Gold and Silver Capitulation is Near" on July 28th. Gold is very close to breaking its all time nominal high of $1,264.90 per ounce set during June and silver is getting ready to test the critical $20-$21 per ounce resistance level.
Rising gold and silver prices indicate that the U.S. is headed for an explosion in budget deficits that will rise far beyond what it can pay for through borrowing. Leading Chinese economists are now calling Japanese debt less risky than U.S. debt and with the Japanese savings rate in decline, the U.S. will soon have nobody left to borrow from. The only option will be monetization and already the Federal Reserve is getting ready to buy $10 billion to $30 billion per month in U.S. treasuries to keep its balance sheet at inflated levels.
There are now 50 million Americans on Medicaid, with annual Medicaid costs rising 36% over the past two years to $273 billion. The recently enacted health care bill will add 16 million more Americans to Medicaid beginning in 2014, but the U.S. government will likely go bust by then. It is impossible to have an economic recovery when jobless benefits are encouraging Americans to stay unemployed. U.S. unemployment insurance spending has nearly quadrupled since 2007 to $160 billion annually. Even food stamp costs have surged 80% over the past two years to $70 billion annually.
Once Americans get used to receiving and relying on government entitlement programs, it is hard to wean them off again. NIA has been hearing reports from members with friends who say they will only "come out of retirement" if they can find a job that pays $25 per hour or more, because with anything less it wouldn't be worth losing their jobless and food stamp benefits. Americans expect to receive their jobless benefits forever and we are sure Obama will continue to extend them leading up to the 2012 election.
There are now countless warning signs all around on a daily basis that the U.S. is headed for a complete societal collapse. NIA received an overwhelming response from its members when we asked you to submit any signs you see that a societal collapse is near. The response we received was so strong that we are about to produce a documentary about America's upcoming social collapse.
The documentary will be over an hour in length; we are hoping to release it by the end of October. It will go beyond the bare economic facts and statistics that were discussed in 'Meltup' and attempt to anticipate the real life consequences of the upcoming collapse as viewed from the perspectives of various individuals. NIA believes this documentary will appeal to a very mainstream audience and help open up the world's eyes to the truth about the path this country is on.
Decoupling Now, Currency Crisis Soon
by National Inflation Institute | 25 August 2010
NIA believes that the decoupling we have been predicting of precious metals from the Dow Jones has now officially taken place. A year ago we would consistently see precious metals and stock market prices rise and fall in parallel. We have now seen the Dow Jones decline by 6.1% from its high on August 9th, along with both gold and silver rising by about 3.3% during this same time period.
The Dow Jones to gold ratio is now down to 8.1, near its low for 2010 of 7.9. The gold to silver ratio still remains at a historically high level of 66. However, silver was up today by $0.65 to $19.03 per ounce, its biggest one day gain since early June. We expect silver to significantly outperform gold in the months to come.
One year ago, almost all mainstream economists on CNBC were calling for either a "U" or a "V" shaped economic recovery. NIA said that prices were rising only due to inflation and there would be no economic recovery. NIA went into detail about how destructive government programs like the homebuyers tax credit were helping to artificially boost economic numbers, but as soon as these programs were over, economic activity would collapse to new lows.
NIA was right. Now that the government has ended its homebuyers tax credit, we just saw sales of previously owned homes decline in July by 25.5% from one year ago, to their lowest level in a decade. We also saw new home sales in July based on the signing of new contracts decline by 32.4% from one year ago.
The government will report their second estimate of second quarter GDP on Friday and we will likely see a revision from growth of 2.4% down to growth of less than 2% [[it actually went to 1.6%: normxxx]]. Keep in mind, the White House budget is projecting a GDP growth rate of 5.58% over the next five years (along with permanently low interest rates) in order to get the budget deficit down to $752 billion in 2015. With a sharp contraction in GDP likely coming in the third quarter, NIA continues to believe that the Federal Reserve will unleash the mother of all quantitative easings this fall, along with a huge push by Congress for a new stimulus plan.
U.S. mutual funds currently have about $10.5 trillion in assets, with $2.5 trillion being in bonds and $4.6 trillion being in equities. Although the amount of money invested in equities is still far greater than bonds, asset inflows into bonds have outpaced equities for 30 consecutive months. During these 30 months, $559 billion were invested into bond funds while $209.4 billion were pulled out of equity funds. It is a real shame that most retiring baby boomers who are looking for safety, are actually investing their savings into the riskiest assets of all.
In June, the U.S. savings rate climbed to 6.4%, its highest level in one year. It is unfortunate that Americans who are doing the right thing by increasing their savings, are simply giving their savings away for free to the government which is spending it recklessly with no obvious of paying it back intact. When this bond bubble begins to burst, prices of commodities will explode to the upside as nothing you have ever seen before.
NIA believes that there is a risk of the bond bubble beginning to burst as early as this fall. Smart money is now loading up on commodities. In the week ended August 17th, net long holdings in futures for 20 commodities rose 2.6% to 1.18 million contracts, with the biggest rises coming in agricultural commodities like wheat and corn. Commodity assets under management gained by about $8 billion in July to over $300 billion.
The World Gold Council just announced today that gold demand surged in the second quarter of 2010 to 1,050.3 metric tons, up 36% from one year ago. This rise in demand came mostly from rising investment demand, with gold demand for backing ETFs climbing 414% and retail investment demand rising by 29%. Because the rest of the world still likes to emulate the U.S., it might be Americans who initiate the upcoming stampede out of bonds, U.S. dollars and other dollar-denominated assets, and into precious metals.
But, for the time being, the average American is still more likely to be a seller of gold. Recycling of gold increased 35% last quarter to 496 metric tons. Americans are in the process of becoming educated about how gold isn't expensive and is still trading for only 1/2 of its all time high (adjusted to the CPI) and 1/4 of its all time high adjusted to the real rate of price inflation.
When they come to realize that by 'recycling' gold they are actually trading real money for fiat paper money, this recycling supply will rapidly diminish and the world will face a major gold shortage. The world already has a major silver shortage that will become apparent to all very soon. NIA's co-founders still receive phone calls on a daily basis from non-NIA member friends asking for us to invest in Real Estate "short sales" and other foreclosure deals.
But, by year 2012, NIA guarantees nobody is going to want to touch Real Estate and all of your friends will be calling to tell you about the latest Krugerrand that they bought. Although NIA doesn't project hyperinflation to occur until the years 2014-2015, there is already a serious risk of hyperinflation occurring at any time from here on out. Hedge funds need to be where the momentum is and as soon as the momentum turns against the dollar, we could see the bond bubble burst and the currency crisis begin instantaneously.
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