Can the latest events in the world be viewed as precursors of an economic collapse on a global scale? Currencies soar and crash, there’re bearish forecasts for the markets of almost all large countries, falling oil prices and plunging shares of major companies. Many respectable analysts believe that this is just the beginning and the worst of it will be staggering.
Predictions suggest that in the next 5 to 10 years, valuable securities will become literally value-less as their worth is steadily moving toward zero. According to Marc Faber, analyst, investment fund manager and publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, the US stock market could fall 20-40 percent. Henry Blodget, editor-in-chief of Business Insider, raises the ante by 10 percent as he thinks that the drop can make 30-50 percent.
Such a gloomy prospect is awaiting not only securities but also money. In his interview on Bloomberg TV, Marc Faber said, “…the whole financial system will one day collapse…, …a lot of government bonds will either default or they will have to print so much money that the purchasing power of money will depreciate very rapidly."
”With these stupid governments printing trillions and trillions of new currency units,” says investor and Casey Research chairman Doug Casey, “it’s building up to a catastrophe of historic proportions. Most of the banks in the world are bankrupt.”
It would be a different matter, were it just banks! In the words of Egon von Greyerz (Switzerland), founder and managing partner of Matterhorn Asset Management AG, “No major nation in the West can repay its debts. The same is true for Japan and most of the emerging markets. Europe is a failed experiment for socialism and deficit spending. China is a massive bubble, in terms of its stock markets, property markets and shadow banking system. Japan is also a basket case and the U.S. is the most indebted country in the world…”
Von Greyerz continues to build up pressure, “So we will see twin $200 trillion debt and $1.5 quadrillion derivatives implosions. That will lead to the most historic wealth destruction ever in global stock, with bond and property markets declining at least 75-95 percent.”
Let’s tally up all the above:
- oil prices are falling;
- real estate is becoming cheaper;
- banks are bankrupt;
- inflation devalues currencies;
- the stock market is sinking;
- forget about bonds – junk is more expensive these days.
At this point, the burning question of 19th-century utopian philosophers comes to mind. “What is to be done?” – they inquired in vain. Come the 21st century, very same Marc Faber told Bloomberg TV that he’d go for precious metals.
Well, you could take up the renowned expert’s advice but for the IMF data that central banks gradually reduce their purchases of gold. For instance, last May only seven tons of gold were bought mainly by Russia and Kazakhstan.
According to Thomson Reuters GFMS, as of late, gold supply by far exceeds demand, which results in constantly falling gold prices. Dropping about 40 percent against the maximum, all summer long the price tried to break through the key support level of $1,140 per ounce and managed to do so at the end of July. Then the price returned to around $1,140. However, it’s the first step that counts – investors realized that the price could well go below $1,000 and even more down. (Mind that only 15 years ago this precious metal was traded just at about $300.)
Nonetheless, despite the seemingly unfavorable current situation, gold investments can turn out a sound decision ultimately. F. William Engdahl, American political economist, says that the prices on the New York and London exchanges don’t reflect the actual worth of gold as a reserve currency and a standard of monetary stability. He believes that large private and central banks in the West are artificially restraining gold prices as more expensive gold, and in the hands of others, threatens the dollar as the main global reserve currency.
“Nowadays China exerts more influence over world exchanges,” says John Gordon, leading analyst at international brokerage NordFX. “The events of the past few months clearly prove this. At the beginning of the year, experts predicted that feverish purchasing of Chinese stocks (which was inevitable) could result in the transfer of assets into gold. Thus, already in May, China and the Shanghai Gold Exchange established the world’s largest gold investment fund to the tune of 16 billion dollars. The fund will invest in gold mining projects not only in China but along all of the Eurasian Silk Road, including Russia. These two countries – China and Russia – seek to turn their national currencies into global or regional reserve currencies and are eager to back them up with the metal. Therefore, they’re likely to increase their gold stock and push the price of gold up by doing that.”
“It’s noteworthy that China and Russia are the world’s first and third largest gold producers respectively. South Africa is the sixth, Uzbekistan is the eighth, with Kazakhstan also among the leaders. All these states are either BRICS members or part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, that is entities that follow an independent policy in contrast to the current system based on an inflated dollar. This, of course, cannot but alarm the proponents of the dollar rule – Wall Street, the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury.” In conclusion John Gordon says, “At this time, the West still has the upper hand but the balance is slowly but surely shifting to the East. I envision the deciding showdown quite soon.”