Tag Archives: US Government Downgrade

Oh My, The Giant Snowball is now Rolling Down Hill, can the Central Banks Stop it?

8/8/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Oh my.  Two words, four meager characters, made famous by Jesse “The Body” Ventura during his ringside blow by blow commentary in the glory days of the WWF (circa 1986).  These words, which so eloquently summed up the effects of a pile driver, seem strangely appropriate to describe what is occurring in equity markets around the globe during their first chance to “react” to the S&P downgrade of the US Government’s sovereign debt rating.

As we write, the Dow is down 5%, ditto for Oil.  Gold is up over 4% and the downgraded bonds of the US Government of the 10 year variety are up (in other words, yields have fallen) approximately 4%.

What is going on?  We will give you a clue, Bank of America (BAC) is down almost 20% on massive volume.

Still guessing?  We won’t keep you in suspense.  This downgrade, whether deserved or not, early or late, is wreaking havoc with mutual fund investment policies which call for excess funds to be held in AAA rated debt.  There are not enough German bunds or UK gilts in circulation to pick up the excess funds gushing out of Treasuries.

The obvious implication is that USD bank deposits should rise.

More deposits that it can’t lend at a profit would tank behemoths like B of A, and Uncle Sam may have trouble saving it.  That, and B of A is being sued for fraud, again.

Enough of B of A, back to the money flying out of US Government obligations by investment policy edict.  Where will this money go?  That is what is currently being sorted out in the markets.  And at the moment it is UGLY for equities on a global scale.  Don’t worry, by late next week, so much money will be pumped into the system that equities will have no choice but to rise.

We can’t help but think back to this chart (BELOW) showing the proliferation of AAA debt in the world.  It seemed as if it was everywhere, like pine trees in a forest.  Now, with one simple action, those who trust S&P’s judgment (which history has show is at one’s own peril) find themselves with at least $14 Trillion less AAA issues to choose from.  More, if you count the implied downgrades of government agency and other government guaranteed debt.

"AAA" Government dominates the market and it is beginning to smell funny!

Stepping away from the technicalities of investment policies and looking at the downgrade in a philosophical sense, it is like a minor earthquake that triggers a tsunami that the financial world is now helplessly watching roll ashore, or like a giant snowball has been pushed downhill and threatens to start an avalanche.

The financial world is looking at these twin disasters and now realizes that the only thing standing between them and the demise of the current financial and currency systems is, are you ready for this?

The Central Banks of the World!!!  Not exactly knights in shining armor, if you ask us.  We might be more comfortable if Pee-wee Herman were on the case.  At least he could provide entertainment as the demise unfolds!

The downgrade is another chink in the armor of the world’s largest knight in shining armor, the United States of America.  Every day, more people are coming to grips with the fact that the US of A cannot provide security and social benefits at such low rates.   Bill Bonner of the Daily Reckoning regularly explores this decline of the American Empire. 

As we touched on the other day, what man calls nations today are, for purposes of analysis, simply competing security agencies which have a man-made geographical monopoly.  The problem, as any businessman will tell you, is that nowadays the agency’s customers can’t take the price hikes.  Neither can they easily choose to move their business to a competitor.  Expatriating is not cheap and involves a host of logistical problems.

The book of Isaiah, chapter 40, God refers to the nations as a “drop in the bucket” and “dust on the scales.”  The obvious implication is that nations do not last, and in extreme cases, dealing with a government may feel like one is dealing with the Mafia.  The need to preserve a geographical monopoly can make an analysis of the actions of a government or a mafia eerily similar.

Seen through this lens, S&P is like the snitch who broke Omerta and tells everyone that the Mafia boss can’t pay on his contracts.  Now the boss will likely face an increase in the vig on what he owes the loanshark. 

How long before the rat gets whacked?

Don’t forget to keep your eye on events in the Middle East, especially Palestine.  Something bigger than we image is brewing there and our guess is that the eyes of the world will soon be focused there.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for August 8, 2011

Copper Price per Lb: $3.97
Oil Price per Barrel:  $83.36

Corn Price per Bushel:  $6.78
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.37%

FED Target Rate:  0.09%  TIGHTENING?  NOT!

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,718 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  2.00%
Unemployment Rate:  9.1%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  -0.2%!!!  PULL OUT THE HELICOPTERS!!!
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  10,899  TO THE MOON!!!

M1 Monetary Base:  $2,012,200,000,000 RED ALERT!!!
M2 Monetary Base:  $9,226,100,000,000 YIKES!!!!!!!

S&P Prepares to pass Judgment on US Debt, Unemployed for the long haul

8/5/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…
Mercifully, today we have time for a brief Mint.  It appears that the people at S&P are finally going to give the US Government a well deserved, long overdue, courtesy downgrade on their sovereign debt rating.
This will cause havoc with any investment policy, rule, code, law, etc. that relies on the US Government to maintain an untarnished reputation as the safest investment in the world.  Ironically, an S&P downgrade will probably trigger a rally in US Treasuries.  However, this phenomenon is more a testament to the ineptitude of the debt raters at S&P rather than any firming up of the nation’s finances.
But what if tax revenues began to increase?  They almost have to, even if by accident, given all of the cash that is flying out of stock, bond, and money market funds and on to the streets.  Word has it that over $66 BILLION left money market funds for parts unknown last week, mostly due to the debt ceiling debacle, which last week threatened to wreak the same havoc that a downgrade will likely cause on corporate short term cash investment policies across the globe.
For perspective, $144 BILLION ran out of money market funds the week that Lehman Bros declared bankruptcy.  But that, by most counts, was a surprise.
As food for thought, we submit this scary chart for your perusal, courtesy of the Money Game:
Unemployed for the long haul!

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!
P.S.  For more ideas and commentary please check out The Mint at www.davidmint.com
Key Indicators for August 5, 2011
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,663 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY