Given the American national debt and deficit problems … the U.S. greenback has the potential for considerable downside … and by axiom, gold bullion has significant upside potential to $1,500 per ounce over the short to mid-term time horizon of 1 – 2 years and $4,000 per ounce over the longer term. Words: 1104
Lorimer Wilson, editor of munKNEE.com provides below further reformatted and edited [..] excerpts from Ian Gordon and Christopher Funston’s (www.longwavegroup.com) original article* for the sake of clarity and brevity to ensure a fast and easy read. They go on to say:
The entire world is now in an economic depression which always occurs at this point in the 60 to 70 year long cycle we refer to as the Longwave Cycle.
The Longwave Cycle
An understanding of the Longwave Cycle enables us to identify where we are in the cycle, to recognize each season in the cycle and, critically, to determine the move from one season to the next. That determination enables us to make correct investment decisions. There are good and bad investment mediums appropriate to each of the seasons. Typically, investments that perform well in one season do poorly in the following season.
The Longwave Winter
In the Longwave Cycle there is always a deflationary depression and this occurs in the winter of the cycle. The onset of winter is signaled by the peak in stock prices which ends the biggest stock bull market of the cycle. During the Longwave winter, debt is purged, which causes huge stress and significant bankruptcies to creditors and debtors alike. In order to protect ourselves from the financial and economic onslaught that ensues, we buy precious metals, particularly gold and the gold equities of producers and explorers.
During this recent surge in gold activity, there appear to be many investors getting aboard because they fear a return of the demon inflation. They perceive that many economies are on the road to recovery from the recent economic downturn and credit crunch, thus they are looking for an insurance policy as a hedge against an inflationary outbreak. As previously mentioned, gold can also appreciate in value within a deflationary economic environment. While inflation may rear its ugly head at some juncture well down the road, it is a deflationary outlook that Long Wave Analytics is embracing as the most realistic probability to unfold over the near to mid-term time horizon. Witness the Japanese deflationary experience which is still unfolding.
Understanding Inflation and Deflation
Understanding inflation and deflation is critical to making the right investment decisions. Strictly speaking, inflation is simply an increase in the supply of money and deflation is a decrease in the money supply. Most financial advisors are now calling for inflation to resume and even hyper-inflation to run rampant in the United States, because of the Federal Reserve’s current effort to circumvent deflation by excessive money printing. We are of the opposite, and certainly the minority, view.
We believe that central banks will be unable to forestall deflation and that when it arrives, it will be unprecedented in magnitude. This conclusion is based upon three factors:
1. Once the debt bubble is unwound, it is deflationary in nature because it is painful and results in bankruptcies on both side of the ledger. Actually, it takes money out of the system and during our Kondratieff winter, trillions of dollars of debt will be expunged.
2. Under these circumstances, banks won’t lend money because those banks that survive bankruptcies, and most won’t, will conserve it. Consumers and corporations won’t be able to borrow money, even if they so desire.
3. The velocity of money will essentially come to a standstill, since there will be none to spend. Money will be hoarded, either under the mattress, or in banks that consumers believe will survive the debt deflationary onslaught. During inflation, as in the 1970s, the velocity of money increases as people spend their money today, rather than pay higher prices tomorrow. In deflation, as in the 1930s, those few people with money curtail their spending in the knowledge that prices will be lower tomorrow, next month and next year. As the early 19th Century saying goes ‘money like manure, does no good till it is spread’.
Between October 1929 and April 1933, despite the desperate efforts of the Federal Reserve to reflate the economy, money supply contracted by 28%. The argument today – supported by Ben Bernanke, the current Federal Reserve chairman – is that the Fed didn’t do enough at that time… This interpretation is at best false and at worst dishonest. All strenuous efforts by the Federal Reserve to overcome deflation failed back then because the amount of money coming out of the economy, through bankruptcy and bank failure, overwhelmed the Federal Re¬serve’s attempts to reflate.
We are gold bulls and deflationist but most gold bulls are inflationist. How do we explain this dichotomy? During inflation, the price of gold rises along with all other ‘things’, such as out-of-print comic books, art, antiques, etc. Why? Because as we have just explained, during inflation the price of everything rises and people buy today because prices are cheaper than they will be tomorrow. In these times, gold is viewed primarily as a commodity, although it does still perform a minor monetary role versus the dollar, which is being debased through monetary inflation. In the inflationary summer there is absolutely no threat to the banking system because debt is not that high and there is no threat to the economy because money is plentiful and easy to access. So, when the threat of inflation passes, as in 1980, the prices of gold, commodities, comic books and antiques fall.
However, deflation is another kettle of fish, since it comes about through the destruction of the financial system and the economy, because of the bursting of the debt bubble. When that occurs as in 1873, 1929, and now, there is fear and panic.
In all panics, there exists an instinctive will in all of us to survive. We instinctively turn to the people and things we trust. When it comes to money, people always go to gold – or gold equities.