Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The deception of asset price inflation and how it affects you

How long could money printing go on ?

The developed market central banks can go on for quite some time. If Zimbabwe prints money, the pain is more obvious right away because if you are Zimbabwe, and you print money and the others don’t, and the currency collapses, and you feel the pain much sooner.

If the major central banks, the Fed, the European Central Bank, the BOJ, the Bank of England, and the Chinese monetize and print money in concert and agreement with each other, they all talk to each other; then the currencies don’t collapse against each other. There may be fluctuations, but we don’t have a general collapse of a currency.

Paper money, in general, can then collapse, and it has to a large extent against asset prices like real estate around the world over the last 30 years, against equity prices, against bond prices—which have been rallying since 1981—and against precious metals since 1999.

Asset price inflation is less obvious to the average person in the street. The average American has no money, so he doesn’t care if prices for paintings and real estate go up—until it touches him.

It’s nonsense to claim that inflation is only going up 1 percent per year in the United States. The cost of living of a typical family is going up much more than that—insurance, transportation, schooling are all going up. For example, health care premiums for insurance policies [have risen], so the typical household is being squeezed. The central banks don’t care about that; they don’t look at it.

I suppose the system will collapse before we become like Venezuela. In the West, if they start to print money, the end game will be brief. Within five years, I expect the system to implode.