The much-anticipated decision by the Federal Reserve Board at the Sept. 17 meeting to hold interest rates near zero was met in the resource community with a mixture of relief and disappointment. The 9-to-1 vote citing global economic pressure on inflation left open the possibility of a hike at the December meeting. The Gold Report asked the experts in the resource sector what this means for precious metals and oil prices, and what signs they are looking for that a different outcome will be announced in December.
Joe McAlinden, founder of McAlinden Research Partners and former chief global strategist with Morgan Stanley Investment Management, was disappointed that the Fed "blinked." He called the decision irresponsible and attributed it to worries about China's growth. The veteran investor saw the status quo as bullish for precious metals and oil, but warned, "As the Fed continues to postpone moving towards normalization of interest rates, the potential for future inflation from years of excessive stimulation increases with every delay of the end of the zero interest rate policy."
He continued, "Based on today's decision, we now need to watch economic data from China and the performance of the markets themselves. I do not believe that the Fed's focus on those points is appropriate. Nonetheless, it is now clear that these will influence the timing of the next Fed move. Also, and more appropriately, we should be watching average hourly earnings, overall signs of strength or weakness in the U.S. economy, and the trend of the core PCE deflator." Continue reading "No Fed Rate Hike Good For Gold, Bad Sign For Economy"
Best-selling author John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics says the EU is only left with choices that range from bad to disastrous. Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats will have to hold hands and walk off the cliff together to solve U.S. economic problems. In this exclusive Gold Report interview, Mauldin expands on his comments at the Casey Conference, "Navigating the Politicized Economy." Read more about the consequences of those choices and necessary compromises—and how he would reform the U.S. tax code.
The Gold Report: Back in January you said the European Union (EU) would have to make serious political decisions with "major economic consequences" in 2012. Is the EU making those decisions and what is your prognosis?
John Mauldin: It is doing its best to avoid making decisions, but is being forced to make them, ad hoc. The EU allowed the European Central Bank (ECB) to print money to monetize debt. The ECB is buying time for governments to achieve structural reform.
Structural reform, not the debt, is the problem. The debt is a symptom of bad policies, of a system set up for failure. The EU translated a theory into fact, and the theory did not work.
TGR: Is that theory the EU itself?
JM: The theory is the monetary union. If the EU had just left the trade union alone without trying to layer the monetary union on, it would have been just fine. But the EU wanted a single currency. It was part of the Europhiles' dream. The EU thinks the monetary union is the sine qua non and it is not. Continue reading "John Mauldin's Prescription for Avoiding Economic Catastrophe"
John Mauldin, International Man
I am frequently asked in meetings or after a speech whether I think we will have inflation or deflation. "Yes," I readily reply, trying hard not to smirk, as the questioner tries to digest the answer. And while my answer is flippant, it's also the truth, as I do expect both outcomes. Following the obligatory chuckle from the rest of the group comes a follow-up request for a few more specifics. And they are that I expect we will first see deflation and then inflation, but the key is the timing. Continue reading "Deflation or Inflation?"