According to CEO and Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital Peter Schiff, the U.S. economy is heading for an economic crash that could make 2008 look like a walk in the park. Stimulus programs can delay this day of reckoning, but only for so long and only at the expense of making the eventual meltdown much, much worse.
Schiff, predicted the housing and financial crisis in his 2007 book, Crash Proof, says the Fed's palliative efforts during the housing meltdown have made the next crisis inevitable.
"We've got a much bigger collapse coming, and not just of the markets but of the economy," "It's like what you're seeing in Europe right now, only worse."
In this nightmare scenario, the current economic pause is actually the beginning of a material slowdown or recession into year end. At that point, the Federal Reserve will unleash a third round of Quantitative Easing — weakening the dollar without jump-starting the economy. As a result of dollar weakness, import prices rise, pressing the margins of corporate America. Lower margins lead to heavy layoffs, sending millions of workers into unemployment during a time when they can least afford it. Banks fail, housing collapses, and taxes are raised in a futile effort to give the tapped-out government the capital to try yet more futile stimulus.
"That's when it really is going to get interesting, because that's when we hit our real fiscal cliff, when we're going to have to slash — and I mean slash — government spending," says Schiff.
Those cuts will not be at all unlike the draconian austerity measures in Greece, with programs like Social Security and Medicare being dramatically cut or possibly disappearing entirely. The easiest way to put it, is that everything you don't think could possibly happen in America will come to be.
"Alternatively, we can bail everybody out, pretend we can print our way out of a crisis, and, instead, we have runaway inflation, or hyper-inflation, which is going to be far worse than the collapse we would have if we did the right thing and just let everything implode," he offers.
So what should investors do to protect themselves? Schiff has three suggestions:
1. Get Out of Treasuries
The U.S. dollar is going to get trashed in Schiff's scenario. Locking in a yield on a government 10-year bond of 1.5% is a paltry return in the first place. Should inflation tick up to even 5%, a level much lower than that seen in the early 1980s, bond owners would have 3.5% less buying power at the end of every year. If they go to sell the bond, they'll only find buyers at a much lower price than what they paid.
2. Own the Right Stocks
With bonds and the dollar bearing the brunt of the pain, Schiff says stocks will outperform dramatically, provided you own the right ones. Exporters and multi-national corporations will benefit from a weak dollar. Better still would be to buy foreign stocks and avoid the U.S. entirely.
3. Buy Silver and Gold
Schiff says the recent weakness in these precious metals is just a pause as we wait for the other shoe to drop. Most of those on Main Street haven't even taken positions yet in gold or silver. Once they start dropping bonds and looking for a place to hide, the price of these metals will soar.
Source: Yahoo Finance
1. We still have the freedom to worship God as we choose.
2. We still have the freedom to study and live out the Word of God in our daily lives.
3. We still have the freedom to pray.
4. We still have the freedom to choose freedom and our inalienable God-given rights.
5. We still have the freedom to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
6. We still have the freedom to love and enjoy our families and friends.
7. We still have the freedom to earn a living, to work, and to retire when we choose.
8. We still have the freedom to discipleship, lifelong learning, and to pursue an education.
9. We still have the freedom to obey the law and respect our constitution.
10. We still have the freedom to love one another as exemplified by our Lord Jesus Christ.
Happy 236th Birthday America!
Today we remember the victims of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
Vivid remembrances of the events of that fateful morning include an America that was heartbroken, in shock, disbelief, and mourning.
One of my many memories of that day is the erie silence created by the absence of incessant airline traffic over the city where I live. Today my wife and I flew 1,000 miles and travelled through the US Airways hub in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ten years ago today the airport was packed with thousands of stranded passengers who had to find alternate transportation to their destinations once US air traffic was grounded.
19 Arab terrorists led by Mohammed Atta hijacked American Airlines flights 11 and 77, and United Airlines flights 175 and 93 and flew them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and an open field in Pennsylvania. Since that day the world as we once knew it has changed.
Global terror is common and widespread
There is a need for a Department of Homeland Security and a Transportation Security Administration
An "Arab Spring" has resulted in the revolutionary overthrows of various Arab dictators
Several of the world's economies teeter on the verge massive inflation and devaluation of their currencies, or the threat of possible financial collapse
America has a $14,000,000,000,000 + rising national debt.
Economic austerity measures have resulted in several rounds of rioting in Greece
Political unrest characterizes dozens of countries worldwide
Ongoing wars continue in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and other locations around the globe
Gold sells at more than $1800 per ounce
A floundering American economy is characterized by a disastrous period of record unemployment, and a nation that has lost faith in Washington's ability to lead it into anything other than more of the same
Reviewing these past 10 years forces one to realize that the world has experienced drastic changes for the worst.
Is terrorism becoming any less of a threat? Hardly, today (09/11/2011,) a terror attack directed at NATO in Afghanistan claimed the lives of a few people and injured more than 100 others. A radical Islamist terrorist group, the Taliban, claimed responsibility for today's attack.
One haunting question remains unanswered…"If 19 Islamic radical terrorists can, by a single act of terror, bring such changes upon a nation and an entire globe…what could millions of Christians could do if they began speaking out and living out their faith in bold and uncompromising terms?"
We will be held accountable. God help us be faithful!
Whenever the talking heads on TV start talking about the national economy, most of our eyes start to glaze over. The gigantic numbers that they throw out there are ridiculous; most Americans have no idea what those numbers mean in practical terms. So, I thought it’d be fun to turn those figures into something we can understand a little better—like a household budget.
The federal government will take in $2.173 trillion in 2011. That’s their income, and it sounds pretty good. Until, that is, you factor in that the federal government will spend $3.818 trillion during the year. So, just like many families, the government’s outgo exceeds their income—to the tune of $1.645 trillion in overspending. That’s called the deficit. Altogether, the government has $14.2 trillion in debt.
What would happen if John Q. Public and his wife called my show with these kinds of numbers? Here’s how their financial situation would stack up:
If their household income was $55,000 per year, they’d actually be spending $96,500—$41,500 more than they made! That means they’re spending 175% of their annual income! So, in 2011 they’d add $41,500 of debt to their current credit card debt of $366,000!
What’s the first step to get out of debt? Stop overspending! But that means a family that is used to spending $96,500 a year has to learn how to live on $55,000. That’s a tough pill to swallow. Those kinds of spending cuts seriously hurt, but it’s the only way out of debt for John Q. Public.
If I ever got a call from a family that was spending $41,500 more than they made every year, you would definitely expect me to yell at them for their dumb behavior, right? Kids, no more McDonald’s four times a week. Snacks come from the grocery store now. And we’re not going to the movies for a while, so break out the board games and TV Guide. This family has a problem, so it’s time to amputate the lifestyle!
It works the same way for the government. You can’t borrow your way out of debt, whether you’re a typical American family or the entire U.S. government. At some point, you’ve got to say, “Enough is enough!” and make the hard cuts necessary to win over the long haul.
Dave Ramsey is author of the above article. That and a myriad of other resources are available at www.daveramsey.com