Feb 23 2012 11:16AM
On Political and Economic Forecasts For 2012
As Euroland Comes Apart What Do We See In America?
Americas leaders in corporations and most specifically in the global banks, Congress and the Executive have a dug a bottomless pit over past years since the inception of the Great society instigated by Lynden Johnson in the middle 1960’s. Guns & Butter policies have proven way too expensive even for a massive economy like the United States. The bond markets are enormous and glacial in their movements. However, we can see events gathering into a volatility storm where any tiny mistake creates an implosion of global economies and births a flock of hidden Black Swans. We can see a world on the edge of disaster.
Our current administration and previous ones have attempted to buy-print their way out of this dilemma. This can work for years as Japan has demonstrated. However, Japan, while in a bond hole twice as deep as the USA’s, sells its paper internally. Also, their striving for perfection in all that they do has produced a massive and deep jobs program for their nations’ citizens. This can last, as they have proven, as long as confidence continues in those piles of bonds and other credit instruments.
Some Of The Potential Black Swan Events
Flying Toward America In 2012.
Unemployment is the largest social problem. Bad debts are the largest government, business, and personal problem. These, for the most part remain as un-payable and must be eradicated, re-paid, written-down in discounts or, eliminated through defaults.
Authorities of all kinds, who are allegedly in charge of this monster mess continue with their denials, arrogance, and an assertive no compromise attitude. Their primary goal is to maintain the status quo, a paradigm that is now smashed and irretrievably broken.
Their idea is to continue to control global currencies, bond markets and a hold an iron grip on the Herd-Sheeple of the world; containing them within the system. This has worked for decades, but is now breaking apart as we can see in the Arab Spring revolutions in the Middle East, and with other jobless citizens challenging the ability of formerly solid assets to continue their very existence.
In our view, American urban life has unraveled to the extent the streets are going hot with demonstrations, violence and a larger pushback by the unemployed. Those without USA jobs now number in the millions with a preponderance centered in younger groups 18-26 years of age. Those people are prone to engage in pushback more than their elders.
We Have A Laundry List Of Negatives Piling Against Us In 2012 …
Including Debts , Deficits And Defaults. Beyond those, We Are Watching Spreading Social Breakdowns Expanding Throughout The World.
Big banks are broke and facing hundreds of lawsuits from regulators and abused customers and citizens. The nasty mortgage left-overs in real estate have not been addressed but merely hidden in the dusty back rooms of banks and other lenders. Some have been thrust into the open like Countrywide, but as large as that one was, it is nothing compared to current outstanding balances. In New York state recently, banks were straining to exit MERS lawsuits and the massive frauds they committed on behalf of these affiliated lenders.
Bankers and banks who created the mortgage and derivative messes are sitting in a poisonous atmosphere. Again, we are strongly against violence but this can and is spreading. I would not want to be a global or real estate banker.
Cycles and the calendar are propping-up several markets enabling, in our view, the old paradigm to continue-last until later spring. This was recently proven when the PPT manipulated the S&P’s and fund managers followed with buying when it was not technically correct to do so. Against all reason, as we reported February 3, the primary movers including the S&P’s, Nasdaq, and bonds behaved irrationally to the buy side. We expected this and did forecast it, as otherwise, a larger selling event was imminent. And, of course, this is an election year. This event created a short-term reprieve but those “Kicking the Can” days are just about over.
Europe can crack-up first and with major American banker and corporation investments at risk, we could get nailed second; and not far thereafter, Europe must face the music. It is difficult to measure the depth of USA risk in Europe but I would not be surprised to see the total lending liability exceed the entire capitalization of New York’s big banks. The immediate follow-on report could be: First as Euroland crashes, it creates a lemming-like rush to the safety of US investments and bonds. This will prop the US Dollar and bond markets instilling a short-term feeling of well-being and security. However, it won’t be long, until the after-effects from Europe expand and crush American markets.
European elections will add to disruptions as voters demand change from messy problems. We can see new faces in many Euro-land capitals especially in Greece, Portugal, Spain, and of course France. Ireland and Iceland have already been through the wringer, and in the aftermath, a new settling process has begun under an umbrella of severe austerity. Iceland is actually improving since they stiffed the Euro-Bankers.
It was reported again recently on Bloomberg that educated Irish youngsters with the funds to emigrate are doing so. Ireland’s parents are encouraging adult children to leave Ireland for greener pastures. Some of those places are Canada and Australia. With the better educated group permanently leaving, what is the future for those left behind in Ireland?
The Middle East is on fire from conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and other related nations. The unemployed have no future so they begin to fight. Watch for this to spread over the entire Middle East, Africa and into Europe.
Dissent in the USA has been mild compared to other nations. The OWS or, Occupy Wall Street, folks had an objective when it began. Later on, the OWS thing was just an excuse to go into the streets and fight with police for no apparent reasons. These are adult kids with no work, no life purpose, and no future. Idle hands get busy doing bad things.
In the long hot urban summer of 2012, with increasing hopelessness among the young, demonstrations and street violence expands. We are against this kind of mayhem as it solves nothing; people can get hurt and the taxpayers have to pay police overtime and cover the extensive damage to public places. It won’t matter. This problem is only the beginning in a chain reaction to the “Situations.” This is a normal historical response.
A decade of unruly weather produced numerous problems. Most importantly, grain, meat animals and other kinds of agricultural products are more costly and still increasing in price. Coupled with growing inflation on money and bond printing, the dollar sinks in value depleting assets. More droughts, earthquakes, food shortages, famine, high winds, and blackouts are front and center. Newer weather forcasts are actually predicting a new Ice Age beginning in 2040.
In America, the larger event (at least known at this time) is going to be the election. The Obama administration is well positioned for re-election as the president has an alleged $1 Billion dollar war-chest, and his ruling party still maintains enough congressional control to pass bills or, stymie the GOP’s. The GOP’s appear to be in disarray without a leading candidate. One will emerge in a brokered convention in our view, and that person loses the election at the hands of the Obama political machine.
The GOP is no bed of roses either. They have gone along with wasteful spending and onerous laws and rules now chafing the American public. This is why, in our view, we saw the rise of the Tea Party and Ron Paul. Would there be a tax revolt if new and higher taxes are demanded in a depression? What if Obama, under severe strain of the job, decides at the convention to resign? What if an independent candidate for president appeared and was appreciated by the general voter group at large? We see stuff on the edges signaling that is a trend. Trends can move quickly and unexpectedly. Investors and traders had better be very wary of risk in the 4th quarter of 2012 in our opinion.
What if Obama wins the election and there is widespread voter fraud in the process? Remember the hanging chads event with Bush and Gore? We think Harry Reid lost his election to his lady opponent, but got re-elected on fixed electronic voting machines. If Obama is re-elected and voter fraud lawsuits are filed, what happens next? Is the election a do-over? If Obama loses, I am expecting race riots, particularly if the election is very close. What happens if class warfare comes to the fore if Obama is re-elected, higher taxes go into effect, and worker-taxpayers feel they have been impugned and picked-upon to pay for the growing jobless?
While we have a strong record on our forecasts, we are not mind-readers. Yet, as an observer of politics, we see several items that might have a major out-come from this November election. Some of those would be:
The president is stubborn and not prone to compromise with the opposition. This makes it tough to get major bills or, budgets passed. The result is not good for the USA economy, national treasury or, the American citizens.
In our view, the primaries and pre-election mayhem will be going wild. The accusations and name-calling could reach new and very nasty heights. Pressures on the administration have not been fairly strong considering Obama’s record, but we think what’s happened so far is child’s play. With budgets demanding to be resolved, Middle Eastern conflicts, citizen dissention and fragile markets, and with the Middle East on edge, it would be very easy for the administration to step on a trip wire. The news and rhetoric are reaching new accusatory levels and feelings are running very hot. As Russia continues to add fuel to the Middle Eastern political mess, we can envision some very disruptive and unusual events such as:
(A) A delay in the USA election for emergency reasons (B) The outbreak of a new war (C) More stringent capital controls on moving money due to numerous market problems (D) An outright taking or, conversion of private pension funds to treasury bonds (E) And, if the streets go nasty enough, we might even see the national guard called out with imposition of martial law. (F) Bank holidays and bank closures are certainly not out of the question. They have already happened in the UK with Northern Rock and all over Greece. (G) Calls for impeachment are not limited to Europe. Obama is at risk too with three major supreme court lawsuits underway posing severe challenges.
There are 3-4 states within the USA on the cusp of major default including a potential Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Those would be California, Illinois, and others. Further, major cities within those states are also candidates for a Chapter 9 as well. If you think that is not possible, think about what the failure of a major bond payment can do to a state or, city. We already had one in an Alabama county.
The world at large has always been fighting among certain cultures, tribes and nations. However, in a review of history over the last 200 years, I cannot remember when situations were so fraught with so much anomosity and anger.
The Middle East is in a slow-motion dissolve. They hold the keys to a larger chunk of the world’s energy. Instability in the region is higher than ever and observers are wondering, which country explodes into riots next? Leaders are failing, falling and resigning. Others are fighting with a new ferocity against their own people in unspeakable violence.
Israel, Iran and the USA are on the edge of a shooting war. Once again the world is exposed to nuclear threats, and loss of energy reserves, while facing Iran’s major league army. Unless there is a Black Swan accident, we think an open shooting war here does not happen. All sides have too much to lose. But, what about an unforseen accident; something that sets-off wild out of control shooting?
In Europe, the entire continent is in danger of an economic crack-up. Germany is the alleged villan as they won’t hand over their hard-earned taxpayer cash to weaker, lazy, jobless nations. The slide down the hill has begun with Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Iceland and others. The UK and France are much weaker than openly discussed in the press. Unemployed minority immigrants pose a huge problem for both France and England. A passive political stance toward law-breakers in these groups has encourged them to expand crime and spread wider mayhem.
In our view America is very resiliant despite all her problems. We can sink into depression and we can always recover and work our way back. This is history and the way things work. However, if there is a national and brutal clampdown on the citizenry and a naked loss of liberty, we are headed toward a whole different venue. That could be the point in time when the good ‘ol boy USA squirrel shooters and patriots present a weapons display of 500,000,000 guns.
Also, if politcal repression becomes the norm, where does the U.S. Military stand? At first, they would obey commands, but I would find it hard to believe the U.S. Army would shoot American citizens. That would be where they would draw the line. That line then becomes anarchy and revolution. Let us all hope and pray our beautiful nation, my America, never ever goes there again.
This calendar, or cycle of time in the markets and within the social aspects of societies at large, reminds me of a period in the USA between 1842 and 1876. That cycle had recessions, depressions, a national Civil War, and mass movements for equality, In our view, the current climate is potentially as bad as any we have seen since the inception and birth of our nation in 1776. America is about to face a supreme test. I think she will pass the test but not before some unthinkable events visit our shores disrupting the daily lives of all Americans.
As the following quotation expresses quite succinctly, “If you don’t change direction, you end-up where you are going.” –Philosfacts- Farmers Almanac 2012
Too many ego-manic, power hungry psychopaths remain in control and they have no clue where they are going. We think a rude awakening is the final response, creating a howl of dismay, as they place all blame on others. That is the way of the world. Many would say, let ‘em go burn. Problem is we are sitting in the middle of their fire.
Roger Wiegand is the Editor of Trader Tracks Newsletter offering buy and sell recommendations for stocks, bonds, futures and commodties. Roger regularly comments upon economics and politics in his newsletter and on radio and television and at international resource conferences in North America. Roger can be reached at www.tradertracks.com or email@example.com Contact Linda Gorman at 800-494-4149 or 480-820-5877 for information and registration for Roger’s new one day Trading School to learn about proven, simple, successful ideas used by Roger to trade each day. Roger is a markets’ technician and fundamentalist recommending regular trades and investments in the markets shown above. Call Claudio Basis, at 718-457-1426 in New York City for a Trader Tracks Newsletter trial.
Editor Trader Tracks Newsletter
The Jay & Rog Blog at webeatthestreet.com
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. Neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee accuracy of all information provided. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.