Did you actually believe that they were not going to use the precedent that they set in Cyprus? On Thursday, EU finance ministers agreed to a shocking new plan that will make every bank account in Europe vulnerable to Cyprus-style bail-ins. In other words, the wealth confiscation that we just witnessed in Cyprus will now be used as a template for future bank failures all over Europe. That means that if you have a bank account in Europe, you could wake up some morning and every penny in that account over 100,000 euros could be gone. That is exactly what happened in Cyprus, and now EU officials plan to do the same thing all over Europe. For quite a while EU officials insisted that Cyprus was a “special case”, but now we see that was a lie. International outrage over what happened in Cyprus has died down, and now they are pushing forward with what they probably had planned all along. But why have they chosen this specific moment to implement such a plan? Are they anticipating that we will see a wave of bank failures soon? Do they know something that they aren’t telling us?
Are we too stupid to continue as a nation? That may seem like a harsh question, but I think that it is one that we need to ask. Even though we have more access to information today than ever before, it seems like the U.S. population just keeps becoming more ignorant. So at what point does a society become so “dumbed-down” that it can no longer function effectively? We like to complain about our leaders, but the truth is that we are the ones that elected them. They are a reflection of who we are as a society. And when you compare Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner to men like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, they don’t fare too well. Sadly, the truth is that most of our founding fathers would not have a prayer of being elected today. Instead, they would be labeled as crazy “extremists” for insisting that we follow the U.S. Constitution. In our entertainment-addicted society, Lady Gaga would have a much greater chance of being elected president today than George Washington would. That is how far we have fallen.
Did you actually think that mortgage rates were going to stay at all-time lows forever? Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was able to grossly distort the market for a while by buying up massive amounts of government bonds and mortgage-backed securities, but there was no way in the world that the market was going to stay that distorted forever. It simply does not make sense to give American families 30 year mortgages at a fixed interest rate of less than four percent when the real rate of inflation is somewhere around eight to ten percent and the mortgage delinquency rate in the United States is 9.72 percent. If we actually did have “free markets” and they were behaving rationally, mortgage rates would be far, far higher. Well, now that the Fed has indicated that they are going to be starting to “taper” QE at some point, bond yields have skyrocketed and this is rapidly pushing up mortgage rates. According to Freddie Mac, we just witnessed the largest weekly increase in mortgage rates in 26 years. Sadly, this is only just the beginning. Unless the Federal Reserve intervenes, mortgage rates are going to continue to try to revert to normal.
The day that silver traders have been waiting for has arrived. On Wednesday, the price of silver dropped another 5 percent. As I write this, it is sitting at $18.55 an ounce. On Wednesday it hit a low that had not been seen in three years. Overall, the price of silver has declined by 34 percent this quarter. That is the largest quarterly move in the price of silver in more than 30 years. So what does all of this mean? It means that we are looking at a historic buying opportunity for those that are interested in silver. Yes, gold is undervalued right now as well, but it is absolutely ridiculous how low the price of silver is. At the moment, the price of gold is about 66 times higher than the price of silver is. But they come out of the ground at about a 9 to 1 ratio, and unlike gold, silver is used up in thousands of common consumer products. Those that want to invest in silver should be shouting for joy that prices have fallen this low. If you have been waiting and waiting and waiting to “load the boat”, your moment has arrived.
What does it look like when a 30 year bull market ends abruptly? What happens when bond yields start doing things that they haven’t done in 50 years? If your answer to those questions involves the word “slaughter”, you are probably on the right track. Right now, bonds are being absolutely slaughtered, and this is only just the beginning. Over the last several years, reckless bond buying by the Federal Reserve has forced yields down to absolutely ridiculous levels. For example, it simply is not rational to lend the U.S. government money at less than 3 percent when the real rate of inflation is somewhere up around 8 to 10 percent. But when he originally announced the quantitative easing program, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that he intended to force interest rates to go down, and lots of bond investors made a lot of money riding the bubble that Bernanke created. But now that Bernanke has indicated that the bond buying will be coming to an end, investors are going into panic mode and the bond bubble is starting to burst. One hedge fund executive told CNBC that the “feeling you are getting out there is that people are selling first and asking questions later”. And the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries just keeps going up. Today it closed at 2.59 percent, and many believe that it is going to go much higher unless the Fed intervenes. If the Fed does not intervene and allows the bubble that it has created to burst, we are going to see unprecedented carnage.
Do you want to know the primary reason why rapidly rising interest rates could take down the entire global financial system? Most people might think that it would be because the U.S. government would have to pay much more interest on the national debt. And yes, if the average rate of interest on U.S. government debt rose to just 6 percent (and it has actually been much higher in the past), the federal government would be paying out about a trillion dollars a year just in interest on the national debt. But that isn’t it. Nor does the primary reason have to do with the fact that rapidly rising interest rates would impose massive losses on bond investors. At this point, it is being projected that if U.S. bond yields rise by an average of 3 percentage points, it will cause investors to lose a trillion dollars. Yes, that is a 1 with 12 zeroes after it ($1,000,000,000,000). But that is not the number one danger posed by rapidly rising interest rates either. Rather, the number one reason why rapidly rising interest rates could cause the entire global financial system to crash is because there are more than 441 TRILLION dollars worth of interest rate derivatives sitting out there. This number comes directly from the Bank for International Settlements – the central bank of central banks. In other words, more than $441,000,000,000,000 has been bet on the movement of interest rates. Normally these bets do not cause a major problem because rates tend to move very slowly and the system stays balanced. But now rates are starting to skyrocket, and the sophisticated financial models used by derivatives traders do not account for this kind of movement.
Do we want to encourage drug dealers, violent gang members and serial rapists to come into this country? If not, why is that exactly what the Obama administration is doing? Thanks to very foolish U.S. government policies, it is incredibly difficult to immigrate to this country legally, but it is incredibly easy to immigrate to this country illegally. So we are keeping out large numbers of good, honest, hard working people at the same time that we have given a giant green light to criminals and lawbreakers. Does that make any sense at all? We need an immigration system that forces everyone to come in through the front door. Instead, we have made the process of getting in through the front door a complete and total nightmare and yet we have left the back door totally wide open. And if the millions upon millions of lawbreakers that are coming in to this country illegally just took our jobs and drained our welfare system, perhaps it wouldn’t be that bad. Unfortunately, that is not the case. In fact, illegal immigration has greatly contributed to rising violent crime rates all over the nation. Gang membership is exploding, Mexican drug cartels are operating in more of our communities than ever before, and identity theft by illegal immigrants is at epidemic levels. Something desperately needs to be done.