The National Inflation Association (NIA) released the following economic update article:
China this morning reported 4.9% price inflation for the month of February, exceeding analyst expectations of 4.8%. With China now mimicking the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and taking steps to artificially manipulate their consumer price index (CPI) numbers as low as possible, it is likely that real price inflation in China is now closer to 10%. China was at least smart enough to raise interest rates last month by 25 basis points to 6.06%, while the Federal Reserve continues to leave interest rates near zero with there being absolutely no talk of the Federal Reserve ever raising interest rates again. China will be successful at containing inflation, as U.S. inflation spirals out of control and becomes the greatest economic crisis in American history.
China this week reported a $7.3 billion trade deficit for the month of February, its largest trade deficit in seven years, which surprised many global economists. NIA believes China's trade deficit is temporary and that China will quickly return to having a trade surplus. The Federal Reserve's QE2 along with China's destructive monetary policies, which artificially devalue the yuan, have led to a massive rise in China's raw material costs this year. NIA believes that in the upcoming months, Chinese manufacturers will raise the prices of their products that get exported to the U.S., to counteract rising commodity prices. With most products used by Americans today having been manufactured in China, this will mean Americans will soon see massive price inflation in just about all consumer goods they use. NIA projects that by the end of 2011, we will begin to see the U.S. CPI increase by 4.9% or higher on a year-over-year basis, with real U.S. price inflation rising north of 10%.
The mainstream media is proclaiming that China's trade deficit will silence calls for the Chinese to allow their currency to strengthen against the U.S. dollar. The fact is, China's government has for long been making the major mistake of printing too many yuan in order to artificially prop up the U.S. dollar. Their fear was, if the U.S. dollar was allowed to decline too rapidly, prices of Chinese goods would rise in terms of U.S. dollars and Americans would no longer afford to import them.
The truth is, if China allowed the yuan to strengthen, the Chinese would have enjoyed a much higher standard of living. Sure, prices would rise in dollars and Americans would import less, but the Chinese would have the ability to consume more of their own products. Now, as a result of China expanding its own money supply in order to keep the yuan pegged to the U.S. dollar, Americans will be forced to pay a much higher price for Chinese goods anyway. The same higher prices Americans were going to pay as a result of exchange rate appreciation, Americans will now pay as a result of inflation. For the Chinese, the exchange rate appreciation route would have been a much better route to take than the inflation route, because now the Chinese will also be forced to pay higher prices. In the very short-term, China might actually suffer more than the U.S. because they lack the social safety nets that have been implemented here in America.
The U.S. government has been successful at temporarily paying off Americans into not rioting in the streets like in Arab nations. It was just announced a few days ago that the number of Americans on food stamps in the month of December of 2010 was a record 44,082,324, up 13.1% from one year earlier and 1.1% from one month earlier. That is more than 14% of the total U.S. population! Combined with President Obama extending unemployment benefits up to 99 weeks, American citizens are too busy and distracted playing with their iPad 2s and gossiping on Twitter about Charlie Sheen, to have any time to protest in Washington, DC.
NIA believes the U.S. government's entitlement spending is currently having the unintended consequence of making Americans dependent on government. It is like when you take wild animals into captivity and you feed them, teach them to do tricks and take care of them for a period of many years; if you just dump them one day back into the wild, it will be very difficult for them to survive. Americans who have become dependent on unemployment checks and food stamps will likely soon abruptly find out that they must begin to fend for themselves without any help from the government. The result will be many Americans turning into wild animals and becoming so desperate that they will have to rob and burglarize their fellow neighbors who were smart enough to prepare, or else they will risk starving to death.
As a result of QE2, the Federal Reserve is now buying 70% of U.S. treasuries, up from previously only buying 10% of treasury bonds. Foreign central banks are now buying just 30% of U.S. treasuries, compared to previously buying 50% of treasury bonds. The U.S. budget deficit in the month of February reached a record $222.5 billion or $2.67 trillion on an annualized basis. With the Federal Reserve now monetizing our debt in full swing, a complete and total loss of confidence in the U.S. dollar could be imminent.
Just like how nobody in the mainstream media was calling for the collapse of Egypt's government a few months ago, almost nobody in the media believes a collapse of the U.S. dollar could possibly take place anytime soon. NIA members are educated enough to see that the writing is on the wall. The Federal Reserve can deny all it wants that the U.S. is experiencing inflation, but with the cost to print a single U.S. dollar paper note rising by 50% since 2008, massive inflation is here right under Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's nose. Every day that goes by, China is quietly implementing more and more steps that expand the yuan's use in cross border trade, in order to position the yuan as the world's next reserve currency.
So few Americans are presently preparing for hyperinflation that if hyperinflation broke out today, approximately 90% of Americans won't have the means to put food on the table or put fuel in their automobiles. During the upcoming hyperinflationary crisis, food stamps will no longer have any value at all and all U.S. entitlement programs will come to a complete halt. Americans will take to the streets like the world has never seen before.
The biggest question NIA has today is, will the U.S. government resort to firing at its own citizens, if major riots take place in Washington, DC. On Thursday, police in Saudi Arabia shot and wounded three protesters. The price of oil rose by a few dollars per barrel as soon as this news hit the wire, which shows just how nervous the world's financial markets have become in recent weeks. The fact that the Dow Jones has declined significantly in recent days, in our opinion means that the odds of QE3 being launched as soon as QE2 is over, are now much higher than they were several weeks ago.
The other big question NIA has today is, if in the unlikely event there is no QE3, who will fill in for the artificial buying demand currently coming from the Federal Reserve. After all, with no QE3, the Federal Reserve will go from buying 70% of treasury bonds to being a seller of U.S. treasuries. NIA is 100% sure that foreign central banks aren't itching to jump back in to fill the hole. While in the past, the private sector may have picked up the slack, we believe individual investors will now be more reluctant to jump into government bonds, especially with bond king Bill Gross reducing the government bond holdings in his Pimco Total Return Fund down to zero. The bottom line is, no QE3 means interest rates will fly sky high and destroy the phony so-called economic recovery.
From April to August of 2010, the last time the Federal Reserve allowed its balance sheet to shrink, the Dow Jones fell by over 1,000 points. If Bernanke doesn't soon begin to leak out the strong likelihood of QE3, we could see the stock market decline by 1,000 points or more, which will force Bernanke into launching QE3. If we see a major sell off in stocks, NIA doesn't necessarily think that precious metals prices will follow. In fact, we could see gold and silver rise along with the Dow Jones falling. NIA projects the Dow Jones to gold ratio to decline to 6.5 in 2011. This means even if the Dow Jones fell to below 11,000, we still believe gold is likely to rise to around $1,600 to $1,700 per ounce this year, with silver soaring to around $42 to $44 per ounce. NIA believes the worst decision any American can make is to sell their gold and silver and go long U.S. dollars, hoping to buy their precious metals back at a lower price in the future.