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“Just Be Your Own Central Bank”

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Posted by John Rubino: DollarCollapse.com

on Thursday, 28 February 2013 18:16

The past year has tested the worldview, and sometimes the sanity, of precious metals investors. But it has also given us another chance to load up at what might turn out to be dirt-cheap prices, says Carsten Ringler, managing director of German financial firm TASS Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH. Here’s an excerpt from a long conversation we had this week, in which he laid out the reasons for optimism about precious metals in general and the junior silver miners in particular.

DollarCollapse: Good afternoon Carsten, it’s great to finally speak with you. Let’s begin with your general take on the major asset classes.

inflationCarsten Ringler: It is nonsense to be in long-term government bonds at the moment. A 1% – 2% rise in interest rates would kill you in 10-year Treasuries. Gold and silver on the other hand are money, and as long as the [paper] money supply is increasing at today’s rate, precious metals are the place to be. There might be another leg down, but it will be short and mild. I am confident that within in the next 2-3 years we’ll see a breakout in precious meals that leads to a mania similar to the past few bubbles.

One way to understand how cheap precious metals are in paper money terms is to go to the Minneapolis Fed’s website and use their inflation basket calculator. You can put in the price of a good on a date in the past, and the machine calculates the inflation-adjusted price from then to now. For gold, starting in 1980 when it was $850, today’s inflation-adjusted price is $2,400. So when anyone says gold is too expensive because it has risen the past ten years, you can respond that according to the Minneapolis Fed $2,413 is where it would be if it had just kept up with inflation. For silver, start with the 1980 $49.45 high and you get an inflation-adjusted price of $139.

....read more HERE



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Currency

How to Make a Fortune If the Currency Wars Go Atomic

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Posted by Shaw Guilani: Capital Wave Strategist

on Wednesday, 27 February 2013 10:28

UnknownThere's a lot of talk about currency wars these days, but very little understanding about what that means for specific countries, economic growth, inflation, and your pocketbook.

Let's fix that.

First of all, there has been no declaration of any currency war. And there likely won't be.

That's because open currency warfare could quickly lead to a mushrooming global crisis.

But that doesn't mean countries aren't already engaged in currency battles; they are. They almost always are.

Here's an over-simplified explanation about how currency wars affect you.

What You Need to Know About Currencies

If Japan exports cars to America and America exports grain to Japan, each has to pay the other. American grain exporters want to get paid in dollars, so they can spend those dollars in the U.S. The Japanese want to get paid in yen so they can pay their workers in yen, pay their taxes in yen, and spend their money in Japan.

Americans (in this example it wouldn't be you, but the cars importers) can "buy" yen with their dollars to pay the Japanese for their cars, or the Japanese can accept dollars as payment and then use those dollars to buy yen themselves.

Of course it works the other way around if you're a grain farmer selling to Japan.

But the value of yen to dollars, or dollars to yen, isn't constant. There is no set exchange rate. Exchange rates are set in open currency trading markets where currencies are bought and sold to the tune of several trillions of dollars a day, every day. One day a dollar might buy 100 yen and the next day it might buy only 98 yen, or it could buy 102 yen.

Lots of factors determine exchange rates, but the biggest, by far, is interest rates. I'll get to that, and then you'll understand the whole currency thing, and never forget it.

Currency wars, which are waged all the time, but not dramatically, are all about the value of your "home" currency relative to other countries' currencies. Our home currency in America is the U.S. dollar, in Japan it's the yen, in the 17-nation euro-currency bloc it's the euro, in Great Britain it's the pound, and so on.

Countries that export a lot of goods want their currency to be "cheap" relative to other countries, especially those countries who are buying the home countries' exported goods.

If the value of American dollars to Japanese yen is strong, meaning a dollar can buy a lot of yen, when you buy a Japanese car, for example, it will take fewer dollars to pay for it. 
If the value of the yen goes up relative to the dollar, that car is going to cost more because your dollars don't buy as many yen as they did before.

Currency exchange rates have nothing to do with what kind of car you are buying from Japan or what features it has; the currency "cost" is a separate component of the cost of that car. That's true for all products imported and exported around the world.

Because Japan exports a lot of cars, not just to America, but around the world, it wants its currency to be "cheaper" than other currencies so it doesn't take as many dollars, or euros, or pounds to buy a Japanese car, or any product exported from Japan.

Here's the problem. America is a huge exporter of goods and services, too. So is Germany, and of course so is China. From a political perspective, all governments want to support their exporting industries. It's about manufacturing and jobs, and revenue and profits, and economic growth and standards of living.

The easiest way to facilitate an export-driven economy, like Japan's, like China's, like Germany's, and like America's (especially lately as domestic demand in the U.S. has softened as a result of the Great Recession) is to keep the home currency "cheap" relative to other currencies.

If exporting countries, especially those that don't have big domestic demand bases, meaning less-developed and "emerging-markets" economies, are all trying to export their way to growth (as is the U.S.) and they all want to have their currencies be "cheap" on a relative basis, that can't happen. Everyone's currency can't be cheap at the same time.

That's what precipitates currency wars. Governments who want to stimulate growth through exports (and who doesn't?) usually subtly, but sometimes overtly, take measures to lower the value of their currencies.

Japan's new Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, in an unusual exception to the pacifist approach to currency skirmishes, recently fired a shot heard round the world. To lower the value of the yen, Abe is demanding domestic monetary easing, aggressive stimulus, and more dangerously, has openly been talking down the yen.

While Abe's bold-faced rhetoric is provocative, G20 finance ministers and Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, have been calmly trying to defuse any mounting tensions that could trigger any country-specific retaliation and a global race to devalue currencies.

Is Japan to blame? No. America really started the latest round of currency battles.

In order to "stimulate" our way out of the Great Recession, which included President Obama's articulated policy of dramatically increasing America's exports, the Federal Reserve, in conjunction with the Administration's wishes and its own interest in re-capitalizing the nation's big banks the Fed is beholden to, has kept interest rates low, as in very low.

One of the ways the Fed has done this is by "printing" money. The Fed has the ability, beyond the reach of Congress or the President, to buy what it wants, which is most often U.S. Treasury government bonds (that pay interest). It pays for what it buys by simply issuing "credits" as payment.

Those credits are turned into money as they are spent by the government whose bonds the Fed buys, or by banks who sell the Fed (on a temporary basis, with the intention of buying them back in the future, usually) their underwater mortgage-backed securities. Thus, the banks supposedly have money to lend.

Here's Where It All Comes Together

Because the Fed has kept interest rates so low in America, investors who want more interest income on their money than they get here are parking their money in other countries where interest rates are higher. In order to put your money into a bank in another country that offers higher interest rates than banks offer in the U.S. you have to first buy that country's currency. And that bids up that country's currency relative to the dollars that you are selling.

In addition to the dollar being weakened, on a relative value basis, by investors selling dollars to buy and invest in other countries currencies, the amount of money being printed by the Fed means that at some point in the future all that money in the system will cause prices to rise.

Inflation is the result of a lot of excess paper money chasing a set amount of goods and services.

Inflation, and just the prospect of inflation, causes the dollar to fall further. And if the dollar is falling relative to the Japanese yen or the euro, other countries who want to grow their exports are going to eventually do what they have to in order to lower the value of their own currencies.

That's how we get into currency wars.

The net result is inflation, which arrives in several different ways.

You'll know when it's starting to spread. Interest rates will start to rise; watch the yield on the U.S. 10-year treasury. Commodity prices will rise; you'll see it in your grocery bills. You may already be seeing the incipient signs.

Stocks will rise at first -- then start to collapse. So, make sure you're in the market but keep raising your protective stops as prices rise.

Buy commodities and gold, but take profits on your commodities as they skyrocket; they won't stay high forever.

Don't pay off your mortgage, make the minimum payments. You can pay it off later with cheaper dollars.

Accumulate as much cash as you can, and when prices crash -- which will include real estate -- be ready to buy, buy, buy.

That's how to turn an atomic implosion that could result from currency wars into a personal fortune.

 

From Executive Editor Bill Patalon: How We Beat Soros By Eight Months on This Currency Call...

One of our promises here at Money Morning is to keep you ahead of the curve - and certainly ahead of Wall Street. Frankly, this is what you come here for, and we take very seriously our responsibility to deliver. So when we succeed, we want to sing it from the rooftops. Like this time...

Money Map Press Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald was fully eight months ahead of George Soros (and other hedge-fund heavyweights) in identifying this latest currency profit opportunity: the yen.

According to the Wall Street Journal, betting against the Japanese currency "has emerged as the hottest trade on Wall Street over the past three months." That’s when Soros shorted the yen – in November 2012.

But it was February of 2012 when Keith told my Private Briefing subscribers that the yen was headed for big fall - and he even recommended an ETF that would let them profit from his prediction.

The upshot: Keith's recommendation has so far reaped a 44% windfall - which is more than double the 20% yen decline the hedge-fund Johnny-come-latelies have been able to profit on. And there's more to come.

If you would like to join the thousands of investors Private Briefing has already helped to make big money in the markets, you can do it for just 26 cents a day. I'm proud to say that in a little over a year, we've had more than four dozen winners, including four that have doubled and two that have tripled in price. Click here to learn more.

>>Don't miss Is Japan About to Fire the First Shots in a 1930s-Style Currency War?.

 



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Currency

The US Buck -The Key To it All

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Posted by Przemyslaw Radomski - Sunshine Profits

on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 14:40

Are Correlations Between Currencies and Precious Metals Returning to Normalcy? 

 

We have been witnessing the abnormal situation in the intermarket correlations for quite some time now, i.e. positive correlation between dollar and gold and silver (or virtually no correlation at all) , and negative one between the general stock market and precious metals sector. Such a set-up is not the best from the precious metals perspective, as the overall medium-term outlook is bullish for stocks and bearish for dollar. But last week seems to have brought some important changes to the structure of correlations. Before we analyze them, let’s see what happened on the currency market last week – we’ll focus on the USD Index 

radomski february252013 1

On the very long-term chart we see a move above the declining long-term resistance line which normally would be a big deal. However, in the middle of last year when this happened, it was followed by an invalidation of the breakout and a subsequent decline. We expect to see the same thing here once again. Keep in mind that we have not seen a weekly close above this resistance line and really need to see several before stating that the breakout is truly confirmed.

Let us see how the medium-term perspective looks like.

radomski february252013 2

We include this chart in today’s article so that we could make some points about the head-and-shoulders pattern. We see that it is no longer perfectly symmetrical, but this does not invalidate the pattern. It could still be the case that a double right shoulder is forming. If the index declines below the 79 level, the pattern and the outlook will once again be just as bearish as if the breakdown took place last month.

Finally, let us take a looka at the short-term picture.

radomski february252013 3

In the short-term USD Index chart, we see the index right at its cyclical HYPERLINK "http://www.sunshineprofits.com/gold-silver/dictionary/turning-points/" \o "Cyclical turning points in gold and silver charts"turning point. The sharp rally this month brought the index to its November high and the last part of this rally severely exacerbated the decline of gold.

With the index at its November 2012 high, at a cyclical turning point, and with RSI levels above 70, a decline here is quite likely very soon if not immediately.

Let us take a look at gold and silver correlations to see how such a decline in the U.S. dollar could translate into precious metals prices.

radomski february252013 4

The Correlation Matrix is a tool which we have developed to analyze the impact of the currency markets and the general stock market upon the precious metals sector (namely gold & silver correlations). We continue to see some return to normalcy between the precious metals and the USD Index. Unfortunately the reason is that precious metals declined as the USD Index rallied. Of course, this must be considered a better scenario than if the metals had declined in price for no apparent reason. The indications are that when the USD Index reverses, the precious metals will do the same. With the USD Index at a cyclical turning point therefore, we could very well see higher prices for precious metals and mining stocks in the coming weeks.

We have mentioned the importance of cyclical turning points in the analysis of the currency markets and we would like to address one of our subscriber’s question regarding that matter, as this technique seems to raise doubts among our readers.

Q: Hi there, I was wondering if sometimes cyclical turning points just don't happen at all. For example, we've been waiting for a cyclical turning point in the USD but it just hasn't happened. And it now seems to be forming a right shoulder of a head-and-shoulders pattern. Is there a variable or certain rule about cyclical turning points that I don't know about and would like to understand?

A: Yes, sometimes cyclical turning points just don't happen - just like any technical tool. Good tools work most of the time and excellent tools can be expected to work 80% of the time or so (and it can be the case that something doesn't work a few times in a row only to then work 20 times in a row). Expecting anything more than 80% is not really realistic and thus cyclical turning points also have to not happen at times. It still seems that they will work this time, though.

Summing up, the outlook remains bearish for the dollar. The implications from the currency markets appear quite bullish for the precious metals sector in the weeks ahead. 

Thank you for reading. Have a great and profitable week!

Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA

Founder, Editor-in-chief

PS. Today's sharp pullback in gold is a very positive short-term sign. Please sign up for details (covered in today's Market Alert).

http://www.sunshineprofits.com/" \o "gold investment & trading, silver investment & trading"Gold Investment & Trading Website - SunshineProfits.com

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

About Sunshine Profits

 

Sunshine Profits enables anyone to forecast market changes with a level of accuracy that was once only available to closed-door institutions. It provides free trial access to its best investment tools (including lists of best HYPERLINK "http://www.sunshineprofits.com/gold-silver/investment-tools/gold-stocks-ranking/" \o "gold mining stocks"gold stocks and HYPERLINK "http://www.sunshineprofits.com/gold-silver/investment-tools/silver-stock-ranking/" \o "silver mining stocks"silver stocks), proprietary HYPERLINK "http://www.sunshineprofits.com/gold-silver/charts/sp-indicators/" \o "gold indicator"gold & silver indicators, buy & sell signals, weekly newsletter, and more. HYPERLINK "http://www.sunshineprofits.com/gold-silver/services-overview/" \o "gold & silver services overview"Seeing is believing.

 

 

Disclaimer

 

All essays, research and information found above represent analyses and opinions of Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA and Sunshine Profits' associates only. As such, it may prove wrong and be a subject to change without notice. Opinions and analyses were based on data available to authors of respective essays at the time of writing. Although the information provided above is based on careful research and sources that are believed to be accurate, Przemyslaw Radomski, CFA and his associates do not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. The opinions published above are neither an offer nor a recommendation to purchase or sell any securities. Mr. Radomski is not a 



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Currency

There is More to Come – Currency Collapse?

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Posted by Martin Armstrong - Armstrong Economics

on Friday, 22 February 2013 07:52

NO market like a man is an island. Everything is connected and for gold to decline, ALL markets must be set up in the direction of capital flows. People always want to personalize things and attack the messenger rather than try to learn what makes the world tick.

Human emotion is always the dangerous element that MUST be minimized to achieve consistency. Hence, those who called for gold to rise to $30,000 failed to realize that cannot take place in a vacuum. Nor was it possible for the stock market to collapse when the crisis is located in the bond and debt markets. So let’s see – stocks collapse to 10 cents on the dollar because that is what they did in 1929, and to achieve that capital would have to flee to the bonds markets as a flight to quality and that means interest rates would have to go NEGATIVE?

Absolutely everything is connected. The decline in gold is part of an interlinked trend that also marked the rise in the dollar and the fall of the yen. The end of quantitative easing is the end of a lot of hype used to get gold going. The first QE program was announced by chairman Ben Bernanke in December 2008 when an ounce of gold cost only $837.50.

euroft-y

The Euro will crash and burn forcing the dollar even higher. Just look at this chart. The Euro initially fell to about 80 cents then rallied to $1.60. This effectively DOUBLED the international COST of all outstanding debt. This is why Greece cracked and the rest of Europe is unraveling. Politicians have wrongly used the rise in the Euro as proof they did the right thing as if it were a soccer score.

The G20 just pledged they would not engage in currency wars. They will. Quantitative easing in not just the USA, but in Japan is in effect contributing to the global trend that has impacted the currencies. Europe will see its “euro” demoralized. Politically, this will be seen by Europeans as now proof that their politicians are on the wrong road.

Ed Note: In this article HERE Martin adresses Why Cycles Work.

 

Austerity will give way to hold the Euro together.  We will go over these interconnected trends at the Princeton World Economic Conference on March 18-19th. Now that you are starting to see the interconnections, this conference will be one of the most important events on our agenda. Sorry – I cannot guarantee there will be another in 2013. Right now, this may be the last one for the United States.



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The Currency War "Canary in The Coal Mine"

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Posted by Peter Schiff - Euro Pacific Capital

on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 07:59

canary-in-the-coal-mineThe Pound gets Pounded:

As the global currency war intensifies, the majority of attention has been paid to the 17% fall of the Japanese yen against the U.S. dollar over the past few months. The implosion has given cover to the sad performance of another once mighty currency: the British pound sterling. But in many ways the travails of the pound is far more instructive to those pondering the fate of the U.S. currency. 

Japan has a unique economic and demographic profile which makes it a poor stalking horse. Newly elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Bank of Japan have clearly and forcefully committed Japan to a policy of inflation at any cost. Even in a world of serial money printers their plans stand out as exceptional. Britain, on the other hand, is charting a more conventional course to the same destination.  

The UK government, under conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, has succeeded in bringing marginal discipline to their budgetary imbalances. From 2009 to 2012, British government expenditures rose a total of just 1.6%, which was far below the official pace of inflation. (In contrast, U.S. federal spending grew by 7.9% over that time period). Since 2009 the British have kept their debt-to-GDP ratio lower than America's and have cut into that metric at a faster rate. But while the British are conservative when compared to their American cousins, they are hardly austere when compared to Germany (which continues to have a nearly balanced budget and extremely low debt to GDP). Paul Krugman blames Britain's lackluster economic performance on their misguided experiment with austerity.   

The monetary side of the equation also puts the UK within the spectrum of its peers. Ever since the Great Recession began in 2008 the Bank of England, led by outgoing Governor Mervyn King, has been far more stimulative than the European Central Bankers in Frankfort (but not quite as much as the Federal Reserve or the Bank of Japan). In contrast to the permanent and ongoing bond-buying quantitative easing programs underway in the U.S. and Japan, the Bank of England has engaged in such measures only selectively. 

Given the relatively moderate approach pursued by the British, the poor performance of their currency may be hard to fathom. The deciding factor may be that the Pound Sterling is not nearly as vital to investors, or as integrated into the global economy, as the U.S. dollar or the euro. The greenback, being the world's reserve currency, has always benefited from demand that is independent of its economic fundamentals. The euro benefits from the size of the euro zone and the legacy of German banking discipline. The pound enjoys no such privileges and as a result foreign central banks do not feel as pressured to prop it up. As a result, over the past few years the pound has been... pounded. Since July 2008, the currency is down 26.7% against the U.S. dollar, and in recent months it has started falling faster than all other developed currencies except for the Abe-pummeled yen. Since October 1, 2012 the pound has fallen by 4% against the dollar and 8% against the euro. 

The pound's health is made more suspect by the extreme challenges faced by the Bank of England as it tries to stimulate the most admittedly inflation prone economy among the major Western nations. Unlike the Federal Reserve, which is tasked by statute to combat both inflation and unemployment, the BofE has only a single mandate: to keep inflation contained. On that score it has been failing habitually. Inflation in the UK has been north of its 2% target for the past five years (the current official rate is 2.7%). In its most recent inflation projections, Mr. King admitted that it will stay that way for years to come, and that it may exceed 3% this year and next. With its currency weakening and inflation accelerating, the mandate of the BofE would clearly indicate that the time has come for monetary tightening.  

However, like all central bankers, Mr. King, and his successor, the Canadian Mark Carney, will not be bound by such triflings as statutory mandates and past promises. In his press conference last week, Mr. King spoke of "looking past" current inflation figures to a time when he expects inflation will moderate. When the choice is between inflation and the political pain of economic contraction, bankers (at least those who don't speak German) will choose inflation every time. 

While the American media has poked fun at the Bank of England's backtracking, they somehow do not understand that the Federal Reserve would be doing the same if not for the advantages given to us by the dollar's reserve status. Our ability to monetize the vast majority of the annual government deficit while exporting our inflation through half trillion dollar trade deficits and the overseas sale of hundreds of billions of Treasury bonds annually means that we do not yet face the pressures bearing down on the Bank of England. 

For now at least Cameron is sticking to his guns and making the politically difficult case to voters that today's hard choices will yield benefits down the road. This puts all the pressure on the Bank of England to satisfy the calls for stimulus. The Federal Reserve is fortunate in that the Obama Administration shares none of Cameron's fiscal determination. 

But already the Fed has done plenty of backing off from its prior promises. Just a few months ago Ben Bernanke announced specific inflation and unemployment triggers that would apparently put monetary policy on automatic pilot. But just last week, Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen announced that those goalposts (6.5% unemployment and 2.5% inflation) should not be considered "triggers" but as thresholds past which the Fed "may consider" tightening. When U.S. prices start to rise in earnest, look for the denials and rationalizations to come in torrents. The Fed will never acknowledge high inflation no matter what the data, nor will it ever take any steps to combat it. The simple reason is that it will be unable to do so without bringing on the economic contraction that is so terrifying to the British. 

However, as British inflation accelerates, the pressure on the Bank of England to change course will intensify. As monetary stimulus continues to take its toll on the pound, price pressures will mount, even as the economy continues to stagnate. In other words, it is charting a course to stagflation. Perversely, this will put even more pressure on the BofE to ease. However, more cheap money will not stimulate the economy but merely cripple it further by fueling the inflationary fire. 

At some point the British will have to admit that stimulus doesn't work. To break the inflationary spiral and rescue the ailing pound, the BofE will be forced to aggressively raise rates,  at which point the British government will have no choice but to slash spending more deeply than would have been the case had they taken their medicine sooner. However, if the BofE refuses to tighten even in the face of much higher official inflation, the pound may deteriorate further and the UK might be left with the embarrassing choice of adopting the euro. 

As far as the United States is concerned, the U.K. is the canary in the coal mine. What they are going through now, and what they may be about to go through, we will surely experience in the years ahead. The only difference is that the leeway afforded to us by our special status simply gives us more rope to hang ourselves. When the noose finally tightens, the fall will be that much more painful. 

 



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