This is not just my opinion, but that of Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) Chief Economist Norbert Walter. He brings his concerns to an interview to CNBC.com and he has very strong, reasonable concerns for his comments. I am on the same page as he is and have brought my concerns over the economy and the dollar to my readers for a long time now. This, in my opinion, merely ads credibility to my opinion and throws aside the thought of those green shoots we hear so much about.
If things were fine then we would have seen some real action from the Fed yesterday, certainly if things were as fine as CNBC and other media outlets claim it is at least. Regardless Mr. Walter went on to say:
I believe that the rescue packages brought on have been so costly for so many governments that the exit from this fiscal policy will be very painful, very painful indeed. Some of us are already talking about a W-shaped recovery. I’d probably talk about a triple-U-shaped recovery because there are so many stumbling blocks here to get out of this.
This sounds pretty familiar to me as it is the same concerns I have echoed for some time now. However, I am not so bleak in my outlook and expect a W recovery and pray that we do not have a triple U pattern, which is possible, but, hopefully, unlikely. He went on to say that many companies thought the recession was going to be shallow and did not layoff people even as sales deteriorated, but that will change in the near future.
He also has concerns over Australia’s potential interest rate increase in September, which is possible, and says the “markets will certainly shiver” if that happens. He, as I, also has concerns over the dollar as the current administration wrestles with health care and has put an exit strategy on the backburner of the Fed’s monetary stimulus. The Fed’s actions will only increase our troubles as cheap money got us here in the first place, but now we have so much more to worry about than cheap money like the monetization of our debt and the printing of more dollars.
Mr. Walter went on to say:
“There are big concerns of about the direction of the U.S. dollar. I’m deeply worried about the worries of those investors who have invested a lot, really a lot into the dollar” like the Chinese, Japanese, Arabs and Russians, he said.
All of those countries, with the exception of Japan, have voiced some concerns over the safety of the dollar. Their concerns are with merit, I might add, as we are issuing more debt and have monetized a lot of our debt and I am sure that will continue after October.
He concluded with these comments; “If they have second thoughts about the quality of this currency then the dollar is bound to weaken” which means higher long-term interest rates for a country where government debt is approaching 100 percent of gross domestic product, he said.
If that happens, “2010 could be a worrisome year for all of us,” he said.
These comments are echoing my concerns, but they are even darker than I thought is possible. This is why I have always allocated more of my money to non US securities, usually keeping only 20-25% in the US and the rest invested internationally, mostly Asia. I have also taken great pain to find other alternatives such as precious metals, GLD and SLV are OK, but physical metals never hurt, and sovereign government debt, like the PCY which I have talked about a lot.
Regardless, these are not just my opinion and we should look at what Mr. Walter is saying with an open mind. While it is unlikely that we will have a doomsday scenario, like a currency crisis, but it certainly does not mean that things will not get very bad. This is why I believe in hedging and others should as well, but I digress.