Peter Schiff: A Much Bigger Collapse is Coming

By Dominique de Kevelioc de Bailleul

Euro Pacific Capital CEO Peter Schiff received top headline on Yahoo Finance News Tuesday, encouraging investors to loading up on gold and silver before the rush from global investors into precious metals becomes the only game in town.

The global financial crisis will inevitably move to the other side of the Atlantic to the U.S., as the focus on the dollar’s terrible fundamentals once again puts pressure on the Treasury market.  And when that day comes, the selling of US debt and market turmoil it will ignite will dwarf Europe’s sovereign debt catastrophe, according to him.

“We’ve [U.S.] got a much bigger collapse coming, and not just of the markets but of the economy” Schiff tells Yahoo’s Breakout host Jeff Mack. “It’s like what you’re seeing in Europe right now, only worse.”

In agreement with Swiss economist Marc Faber and commodities trader Jim Rogers, Schiff predicts the Depression of the U.S. economy will deepen some time in 2013.

As the Fed responds with more aggressive QE to prop up banks, in addition to maintaining historically record low debt carrying costs to Treasury, investors will most likely come to realize that the Fed has become powerless to affect any positive outcome to the crisis.  More jobs will be lost, tax revenue to the Treasury will fall, and deficits will soar even higher than the $1.5 trillion deficit expected for fiscal 2013.

“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.

“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,” Schiff continues.

But Bernanke will most likely make good on his promise to economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006) during a speech the Fed Chairman made at Friedman’s 90thbirthday celebration.  In his speech, Bernanke relived the Fed’s monetary policy responses to the financial crisis of the 1930s, and praised Friedman for pointing out that the Fed’s restriction of money supply to stem the flow of gold out of the United States was a mistake.  The Fed, instead, should have increased money supply to save the banking system and move off the gold standard (as Britain did earlier in the crisis).

“This action [raising of interest rates] stemmed the outflow of gold but contributed to what Friedman and Schwartz called a ‘spectacular’ increase in bank failures and bank runs, with 522 commercial banks closing their doors in October alone,” Bernanke said At the Conference to Honor Milton Friedman, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois .

“The policy tightening and the ongoing collapse of the banking system caused the money supply to fall precipitously, and the declines in output and prices became even more virulent.  Again, the logic is that a monetary policy change related to objectives other than the domestic economy–in this case, defense of the dollar against external attack–were followed by changes in domestic output and prices in the predicted direction [down].”

In 1931, the gold price was fixed at $20.67, making it a bargain to holders of U.S. dollars if the Fed had acted by debasing the dollar.  But instead, the Fed decided to protect the dollar from “attack” by domestic and foreign holders, a policy move that Schiff believes is in the best interest of the U.S. economy, today.

That’s not likely to happen, however.  It’s clear from the passage, above, of Bernanke’s entire speech that Bernanke will sacrifice the U.S. dollar in the hopes of saving the banking system; he believes it’s a small price to pay to prevent the decimation of the banking sector—the very point of Friedman’s lifetime of work.

“Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve,” Bernanke ended his speech.  “I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry.  But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.”

And Schiff takes Bernanke at his word, and recommends that investors buy gold and silver before “Helicopter” Ben makes good on his promise to Milton Friedman of 10 years ago.

Marc Faber: “My Favorite Investment remains Gold”

As gold sells-off from a tremendous 29% run from the July 1 low of $1,478, Marc Faber, the editor and publisher of the Gloom Boom Doom Report, told Bloomberg’s Carol Massar and Matt Miller on Wednesday his “favorite investment” still remains gold.

The self-described “greatest bear on earth” reiterated his long-standing view that the Fed will print the U.S. dollar into oblivion in response to sickly economic data that continues to stream in from all sides of the U.S. economy and for as long as the eye can see.

What Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will say at Jackson Hole on Friday is less relevant to his forecast for the markets, Faber suggested, as the Swiss money manager said the Fed has already embarked on QE3 after it issued a Fed policy statement at the close of the FOMC meeting on Aug. 9, strongly implying that the Fed sees no evidence of a strong-footed U.S. economy anytime soon.

“ . . . the Committee decided today to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to ¼% ,” according to the FOMC press release.  “The Committee currently anticipates that economic conditions–including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run–are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through mid-2013.”

Immediately following the announcement, the Treasury market, Swiss franc and gold soared, culminating in a two-week follow-through rally in the 10-year Treasury, which saw its yield stunningly drop below 2%, the Swiss franc trade as high as $1.30, and gold spiking to $1,917.90.

Faber believes the rally in these three markets suggests that the effects of the FOMC statement have already begun to manifest themselves in all markets, leaving nothing meaningfully left for Bernanke to add to the FOMC policy statement.  QE3 is here.

Expect a dud from Bernanke at Jackson Hole, according to Faber.  In fact, the gold market may be selling off in anticipation of a “no news” meeting in Wyoming, as Treasuries, gold and the Swiss franc have already priced in quite a bit of QE3.

“I think what [Bernanke] will say is that they are monitoring the situation, and they will take ‘appropriate measures’ when they are required,” he said.  “To some extent we are in the midst of QE3 already, because by announcing the Fed will keep zero interest rates until the middle of 2013 . . .”

Though the same dire issues confronting Western economies (ergo, affecting Asia, too) have not gone away, leaving the Fed no options other than to continue printing money, according to previous Faber interviews.

In fact, according to many respected economists, the overhanging debt loads are heavier today than they were in 2008.  Faber has said on many occasions that he sees nothing but gloom for the equities and bond market for the foreseeable future, and expects that the Bernanke Fed intends to affect negative real interest rates for years to come in an effort to debase the U.S. dollar.  Savers and creditors will suffer during the process.  And, the U.S.-led wars will escalate, he said.

“All I am saying is I am very bearish. I think we will have inflation. I think the Treasury market is a disaster waiting to happen,” Faber declared.  “I think the economy will slow down. They’re going to print money and we will go to war at some stage somewhere.”

He added, “So, you are probably better off in equities than in bonds. My favorite investment remains gold. As it happens, the gold price is coming down, and I hope it will drop $100 or $200. Not necessarily a prediction. I think we will go down in a correction because there has been too much enthusiasm recently.”