Monday, September 28, 2009

Precious Metals Watch

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.

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The Fed and G20 meetings from last week both had a consensus that government generated stimulus of the U.S. and global economies should continue. The U.S. and UK and are printing substantial amounts of new money in order to engage in this stimulus. This should have been bearish for the dollar and pound and bullish for the precious metals. While the pound did indeed slide, the dollar went up and precious metals went down. These counter intuitive market reactions, common since the beginning of the Credit Crisis, should end soon.

Spot gold fell as low as $987 in overnight trading. Spot silver was as low as $15.73. The U.S. trade-weighted dollar traded between 77.12 and 77.26 on Friday. It was trading at 76.87 around the opening today. After hitting a yearly low of 75.83 four days ago, the dollar bounced of its support at 76.00. It is trying to head toward 78.00, where it has strong resistance from its 50-day moving average. Stronger resistance is just above that at 78.33, the low from the dollar sell off in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The Fed reiterated in its post-meeting statement that it "expects that inflation will remain subdued for some time." The mainstream media is filled with commentary about how inflation isn't a problem. Comments like "many economists argue that inflation is only an issue when the economy is humming along" are common. Someone should have told Zimbabwe with its 94% unemployment rate (if that economy was humming, it was tone deaf) that it was impossible that it was having sextillion percent inflation. When discussing all the money printing the U.S. Fed is doing, media articles invariably state that it "isn't so clear whether this will create an inflation headache down the road for the Fed". No article has yet to cite one case in the entire economic history of the world where excess money creation didn't lead to major inflation. Somehow by magic it might not happen in the contemporary U.S. though. Indeed magic is the operative word because that it the only thing that will prevent inflation going forward.

The idea that too much currency creation leads to price rises is not new. The 'quantity theory of money' originated with Copernicus, better known for his 'earth revolves around the sun' theory, in the early 1500s. It was further developed in the following centuries by at least half a dozen other economic thinkers long before Milton Friedman repackaged it as a new idea and won a noble prize for his 'original' thinking. Governments always claim that printing too much money isn't a problem and the lesson that it is needs to be learned over and over and over again. Buying gold and silver has always been the protection from excess government money creation. Smart investors only need to learn this lesson once.

NEXT: The Longer Term U.S. Interest Rate Picture

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.

1 comment:

Vassilis said...

Interesting day. It's also interesting that we see more physically-backed investment products
like SIVR and SGOL