Thursday, March 19, 2009

Invest Now for the Coming Inflation

The 'Helicopter Economics Investing Guide' is meant to help educate people on how to make profitable investing choices in the current economic environment. In addition to the term helicopter economics, we have also coined the term, helicopternomics, to describe the current monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. government and to update the old-fashioned term wheelbarrow economics.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

The Federal Reserve finally fessed up yesterday, announcing it was going to print new money to buy U.S. Treasury bonds. While my initial reaction was, 'so what else is new?', the public has not previously been officially informed of the massive inflationary policies that the Fed is implementing. While Bernanke did admit that the Fed was printing money to pay for the bailouts (how else could they have been paid for?) in his 60 Minutes interview, the markets didn't react to his statements on Monday... but they did yesterday. The dollar dropped like a rock, gold shot straight up and interest rates plummeted. Financials had the biggest rally on the good news that worthless government paper was going to be used to purchase their worthless debt paper (for some reason this seems like some sort of scam to me), although all metals and oil went up as well.

In yesterday's announcement the Fed said it will buy $300 billion of U.S treasuries (mostly in the 2 to 10 year range), $750 billion in Mortgage Backed Securities (MBSs) from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (both bailouts are black holes for government money), and increase purchase of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debt to $200 billion. The Fed signalled it would increase its balance sheet to $4 trillion. It was $900 billion last year and $2 trillion more recently. Take these numbers with a grain of salt, they are on balance sheet only (think Enron accounting). To increase its balance sheet the Fed must print new money. Even without knowing this, it is obvious that new money was being printed for some time now. To pay for all the bailouts, there has been huge new issuance of treasury bonds. Even though this created a big increase in supply, interest rates went down indicating that demand for U.S. treasuries was increasing even faster. Where do you think all of this extra demand came from?

The reaction to the Fed's announcement is a prelude to the future. The dollar tanked almost 3% in minutes, something that previously would have been a major move in a month. Gold which had been selling down and traded as low as $889 reversed course and rallied $57, also in minutes. Silver which traded as low as the 11.75 went up a dollar - and is still a major bargain. Oil which was also selling off Wednesday morning, reversed and closed up. It traded as high as $51.65 a barrel overnight, which is a breakout that confirms that a double bottom was made last December and February. All other metals and coal went up as well and you should consider them to be good inflation hedges too. It is possible that even steel stocks put in a bottom because of the Fed's move.

You should be adding to your commodity positions at this point. Consider buying commodities that you don't already own or have large postions in. If you already own enough oil, you might want to buy some more silver for instance. You might want to consider picking up some base metals and coal, if you already own a lot of gold. While, gold, silver and oil are the foundation for inflation investing, any tangible asset that has a useful function and a limited supply that can't be increased significantly is also a good choice.

NEXT: Commodities Rumble, Financials Tumble

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup

This posting is editorial opinion. Like all other postings for this blog, there is no intention to endorse the purchase or sale of any security.

No comments: