The Biggest Gift Investors Have Received In a While
by Phoenix Capital Research
Having moved to the sidelines due to the uncertainty of the US Presidential election and the Fiscal Cliff negotiations (as well as the holidays), investors are beginning to creep back in the marketplace.
And they’re in for a surprise.
First and foremost, the commitment of traders report indicates that investors are more bullish now than at any point since 2007. This is truly extraordinary given the sheer magnitude of the issues the global economy is facing. The only clear reason for being that bullish at this point is belief that the Central Banks will continue to flood the system with liquidity pushing stocks to new all time highs.
The problem with this belief is that the Central Banks have reached the limits of their policies. The ECB promised unlimited bond buying under the conditions of a country formally requesting a bailout.
No country in Europe wants to do this because it would mean A) opening their books to EU officials (along with the realization that said books are cooked B) any formal EU bailout requires austerity measures which Greece has proven are a disaster for politicians.
On the other side of the pond, the US Fed publicly announced QE 3 and QE 4, giving the bulls the belief that the markets are primed to soar to new highs. However, privately, the Fed balance sheet is virtually unchanged year over year. And the latest Fed minutes reveal that dissent is growing at the Fed regarding the efficacy of QE. This, combined with discussions of spending cuts in the US, has kicked Gold and Silver down in the last few months.
So, we have rampant bullishness in the markets at the same time that Central Banks are finding political and professional limitations to their monetary tools. Moreover, globally the economy is contracting again. It never really recovered all that much, but when Central Banks pump $10 trillion into the system that money has to go somewhere.
Indeed, inflationary pressures are on the rise globally. We can see this with wage protests and civil unrest in the emerging market space, higher costs and lower profit margins at multinational corporations, and consumers paying higher prices or equal prices for less product at the supermarket.
How many times have you opened a new canister of coffee, a box of cereal, or some other item of produce to see that it’s only 75% full? That’s not chance. Inflation doesn’t just explode into a system… it creeps in at first. And corporations are already implementing strategies (small packages, higher prices, etc.) to deal with it.
One of the key items to remember as investors is that the market doesn’t always reflect reality. Oftentimes it reflects belief. And belief can prove to be delusion. Which is why investors today are super-bullish on stocks (which will suffer from inflation) and less enthusiastic about Gold and Silver (which inflation benefits far more).
As medical costs, food, energy, and other staples show, the inflation genie is already out of the bottle. And it will only be getting worse going forward. What Gold and Silver do in the short-term can have nothing to do with what’s coming down the pike in the intermediate and long-term.
With that in mind, the global markets have handed everyone a tremendous opportunity to begin positioning their portfolios now while things are still relatively calm. We’ve just had about two months of the world essentially being put on “hold” due to the US Presidential election, the elections in China, and the holidays.
That period is now ending and the issues that had already begun to unfold in 2012, namely, inflation worldwide, a debt crisis in Europe, and ongoing economic pain in much of the developed world, are already beginning to rear their heads again.
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Phoenix Capital Research4 views