Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Death of Money-a book report

(The coming collapse of the Internal Monetary System) By; James Rickards This is a disturbing book that describes all of the many issues of concern relating to fiscal sanity. The Federal Reserve has just finished printing over $3.2 trillion dollars out of thin air, which has the effect of lowering the value of each dollar in circulation. They did this to try to keep us out of deflation. In Europe the Euro has been propped up to cover the losses due to countries not adhering to their pledges to stabilize their economies. . China has over $3 trillion of investments denominated in U.S. dollars and every 10% devaluation in the dollar engineered by the Fed represents a $300 billion real wealth transfer from China to the U.S. Is it any wonder China is reducing these dollars by investing in natural resources around the world and purchasing gold? Counties like China, Russia and in the Middle East resent that the dollar is the predominate currency for world trade, He reports that India is a major importer of Iranian oil and does so by swapping for gold. If our government doesn’t start to take concrete steps to stabilize, the end draws near. With $18 Trillion in debt and climbing rapidly there can be no other outcome. He predicts that the China miracle is nearing its end and that as growth rates slow down together with anemic growth in America, Japan and Europe depression must be the result similar to the 1930’s. The stock market is poised for a crash worse than 2000 or 2008. He suggests that economic stimulus would help pull us out of the spiral we are in. With interest rates at an all-time low this would be the right time to spend on projects that would be profitable. He uses Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway system as an example of a project that was beneficial as the cost to construct and maintain reaped benefits for the private sector far exceeding cost. He compares that negatively to the Obama stimulus plan which only aided local payrolls for union employees and funding inefficient, non-productive nonscalable technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines and electric cars. This did not stand up to his test on whether the investment added to costs without benefits realized that assured the investment paid dividends. He makes the point that when Clinton allowed Glass-Steagall to be repealed; the banks were allowed to act like hedge funds which opened the door to massive hidden leverage. As a result the 2008 crash occurred. He also points out that new jobs being created are, for the most part, low paying. 50% in the first half of 2013 were part time. Good paying jobs are near non-existent. By late 2013 over 50 million citizens were on food stamps with over 26 million unemployed, underemployed or discouraged from looking for jobs. An important statement made which has been my belief for a long time is that by deliberately keeping interest rates at zero there is in effect a transfer annually from average Americans to the banks of $400 Billion. An annualized rate of just 2% would reverse the process. Part of the Fed’s design is to penalize savers and discourage them from leaving money in a bank, and to encourage them to invest in risky assets, such as stocks and real estate, to prop up collateral values in those markets. Without this, in my opinion, the stock market would not be sky high as it is today. Again, in my opinion the day of reckoning is near, keep tuned. In his concluding chapter he predicts that when the panic starts that savings in the form of bank deposits, insurance policies, annuities and retirement benefits will be largely wiped out. Gold will rise in value to $9,000/ounce. Social unrest will be dealt with by extreme measures using SWAT teams, drones, armored personnel carriers digital surveillance, tear gas, flash hang grenades and high-tech battering rams. This sounds pretty grim to me. He reminds us that the government confiscated gold from citizens in 1933 and could do so again. Seven signs to look for are; 1-A rapid rise in the value of gold. 2-Rapid purchase of gold by China. 3-IMF reforms which devalues the portion of SDRs of U.S. dollars. 4-Defeat of efforts by U.S. regulators to limit the size of big banks. 5-Rapid fluctuations of the Dow Jones Index. 6-A sustained reduction in U.S. or Japanese asset purchases, giving deflation a second wind. 7-The financial disintegration in China as a wealth-management-product Ponzi scheme collapses. His final recommendation for us is to diversify into a portfolio of 20% gold, 20% land, 10% fine art, 20% alternative funds and 30% cash. Who among you would do this? At any rate, you have now been warned. I highly recommend reading this book. It is extremely well written and researched. Jack B. Walters December 10, 2014