Featured StoryHere's a story about a bank that failed, got rescued, was resuscitated, and made its private equity investors more than 100% on their money, all the while costing the FDIC around $5.9 billion.
It's not a story about a failed bank... although it is.
It's not a story about how smart the bank's private equity "rescuers" were... although it is.
It's not a story about how the FDIC is such a great savior of banks.
Or that that moral hazard exists manifestly because the FDIC is a tool (not as in a tool used to fix something) that lets banks run hog-wild... although it is.
This is a story about how nothing has changed and why another bank crisis is coming... Full Story
Time to Buy These "Out of Print" Assets
From the Editor: We've been tracking this threat for years, ever since Keith Fitz-Gerald brought it to your attention back in January 2010. Today, Resources Specialist Peter Krauth weighs in on some recent developments in this story, because three of the commodities he covers can protect you. The Fed can't print these things... Here's Peter:
Central banks may have foolish policies, but central bankers are no dummies.
They know exactly what they're doing. They even comprehend a few of the implications, too.
Which is why it's interesting that some American central bankers have suggested doing away with the debt ceiling altogether.
Famed investor Marc Faber recently said, "The question is not tapering. The question is at what point will they increase the asset purchases to say $150 [billion], $200 [billion], a trillion dollars a month."
Faber expects the Fed's current QE4 to become "QE4-ever."
That could mean years of money printing and ultra-low rates.
Even bond king Bill Gross recently chimed in his latest monthly outlook that "The United States (and global economy) may have to get used to financially repressive - and therefore low policy rates - for decades to come."
Either way, don't depend on the Fed to save you. You can save yourself
And now you'll need to...
The Best Investments to Hold When Interest Rates Rise
Inflation can be tough to contend with, yet investors should guard against inflation lest it eat away at their portfolios - which isn't hard to do if they know the best investments to hold when inflation rates rise.
Official interest rates are notoriously unreliable - outright false at times - which can downplay or underestimate the situation. Don't trust the numbers. Make that mistake, and your investments' value can evaporate before your eyes.To continue reading, please click here...
These Charts Show Why QE3 Hasn’t Triggered Inflation – So Far
It defies both common sense and monetary theory - or at least until you find out where all that QE3 money ended up.Read More...
Why the U.S. Dollar is Rising – And Why It's Still Doomed
Many have wondered - and rightly so - why the U.S. dollar is rising even though the U.S. Federal Reserve has done just about everything possible to debase the currency over the past five years.
Over the past two years, the U.S. Dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of major world currencies, is up by more than 12.6%.
Part of the answer is that most of the world's other central banks have pursued easy money policies similar to the Fed's. In the so-called "currency wars," the U.S. dollar has one major built-in advantage.
"The U.S. has never defaulted," explained Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald. "The world may hate our guts, but when all hell breaks loose, they all love our dollar."
Also helping to explain why the U.S. dollar is rising is that it remains the world's reserve currency - the money a majority of nations use to buy commodities such as oil -- and that the U.S. economy, for all its warts, is in better shape than most of the other developed economies in the world.
"The dollar the best-looking horse in the glue factory," Fitz-Gerald said.
So it wasn't too surprising that when the Fed recently hinted that it might start "tapering" its quantitative easing (bond-buying) policies later this year, the U.S. Dollar index spiked 3.1%.
But Fitz-Gerald said that investors still need to be wary of the stronger U.S. dollar going forward.
This Sept. 2 Event Could Send the U.S. Dollar CrashingRead More...
The Misunderstood Link Between Oil, Natural Gas and Inflation
Energy prices, particularly oil and natural gas, are no longer a direct driver of inflation. Oil and gas prices have been resilient in the absence of inflation.
The deeper reason for the upward move in prices has been the Fed's easy money and low interest rate policies.
Oil and gas are giving investors greater leverage to make profits in upcoming market gyrations. Dr. Kent Moors explains.< Read More...
8 Reasons Your Dollar Doesn't Go As Far As it Did 10 Years Ago
Patients' hospital expenses have nearly doubled in the past decade. So, too, has the price of college textbooks. And gas prices have more than doubled, while prices of fuel oil and other fuels for home use have climbed a whopping 145%.
It's been a tough decade on the wallet, thanks to inflation.
The figures are based on a Yahoo! Finance analysis of items and services tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index.
And the CPI, of course, is based on government stats which, as Money Morning has reported, routinely understate inflation.
Here are 8 reasons why inflation is pinching you, no matter what the Fed says about low inflation:
With Unchecked U.S. Spending, It's Time to Hedge Against Inflation
Uncontrolled government spending could force the Fed to monetize the government's debt, creating runaway inflation, former Federal Reserve Governor Frederic Mishkin warned in a report.
If these circumstances were to occur, the Fed would be unable to do much, if anything, to control inflation, Mishkin said in the report, presented at a conference at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
In that case, Mishkin and his co-authors, David Greenlaw, James Hamilton and Peter Hooper, argue that the result could be "a flight from the dollar," according to a summary of the report by noted Fed-watcher Steven K. Beckner writing for MNI.
The report states, "Countries with high debt loads are vulnerable to an adverse feedback loop in which doubts by lenders lead to higher sovereign interest rates, which in turn make the debt problems more severe ... Countries with debt above 80% of GDP and persistent current-account deficits are vulnerable to a rapid fiscal deterioration as a result of these tipping-point dynamics."
The authors of the report estimate U.S. net debt, excluding debt held by the Social Security Trust Fund, at about 80% of GDP in 2011, double what it was a few years before. To make matters worse, the United States runs a persistent current account deficit, which is funded by borrowing from other countries.
This puts the U.S. in a worse spot than Japan which, although its debt is much higher as a percentage of GDP, has a large current account surplus and a high savings rate.Read More...
Why Veteran Trader Says Inflation in 2013 Is Imminent
Is a spike in the monetary base - currency in circulation plus bank reserves at the Fed - the first sign of imminent inflation?
Art Cashin, the well-respected director of floor operations at the New York Stock Exchange for UBS, recently told King World News the increase in the monetary base may well be a sign of impending inflation.
Monetary base, sometimes called high-powered money, is the basis for the bank lending that drives our economy. When interest rates are normal, banks use their reserves for lending.
Unfortunately, these are not normal times. The U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world continue to hold interest rates at zero.
Zero interest rates mean zero returns. Investors don't get paid for investing. Banks don't get paid enough interest to compensate for the risk of lending money into the economy. Looking at it another way, there is no penalty for doing nothing with your money.Read More...
Why There's No Real Inflation (Yet)
According to Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, "inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon."
Well, apparently not...
There's certainly plenty of cause for inflation today. Every central bank in the Western world is holding interest rates down, and almost all of them are printing money like it's going out of style. And the big deficits governments were running should be making inflationary matters even worse. Taken together, monetary and fiscal policies are far more extreme than they have ever been.
But today inflation is only running at around 2% - well below where it should be, according to Milton's monetarist theories.
What does it all mean? Read More...
- Why the Spending Cuts Battle Looks Uglier Than Fiscal Cliff Fight President Barack Obama needs swift approval from the Republican-run Congress to raise the swollen $16.4 trillion debt ceiling next month in order to prevent the U.S. government from a default. But here's where the real battle will go down. Read More...
Why Inflation is the Economy's "Iceberg" in 2013
Even though Ben Bernanke's Fed has kept interest rates close to zero, inflation hasn't been a big problem since the 2008 financial crisis.
Despite what many observers have expected inflation has remained quite tame.
However in 2013, that may be about to change. One factor that might cause a surge in inflation is the fiscal cliff.
That's because Bernanke is already buying $1 trillion of Treasury and housing agency bonds each year ($85 billion per month) against a budget deficit that is about the same level.
That means the inflow of funds to the economy from the Fed and the outflow of money to fund the government's spending are about balanced.
However, if we go over the fiscal cliff the Federal deficit immediately falls to about $300 billion per annum. At that point, Bernanke would be injecting an extra $700 billion a year into the economy - which would have a corresponding inflationary effect.
The Case for Higher InflationBut that's only part of the inflationary story.
Central banks around the world are also expanding their money supply. China has become more expansive, the European Central Bank is buying bonds of the continent's dodgier governments and Britain like the United States is monetizing nearly all the debt it creates to fund its budget deficit.
The big change in 2013 is now in Japan, where the new Abe government has told the Bank of Japan it wants much more buying of government bonds, to push the inflation rate up to 2%.
And just as Bernanke's money creation increases inflation internationally, Japan's new monetary push creation will likely increase inflation here in the United States.
To continue reading, please click here... Read More...
QE4 is Coming; Will Inflation Follow?
Many observers expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to announce another round of quantitative easing, or QE4, this afternoon following the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.
The consensus is that the Fed will purchase an additional $45 billion of bonds from the secondary market each month.
That means the Fed would replace the monthly $45 billion used to swap short-term Treasuries for long-term Treasuries under Operation Twist, which expires at the end of this month, with outright bond purchases.
In addition to the $45 billion a month used in Operation Twist, the Federal Reserve Bank has been purchasing $40 billion of mortgage-debt securities monthly in its continued effort to boost growth.
In total, the market expects the Fed to continue to purchase $85 billion worth of bonds on the secondary market each month for the foreseeable future.
Now some investors fear the Fed with QE4 will seal the deal on skyrocketing inflation - but it takes more than increased money supply to raise prices.
To continue reading, please click here...
Inflation-Proof Investments: Go Beyond Gold and Oil with These Two Sectors
By now, most investors know that the U.S. Federal Reserve and other global central banks continue to engage in dangerous, currency-debasing forms of monetary stimulus - meaning it's time to stock your portfolio with inflation-proof investments.
Known as quantitative easing on this side of the pond, there are dire consequences to just one tryst with QE.
But here in the U.S., we're on our third go-round with the QE addiction.
This means we're headed down a dangerous path.
That's because too much money supply triggers inflation. While it's not definite that QE3 will bring about a return to the old Weimar Republic or the problems Zimbabwe has had to deal with recently, there is almost no getting around the fact that a financial system awash in liquidity is a financial system vulnerable to inflation.
Over the course of history, gold has been the favored destination for investors looking to combat inflation, but there is more to the story these days. The good news is inflation can be fought myriad ways and that includes going beyond the usual suspects.
Here are a few other overlooked inflation-proof investments that'll let you profit while prices soar.
The QE3 Dangers Bernanke Isn’t Telling You About
Hoping the third time is the charm, the U.S. Federal Reserve voted on Sept. 13 to launch another bond-buying program, QE3.
Equity and commodity markets cheered the Fed's move. Stocks rallied and analysts raised precious metals price forecasts.
QE3 differs from the first two rounds in that it is an aggressive open-ended purchase program of $40 billion per month of mortgage-backed securities. The buying is slated to continue until we reach substantial and sustained improvement in the U.S. economy, which won't be a short-term achievement.
The program aims to lower long-term interest rates, stoke consumer demand and bring down the elevated unemployment rate.
But some opponents think the latest stimulus measure from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will fail to achieve any of that.
In fact, the QE3 doubters have a lot to say - and anyone with money in the markets right now should pay attention to what could happen.
To continue reading, please click here... Read More...