Monday, March 21, 2011

TOLDJA!! The Dollar Broke Lower—So Now What?

Update below (Tues. morning), with chart. 
Like Nikki Finke always says whenever a scoop of hers gets confirmed: TOLDJA!!

Picture of my girlfriend 
and the fish I caught. Honest!
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that we were about to enter a crucial phase for the dollar. Then last Thursday, I wrote that the dollar was about to break through a key support level on Thursday or Friday. 

And what happened on Friday? Even after massive Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Bank of Japan intervention on Thursday night? The dollar broke through! 

I was right!—TOLDJA!!

(Yes, I know: I’m an insufferable shit. But I’m also right. So you’ll just have to resign yourself to taking the good with the obnoxious.)

Now it’s all good and fine to have predicted when the dollar was going to break through a key support level—but the obvious question is:

Now what?

Will the dollar continue going down? Will it bounce back up? Roll sideways? What? (“You want answers?” “I want the truth!” “You can’t handle the truth!”)

The intervention last Thursday night (Friday morning in Japan) was so as to bring the yen down: Following the Sendai Earthquake, there was the expectation that Japanese companies will repatriate foreign excedents and buy up yens, in order to rebuild. So the markets started buying up yens in anticipation of this sea-change, pushing the currency down to ¥78.50 to the U.S. dollar. 

The BoJ—rightly—decided to inject liquidity, so as to stabilize the yen. As a responsible central bank, you cannot have your currency getting strong right in the middle of a catastrophe like Sendai. 

So after the coordinated efforts of the BoJ, the ECB and the Fed, the yen bounced back up to ¥81 to the dollar—

—but the dollar didn’t strengthen against other currencies. In fact it weakened. The euro crossed the psychologically important $1.40 level, and just kept on going; as I write this (1:14pm EST), it's at $1.4199—and rising. The dollar is weaker against all other currencies. And gold and silver? Up—with a vengeance. 

Now, what will this continued dollar weakness mean to the Federal Reserve and to the Treasury department? 

A falling dollar means rising interest rates—but neither the Treasury nor the Fed want that, for vastly different reasons. 

The Federal Reserve doesn’t want higher interest rates because Benny and The Tools are convinced that low interest rates are the only way to kickstart the economy. 

They are wearing peculiar blinders: They are convinced that the only way forward for the American economy is to return to the status quo ante the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Ben Bernanke and the Fed Drones do not seem to understand that the massive debt bubble created by the Shadow Banking sector popped for good in 2008—and it ain’t never coming back. 

Benny and the Fed Fools don’t see this. All they see is that they have-to-have-to-have-to pump-pump-pump more money into the system. They don’t realize that what they’re doing is pumping more heroin into a junkie who’s already OD’ed. 

The Treasury, on the other hand, is desperate to keep interest rates low so that it can continue funding the Federal government’s cataclysmic debt. 

See, if rates rise to what they ought to be—considering how weak the dollar is—then the Treasury would be unable to fund the Federal government’s $1.6 trillion deficit. 

It’s already having a hard time funding that massive deficit—even though the Federal Reserve by way of QE-2 is buying up roughly half of it. Do recall (for those who might have forgotten), the Fed is buying up $600 billion in Treasury bonds, via QE-2. "Buying up $600 billion”? Excuse me, I misspoke: Printing $600 billion, out of thin air. 

If QE-2 ends in June like it’s supposed to, and interest rates rise in the face of a weakened dollar, what do you think Timothy Geithner will be looking at? He’ll have to issue Treasury debt for the trillion-plus fiscal year 2012 deficit, and additional Treasury debt for the interest on the FY 2012 deficit—and then even more Treasury debt to cover the interest on the interest!

Tiny Timmy’s pin-head would explode into a million pieces, if interest rates were to rise. 

Benny and the Eccles Jackals are not unsympathetic to Tiny Timmy’s plight. But it’s not enough for the Federal Reserve to decree (via the Fed Funds Rate) that interest rates will not rise, in the face of rising Treasury yields. The Fed—in order to keep those yields low—has to do something. Something, in order to keep the Federal government funded. 

Therefore, here is another one of GL’s Fearless Predictions™: 
Once Quantitative Easing-2 ends this coming June, the Treasury bond purchases will be extended indefinitely—call it QE-3. The amount of each month’s purchase of Treasury bonds by the Federal Reserve will be at least $75 billion—but don’t be surprised if it’s as high as $100 billion to $125 billion. Per month. 
Yes. 
This is the only way that the Federal Reserve and the Treasury department will be able to achieve their contradictory objectives of fully funding the Federal government’s debt, and maintaining low interest rates in order to “stimulate lending”. 

So to answer the question, How low will the dollar go?

This go-around? I don’t know, but in the near-term I’d guess 73.5 on the dollar index, the euro topping out at $1.47, the yen to ¥77.50, gold to $1,450, silver $39 maybe. Maybe in the next three to four weeks, but perhaps even sooner. 

In the long term? If the clowns running the circus remain in place, my guess is the dollar will soon enough hit The Big Bagel. 

That is: Zero.


Update (Tues. morning): So here’s the three-year dollar chart I've been obsessing over in previous posts (here and here), updated as of last night:


As I write this (7:03am EST), the dollar index has broken down to 75.267—and it’s clearly heading lower.

I cannot emphasize this enough: This moment will be looked upon as the turning point in the dollar. From here on out, it’s all monetization, all the way to the end—the Fed has essentially tattooed “QE ‘til I die!” across his chest.


If you’re interested, you can find my recorded presentation “Hyperinflation In America” here. I discuss in detail what I would do, if and when the dollar crashes. 


63 comments:

  1. Credit where credit is due: You got this one correct. Now can you get back to The Hourly G?

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  2. "The BoJ—rightly—decided to inject liquidity, so as to stabilize the yen." Gonzalo, do you actually believe this? Doesn't it make sense that you'd want a stronger yen? Japanese productive capacity just took a HUGE hit. Even for capacity that survived the earthquake, it is now disabled by the massive loss of power generation. So Japan will need to boost imports. A weak yen drives up the cost of everything imported.

    You know, you're a huge disappointment, since you have some street cred, having experienced hyperinflation first (or was it second?) hand. The idea that a weak currency is a good idea is sheer insanity and pure propaganda. It steals from savers and encourages debt.

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  3. An excellent read. And you've found the perfect length and depth. Didn't you ask about that a few months back.

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  4. The all time low on the dxy is the 70 handle, it'll be interesting to see what happens when we break that support. Other central banks, try as they might, just can't keep up with our Benny.

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  5. Good show on telling us your crank is bigger, then showing us. Strange to see that we share a girlfriend...

    Say hello to Uncle O while he's in the country.

    C deK

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  6. Just curious on what are your qualifications in the finance/markets field. Thanks

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  7. Shimshon, you missed it entirely.

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  8. I've been impressed by your financial acumen ever since someone linked me to the hyperinflation series last fall.

    And congratulations on being right. Unfortuately, I really, really, really wish you had been wrong on this one - as we all will pretty soon I fear.

    Your fish is handsome and your girlfriend is lovely. Forty years ago, I was just as pretty! But unfortunately that was forty years ago...
    Enjoy yourselves, young people, in most ways being old is better than being young, but there are a FEW good things about youth that one does miss.

    Your friend, Katie

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  9. Wow how can you be so informed with a wife like that

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  10. @ shimshon


    They devalued their currency on purpose because of volatility. For the japanese it would be unethical for that to happen while people are dying in the streets

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  11. To the first commenter who said "Nice fish." Yeah, go ahead and take the fish, I'll take the girl.

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  12. In your article about hyperinflation, you state that Treasuries will collapse. But what about all the interest rate derivatives JPM and others hold? A rise in rates might kill them.

    BTW, your hyper-inflationary event looks like it is happening in slow motion: food and other agricultural commodities are rising now. I hope we don't see $15 gasoline

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  13. Spot on GL! You did call it! As you say...what happens next is the big issue. We at silverdoctors.blogspot are looking for a possible waterfall collapse in the dollar- particularly if the Japanese resort to actually SELLING US Treasuries to raise cash. Whether its by a waterfall type collapse, or a more controlled decline (as desired by The Bernank and Tiny Tim) the end target of the US $ is as you say: 0!

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  14. Re: as I write this (1:14pm EST)

    Why are you still on Eastern Standard Time?

    Boyce Kendrick

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  15. Wow! awesome catch! if she can dress and cook that fish, marry her.

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  16. Nice fish and much nicer girlfriend. She could have adorned the SI Swimsuit issue easily.

    Do you have an opinion as to why gold hasn't blown thru the roof with the last 2 weeks of horrendously scary events? I look at the market and am reminded of the Henley song "All She Wants To Do Is Dance". How long can the street keep pretending everything is just fine?

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  17. I'm not sure that QEx is in the cards. James Rickards has suggested that the maturing stuff on the Fed's balance sheet will be recycled to buy more government debt. If that's the case no more QE would be needed for a while, but the balance sheet, rather than MBSs would skew towards treasuries. Make sense?

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  18. Which one is the fish and which one is the girlfriend? (Just razzing you, buddy! I'd take either one any day!)

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  20. why must we pay interest to the fed?

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  21. HMMMM !!!
    JPY manipulated.
    The EUR becomes the default "risk currency" for the time being.
    GOLD ...manipulated...after all the calamity ....and still she doesnt progress.
    USD ...hated and on life support...and about to be revived.
    Stocks ...treading water...about to take a bath.
    Bonds...soon to make a big splash...and crash.
    GLAD...someone can make sense of it all.
    BTW...nice catch !!!!

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  22. Gonzo, good call. But aren't we missing an element in the "dollar demise" scenario? If armageddon looms, aren't the G7 Central Banks going to go on a spree of buying each others' debt, taking the Ponzi to the next level?

    By the way, Katie, if you can take your eyes off Gonzo for a bit, it sounds like you and I are the same vintage, and maybe with similar tastes? Most ladies I meet just roll their eyes at the merest hint of economics.

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  23. Gorgeous girlfriend. You lucky bastard. Now, you were saying something about the dollar?

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  24. Hmmmmm Both look very Tasty!!!

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  25. I wrote a long note here on how you are unintentionally misleading people by belittling Geitner, Bernanke and the Federal Reserve but somehow I messed up posting it. These people are very much aware of what they are doing which is creating "debt slaves" of every American. The same people are slowly gaining control of the member countries of the European Union through similar methods.

    If every American reads this one article, "The Sad Story Of The Privately Owned Federal Reserve Bank" perhaps they will get angry enough to demand the repeal of the Federal Reserve Bank Act. Here is the link.

    http://www.apfn.net/doc-100_bankruptcy27.htm

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  26. Hi, Capricorn - I learned economics at my daddy's knee - he was very interested in the subject and would read the Wall Street Journal and then explain it to me. By the time I was seven years old, I could lisp, "Money invested at six percent will double in twelve years."

    Unfortunately, I haven't actually managed to invest my money at six percent - real return after inflation! But I still keep up with the news.

    Katie

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  27. I agree the USD rolls over here but it much more dramatic fashion than anybody realizes. We will probably get a failure to perform in some derivative that causes a cascading series of defaults. If this happens USDX crashes to a 52 handle, instant USA-centered world wide crisis and the sheeple finally wake up, mostly in fear and trembling.

    Joe M.

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  28. nice catch! and the fish ain't bad, either...

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  29. I can't believe people are taking that fish image and its caption at face value. You guys must also believe the word "gullible" isn't in the dictionary.

    GL, thanks for the thoughts. As one should, I take things with a grain of salt but truly appreciate the ideas to chew on. May I ask what makes you think a strengthening yen would have been bad for Japan during its recent events? Or was it the haphazard, speculator-driven manner of the yen's revaluation that was rightly combatted by the BoJ?

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  30. Anonymous asked why you have to pay interest to the Fed: Because it is a private corporation!

    Americans do not own the Fed. These guys founded it and their banks and offshoots own it:

    These shareholders have controlled our
    political and economic destinies since 1913." Those shareholders making up
    Mullins' list are almost identical to the one compiled by the Swiss banking
    source.
    1. The Rothschild's
    2. Lazard Freres (Eugene Mayer)
    3. Israel Sieff
    4. Kuhn Loeb Company
    5. Warburg Company
    6. Lehman Brothers
    7. Goldman Sachs
    8. The Rockefeller family and J.P. Morgan interests

    From "The Sad Story of the Privately Owned Federal Reserve Bank".

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  31. Another enjoyable post, and the writings not bad either.

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  32. The Fed will probably keep this up through the 2012 elections if possible. They may be derailed by natural disasters like we've seen in Japan or unexpected political uprising, but they will try to keep thing "status quo" until voting in 2012 is finished. I don't think they will care as deeply about covering up after that.

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  33. Hi Gonzalo,

    Congratulations on passing the 2 million mark!!! I am not surprised as the reading is always enjoyable, even if I do not always agree with you. And I love to read the comments ...

    Keep up the good work,
    Your fan "Tita"

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  34. Are you being sarcastic here?

    The BoJ—rightly—decided to inject liquidity, so as to stabilize the yen. As a responsible central bank, you cannot have your currency getting strong right in the middle of a catastrophe like Sendai.

    Wouldn't the BOJ want a stronger currency to reduce the cost of imported goods for the rebuild and for oil/gas?

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  35. Hi Katie,
    I think you were lucky to have that sort of relationship with your Dad. Given that you didn't manage the "6% after inflation", you are probably as concerned about the grubby fingers grasping at Social Security as I am.

    But I took fright at all the "No Credit? Bad Credit? Bankruptcy? NO PROBLEM" billboards 10 years ago, and went south - 35 degrees south.

    I find Gonzo's analysis delightfully incisive, but I'm not too sure of his armageddon scenario. Seems to me that it is a battle between stagflation & inflation, with a few too many wild cards to be able to call it. You might want to check out:
    http://english.caing.com/2011-02-28/100229840.html
    cheers,
    Peter

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  36. In a speech 2 weeks ago Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said - "My first inclination is to be very cautious about extending asset purchases after June. Given the emergence of new risks, however, I prefer a posture of flexibility as regards policy options."

    Translation - "The Fed will kick in the afterburners and QE 3 will begin in June."

    I've popped the popcorn. I am settling back for what I believe will be a very entertaining show.

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  37. There was a fish in a picture? . . .

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  38. Capricorn, thanks for the link, will check!

    Katie

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  39. Excellent GL, but I expect a small rebound in the dollar this week, the Euro at 1.418 is pulling back a bit.

    But the trend on DXY is intact, look at both the RSI and MACD trending down, not a good sign at all.

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  40. @Capricorn; Oh Gawd, we have those billboards in Australia too!
    Re the picture, to quote the great sage Tony Montana: "In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women."

    (and the fish)

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  41. jack in the philippinesMarch 23, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    GL --
    Like you, I don't see how the deficit could be financed if rates rise. However, re the opposing view: Harry S. Dent is giving a webinar tomorrow night expounding his view that the dollar will rise and commodities will fall. (http://hsdent.com/webinar/index.html). Since he is among the better reasoned of those who take that view, I'd be very interested in how you would respond to his demographic arguments.
    Jack

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  42. BRILLIANT BLOG w/ spot on details. Nice to find someone also that sees things on the same page. One thing to note is that the Gold / Silver ratio has been dropping ... a lot . With your statement gold to $1,450, silver $39 maybe. The ratio will be at 37.18 Wow... I strongly feel silver will test $40. A lot of changes are happening in the shadows and many are still asleep or stuck watching American Idol (morons).

    Cheers!

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  43. Love to see your comments on the Rickards thesis re: QE.

    I see someone invoked the name of Harry Dent. Please, have some consideration. I still have food in my stomach from breakfast.

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  44. Kansas here again: I thought your girl friend looked real sweet -her stomach was flatter than the fish.

    So will the Euro bit the dust before the dollar? Or will the dollar pull the Euro down and then get to blame "them" as it hits the final tornado before evaporating into pieces?

    I think it matters to the USD if it can blame outside influences and not its managment of the printing presses for its dismise. Otherwise, it will have a fight to reintroduce or join another fiat based monetary system in the future.

    I ditto Doug once again regarding Hourly G. It would be helpful to my understanding if you could please clarify some points in the Hourly G. Your longer pieces are wonderful. Yet, unfortunately, I am not always able to discipher what it all spells out to.

    BTW, you do a very good job at explaining most economic concepts. I am still needing a better understanding on how the dominos might be positioned to fall.

    Specifically, can QE#3 and others continue if the USD index reaches any particular low number? Will it continue to be business as usual? (IOUs and promises??).

    Thanks for your great writings on economics. -
    Tess of Kansas.
    P.S. Marry the girl!

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  45. Thanks, GL. I wanted confirmation and I think we have it. I wanted to see if the Fed could defy the odds one more time. It appears that they can’t. The next three years will be very unsettling.

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  46. The place where this hits next is probably the municipal bond market. The FEDs have a printing press while the cities and states do not. Rising interest rates will push up the state bonds when they can’t afford the rates they are paying now.

    What’s next? The stock market or the Euro? It’s all a house of cards.

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  47. I notice that gold and silver are going up today .. at the same time that the dollar is also climbing. That says something.

    One big question right now is - what happens if Japan stops being a buyer of UST's? Or if insurance companies and individuals in Japan sell their holdings of UST's to cover losses from the earthquake there? Does the Fed then step in as the buyer of last report - to keep interest rates from rising? And if so - doesn't that mean that inadvertently the losses in Japan are transferred to the USA as monetary inflation? When does this process end? You can see where the QE policies of the Fed create some real dilemmas.

    By the way GL, does your girlfriend know how to scale and gut a fish? You aren't just keeping her around ...so she can be a "pretty thing" on a boat, are you??

    PeteCA

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  48. Gonzalo, I'd be wary. Everyone is on the same side of the trade, namely that the US dollar is a cooked goose. When this happens, the trade, whatever it is, can reverse rapidly. Currently the USD chart shows a bullish divergence over the last few months. I am unable to add the chart to this reply. What I mean by a bullish divergence is that the RSI lows are not going lower to match the falling lows of the index. This means that the momentum of the fall is slowing. Of course, charts just reflect fundamentals and if tomorrow, Bernanke announces even more QE and the USD responds appropriately then the chart pattern is rendered invalid as the bottom drops out of the dollar. I do agree with your comments that this is coming to a head quite soon. I do also note that the nuclear problems in Japan are nowhere near solved, and in fact may be getting worse, with smoke/steam coming out of other reactors at Fukushima.

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  49. "One big question right now is - what happens if Japan stops being a buyer of UST's? Or if insurance companies and individuals in Japan sell their holdings of UST's to cover losses from the earthquake there?”

    That is only right, PeteCA; Treasury bills are an IOU. Japan is owed.

    "Does the Fed then step in as the buyer of last report - to keep interest rates from rising? “

    The problem, PeteCA, is that, according to the last charts I’ve seen, is that the FED is already buying 70% of the UST’s from the primary dealers and the remainder by the rest of the world. The private buyers dropped out four months ago. Japan was the second highest buyer after China. So the FED may be out of luck.

    "And if so - doesn't that mean that inadvertently the losses in Japan are transferred to the USA as monetary inflation? “

    It depends on what the banks do. If they sit on the treasuries, nothing will happen immediately. But, there are no long term solutions.

    "When does this process end? “

    It ends where all fiat moneys end. It ends when we have a new dollar, Amero or SDR. Hopefully this one will be backed by Gold. That is, If the FED has any Gold. The FED may have leased out its Gold to companies like JP Morgan and Bear Sterns to short the dollar. JP Morgan may find it convenient to go belly up.

    Don’t get too excited about the QE’s. They are proof that the FED doesn’t have any money. The FED’s inventory is worthless; it’s all denominated in Federal Reserve notes. What happens when the FED’s banknotes become worthless? America’s wealth was spent long ago on high living and buying votes.

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  50. Looks like now we bounce off of past support at 76 and resume our cliff dive

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  51. GL,
    I'm convinced you're right that it will be QE until the end; I'm also convinced that the dollar will soon be taken out in the woods (Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, 'natch) and be shot. Party starts at the Mt. Washington Hotel on April 8 -- same day the U.S. government's current temporary spending agreement ends. I connect these dots in "Breaking - Elites to Hold New Bretton Woods?" at www.MalthusUniversity.com. Please read and feel free to tell me I'm wrong; I'd very much like to be.

    Thanks for all your great work; you provide one of the best resources out there, and you were one of the first links I added to my blogroll. Keep up the good work; we've lots of eyes to open yet!

    best,
    Anthony Schiano
    aka "President Malthus"

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  52. Can't beat the girl, beautiful, smiles on cue, while taking direction on her knees:)

    As for the dollar: Perhaps one more spike up, as another fiat or two die first, then to the toilet.

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  53. GL,
    I always enjoy reading your unbridled views on the markets....keep up the good work!

    And thanks for sharing the beauty of your girlfriend....she`s very cute....and even though her boobs look a little toooo big for her body I suffered through staring at the picture.... :)

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  54. Damn....

    You get to fuck that? Sweet!

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  55. Come on Joe - Not too swift.

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  56. I don't disagree with anything that you write here, but I do think that the Fed needs an impetus to continue along the path of QE, they need to be able to sell it.

    Fortunately for the Fed, the housing market has recently begun deteriorating with home the largest home price declines in over a year.

    I believe the weak housing market will give the Fed all the premission they need to continue to print money in the name of lower rates:

    http://goldsilverrealestate.com/?p=246

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  57. Howard, I am much more concerned about what Ireland does, than the US housing market. If Ireland decides to drop off the Euro and give its bond holders a haircut, then the other PIIGS may follow suit. This would put the Euro under great stress. A collapsing Euro need not favor the dollar if Europe’s central bankers need to sell US Treasuries to shore up their currencies.

    The smart thing for the FED to do is to allow a deflation, but, as Keynesian economists, this is what they always try to avoid. They don’t know that a deflation returns the economy to sanity after governmental excess. Ben Bernanke learned the wrong lesson from the Great Depression. There was no lack of liquidity; there was a lack of rationality -- an excess of interference. The federal government did everything but let the economy recover on its own.

    Google “The great depression of 1921."

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  58. I have a suggestion -- the government should carry out a selective default -- only on those securities held by the Fed. What's Bernanke going to do, sue?

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  59. What you are proposing, Anonymous@10:24, is for Congress to revoke the FED’s charter, rendering all its banknotes and T bills worthless.

    That would be instant deflation. It would be hugely disruptive. All the Entitlement Institutions and governmental excesses must close their doors. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid could issue no checks. How could politicians buy votes if you did that? How could bureaucrats justify their sinecures? The US Treasury could issue new Greenback dollars to fund the government, but two-thirds of the Federal budget would go unfunded because the Democrats could not force the Entitlements past the Republicans without lengthy debate and modification.

    Can you see why this is impractical, politically? You could say that this will happen anyway in a hyper-inflation and It would be less harmful for the economy. But, it would take enormous political will. Some political party must take the responsibility. Where do you see that kind of integrity and honestly in Washington? Not since Grover Cleveland has a politician been so straight forward and incorruptible.

    No, it is far better, politically, for the FED to attempt to devalue the dollar. In doing so, it diminishes the fiscal impact of the Entitlements (Social Security, Medicare. Medicaid) and the National Debt which are scheduled to destroy the economy is less than ten years. It is far better, to our elite classes, to fully pay them off in worthless paper dollars.

    Hence, they want an orderly decline in the dollar’s purchasing power, but this is a chimera. No nation has monetized over 40% of its federal deficit without rendering its currency worthless. It is too late to turn back now.

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  60. 1) The Silver Bullet and the Silver Shield:
    http://dont-tread-on.me/the-silver-bullet-and-the-silver-shield/

    2) Crash JPMorgan – Buy Silver Episode 96
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN0rcNJXFfI

    Any further questions? (Re-read #1, and re-view #2)

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Whether you agree with me or not, thank you for your comment.

If you liked what I wrote—or if it at least made you think—don’t be shy about making a payment. The PayPal button is there for your convenience.

If you have a question or a private comment, do feel free to e-mail me at my address expat229@gmail.com.

GL