The Growing Rift With Saudi Arabia Threatens To Severely Damage The Petrodollar

Are You Ready For The Death Of The Petrodollar - Photo By RevisorwebThe number one American export is U.S. dollars.  It is paper currency that is backed up by absolutely nothing, but the rest of the world has been using it to trade with one another and so there is tremendous global demand for our dollars.  The linchpin of this system is the petrodollar.  For decades, if you have wanted to buy oil virtually anywhere in the world you have had to do so with U.S. dollars.  But if one of the biggest oil exporters on the planet, such as Saudi Arabia, decided to start accepting other currencies as payment for oil, the petrodollar monopoly would disintegrate very rapidly.  For years, everyone assumed that nothing like that would happen any time soon, but now Saudi officials are warning of a “major shift” in relations with the United States.  In fact, the Saudis are so upset at the Obama administration that “all options” are reportedly “on the table”.  If it gets to the point where the Saudis decide to make a major move away from the petrodollar monopoly, it will be absolutely catastrophic for the U.S. economy.

The biggest reason why having good relations with Saudi Arabia is so important to the United States is because the petrodollar monopoly will not work without them.  For decades, Washington D.C. has gone to extraordinary lengths to keep the Saudis happy.  But now the Saudis are becoming increasingly frustrated that the U.S. military is not being used to fight their wars for them.  The following is from a recent Daily Mail report

Upset at President Barack Obama’s policies on Iran and Syria, members of Saudi Arabia’s ruling family are threatening a rift with the United States that could take the alliance between Washington and the kingdom to its lowest point in years.

Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief is vowing that the kingdom will make a ‘major shift’ in relations with the United States to protest perceived American inaction over Syria’s civil war as well as recent U.S. overtures to Iran, a source close to Saudi policy said on Tuesday.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan told European diplomats that the United States had failed to act effectively against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was growing closer to Tehran, and had failed to back Saudi support for Bahrain when it crushed an anti-government revolt in 2011, the source said.

Saudi Arabia desperately wants the U.S. military to intervene in the Syrian civil war on the side of the “rebels”.  This has not happened yet, and the Saudis are very upset about that.

Of course the Saudis could always go and fight their own war, but that is not the way that the Saudis do things.

So since the Saudis are not getting their way, they are threatening to punish the U.S. for their inaction.  According to Reuters, the Saudis are saying that “all options are on the table now”…

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, ploughs much of its earnings back into U.S. assets. Most of the Saudi central bank’s net foreign assets of $690 billion are thought to be denominated in dollars, much of them in U.S. Treasury bonds.

“All options are on the table now, and for sure there will be some impact,” the Saudi source said.

Sadly, most Americans have absolutely no idea how important all of this is.  If the Saudis break the petrodollar monopoly, it would severely damage the U.S. economy.  For those that do not fully understand the importance of the petrodollar, the following is a good summary of how the petrodollar works from an article by Christopher Doran

In a nutshell, any country that wants to purchase oil from an oil producing country has to do so in U.S. dollars. This is a long standing agreement within all oil exporting nations, aka OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The UK for example, cannot simply buy oil from Saudi Arabia by exchanging British pounds. Instead, the UK must exchange its pounds for U.S. dollars. The major exception at present is, of course, Iran.

This means that every country in the world that imports oil—which is the vast majority of the world’s nations—has to have immense quantities of dollars in reserve. These dollars of course are not hidden under the proverbial national mattress. They are invested. And because they are U.S. dollars, they are invested in U.S. Treasury bills and other interest bearing securities that can be easily converted to purchase dollar-priced commodities like oil. This is what has allowed the U.S. to run up trillions of dollars of debt: the rest of the world simply buys up that debt in the form of U.S. interest bearing securities.

This arrangement works out very well for the United States because we can wildly print money and run up gigantic amounts of debt and the rest of the world gobbles it all up.

In 2012, the United States ran a trade deficit of about $540,000,000,000 with the rest of the planet.  In other words, about half a trillion more dollars left the country than came into the country.  These dollars represent the number one “product” that the U.S. exports.  We make dollars and exchange them for the things that we need.  Major exporting countries (such as Saudi Arabia) take many of those dollars and “invest” them in our debt at ultra-low interest rates.  It is this system that makes our massively inflated standard of living possible.

When this system ends, the era of cheap imports and super low interest rates will be over and the “adjustment” to our standard of living will be excruciatingly painful.

And without a doubt, the day is rapidly approaching when the petrodollar monopoly will end.

Today, Russia is the number one exporter of oil in the world.

China is now the number one importer of oil in the world, and at this point they are actually importing more oil from Saudi Arabia than the United States is.

So why should Russia, China and virtually everyone else continue to be forced to use U.S. dollars to trade oil?

That is a very good question.

In fact, China has been making a whole lot of noise recently about the fact that it is time to start becoming less dependent on the U.S. dollar.  The following comes from a recent CNBC article authored by Michael Pento

Our addictions to debt and cheap money have finally caused our major international creditors to call for an end to dollar hegemony and to push for a “de-Americanized” world.

China, the largest U.S. creditor with $1.28 trillion in Treasury bonds, recently put out a commentary through the state-run Xinhua news agency stating that, “Such alarming days when the destinies of others are in the hands of a hypocritical nation have to be terminated.”

For much more on all of this, please see my previous article entitled “9 Signs That China Is Making A Move Against The U.S. Dollar“.

But you very rarely hear anything about this on the evening news, and most Americans do not understand these things at all.  The fact that the U.S. produces the de facto reserve currency of the planet is an absolutely massive advantage for us.  According to John Mauldin, this advantage allows us to consume far more wealth than we actually produce…

What that means in practical terms is that the United States can purchase more with its currency than it produces and sells. In theory those accounts should balance. But the world’s reserve currency, for all intent and purposes, becomes a product. The world needs dollars in order to conduct its trade. Today, if someone in Peru wants to buy something from Thailand, they first convert their local currency into US dollars and then purchase the product with those dollars. Those dollars eventually wind up at the Central Bank of Thailand, which includes them in its reserve balance. When someone in Thailand wants to purchase an imported product, their bank accesses those dollars, which may go anywhere in the world that will take the US dollar, which is to say pretty much anywhere.

And as Mauldin went on to explain in that same article, a significant amount of the money that we ship out to the rest of the globe ends up getting reinvested in U.S. government debt…

That privilege allows US citizens to purchase goods and services at prices somewhat lower than those people in the rest of the world must pay. We can produce electronic fiat dollars, and the rest of the world accepts them because they need them to in order to trade with each other. And they do so because they trust the dollar more than they do any other currency that is readily available. You can take those dollars and come to the United States and purchase all manner of goods, including real estate and stocks. Just this week a Chinese company spent $600 million to buy a building in New York City. Such transactions happen all the time.

And there is one other item those dollars are used to pay for: US Treasury bonds. We buy oil and all manner of goods with our electronic dollars, and those dollars typically end up on the reserve balance sheets of other central banks, which buy our government bonds. It’s hard to quantify the exact amount, but these transactions significantly lower the cost of borrowing for the US government. On a $16 trillion debt, every basis point (1/10 of 1%) means a saving of $16 billion annually. So 5 basis points would be $80 billion a year. There are credible estimates that the savings are well in excess of $100 billion a year. Thus, as the debt grows, the savings also grow! That also means the total debt compounds at a lower rate.

Unfortunately, this system only works if the rest of the planet has faith in it, and right now the United States is systematically destroying the faith that the rest of the world has in our financial system.

One way that this is being done is by our reckless accumulation of debt.  The U.S. national debt is now 37 times larger than it was 40 years ago, and we are on pace to accumulate more new debt under the 8 years of the Obama administration than we did under all of the other presidents in U.S. history combined.  The rest of the world is watching this and they are beginning to wonder if we are going to be able to pay them back the money that we owe them.

Quantitative easing is another factor that is severely damaging worldwide faith in the U.S. financial system.  The rest of the globe is watching as the Federal Reserve wildly prints up money and monetizes our debt.  They are beginning to wonder why they should continue to loan us gobs of money at super low interest rates when we are beginning to resemble the Weimar Republic.

The long-term damage that we are doing to the “U.S. brand” far, far outweighs any short-term benefits of quantitative easing.

And as Richard Koo has brilliantly demonstrated, quantitative easing is going to cause long-term interest rates to eventually rise much higher than they normally should have.

What all of this means is that the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve are systematically destroying the financial system that has enabled us to enjoy such a high standard of living for the past several decades.

Yes, the U.S. economy is not doing well at the moment, but we haven’t seen anything yet.  When the monopoly of the petrodollar is broken, it is going to be absolutely devastating.

And as I wrote about the other day, when the next great economic crisis strikes it is going to pull back the curtain and reveal the rot and decay that have been eating away at the social fabric of America for a very long time.

Just check out what happened in Detroit recently.  The new police chief was almost carjacked while he was sitting in a clearly marked police vehicle…

Just four months on the job, Detroit’s new police chief got an early taste of the city’s hardscrabble streets.

While in his patrol car at an intersection on Jefferson two weeks ago, Police Chief James Craig was nearly carjacked, police spokeswoman Kelly Miner confirmed today.

Craig said he was in a marked police car with mounted lights when a man quickly tried to approach the side of his car. Craig, who became police chief in June, retold the story Monday during a program designed to crack down on carjackings.

Isn’t that crazy?

These days, the criminals are not even afraid to go after the police while they are sitting in their own vehicles.

And this is just the beginning.  Things are going to get much, much worse than this.

So let us hope that this period of relative stability that we are enjoying right now will last for as long as possible.

The times ahead are going to be extremely challenging, and I hope that you are getting ready for them.

9 Signs That China Is Making A Move Against The U.S. Dollar

The U.S. DollarOn the global financial stage, China is playing chess while the U.S. is playing checkers, and the Chinese are now accelerating their long-term plan to dethrone the U.S. dollar.  You see, the truth is that China does not plan to allow the U.S. financial system to dominate the world indefinitely.  Right now, China is the number one exporter on the globe and China will have the largest economy on the planet at some point in the coming years.  The Chinese would like to see global currency usage reflect this shift in global economic power.  At the moment, most global trade is conducted in U.S. dollars and more than 60 percent of all global foreign exchange reserves are held in U.S. dollars.  This gives the United States an enormous built-in advantage, but thanks to decades of incredibly bad decisions this advantage is starting to erode.  And due to the recent political instability in Washington D.C., the Chinese sense vulnerability.  China has begun to publicly mock the level of U.S. debt, Chinese officials have publicly threatened to stop buying any more U.S. debt, the Chinese have started to aggressively make currency swap agreements with other major global powers, and China has been accumulating unprecedented amounts of gold.  All of these moves are setting up the moment in the future when China will completely pull the rug out from under the U.S. dollar.

Today, the U.S. financial system is the core of the global financial system.  Because nearly everybody uses the U.S. dollar to buy oil and to trade with one another, this creates a tremendous demand for U.S. dollars around the planet.  So other nations are generally very happy to take our dollars in exchange for oil, cheap plastic gadgets and other things that U.S. consumers “need”.

Major exporting nations accumulate huge piles of our dollars, but instead of just letting all of that money sit there, they often invest large portions of their currency reserves into U.S. Treasury bonds which can easily be liquidated if needed.

So if the U.S. financial system is the core of the global financial system, then U.S. debt is “the core of the core” as some people put it.  U.S. Treasury bonds fuel the print, borrow, spend cycle that the global economy depends upon.

That is why a U.S. debt default would be such a big deal.  A default would cause interest rates to skyrocket and the entire global economic system to go haywire.

Unfortunately for us, the U.S. debt spiral cannot go on indefinitely.  Our debt is growing far, far more rapidly than our GDP is, and therefore our debt is completely and totally unsustainable.

The Chinese understand what is going on, and when the dust settles they plan to be the last ones standing.  In the aftermath of a U.S. collapse, China anticipates having the largest economy on the planet, more gold than anyone else, and a respected international currency that the rest of the globe will be able to use to conduct international trade.

And China is not just going to sit back and wait for all of this to happen.  In fact, they are already doing lots of things to get the ball moving.  The following are 9 signs that China is making a move against the U.S. dollar…

#1 Chinese credit rating agency Dagong has downgraded U.S. debt from A to A- and has indicated that further downgrades are possible.

#2 China has just entered into a very large currency swap agreement with the eurozone that is considered a huge step toward establishing the yuan as a major world currency.  This agreement will result in a lot less U.S. dollars being used in trade between China and Europe…

The swap deal will allow more trade and investment between the regions to be conducted in euros and yuan, without having to convert into another currency such as the U.S. dollar first, said Kathleen Brooks, a research director at FOREX.com.

“It’s a way of promoting European and Chinese trade, but not doing it with the U.S. dollar,” said Brooks. “It’s a bit like cutting out the middleman, all of a sudden there’s potentially no U.S. dollar risk.”

#3 Back in June, China signed a major currency swap agreement with the United Kingdom.  This was another very important step toward internationalizing the yuan.

#4 China currently owns about 1.3 trillion dollars of U.S. debt, and this enormous exposure to U.S. debt is starting to become a major political issue within China.

#5 Mei Xinyu, Commerce Minister adviser to the Chinese government, warned this week that if the U.S. government ever does default that China may decide to completely stop buying U.S. Treasury bonds.

#6 According to Yahoo News, China has already been looking for ways to diversify away from the U.S. dollar…

There have been media reports this week that China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, the body that handles the country’s $3.66 trillion of foreign exchange reserve, is looking to diversify into real estate investments in Europe.

#7 Xinhua, the official news agency of China, called for a “de-Americanized world” this week, and also made the following statement about the political turmoil in Washington: “The cyclical stagnation in Washington for a viable bipartisan solution over a federal budget and an approval for raising debt ceiling has again left many nations’ tremendous dollar assets in jeopardy and the international community highly agonized.”

#8 Xinhua also said the following about the U.S. debt deal on Thursday: “[P]oliticians in Washington have done nothing substantial but postponing once again the final bankruptcy of global confidence in the U.S. financial system”.  The commentary in the government-run publication also declared that the debt deal “was no more than prolonging the fuse of the U.S. debt bomb one inch longer.”

#9 China is the largest producer of gold in the world, and it has also been importing an absolutely massive amount of gold from other nations.  But instead of slowing down, the Chinese appear to be accelerating their gold buying.  In fact, money manager Stephen Leeb says that his sources are telling him that China plans to buy another 5,000 tons of gold.  There are many that are convinced that China eventually plans to back the yuan with gold and try to make it the number one alternative to the U.S. dollar.

So exactly what would happen if the Chinese announced someday that they were going to back their currency with gold and would no longer be using the U.S. dollar in international trade?

It would change the face of the global economy almost overnight.  In a previous article, I described some of the things that we could expect to see happen…

If China does decide to back the yuan with gold and no longer use the U.S. dollar in international trade, it will have devastating effects on the U.S. economy.  Demand for the U.S. dollar and U.S. debt would drop like a rock, and prices on the things that we buy every day would soar.  At that point you could forget about cheap gasoline or cheap Chinese imports.  Our entire way of life depends on the U.S. dollar being the primary reserve currency of the world and being able to import things very inexpensively.  If the rest of the world (led by China) starts to reject the U.S. dollar, it would result in a massive tsunami of currency coming back to our shores and a very painful adjustment in our standard of living.  Today, most U.S. currency is actually used outside of the United States.  If someday that changes and we are no longer able to export our inflation that is going to mean big trouble for us.

The fact that we get to print up giant mountains of money and virtually everyone around the world uses it has been a huge boon for the U.S. economy.

When that changes, the word “catastrophic” is not going to be nearly strong enough to describe what is going to happen.

According to a Rasmussen Reports survey that was released this week, only 13 percent of all Americans believe that the country is on the right track.  But the truth is that these are the good times.  The American people haven’t seen anything yet.

Someday people will look back and desperately wish that they could go back to the “good old days” of 2012 and 2013.  This is about as good as things are going to get, and it is only downhill from here.

The Collapse Of The Euro, The Death Of The Euro And The End Of The Euro

The euro was a doomed project from the start, and now we are starting to see the endgame play out.  Today, the euro fell to an 11-month low against the U.S. dollar.  As I write this, the EUR/USD is at 1.2983.  Back in July, the EUR/USD was over 1.45.  As panic has swept the financial markets, the euro has lost more than 3 percent over the past three days.  But this is just the beginning.  When the euro drops below 1.20, analysts will talk about the collapse of the euro.  When the euro falls toward parity with the dollar, headlines around the world will scream about the death of the euro.  But when the European financial system finally collapses, we may very well actually see the end of the euro.  Yes, it actually could happen.  The eurozone, as it is currently constructed, simply does not work.  You just can’t take 17 different nations that have 17 different fiscal policies, 17 different tax policies and 17 different economic agendas and cram them all into a single currency and expect the thing to work.  The euro is a doomed currency, and if a big nation like Germany decides to walk away at some point the game is going to be over.

It is not as if the euro is just having a bad week.  Just check out this chart that shows what the euro has done relative to the U.S. dollar over the past 6 months.

The truth is that a collapse of the euro has already begun.

And a whole lot of investors expect it to continue.  Right now, huge amounts of money are being poured into bets that the euro is going to go even lower.

All over the world, financial professionals are speculating about how far the euro will eventually fall.  Scott Mather, the head of global bond portfolio management at PIMCO, says that he believes that the euro is going to go much, much lower….

“Parity with the dollar next year is not out of the question”

Of course the central banks of the world could step in at some point with coordinated action to help support the value of the euro.  This kind of thing has happened before.  But such support would only be temporary.

Central banks can manipulate the markets for a while, but in the end the long-term trends are going to prevail.  Just look at what is happening with European bond yields.

European bond yields are rising once again even though the European Central Bank has already spent over 274 billion dollars buying up European government bonds.

There will be more efforts to try to prevent the death of the euro, but those efforts will be kind of like spitting into the wind.

A recent article posted on Crackerjack Finance talked about some of the fundamental problems that make the euro such a flawed currency….

The problems of the Eurozone’s flawed construct are now completely exposed. A block of 17 sovereign nations have adopted a common currency and outsourced monetary policy to a common central bank. Yet each of the 17 sovereign nations have different comparative advantages, industries, debt levels, interest rates, budget deficits, labor market rules, and tax policies. Reflecting on all the differences, it is amazing that the Eurozone has survived in the current construct for over a decade.

Greece would probably not be going through an economic depression right now if they had not joined the euro.  But now, 100,000 businesses have closed since the beginning of the recent crisis and a third of the country is living in poverty.

As this crisis spreads throughout the rest of Europe, it is going to put an incredible amount of stress on the European financial system.  Many now believe that the euro may not be able to make it through the tough times that are ahead.

The following comes from a report recently produced by Credit Suisse’s Fixed Income Research unit….

“We seem to have entered the last days of the euro as we currently know it. That doesn’t make a break-up very likely, but it does mean some extraordinary things will almost certainly need to happen – probably by mid-January – to prevent the progressive closure of all the euro zone sovereign bond markets, potentially accompanied by escalating runs on even the strongest banks.”

So will we actually see the end of the euro?

Only time will tell.

But one thing is for sure – the situation in Europe is rapidly getting worse.

In Greece, approximately 20 percent of all bank deposits have been withdrawn since the start of 2011.

If you still have money in a Greek bank, you might want to do something about it before the run on the banks gets even worse.

In fact, if you still have money in any European bank, you might want to consider your options.

Today it was revealed that Germany’s second largest bank is going to need a bailout.

The following comes from a Sky News report….

Germany’s second largest bank, Commerzbank, is reportedly in discussions with the German government about a bailout after regulators said it needed to raise more money to cope with a potential default on its loans to governments.

“Intense talks” have been going on for several days, according to sources who spoke to the news agency Reuters.

Let the bailouts begin!

European governments are going to save the banks that they want to save, and the rest they are going to let fail.

So who will live and who will die?

We just don’t know.

But without a doubt, a whole lot of European banks are in trouble.  In fact, Fitch Ratings downgraded the credit ratings of five more major European banks on Wednesday.

The eurozone worked well for a while, but now the flaws in the system are becoming appallingly evident.  To get an idea of just how badly the European financial system is unraveling, just check out this chart.  European bond yields are not supposed to be acting like that.

In the end, someone is going to leave the euro.  There has been a lot of talk about Greece or Italy leaving the euro, but the truth is that it is probably more likely that a strong nation such as Germany will be the first to make a move.

If Germany leaves the euro, will they start printing up new German currency?

No, I believe in that case that Germany would seek to establish an entirely new European currency for an entirely new European financial system.  Germany is very committed to the idea of a “European superstate“, and just because the euro is a failure does not mean that they are ready to give up on the idea.

But time will tell who is right and who is wrong.

For much more on why we are on the verge of a massive financial collapse in Europe, please check out these articles….

*”Mega Fail: 17 Signs That The European Financial System Is Heading For An Implosion Of Historic Proportions

*”22 Reasons Why We Could See An Economic Collapse In Europe In 2012

As I have written about previously, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what is happening in Europe.  The equation is simple….

Brutal austerity + toxic levels of government debt + rising bond yields + a lack of confidence in the financial system + banks that are massively overleveraged + a massive credit crunch = A financial implosion of historic proportions

Unfortunately, the United States is not going to escape all of this chaos unscathed either.

The financial systems of the United States and Europe are more deeply tied together than ever before.  When the financial crisis in Europe fully erupts, we are going to see lots of banks in the United States fail too.

The U.S. economy never recovered from the financial crisis of 2008, and this next financial crisis could send us into a huge tailspin.

2012 is going to be a very interesting year for the financial world.  I hope that you all are ready for what is about to happen.

A Dollar Collapse? No Way – The U.S. Dollar Rocks! (Propaganda)

Are we on the verge of a dollar collapse?  Don’t believe the skeptics.  The truth is that there is no currency in the world that is stronger than the old greenback.  The U.S. dollar is the reserve currency of the world.  Virtually all of the nations on the face of the earth use it for trading and they always will.  Why?  Because the U.S. dollar is awesome.  No currency on earth can compete with our awesomeness.  So what that the dollar hit a new all-time record low against the Swiss franc today?  Do you really want to move over with the Swissies and eat chocolate and make watches?  No, you want to live in the land of American Idol, the NFL and apple pie – the good old USA.  Who cares if it takes about a dollar and a half to buy a single euro now?  Do you really want to go live with the Frenchies and eat a bunch of French bread while you wear a beret every day?  Of course not.  There isn’t going to be a dollar collapse.  As long as the USA is still number one the rest of the world is still going to need U.S. dollars.  So quit your worrying.

The other day all of the “doom and gloomers” were crying that the sky was falling because the U.S. dollar had fallen for 8 trading days in a row.  They were proclaiming that the “end of the dollar” was near because the dollar index was approaching a new record low.

The following is how an article from yesterday in the Washington Post described the recent slide of the dollar….

The dollar has fallen against a basket of six major currencies — the euro, Japanese yen, British pound, Canadian dollar, Swiss franc and Swedish krona — for the past eight trading days. That measure struck its lowest point since July 2008 on Monday, at 72.72. It hit bottom in April 2008 at 71.33. Its highest point since the euro’s creation was 120.92 in July 2001.

Well guess what?

The dollar index moved back up today.

That is what happens – currencies go up and currencies go down.

There is no need to get your pants in a twist over it.

When the U.S. dollar goes down, it makes our products more affordable overseas.  When other nations buy more of our stuff that helps our businesses.

So when the dollar declines a little bit that is nothing to be alarmed about.

So far in 2011, the U.S. dollar has only lost about 6.5 percent of its value.

Should we be freaking out about a measly 6.5 percent?

I don’t think so.

Do you want an even “scarier” number?

The dollar has fallen by 17 percent compared to other major national currencies since 2009.

Oooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh – are you frightened out of your mind yet?

You better run outside Chicken Little – the sky might be falling.

The problem is that there are so many tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorists running around declaring that the U.S. dollar is dying that some people are actually starting to believe it.

Do you want proof that the U.S. dollar is going to be just fine?

Here you go….

Just check out what U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner recently told the Council on Foreign Relations….

“Our policy has been and will always be, as long as I will be in office, that a strong dollar is in the interest of the country.”

Bam!

You have the very words of the U.S. Treasury Secretary right there.

He has promised the we “will always” have a strong dollar policy.

Geithner has said it and that settles it.

Any questions?

Who are you going to believe?  Are you going to believe the U.S. Treasury Secretary or are you going to believe a bunch of crazy Internet bloggers with blogs with titles such as “Economic Disaster” and “The American Dream Has Been Flushed Down The Toilet”?

Let’s get real.

The U.S. dollar is just fine and there is not going to be some mythical “dollar collapse”.

But isn’t the price of gasoline going up?

Sure it is.

But that isn’t the fault of the Federal Reserve.  They don’t set prices for gasoline.

The reality is that prices for different things go up and down.  That is what a free market economy looks like.

Right now the price of gasoline is actually lower than it was back in 2008….

So shouldn’t we actually be talking about falling gasoline prices?

I don’t know about you, but I sure am glad to be paying less for gasoline than I was back in mid-2008.

But the tinfoil hat crowd will “cherry pick” statistics to make it seem like things are worse than they really are.  They will break out scary sounding statistics such as the fact that over the past 12 months the average price of gasoline in the United States has gone up by about 30%.

LOL – cry me a river.  Life is tough.  People will cry over just about anything these days.

Who really cares that the average American driver will spend somewhere around $750 more for gasoline in 2011?

That is just a sign that the economic recovery is in full swing.

Do you know how much all of that money is going to help our oil companies?

They are going to be swimming in cash, and all of that wealth will “trickle down” and help out the folks on main street.

You would think that the half-crazed economic bloggers out there would be thrilled by all of this, but no – they just keep trotting out the “inflation boogeyman” over and over and over.

Well, you know what?

According to no less of an authority than Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, we basically have close to zero inflation in the United State right now.

You believe the Federal Reserve, don’t you?

If not, there is probably something wrong with you.

Unfortunately, we have got a whole bunch of these self-proclaimed “experts” (who are really just legends in their own minds) running around proclaiming that inflation is not calculated the same way that it used to be.

Well, you know what?  They are right.  But it isn’t some great conspiracy.  The truth is that we have “improved” the way that inflation is calculated 24 times since 1978.

The government is always trying to become more accurate.

What is wrong with that?

But today we have a bunch of amateurs running around trying to tell us what the “real” rate of inflation actually is.

For example, a New York post analysis claims that the rate of inflation in New York City has been about 14 percent over the past year.

So how many prices did they measure?

A dozen?

Two dozen?

Who are you going to trust more – the Federal Reserve or the New York Post?

Perhaps the New York Post should just stick to reporting on the latest Elvis sighting and leave economics to the big boys.

If hack reporting by publications like the New York Post wasn’t bad enough, we’ve also got numbskulls like John Williams from a website called “Shadow Government Statistics” running around proclaiming that the sky is going to fall because of U.S. government debt.

The following is a sampling of the smelly stuff that Williams is spreading around….

S&P is noting the U.S. government’s long-range fiscal problems. Generally, you’ll find that the accounting for unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare and other programs on a net-present-value (NPV) basis indicates total federal debt and obligations of about $75 trillion. That’s 15 times the gross domestic product (GDP). The debt and obligations are increasing at a pace of about $5 trillion a year, which is neither sustainable nor containable. If the U.S. was a corporation on a parallel basis, it would be headed into bankruptcy rather quickly.

Does anyone actually believe any of that nonsense?

How long has Williams been predicting that U.S. government finances are going to collapse?

Yes, he has been doing it for a very, very long time.

Has the sky fallen yet?

Are we living in an economic wasteland?

Has there been a U.S. dollar collapse?

No.

Look around you – everything is just fine.

Every time the U.S. economy has had a recession in the past, what has happened?

The economy has recovered and has gotten larger than ever.

And that is exactly what is happening again.

But sadly, there are more Americans than ever that actually believe that we are headed for economic disaster.  In fact, there are some websites where they actually debate what the best place to live in the United States will be when the “economic collapse” happens.

Can you believe that?

People need to grow up.

Yes, the U.S. government is in debt.  That should be no surprise.  U.S. government debt is normal.  The truth is that our financial system is designed to have U.S. government debt constantly expand and for there to always be a little bit of inflation in the system.

When the U.S. government goes into more debt, more money is created.  If there was no debt in our society there would be no money.

So all of these bozos that claim that they want to get rid of all government debt don’t know what they are talking about.

We need to trust that the experts over at the Federal Reserve know what they are doing.  The prudent moves by Ben Bernanke have helped the economy to recover after the horrible financial crisis of 2008.  Instead of being criticized, he should be commended.  There is a reason why he was named “Person of the Year” by Time Magazine in 2009.

The Federal Reserve is watching inflation.  If it starts spiking up a little bit they will stomp it out.  They know what they are doing.

This is 2011 – the people running things were produced by some of the greatest academic institutions on the planet.  Nothing is going to catch them by surprise.  They know exactly what our problems are and how to solve them.

So quit listening to the tinfoil hat crowd.  Yes, the U.S. dollar will fluctuate a little bit relative to other major currencies.  That is nothing to be alarmed about.

There is not going to be a dollar collapse so stop waiting for one.  The U.S. dollar is always going to be the greatest currency on earth.  Why?  Because the United States is the greatest nation on earth.

After all, what other nation on earth could produce Justin Bieber, Jim Carrey, Simon Cowell, Pamela Anderson, Catherine Middleton, Michael J. Fox, Seth Rogen, Brendan Fraser, Jason Priestly, Tom Green, Ryan Reynolds, Mike Myers, Kiefer Sutherland, Howie Mandel, Keanu Reeves and William Shatner?

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Hopefully by now you have figured out that this is a satirical piece demonstrating how ridiculous much of the propaganda in the mainstream media really is.  Thank you for taking the time to read my twisted attempt at humor.

George Soros: The United States Must Stop Resisting The Orderly Decline Of The Dollar, The Coming Global Currency And The New World Order

In the video you are about to see, George Soros talks about “the creation of a New World Order”, he discusses the need for a “managed decline” of the U.S. dollar and he talks at length of the global need for a true world currency. So just who is George Soros? Well, he is a billionaire “philanthropist” who came to be known as “the Man Who Broke the Bank of England” when he raked in a staggering one billion dollars during the 1992 “Black Wednesday” currency crisis. These days Soros is most famous for being perhaps the most “politically active” (at least openly) billionaire in the world. His Open Society Institute is in more than 60 countries and it spends approximately $600 million a year promoting the ideals that Soros wants promoted. Soros and his pet organizations have played a key role in quite a few “revolutions” around the globe over the last several decades, but these days the main goal of George Soros is to bring political change to the United States.

So exactly what is it that George Soros is trying to accomplish? Well, in a nutshell, what he wants is a Big Brother-style one world government based on extreme European-style socialism, strict population control and the radical green agenda. It would be a world where the state tightly regulates everything that we do for the greater benefit of the environment and of society as a whole.

However, Soros is not the “mastermind of the New World Order” that some have tried to make him out to be.  The truth is that to those in the international banking elite, Soros is considered to be something of a “black sheep” and an “outsider”.  Much of what Soros is trying to accomplish lines up with the goals of the international banking elite, but what they don’t like is that Soros won’t stop publicly talking about a global currency and a “New World Order”.  Of course the international banking elite very much want a global currency and a “New World Order”, but what they don’t need is a “squeaky wheel” like Soros running around drawing unneeded attention to those goals.

Also, Soros does not seem to understand that both sides of the political spectrum in the United States are deeply influenced by the international banking elite.  Sadly, the truth is that the same handful of elitist organizations has dominated the cabinets of every single president that we have had since World War II.  If you doubt this, just check out how many members of each presidential administration over the last 40 years have belonged to either the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission or the Bilderberg Group.  If you have never looked into this before, you will be absolutely shocked.  No matter what president we elect, it is always the exact same organizations that always dominate their cabinets.

But Soros still seems very much trapped within the left/right paradigm and he seems absolutely obsessed with destroying the Republican Party.  For example, Soros spent an insane amount of money attempting to defeat George W. Bush back in 2004.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, George Soros donated $23,581,000 during that election cycle to political organizations that were trying to keep Bush from being reelected.

Soros has also been a tremendous backer of Barack Obama, although lately Soros seems a bit disenchanted with him.  Through organizations such as the Center for American Progress and MoveOn.org, Soros is constantly trying to influence the state of American politics.

So what is George Soros thinking about these days?  Well, in the video posted below you will see Soros discussing “an orderly decline” of the U.S. dollar, the coming global currency and the importance of the New World Order….

Did you noticed how uncomfortable Soros was when he was saying the term “New World Order”?

The truth is that he knows exactly what that phrase means.  He knows that it is a phrase that he probably shouldn’t say and that will get a lot of attention.

But he said it anyway.

Soros also seemed a bit uncomfortable as he discussed “an orderly decline” of the U.S. dollar.

Soros has been saying the the U.S. dollar needs to go down for quite a while now, and he speaks of the coming fall of the dollar as if it is inevitable.

The only thing that Soros seems to fear is that the “managed decline” of the dollar could “get out of hand” and could lead to global financial chaos.

Soros even had the gall to say that having the dollar be the reserve currency of the world is not in our national interest and that a move to a global currency is “a healthy, if painful, adjustment” that we are just going to have to endure for the greater good of the world economy.

But shouldn’t the American people have something to say about all of this?

Perhaps the American people do not want a “managed decline” of the U.S. dollar.

Perhaps the American people do not want any part of a new “global currency”.

Perhaps the American people do not want any part of a “New World Order”.

But to men like George Soros, it doesn’t really matter what “the little people” think.  In the world that Soros lives in, those with overwhelming amounts of money and power know what is best for the rest of us, and if “the little people” don’t seem to want to go along initially then public opinion can be bought if you just spend enough money.

The sad truth is that we already live in a global economy.  Just go into just about any store across the United States and start picking up products to see where they were made.  Very few of the things we buy are still made in the United States.

Today, labor is a global commodity.  American workers must now directly compete for jobs with those making slave labor wages in China and India.  The fact that millions of U.S. jobs are being offshored and outsourced does not bother advocates of globalism at all because it is supposedly a beneficial thing for the overall global economy.

And most Americans have little to no idea just how much influence international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO have over our daily lives.

The truth is that we already live in a world that has been deeply, deeply integrated.  As this continues, at some point it will only seem “natural” for America to agree to a true global currency and full global political integration.

Let us hope that day never arrives.  Or at least let us hope that the American people wake up enough to not just go passively into a “New World Order”.

A global economy is bad for America and a global government would be really bad for America.

But perhaps you disagree.  Perhaps you believe that integrating our economy, our currency and our government with the rest of the world would be a wonderful thing.  If that is the case, please feel free to leave a comment explaining exactly why globalism is such a wonderful thing for all of us….

9 Reasons Why Quantitative Easing Is Bad For The U.S. Economy

Buckle up and hold on – a new round of quantitative easing is here and things could start getting very ugly in the financial world over the coming months.  The truth is that many economists fear that an out of control Federal Reserve is “crossing the Rubicon” by announcing another wave of quantitative easing.  Have we now reached a point where the Federal Reserve is simply going to fire up the printing presses and shower massive wads of cash into the financial system whenever the U.S. economy is not growing fast enough?  If so, what does the mean for inflation, the stability of the world financial system and the future of the U.S. dollar?  The Fed says that the plan is to purchase $600 billion of U.S. Treasury securities by the middle of 2011.  In addition, the Federal Reserve has announced that it will be “reinvesting” an additional $250 billion to $300 billion from the proceeds of its mortgage portfolio in U.S. Treasury securities over the same time period.  So that is a total injection of about $900 billion.  Perhaps the Fed thought that number would sound a little less ominous than $1 trillion.  In any event, the Federal Reserve seems convinced that quantitative easing is going to work this time.  So should we believe the Federal Reserve?

The truth is that the Federal Reserve has tried this before.  In November 2008, the Federal Reserve announced a $600 billion quantitative easing program.  Four months later the Fed felt that even more cash was necessary, so they upped the total to $1.8 trillion.

So did quantitative easing work then?

No, not really.  It may have helped stabilize the economy in the short-term, but unemployment is still staggeringly high.  Monthly U.S. home sales continue to come in at close to record low levels.  Businesses are borrowing less money.  Individuals are borrowing less money.  Stores are closing left and right.

The Fed is desperate to crank the debt spiral that our economic system is now based upon back up again.  The Fed thinks that somehow if it can just pump enough nearly free liquidity into the banking system, the banks will turn around and lend it out at a markup and that this will get the debt spiral cranking again.

The sad truth is that the Federal Reserve is not trying to build an economic recovery on solid financial principles.  Rather, what the Federal Reserve envisions is an “economic recovery” based on new debt creation.

So will $900 billion be enough to get the debt spiral cranked up again?

No.

If 1.8 trillion dollars didn’t work before, why does the Federal Reserve think that 900 billion dollars is going to work now?  This new round of quantitative easing will create more inflation and will cause speculative asset bubbles, but it is not going to fix what is wrong with the economy.  The damage is just too vast as Charles Hugh Smith recently explained….

Anyone who believes a meager one or two trillion dollars in pump-priming can overcome $15-$20 trillion in overpriced assets and $10 trillion in uncollectible debt may well be disappointed.

In fact, economists over at Goldman Sachs estimate that it would take a staggering $4 trillion in quantitative easing to get the economy rolling again.

Of course that may eventually be what happens.  The Fed may be starting at $900 billion just to get the door open.  With these kinds of bureaucrats, once you give them an inch they usually end up taking a mile.

So why should we be concerned about quantitative easing?  The following are 9 reasons why quantitative easing is bad for the U.S. economy….

#1 Quantitative Easing Will Damage The Value Of The U.S. Dollar

Each time you add a new dollar to the system, it decreases the value of each existing dollar by just a little bit.  Now the Federal Reserve is pumping 900 billion dollars into the system and that is going to have a significant impact.  Bill Gross, the manager of the largest mutual fund in the entire world, said on Monday that he believes that more quantitative easing could result in a decline of the U.S. dollar of up to 20 percent….

“I think a 20 percent decline in the dollar is possible.”

#2 Inflation Is Going To Hit Already Struggling U.S. Consumers Really Hard

Already, investors have been fleeing from the U.S. dollar and other paper currencies and have been flocking to commodities, precious metals and oil.  That means that the price of food is going to go up.  The price of gasoline is also going to go up.  American families are going to find their budgets stretched even more in the months ahead.

#3 Once An Inflationary Spiral Gets Going It Is Really Hard To Stop

The Federal Reserve is playing a very dangerous game by flirting with inflation.  Once an inflationary spiral gets going, it is really difficult to stop.  Just ask anyone who lived through the Weimar Republic or anyone who lives in Zimbabwe today.  If the Federal Reserve is now going to be dumping hundreds of billions of fresh dollars into the system whenever the economy gets into trouble it is inevitable that we will see rampant inflation at some point. 

#4 Inflation Is A Hidden Tax On Every American

Tens of millions of Americans have worked incredibly hard to save up a little bit of money.  These Americans are counting on that money to pay for a home, or to pay for retirement or to pay for the education of their children.  Well, inflation is like a hidden tax on all of those savings.  In fact, inflation is a hidden tax on every single dollar that all of us own.  We have been taxed more than enough – we certainly don’t need the Federal Reserve imposing another hidden tax on all of us.

#5 The Solution To The Housing Bubble Is Not Another Housing Bubble

Today, approximately a third of all U.S. real estate is estimated to have negative equity.  The Federal Reserve apparently believes that by flooding the system with gigantic sacks of cash banks will start making home loans like crazy again and home prices will rise substantially once again – thus wiping out most of that negative equity.

But the solution to the housing bubble is not another housing bubble.  The kinds of crazy home loans that were made back in the middle of the decade should never be made again.  Market forces should be allowed to bring the housing market to a new equilibrium where ordinary Americans can actually afford to purchase homes.  But that is not how our system works anymore.  Today, everything has to be manipulated.

#6 More Quantitative Easing Threatens To Destabilize The Global Financial System

We have already entered a time of increasing global financial instability, and the Federal Reserve is not going to help things by introducing hundreds of billions of new dollars into the game.  Over the past two decades, bubble after bubble has caused tremendous economic problems, and now all of this new money could give rise to new bubbles.  Already, we see financial institutions and investors pumping up carry trade bubbles, engaging in currency speculation and driving up commodity prices to ridiculous levels.

#7 Quantitative Easing Is An Aggressive Move In A World Already On The Verge Of A Currency War

Quantitative easing will likely help U.S. exporters by causing the value of the U.S. dollar to sink.  However, this gain by U.S. exporters will come at the expense of foreigners.  It is essentially a “zero sum” game.  So all of those exporting countries that are already upset with us will become even more furious as the U.S. dollar declines.  Could we witness the first all-out “global currency war” in 2011?   

#8 Quantitative Easing Threatens The Status Of The Dollar As The World Reserve Currency

As the Federal Reserve continues to play games with the U.S. dollar, quite a few nations around the globe will start evaluating whether or not they want to continue to trade with the U.S. dollar and use it as a reserve currency.

In fact, a recent article on The Market Oracle website explained how this is already happening….

In September, China supported a Russian proposal to start direct trading using the yuan and the ruble rather than pricing their trade or taking payment in U.S. dollars or other foreign currencies. China then negotiated a similar deal with Brazil. And on the eve of the IMF meetings in Washington on Friday, Premier Wen stopped off in Istanbul to reach agreement with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to use their own currencies in a planned tripling Turkish-Chinese trade to $50 billion over the next five years, effectively excluding the dollar.

#9 It Is Going To Become More Expensive For The U.S. Government To Borrow Money

Right now, the U.S. government has been able to borrow money at ridiculously low interest rates.  But as the Federal Reserve keeps buying up hundreds of billions in U.S. Treasuries, the rest of the world is going to start refusing to participate in the ongoing Ponzi scheme.

Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, says that one of the big reasons for more quantitative easing is because the U.S. government is already starting to have difficulty finding enough people to borrow from….

At the end of the day, all this deflation talk is a red herring. The true purpose of QE 2 is to disguise the decreasing ability of the Treasury to finance its debts. As global demand for dollar-denominated debt falls, the Fed is looking for an excuse to pick up the slack. By announcing QE 2, it can monetize government debt without the markets perceiving a funding problem.

But the truth is that foreigners are not stupid.  They can see the shell game that is being played.  As Bill Gross noted on Monday, U.S. government debt will soon become a lot less attractive to foreign investors….

QEII not only produces more dollars but it also lowers the yield that investors earn on them and makes foreigners, which is the key link to the currencies, it makes foreigners less willing to hold dollars in current form or at current prices.

As foreigners begin to balk at all of this nonsense, the U.S. government will either have to start paying higher interest rates on government debt in order to attract enough investors, or the Federal Reserve will just have to drop all pretense and permanently start buying up most of the debt.  Either way, once faith has been lost in U.S. Treasuries the financial world will never, ever be the same.

Most Americans have absolutely no idea how fragile the world financial system is right now.  Once the rest of the world loses faith in the U.S. dollar and in U.S. Treasuries this entire thing could completely unravel very quickly.   

The Federal Reserve is playing a very dangerous game.  They are openly threatening the delicate balance of the world financial system. 

Once the toothpaste is out of the tube, it is really hard to put it back in again.  Cross your fingers and hold on tight, because things are going to get really bumpy ahead.

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