If one looks at the inter-market relationships between UUP (US$), TLT (Treasury Bonds), CRB (Commodities), and GLD (Gold), one will uncover the footprint of the beginning of the stagflation trade. Those of you who read our articles regularly know we have been warning of the inevitable rise of hyper-inflation at a time when a jobless recovery will lead to the obvious quagmire of a stagnant economy. Well, last week’s price movement across a broad front foreshadows the deleterious economic environment ahead.
Allow me to fit the puzzle pieces together and create a little illumination:
- The US$ broke down against a basket of currencies last week and in doing so took out major long-term support. The weakening US$ trend has been going on for a while as the Fed continues to print currency out of thin air in an attempt to stimulate the economy. The latest magic trick and perhaps the last straw has been the monetization of treasury debt. The Fed’s buying of government debt at a time when the Obama administration continues to inflate the deficit has led to a loss of confidence in the US$ as the reserve currency of the world. This corrosion of confidence and abuse of Fed powers is the leading cause of the hyper-inflation trend. Remember, inflation is a currency event not an economic event.
- T-bond prices were down last week which of course results in higher yields. This rate creep up is in its infancy. However, if rates continue to rise, eventhough the Fed is supporting the market, this will be a clear indication that inflation fears are beginning to dominate.
- The commodity complex as a whole sold off last week. Basic materials such as energy suffered declines indicating that an economic recovery is not in the offing. I would not typically read too much into any one week but with the US$ off so much last week one would have expected to see the whole commodity complex higher. Instead, we witnessed a bifurcated commodity complex that screams of stagflation; economically sensitive commodities suffered as inflation sensitive commodities rallied.
- The key inflation sensitive commodity rallied strong last week as did the price of silver. Tuesday the 1st was perhaps the most telltale day when the inflation sensitive precious metals complex closed higher in the face of a stronger US$.
The developments of last week could be viewed as troubling if you are not prepared. However, if you are a member of the Rosenthal Capital Management family, then you are all smiles this week. You know we are prepared for this development and in fact welcome the trend.
I feel at this time we are compelled to clear up a little misunderstanding. We should give credit where credit is due. Yes, Ben Bernanke has been able to create “shoots” in the economy. We stand corrected and beg for Ben’s forgiveness for our ever doubting his ability to create “shoots”. We would however, respectfully request he visit his ophthalmologist or perhaps a neurologist to discuss his confusion recognizing colors. The “shoots” that he sees are real but they are GOLDEN not green.