Schiff: Gold Fits All Market Environments
October 11, 2012
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When it comes to gold bulls, perhaps none is more strident that Peter Schiff, and the head of Euro Pacific Capital was in fine form Wednesday as he took the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policies to task, saying they are fueling an unstoppable gold rally and won’t do anything to spur U.S. growth.
Speaking at IndexUniverse’s Commodities conference in Chicago, Schiff argued that the Fed’s zero-interest rate policies and its ongoing quantitative easing will do more harm than good for an economy burdened by hefty loads of debt and heading for gale-force inflationary head winds.
“The Fed has said it will keep printing money until we have more jobs. That means we are going to be printing money until we have an economic crisis,” Schiff said during a panel on precious metals at the one-day conference that was held at the Ritz-Carlton on Wednesday, Oct. 10
“The closest thing I know to being a sure thing is that the U.S. dollar is going to depreciate,” Schiff said in a panel discussing the outlook for precious metals. He said that faced with a weakening outlook, gold and other precious metals are a perfect hedge against loss of purchasing power.
Last summer, before the Fed said it was launching its third round of quantitative easing, or QE3, Schiff said he had no doubt the Fed would implement QE3, and stressed that he reckoned gold would eventually reach $5,000.
Gold prices did rise ahead of the Fed’s “QE3” announcement in September—from $1,550 to $1,730 a troy ounce—but that rally stalled since the central bank said it planned to buy $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities per month indefinitely. Still, because of QE3, many gold analysts are confident gold will eventually break through $1,800 an ounce.
Fed’s Policies Won’t Work
Schiff called for a restructuring of the U.S. economy that would include higher rates, acknowledging that such increases in borrowing costs would “involve short-term pain,” and stressing that politically no one wants to endure that difficulty.
“So we get more of the problem, which is easy money,” Schiff said.
The latest round of quantitative easing openly targets the unemployment rate and is aimed at encouraging home buying as the government pours money into the mortgage-backed securities market, again, to the tune of $40 billion a month.
“The Fed is trying to inflate housing again to give a sense of wealth,” Schiff said. “But you can’t blow up a bubble that has already burst. It has too many holes. The money will not resurrect housing.”
Inflation is a given in Schiff’s mind, and that will spawn another crisis.
In such a scenario, the Fed will be pressured to raise interest rates, something it will be reluctant to do because it would mean the U.S. would have to default on its debt. Moreover, higher borrowing rates would “knock out” the housing market and the banks that were bailed out before.
“We would see an economic implosion because we are more leveraged now than we were in 2008,” Schiff said. “There’s no end to QE. We are going to overdose on QE.”