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The Greenspan Warnings
321Gold ^ | Dec. 1, 2005 | Nick Barisheff

Posted on 12/01/2005 10:13:36 AM PST by Travis McGee

As gold flirts with 20-year highs, we are hearing more from the "gold bugs" or, as they are sometimes appropriately called, the "doom-and-gloomers". Appropriately, because a gold bug's current outlook for the future of traditional financial assets such as stocks, bonds and currencies is not optimistic, particularly in the US. A gold bug traces today's financial problems back to the removal of gold backing from global currencies; without such backing, there is no limit to the amount of money that politicians and the banking system can create. Monetary inflation inevitably leads to price inflation, and creates asset bubbles and excess debt that have historically led to financial collapses. However, pointing out these realities has earned gold bugs the label of doom-and-gloomers. For the most part, they are ignored by the ever-optimistic mainstream media and are relegated to offbeat websites and publications.

There is, however, a key spokesperson from the mainstream - Alan Greenspan, the most powerful financial person in the world today - whose voice cannot be ignored. On the surface he toes the party line and goes along with traditional optimism. But when you listen carefully to his words and read between the lines of his speeches, you will find another message. It is a message remarkably similar to that preached by the gold bugs, the doom-and-gloomers. In fact, if you dig deep below the surface, down to his root beliefs, you will discover that Mr. Greenspan is a closet gold bug.

That's right. Alan Greenspan is a gold bug. A doom-and-gloomer right up there with the best of them. On close review of some of his recent speeches it will become apparent that his comments on issues like the potential for a derivatives crisis, the potential drop in asset prices, the housing bubble, the coming social security crisis, oil supply risks, the rising budget deficit, rising long term interest rates and the record high current account deficit are the same issues that gold bugs are warning about. These speeches often go unreported by the mainstream media, or are buried on the back pages, but most importantly they have not been compiled into one comprehensive summary.

Although they are warnings, in some cases they are not clearly stated. For example, in reporting on Greenspan's August 26 speech at Jackson Hole, CNN said: "Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan issued a veiled warning Friday on the risks to the economy from trade and budget deficits -- as well as the recent run-up in home prices."

"Veiled warning" is an apt description. Greenspan has a talent for delivering veiled messages in general. As financial writer Doug Gnazzo says: "This dude was born with a silvery tongue... able to joust with the best of them." And from a recent Forbes article: "His prophecies rivet everyone, even if no one can parse what he's saying. His wife, broadcaster Andrea Mitchell, jokes that he had to propose three times before she understood him." Greenspan's vagueness has been noted so often it has earned its own name - Greenspeak.

So what has Greenspan actually said about the problems facing the US economy? A look at his words on each of the issues named above provides some important insights.

Derivatives Dangers

In remarks to Congress in October, 1998:

"On occasion there will be mistakes made, as there were in LTCM and I will forecast without knowing who, what or where, that there will be many more. I would suspect there are potential disasters running into a very large number, in the hundreds."

In 1998, a hedge fund called Long Term Capital Management guessed wrong in the bond markets. LTCM was founded by two Nobel prizewinners, and had the who's who of both Wall Street and Washington on its board of directors. Because our global financial system is so intertwined, LTCM's losses of over $1.2 trillion of derivatives posed a risk so large that the whole global financial system could have collapsed had the Fed not intervened. In addition to LTCM, there have been the high-profile collapses of Orange County, Barings Bank and Enron, all thanks to derivatives losses. Greenspan believes there are hundreds of such potential disasters waiting to happen.

The risks are much higher now, since the total amount of over-the-counter derivatives has grown from about $70 trillion in 1998 to over $370 trillion today. There is a total of $89 trillion in US derivatives, of which three banks hold 95%; J.P. Morgan alone holds over $46 trillion.

Government-sponsored entities (GSEs) such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may now pose systemic risks. Between 2000 and 2003, Fannie Mae reported derivatives losses of $25 billion. With respect to the systemic risks posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Greenspan warned in February 2004:

"The Federal Reserve is concerned about the growth and scale of the GSEs' mortgage portfolios, which concentrate interest rate and prepayment risks at these two institutions."

The Potential Drop in Asset Values

Greenspan at a symposium sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Jackson Hole, Wyoming on August 26, 2005:

"This vast increase in the market value of asset claims [stocks, bonds, houses] is in part the indirect result of investors accepting lower compensation for risk. Such an increase in market value is too often viewed by market participants as structural and permanent... But what they perceive as newly abundant liquidity can readily disappear . . . history has not dealt kindly with the aftermath of protracted periods of low risk premiums."

The long stretch of increasing stock, bond and real estate prices together with low interest rates has made investors feel secure and willing to accept lower returns. Since all markets are cyclical in nature, busts follow booms and prices tend to revert to their mean. As interest rates rise, stocks, bonds and real estate will all be negatively impacted and could result in painful declines.

Have a good look at the last sentence in his quote. You might have to read it a couple of times, but those words could have been uttered by the most ardent doom-and-gloomer. The words "history has not dealt kindly with" imply difficult times ahead for assets, and this is one of the few unveiled warnings you'll hear from the grandmaster of spin.

The Housing Bubble

Greenspan at Jackson Hole on August 27, 2005:

"Nearer term, the housing boom will inevitably simmer down. As part of that process, house turnover will decline from currently historic levels, while home price increases will slow and prices could even decrease. As a consequence, home equity extraction will ease and with it some of the strength in personal consumption expenditures."

The housing boom will end, prices will level and could even fall. Either way, the consumer spending enabled by the refinancing boom will slow down. The current housing boom is a direct result of low interest rates and lax lending standards. Today, buyers can get low-cost, variable-rate mortgage loans for the full purchase price without having to document their income. As rates rise, many homeowners will be forced to convert their loans to a fixed rate at several points higher. As a consequence, many will no longer be able to afford the monthly payments and with no equity left, they will simply default. The increasing number of unsold homes could then lead to a collapse in prices. Once this happens, there will be a major impact on the economy as it loses its most important engine of growth.

The Coming Crisis in Social Security

Greenspan before the Committee on Financial Services, US House of Representatives, February 11, 2004:

"The imbalance in the federal budgetary situation, unless addressed soon, will pose serious longer-term fiscal difficulties. Our demographics--especially the retirement of the baby-boom generation beginning in just a few years--mean that the ratio of workers to retirees will fall substantially. Without corrective action, this development will put substantial pressure on our ability in coming years to provide even minimal government services while maintaining entitlement benefits at their current level, without debilitating increases in tax rates. The longer we wait before addressing these imbalances, the more wrenching the fiscal adjustment ultimately will be."

Greenspan in testimony before the House Budget Committee, March 2005:

"When you begin to do the arithmetic of what the rising debt level implied by the deficits tells you and add interest costs to that ever-rising debt at ever-higher interest rates, the system becomes fiscally destabilizing. What you end up with is probably a stagnant economic system."

Greenspan before the Budget Committee, US Senate, April 21, 2005:

"I fear that we may have already committed more physical resources to the baby-boom generation in its retirement years than our economy has the capacity to deliver."

According to the 2004 Financial Report for the US Government, that year's total Federal Budget Deficit exceeded $11 trillion for the year. Apart from the cash deficit of $412 billion, the balance was made up of unfunded Social Security and Medicare benefits. Since last year's real deficit almost exceeds the entire US GNP, it is apparent why Greenspan says that more promises have been made to the baby-boom generation than the economy has the capacity to deliver. In the next few years, worker contributions to Social Security will fall far short of payments to retirees. There is no trust fund of accumulated contributions. Existing retirees were paid out of current contributions and the surplus was spent by various governments to fund general programs. Making up the shortfall will create serious challenges for the federal budget. It is estimated that unfunded Social Security liabilities now exceed $40 trillion. As these obligations fall due the only political choice the US government will have is to monetize these obligations, resulting in massive increases in monetary inflation and a resulting negative impact on the value of the US dollar.

Oil Supply Risks

Greenspan to the National Italian American Foundation, Washington, D.C., October 15, 2004:

" . . . the current situation reflects an increasing fear that existing reserves and productive crude oil capacity have become subject to potential geopolitical adversity. These anxieties patently are not frivolous given the stark realities evident in many areas of the world."

Many industry experts predict that total world oil production will soon peak, even as demand continues to grow. The looming problem of peak oil is enough cause for concern, leading as it will to rising prices while existing supplies become insufficient to meet growing global demand. In addition, almost all remaining reserves are located in politically unstable areas such as the Middle East and former Russian provinces, making the possibility of supply disruptions even greater. The term "geopolitical adversity" could also refer to plans by Iran to start an oil bourse in March 2006, and begin pricing its oil in euros. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has stated that he will sell his oil in euros as well, and Russia's Vladimir Putin is considering doing the same. The negative impact to the US economy of rising prices and possible supply disruptions that the pricing of oil in euros would have will result in a major negative impact on the US dollar.

The Rising Budget Deficit

Greenspan before the Committee on Financial Services, US House of Representatives, July 20, 2005:

"Large deficits result in rising interest rates and ever-growing interest payments that augment deficits in future years. Unless that trend is reversed, at some point these deficits would cause the economy to stagnate or worse."

Greenspan at Jackson Hole, August 27, 2005:

"Monetary policy, for example, cannot ignore the potential inflationary pressures inherent in our current fiscal outlook, especially those that could arise in meeting commitments to future retirees. However, I assume that these imbalances will be resolved before stark choices again confront us and that, if they are not, the Fed would resist any temptation to monetize future fiscal deficits. We had too much experience with the dangers of inflation in the 1970s to tolerate going through another bout of dispiriting stagflation. The consequences for both future workers and retirees could be daunting."

The present budget is inflationary and the problems ahead will make it worse. In 2004 the US federal government's gross debt topped $7.4 trillion: that amounts to $25,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. If unfunded commitments to Social Security and Medicare are added in, the burden rises to $145,000 per person, or $350,000 per full-time worker. In his 2004 report, David Walker, Comptroller General of the United States, issued a very clear warning to the president, the senate and congress, reinforcing Greenspan's warning:

"Without reform, known demographic trends, rising health care costs, and projected growth in federal spending for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will result in massive fiscal pressures, that if not addressed, could cripple the economy, threaten our national security and adversely affect the quality of life of Americans in the future."

Rising Long-Term Interest Rates

Greenspan at a banking conference in Germany, November 19, 2004:

"The fiscal issues that we face pose long-term challenges, but federal budget deficits could cause difficulties even in the relatively near term. Long-term interest rates reflect not only the balance between the current demand for, and current supply of, credit, they also incorporate markets' expectations of those balances in the future. As a consequence, should investors become significantly more doubtful that the Congress will take the necessary fiscal measures, an appreciable backup in long-term interest rates is possible as prospects for outsized federal demands on national saving become more apparent. Such a development could constrain investment and other interest-sensitive spending and thus undermine the private capital formation that is a key element in our economy's growth prospects."

While the Federal Reserve sets short-term rates, the bond market sets long-term rates. As budget deficits increase, long-term interest rates, determined by the bond markets, are likely to rise. Higher debt-service costs will then further increase budget deficits. In addition, higher long-term rates will have a negative impact on corporate earnings, and lead to higher mortgage rates. This will ultimately lead to a slowdown in investment, faltering economy growth and a decline in both equities and real estate.

Greenspan went on to say:

"Rising interest rates have been advertised for so long and in so many places that anyone who hasn't appropriately hedged his position by now is desirous of losing money."

The Record-High Current Account Deficit

Greenspan before the Committee on Financial Services, US House of Representatives, February 11, 2004:

"To date, the US current account deficit has been financed with little difficulty. . . investors evidently continue to perceive the United States as an excellent place to invest. Moreover, some governments have accumulated large amounts of dollar-denominated debt as a byproduct of resisting upward exchange rate adjustment. Nonetheless, given the already-substantial accumulation of dollar-denominated debt, foreign investors, both private and official, may become less willing to absorb ever-growing claims on US residents."

Greenspan speaking to the European Banking Congress 2004, Frankfurt, Germany, November 19, 2004:

"...net claims against residents of the United States cannot continue to increase forever in international portfolios at their recent pace. . .

Given the size of the US current account deficit, a diminished appetite for adding to dollar balances must occur at some point. The trade deficit cannot continue to increase forever at the recent pace."

In recent years the US has been able to convince foreign investors, both private and government, to hold its debt. The Current Account Deficit now stands at nearly 7% of GDP, the highest on record. Typically, when the deficits of third-world countries exceed 6% a collapse in the currency soon follows. It is unlikely that foreigners will be willing to accumulate US debt forever. At some point they will stop increasing their holdings and the US government will be forced to monetize the deficits. This will result in an increase in the money supply and higher inflation. Corporations and consumers may not be able to borrow on favourable terms, leading to a decline in economic growth and possibly a recession. If foreign debt-holders decide to start selling their US dollar holdings, a precipitous decline in the dollar could result.

These are but a few of the warning - some veiled, some very clear - contained in the dozens of speeches made by Greenspan over the last several years. On close examination, it seems the only difference between a raging gold bug and the still-in-the-closet Greenspan is that a gold bug states that a crisis will happen, while Greenspan implies that a crisis might happen. But what else can he do? The most powerful man in the financial world can't yell "Danger!" from the rooftops. Imagine the impact on the markets if the Chairman of the Federal Reserve were to issue dire warnings about the state of the economy. That kind of transparency doesn't go along with his job.

In trying to gauge Greenspan's words, you must also consider his past beliefs. Greenspan was an ardent gold bug and a true believer in the gold standard. Here are a few of the things he has said about gold over the years.

From a 1967 article entitled Gold and Economic Freedom:

"The abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit. In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the 'hidden' confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard."

By any interpretation, these are the words of a true gold bug. "In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation." Could his words be any clearer? Could his pro-gold sentiment be any stronger? It could be argued that these words were written in 1968 and much has changed since then. However, as he recently autographed a copy of this article for Congressman Ron Paul, Paul asked him if still believed what he had written. Greenspan replied: "I wouldn't change a word."

In addition, here's what he said on December 19, 2002 when he spoke to the Economic Club of New York in New York City:

"In the two decades following the abandonment of the gold standard in 1933, the Consumer Price Index in the United States nearly doubled. And, in the four decades after that, prices quintupled. Monetary policy, unleashed from the constraint of domestic gold convertibility, had allowed a persistent over issuance of money. As recently as a decade ago, central bankers, having witnessed more than a half-century of chronic inflation, appeared to confirm that a fiat currency was inherently subject to excess."

It will be interesting to see what Mr. Greenspan has to say once he retires in January 2006 and is free of the restraints his position places upon him. As events unfold, and he is writing his memoirs, he will be able to say, "I told you so." It may take some time before these events take place. In 1996 he gave what is probably his most famous warning:

"But how do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values, which then become subject to unexpected and prolonged contractions as they have in Japan over the past decade?"

Markets around the world fell 3-4%, and the US market fell 2% at the opening. The NASDAQ continued from 1,300 at the time of this speech to its peak of 5,049 on March 10, 2000 before plummeting 78% to 1,114 in October 2002. Today it is still more than 50% below its peak.

Given the devastating consequences many investors suffered when equity markets collapsed, it seems only prudent to take defensive action based on the warnings given by Greenspan himself.

One of the most effective ways of securing wealth in turbulent financial times is to ensure that investment portfolios are properly diversified and include an appropriate allocation to precious metals. Precious metals move in the opposite direction to financial assets, and act as portfolio insurance. In a recent study entitled Diversification with Gold, Silver and Platinum, Ibbotson Associates stated that an allocation of 7.1%, 12.5% or 15.7% for conservative, moderate and aggressive portfolios respectively could increase returns and reduce portfolio risks. They also concluded that precious metals, in bullion form, provided positive returns when they were needed the most. Bearing in mind the implications of Greenspan's warnings, an allocation considerably higher than the recommended Ibbotson allocations may very well be a prudent move.

Nick Barisheff


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: buymygold; econnuttery; goldbubble; goldbuggery; goldgoldgold; goldmineshaft; goldshills; greenspan; yellowmetalfever; yukoncornelius
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Posted, as gold appears to be set to close above $500 for the first time in many years.
1 posted on 12/01/2005 10:13:38 AM PST by Travis McGee
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To: Ancesthntr; archy; Badray; B4Ranch; Blood of Tyrants; CodeToad; coloradan; Criminal Number 18F; ...
Interesting article. Most folks do not understand that Greenspan was an ardent "gold bug" before going to the fed.
2 posted on 12/01/2005 10:16:13 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: Ramius
In addition, here's what he said on December 19, 2002 when he spoke to the Economic Club of New York in New York City:

"In the two decades following the abandonment of the gold standard in 1933, the Consumer Price Index in the United States nearly doubled. And, in the four decades after that, prices quintupled. Monetary policy, unleashed from the constraint of domestic gold convertibility, had allowed a persistent over issuance of money. As recently as a decade ago, central bankers, having witnessed more than a half-century of chronic inflation, appeared to confirm that a fiat currency was inherently subject to excess."

What was it you said about drunken fools who talk about fiat currency, and who need to be safely guided home from bars?

Is Greenspan a drunken fool, in your estimation?

3 posted on 12/01/2005 10:20:01 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: Travis McGee
What the "printing press bugs" (since they call us gold bugs) fail to understand that is that after the paper money market crashes there is a period of of time that the only currency that will buy anything is copper and lead before even a gold or other PM currency system become stable. I don't think their 401k's or large caps are going to do them much good once the SHTF. I think gold is a good mid term strategy for the unavoidable collapse/recession, but needs to be backed by a food/shelter/method to keep food shelter strategy
4 posted on 12/01/2005 10:23:32 AM PST by vrwc0915
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To: Travis McGee
Of course...most Americans don't understand (1) that inflation indices...particularly the CPI...are designed to understate inflation and (2) that inflation is just another tax...a tax on savings

And fiat currency allows government to hide the true cost of its bloated entitlement programs...see Senator Jon Corzine dismissing the looiming crisis in Social Security by declaring that "it will never run out of money...the government can just print more money"

Its statements like that (rarely are politicians so open in their admissions of how they can tax savings to pay for their favorite entitlement programs) and a long history of practice that makes me think that incoming Fed Chairman Bernanke was being a bit optimistic/disingenuous/naive when he told the National Economists Club that the government could, but wouldn't, "print money and distribute it willy-nilly."

Stop the Presses Jon Corzine would inflate the currency instead of reforming Social Security

5 posted on 12/01/2005 10:26:40 AM PST by Irontank (Let them revere nothing but religion, morality and liberty -- John Adams)
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To: Travis McGee
For all the gold bugs out there, consider the hot economies in India and China. There are roughly 2 billion people in those two nations. In hot economies, jewelry sales tend to do well.

How much of current gold demand is being caused by Indians and Chinese spending their new money on jewelry?

6 posted on 12/01/2005 10:30:43 AM PST by fso301
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To: Irontank

Meanwhile, the Fed has decided the sheeple no longer need to see monthly M-3 money supply increase data.

"Turn of the radar screen monitor down in the steerage class lounge....might make the passengers nervous."


7 posted on 12/01/2005 10:32:20 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: fso301
"Jewlry?" You mean, like cubic zirconium trinket?

You are talking about GOLD, are you not?

Are you aware that Russia just announced it is doubling its gold holdings? Or that China is encouraging its citizens to buy gold, and not only as jewelry?

Do you really think that Gold closed at $503 today, because more Indians are buying gold jewelry today?

8 posted on 12/01/2005 10:34:40 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: vrwc0915

I hope it doesn't come to that, but like you I think the prudent person invests in steel, brass and lead, as well as gold and silver.


9 posted on 12/01/2005 10:35:59 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: Travis McGee

heh... Well, I can't say that I know about Greenspan's drinking habits. :-)

I can't say that there's anything about that paragraph to disagee with. There's been all manner of bad monetary policy at one time or another. Just like there's been bad fiscal policy too.

Tying the money supply to gold or anything else doesn't eliminate risks to the economy, it just changes the risks.


10 posted on 12/01/2005 10:37:47 AM PST by Ramius (Buy blades for war fighters: freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net --> 1000 knives and counting!)
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To: Travis McGee

Lead is better, since you can buy more of it and at least melt it into bullets when things really go to hell. :-)


11 posted on 12/01/2005 10:38:48 AM PST by Ramius (Buy blades for war fighters: freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net --> 1000 knives and counting!)
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To: Travis McGee

This guy is a shill for the gold selling market. I am hearing a lot of advertisements from gold sellers these days. They are selling you gold they bought at a lower price.

When was the gold market the hottest? When was everyone buying gold? When it went above $600 an ounce, about 23 years ago.

Remember the lines of people buying silver at $38 an ounce? It was going to $100. No, it topped at a little over $38. Silver just hit an 18 year high, at about $8.30 an ounce.

Where will gold go from here? I don't have a clue. But gold sellers sure are anxious to sell to me. If it is going to double, why are they so interested in selling to me?


12 posted on 12/01/2005 10:42:10 AM PST by SaxxonWoods (Question for Socialists: Why are others bound to do for you what you won't do for yourself?)
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To: Travis McGee
Gee, I wonder why the Fed no longer wants us to see M-3 data, and will no longer release the figures????

Crank up the printing presses! "Helicopter Ben" is coming to town!


13 posted on 12/01/2005 10:44:34 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: vrwc0915; Travis McGee
THIS JUST IN!

People at "321Gold" (the posted source for this material) recommend you BUY GOLD IMMEDIATELY!

14 posted on 12/01/2005 10:49:07 AM PST by Recovering_Democrat (I am SO glad to no longer be associated with the party of Dependence on Government!)
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To: Toddsterpatriot; justshutupandtakeit

You might enjoy reading this.


15 posted on 12/01/2005 10:51:13 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: SaxxonWoods

Look, I just posted the article because the debate is interesting to me. Do what the heck you want, I don't care.


16 posted on 12/01/2005 10:52:27 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: Recovering_Democrat

So what? The shills on MSNBC think you should buy equities all day long. Big deal.

It's another perspective, and the main thing is, THE QUOTES ARE BY THE (so-called) "MAESTRO" SIR ALAN GREENSPAN.

Or do you think the author of this piece just made up those comments by Greenspan?


17 posted on 12/01/2005 10:55:07 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: SaxxonWoods
But gold sellers sure are anxious to sell to me. If it is going to double, why are they so interested in selling to me?

Bingo.

18 posted on 12/01/2005 10:56:42 AM PST by PRND21
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To: Ramius
You said:"Generally speaking, in an economics discussion, as soon as someone uses the phrase "fiat money" it's time to pronounce last call at the bar and start calling cabs to get the regulars home safe."

Is Alan Greenspan now a drunk who needs a safe ride home?

19 posted on 12/01/2005 10:57:13 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: Travis McGee

Beats me.


20 posted on 12/01/2005 11:00:05 AM PST by Ramius (Buy blades for war fighters: freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net --> 1000 knives and counting!)
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To: Recovering_Democrat; Travis McGee

After 9/11 I bought a whole bunch of the following bgo & vgz
Outpreformed my no choice in how it's invested 401k by a long shot. I don't think that us "gold bugs" are against economic growth, but you would be foolish not to have some tangible assets that are liquid and not entirely dependant on the USD. I invest some money in traditional investments, some in stockpiling goods and materials that I will need or that could be traded for things that I wanted if my USD suddenly had 1/2 the purchasing power. I think those that will be hit hardest are the majority that are living on credit! The only thing that I have that is not mine free and clear is my house and I have been making extra payments whenever I can. I get 2-3 letters a week telling me to be smart and use the equity in my home, not thanks


21 posted on 12/01/2005 11:02:36 AM PST by vrwc0915
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To: PRND21; SaxxonWoods
But gold sellers sure are anxious to sell to me. If it is going to double, why are they so interested in selling to me?

Because the greater the worldwide demand, the greater the value of the large amounts of gold which they hold. This is not rocket science. It's called a "bull market." If I own 10,000 shares of XYZ corp, I hope lots of other folks will want to buy it, because then the value of my 10,000 shares will go up. Basic supply and demand.

22 posted on 12/01/2005 11:06:52 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: Travis McGee

If the debate interesting, why your post to me? I just made my debate comments. Thanks for posting the article, by the way.


23 posted on 12/01/2005 11:07:07 AM PST by SaxxonWoods (Question for Socialists: Why are others bound to do for you what you won't do for yourself?)
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To: Travis McGee

I agree with your last post.


24 posted on 12/01/2005 11:08:32 AM PST by SaxxonWoods (Question for Socialists: Why are others bound to do for you what you won't do for yourself?)
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To: vrwc0915
If the real estate market turns down, watch out. Millions of Americans who bought homes (often 2nd "investment" homes) will be upside down when the monthly ARM payments ratchet up. The spillover is going to be ugly when they start defaulting.

Not to mention the fools who HAD equity in their homes, but decided to take out a fresh (ARM) mortgage, to buy the big SUV, the giant plasma TV and so on. FOOLS! And millions of them....

25 posted on 12/01/2005 11:10:09 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: Travis McGee
Posted, as gold appears to be set to close above $500 for the first time in many years.

Gold is useful as a signal that the Fed is too tight or too loose with money supply. Used as currency it leaves a lot to be desired.

26 posted on 12/01/2005 11:10:54 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (The Federal Reserve did not kill JFK. Greenspan was not on the grassy knoll.)
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To: SaxxonWoods

You seemed to say that the article was of no value, because of the perspective of the man who took the time to write it.


27 posted on 12/01/2005 11:11:17 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: Travis McGee
If I own 10,000 shares of XYZ corp, I hope lots of other folks will want to buy it, because then the value of my 10,000 shares will go up.

Sure, as long as you don't sell them YOUR stock.

The GoldBuggers are unoading their own holdings...and for good reason.
What's that expression about suckers?

28 posted on 12/01/2005 11:11:34 AM PST by PRND21
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To: Irontank
Of course...most Americans don't understand (1) that inflation indices...particularly the CPI...are designed to understate inflation

Actually Greenspan thinks CPI overstates inflation.

29 posted on 12/01/2005 11:11:57 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (The Federal Reserve did not kill JFK. Greenspan was not on the grassy knoll.)
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To: Travis McGee
Everyone told me that I was stupid to put 20% down on my house.

I used to be a deputy and I imagine that a lot of local sheriffs will simply stop doing the evictions once they become widespread, foreclosure papers are one thing but possession is 9/10ths. Like we saw on another board in Arg. is the bank going to physically remove people from their homes? I don't think so

30 posted on 12/01/2005 11:14:03 AM PST by vrwc0915
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To: Travis McGee
"Helicopter Ben" is coming to town!

I don't suppose you understand what the context was when he made his helicopter remarks?

31 posted on 12/01/2005 11:14:07 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (The Federal Reserve did not kill JFK. Greenspan was not on the grassy knoll.)
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To: Toddsterpatriot
Gold is useful as a signal that the Fed is too tight or too loose with money supply. Used as currency it leaves a lot to be desired.

What would you rather find in your granny's attic: a dusty cigar box containing 100 $20 bills from 1920, or a box containing 100 $20 gold pieces?

32 posted on 12/01/2005 11:15:01 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: Travis McGee
If the real estate market turns down, watch out. Millions of Americans who bought homes (often 2nd "investment" homes) will be upside down when the monthly ARM payments ratchet up.

One sure way to get the real estate (and stock) market to collapse is to hit the economy with a nice dose of deflation. Kinda hard to pull equity out of your house when the value drops every year.

Deflation kinda sucked the wind out of the Japanese market not to mention our NASDAQ.

33 posted on 12/01/2005 11:18:04 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (The Federal Reserve did not kill JFK. Greenspan was not on the grassy knoll.)
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To: Toddsterpatriot
Sure do, it's right here. I've read it many times. Remarks by Governor Ben S. Bernanke Before the National Economists Club, Washington, D.C.

November 21, 2002

Deflation: Making Sure "It" Doesn't Happen Here

http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/speeches/2002/20021121/default.htm

34 posted on 12/01/2005 11:18:30 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: Travis McGee

$503 eh? Strong close.

That's intersting news about Russia and China. Thanks for the ping.


35 posted on 12/01/2005 11:19:37 AM PST by planekT (<- http://www.wadejacoby.com/pedro/ ->)
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To: Travis McGee
What would you rather find in your granny's attic: a dusty cigar box containing 100 $20 bills from 1920, or a box containing 100 $20 gold pieces?

I'd rather find $2000 worth of 1920 shares of GE or MO.

36 posted on 12/01/2005 11:19:42 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (The Federal Reserve did not kill JFK. Greenspan was not on the grassy knoll.)
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To: Travis McGee
Deflation: Making Sure "It" Doesn't Happen Here

It sounds like he thinks deflation is a serious problem. Perhaps you agree?

37 posted on 12/01/2005 11:20:35 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (The Federal Reserve did not kill JFK. Greenspan was not on the grassy knoll.)
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To: Toddsterpatriot
We sure don't need to worry about that, Helicopter Ben knows all about printing more money!

"What has this got to do with monetary policy? Like gold, U.S. dollars have value only to the extent that they are strictly limited in supply. But the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. By increasing the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the U.S. government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services. We conclude that, under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation. Of course, the U.S. government is not going to print money and distribute it willy-nilly (although as we will see later, there are practical policies that approximate this behavior)."

38 posted on 12/01/2005 11:21:12 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: Ramius

See above. Looks like Helicopter Ben is another drunk talking about "fiat money" who needs a ride home from the bar.


39 posted on 12/01/2005 11:22:09 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: planekT

Yep, sure is.


40 posted on 12/01/2005 11:23:07 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: Travis McGee
We sure don't need to worry about that, Helicopter Ben knows all about printing more money!

Perhaps you can give us the goldbug cure for deflation?

41 posted on 12/01/2005 11:24:42 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (The Federal Reserve did not kill JFK. Greenspan was not on the grassy knoll.)
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To: Toddsterpatriot
Thank God we have an Ivy League trained academic coming on board to run the fed. He'll be able to solve any coming problems, I'm positive!

"If recession should threaten serious consequences for business (as is not indicated at present) there is little doubt that the Federal Reserve System would take steps to ease the money supply and so check the movement."

--Harvard Economic Society, Oct. 19, 1929

Today, we all understand how simple this is. That's why Japan solved their problem in a matter of months after 1990, simply by dropping interest rates to the zero limit, and giving away bushels of money to all comers. Presto! Problem solved!

(You mean...it didn't work like that?)

42 posted on 12/01/2005 11:29:27 AM PST by Travis McGee (--- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com ---)
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To: Travis McGee
That doesn't look like the goldbug cure for deflation.
43 posted on 12/01/2005 11:31:24 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (The Federal Reserve did not kill JFK. Greenspan was not on the grassy knoll.)
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To: Travis McGee

Oh goody... "Last Call!!!" :-)

Don't misunderstand, please... I'm not denying the terminology, nor its accuracy. I'll even use it myself: Most money in the world can be called "fiat money". OK... of course it is.

And yes... there can be disastrous monetary policy that can happen. So? A bigger disaster would be shackling the price of a dollar to some amount of metal.


44 posted on 12/01/2005 11:34:48 AM PST by Ramius (Buy blades for war fighters: freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net --> 1000 knives and counting!)
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To: Toddsterpatriot
The problem is not just a mathematical inflation/deflation equation, to be "cured" by jiggering interest rates and money supply. The problem is far deeper, and at this point, almost unsolveable, given our trillions of dollars of debt owed to foreigners (who do not love us like Mommy and Daddy).

Now we are riding the tiger, and when the music stops, there is going to be carnage. This is a result of unbridled creation of fiat money through an endless easy credit fiesta. The bill will come due when the foreigners stop ponying up to the bar, and America "goes Argentina."

The day of reckoning for our decades of credit binging is coming due. We will suffer the fate of EVERY NATION IN HISTORY which has climbed ever further out onto the unilmited fiat money branch.

Or perhaps (to ask you for the 20th time) you will now answer the question:

NAME ONE COUNTRY IN HISTORY WHICH HAS PRINTED ENDLESS FIAT MONEY AND GORGED ON DEBT CONSUMPTION, WHICH HAS NOT COLLAPSED IN RUIN AND TEARS.

Just one. Surely, you can name just one.

45 posted on 12/01/2005 11:36:57 AM PST by Travis McGee
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To: Ramius
A bigger disaster would be shackling the price of a dollar to some amount of metal.

I can name example after example of unlimited fiat money / easy credit systems collapsing in utter ruin, often leading to violent revolution, dictatorship, starvation etc.

Against that, I would posit the American 19th Century, when we tamed a continent, crisscrossed it with railroads, built a world beating industrial base and so on.

Yes, it was far from perfect, but it never collapsed into ruin, riot, revolution and dictatorship. Just look at American progress across that century!

And it did so all while "shackled to metal."

46 posted on 12/01/2005 11:41:11 AM PST by Travis McGee
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To: Toddsterpatriot
Inflation and deflation are not really opposites, but the two sides of the same coin. (Base metal, I might add.) Inflation or deflation are your two alternatives, when you have ruined your underlying economy with endless fiat money and an endless debt/credit consumption orgy, as the US has done.

The economy is rotten, and the choices at this point are BOTH bad.

The "solution" is sound money, and not climbing a mile out onto the flimsy branch of unlimited fiat money and debt/credit consumption.

Of course, that will have to come AFTER we rebuild from the ashes of our now-inevitable crash.

47 posted on 12/01/2005 11:45:28 AM PST by Travis McGee
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To: Toddsterpatriot
Actually Greenspan thinks CPI overstates inflation

He says he does...the Fed's been saying it for years...and, over the last 10 years, they've successfully lowered the inflation rate as measured by the CPI by making, what the Feds call "hedonic adjustments."

But, of course, the Fed and the federal government have an interest in keeping the CPI low...the Bureau of Labor Statistics website states:

The index affects the income of almost 80 million people as a result of statutory action: 47.8 million Social Security beneficiaries, about 4.1 million military and Federal Civil Service retirees and survivors, and about 22.4 million food stamp recipients....Since 1985, the CPI has been used to adjust the Federal income tax structure to prevent inflation-induced increases in taxes.

Its why the CPI does not account for food costs, energy costs...or the biggest expense for most Americans...the price of homes and the accompanying mortgage payments. So the CPI reports that inflation is historically low...but we've seen housing prices more than double in some parts of the country over the last 5-10 years...but no worry...CPI tracks average rental costs instead...convenient because when money is loose and interest rates are kept low (and housing prices accordingly rise), rental prices stay low (people buy rather than rent)...as does the CPI

48 posted on 12/01/2005 11:46:26 AM PST by Irontank (Let them revere nothing but religion, morality and liberty -- John Adams)
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To: Travis McGee
NAME ONE COUNTRY IN HISTORY WHICH HAS PRINTED ENDLESS FIAT MONEY AND GORGED ON DEBT CONSUMPTION

The United States has not printed endless fiat money or gorged on debt consumption.

So, there is no goldbug cure for deflation? Or do you just not know it? Or do you know it and just won't tell us? Is it a secret? Do we need to know the secret handshake first?

49 posted on 12/01/2005 11:53:19 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (The Federal Reserve did not kill JFK. Greenspan was not on the grassy knoll.)
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To: Travis McGee
Inflation or deflation are your two alternatives, when you have ruined your underlying economy with endless fiat money

Exactly. There is no inflation or deflation under a gold or silver standard. LOL!!

50 posted on 12/01/2005 11:54:21 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (The Federal Reserve did not kill JFK. Greenspan was not on the grassy knoll.)
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