Category Archives: Deflation/Inflation

Gold Miners and Inflation

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A constant struggle in writing about the precious metals is in trying to be clear about the differences between the gold stock sector and other sectors when it comes to inflation. That is because there are two types of bullish environments for gold stocks…

  1. The ‘play’, where all the inflatables rise with inflation expectations; this would be the ‘gold is silver is copper is oil is hogs is corn’ trade. This is the play where the inflation and commodity gurus tell you to buy resources to protect yourself from the US dollar crash that is going to happen any day now. A problem is that in this environment many resources often out perform gold, thus hurting miners’ fundamentals.
  2. The other is a longer trade or dare I say it, investment. This is where commodity prices are declining and the USD is firm. Gold is stronger than silver and the inflation oriented gold bugs get bearish because they can’t understand how gold will not go down with oil and indeed, inflation expectations.

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Deflationary Straw Man

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straw.manNo matter the debates over inflation vs. deflation, increasing employment vs. sound monetary policy or systemic health vs. fragility (and whatever else is flying around in Jackson Hole this week), the CPI marches onward and upward. That is the system and it is predicated on creating enough money out of thin air while inflation signals are (somehow) held at bay.

The Straw Man* in this argument lives in the idea that inflation is not always destructive, that inflation can be used for good and honed, massaged and targeted just right to achieve positive ends to defeat the curse of deflation that is surely just around the next corner. Currently, the Straw Man is supported by the reality of the moment, which includes long-term Treasury yields remaining in their long-term secular down trend.

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Death of the Dollar? Gold is an Inflation Hedge? Really?

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[ed: Excerpted from NFTRH 301's opening segment. Those looking for paint by numbers directions and casino game instructions (talking to readers at a certain site that may or may not re-publish this article... not you Slope, which I know will politely tolerate my ramblings :-) ) feel free to just skip the article. You will not get what you are looking for. The balance of NFTRH 301 did the nuts and bolts technical work on the relevant US and global markets, precious metals, currencies, etc.]

Take a look around the gold bull landscape and tell me how many of them are featuring a chart like this, showing the US dollar in a bullish short-term stance (to go with the weekly bullish stance we have noted for so long in the ‘Currencies’ segment).

usd.daily

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ZIRP Up Next?

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Everyone expects Janet Yellen to be a rolling over, inflationist stooge just like they did Ben Bernanke. Bernanke came on board after Alan Greenspan had taken the Fed Funds rate up to around 5% if I remember correctly. Inflationists and gold bugs thought they had it in the bag when ‘Helicopter Ben’ assumed control.

Indeed, Bernanke did what he was supposed to do (per the ‘Helicopter ‘Ben’ script) as systemic stresses began to gather in 2007, addressing that pesky Funds rate, culminating in December, 2008′s official ZIRP (zero interest rate policy). Here again is the chart showing the S&P 500′s ‘Hump #3′ attended by this most beneficial monetary policy. (more…)

‘Taper Pace May be Too Slow’

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Plosser: Taper Pace May be Too Slow

My second favorite Bad Cop says…

“We must back away from increasing the degree of policy accommodation in a manner commensurate with an improving economy,” Plosser told a panel in Paris. “Reducing the pace of asset purchases in measured steps is moving in the right direction, but the pace may leave us well behind the curve if the economy continues to play out according to the FOMC forecasts.” (more…)