April 20, 2011
The biggest headline in the news so far this week has been S&P's decision to downgrade their U.S. credit outlook to negative. After S&P made their announcement, almost everybody in the mainstream media proclaimed it to be a "wake up call" for the U.S. government, saying that if they don't make a real effort to cut the budget deficit, a fiscal disaster awaits. Despite lowering the U.S. credit outlook to negative, S&P left the U.S. credit rating at AAA.
The real story in the media this week should be, how is it possible that the U.S. credit rating remains AAA? After all, AAA is the highest rating possible. Shouldn't a AAA credit rating be reserved for countries with budget surpluses, low levels of debt, and low levels of price inflation? Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was quick to say after S&P's announcement that there is "no risk" of the U.S. losing its AAA rating. NIA respectfully asks Mr. Geithner to resign from office for making those comments. How could there be "no risk" of the world's largest debtor nation losing its AAA rating?
As NIA first exposed in its critically acclaimed documentary 'Meltup', S&P, along with Moody's, rated mortgage-backed securities AAA during the mortgage crisis that didn't just decline in value, but went to zero. In our opinion, the credit ratings agencies have absolutely no credibility left and will be out of business in a few years. S&P and Moody's still rate U.S. debt AAA because they fear the negative backlash that would come immediately if they lowered its rating, which would undoubtedly include calls from members of Congress to take away their licenses to be ratings agencies in this country.
NIA believes the U.S. credit rating should be junk. Including unfunded liabilities and the backing of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, the U.S. currently has a real national debt that is five times higher than our GDP. There is no chance of the U.S. ever paying back its debts without printing the money and creating hyperinflation. There is no chance of the U.S. ever balancing its budget, without eliminating the so-called untouchable entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Our nation has reached a point where it is paying out 90% of the money it raises each month from the sales of U.S. treasuries, just to pay back the holders of maturing U.S. treasuries their principle and interest earned. The U.S. needs to continuously sell larger amounts of new debt, just to stay afloat, so there is no conceivable way that any unbiased organization can possibly give the U.S. a credit rating of AAA. The only reason we haven't defaulted on our debts is the Federal Reserve's ability to create monetary inflation and the world's willingness to hoard U.S. dollars due to its status as the world's reserve currency.
Despite the euro-zone debt crisis with nations like Greece defaulting on their debt, over the past ten years, the U.S. dollar has fallen from being 70.7% of foreign exchange reserves down to 61.4%, while the Euro has risen from being 19.8% of foreign exchange reserves up to 26.3%. The other currency category, which includes currencies like the Canadian dollar and Australian dollar, has risen during the past decade from 1.2% to 4.4%. The world is clearly diversifying out of the U.S. dollar.
Not only is the demand for dollars declining as a percentage of foreign exchange reserves, but there are now calls for our largest creditor nation China to reduce their total foreign exchange reserve holdings. China's foreign exchange reserves have increased by $200 billion this year to over $3 trillion and are mostly invested in U.S. dollars. Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, said this week that, "Foreign exchange reserves have exceeded our country's rational demand, and too much accumulation has caused excessive liquidity in our markets, adding to the pressure of the central bank's sterilization." In other words, China is likely to begin selling their U.S. dollar reserves and accumulating real assets like gold and silver with this money. The biggest ever rally in precious metals is just around the corner, which means the U.S. dollar's purchasing power is about to plummet.
NIA constantly receives emails asking us if Paul Ryan's proposed budget were to be implemented instead of Obama's, would the U.S. be able to prevent hyperinflation. The truth is, both Obama's budget and Ryan's budget would leave us with just about the same national debt five years from now. The constant battles between the Democrats supporting Obama's budget and the Republicans supporting Ryan's budget are simply being used to distract Americans from the real issue, the Federal Reserve's monetization of our debt and the record $1.4 trillion in excess reserves that are currently parked at the Fed.
The Federal Reserve's balance sheet has just reached a record $2.65 trillion. However, excess reserves parked at the Fed are now rising even faster than the Fed's balance sheet. NIA believes that come later this year, the Federal Reserve is likely going to stop paying interest on excess reserves banks have parked at the Fed, in an effort to push this money into the economy. This high-powered money will multiply by as much as ten times as it circulates throughout the U.S. economy, increasing our money supply by $14 trillion. A rapid increase of our money supply by $14 trillion could potentially cause a run on the dollar, with the world rushing to dump their U.S. dollar reserves for just about any real asset they can get for them.
Inflation is beginning to spiral out of control even by the U.S. government's artificially low calculations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported that the consumer price index (CPI) rose in March by 2.68% over a year ago, compared to the February increase of 2.11% and the November increase of 1.1%. Year-over-year CPI increases have risen 144% since November as a direct result of the Fed's destructive policies, yet the Fed continues to say that inflation is not a problem. Even though inflation is now way above the Fed's informal inflation target of 1.5% to 2%, the Fed continues to ignore the CPI and only looks at core-CPI, which excludes food and energy and is mainly based off of rents. All gains in U.S. retail sales are now solely due to inflation and all U.S. economic growth is phony. Any temporary decline in the unemployment rate is only a result of the distortions caused by the Fed's printing of money.
Gold has just surpassed $1,500 per ounce and silver has now broken $45 per ounce. These latest movements in gold and silver prices indicate that there is a major risk of hyperinflation breaking out as soon as the second half of 2011. Average U.S. gas prices are now $3.84 per gallon and are rapidly approaching the all time high of $4.12 per gallon from June of 2008. Unlike 2008, there are no leveraged up hedge funds buying oil futures contracts today. Oil prices are rising as a direct result of the Federal Reserve's zero percent interest rates and quantitative easing. Unless the Federal Reserve acts now to dramatically raise interest rates, $5 per gallon gas is possible by the end of 2011.
When gas prices reach $5 per gallon, there won't be a drop off in demand. It will only encourage the Federal Reserve to print more money so that Americans can afford $5 per gallon gas, which could push gas prices to $6 or $7 per gallon in 2012. Saudi Arabia is reducing oil production because they have to, their oil reserves have been overstated by 40% and they are past peak oil production. As bad as rising gas prices are for all Americans, they will be hurt by rising food prices even more. Inventories of gas are not as tight as food inventories, which are now at record lows for such agricultural commodities as corn. NIA has been warning about low agriculture inventories since its first documentary 'Hyperinflation Nation' and accurately predicted this past year's record rise in agricultural commodity prices in its October 30th, 2009, article "U.S. Inflation to Appear Next in Food and Agriculture".
NIA predicts the next major inflation crisis will be in college tuition prices. We are about to experience a record rise in student loan defaults as a result of rapidly rising food and gas prices. College tuitions are the one area of the U.S. economy, besides healthcare, that did not experience any decline during the financial crisis of 2008. Despite rapidly rising college tuition prices, the value of a college degree is declining at an even faster rate. NIA believes that by the year 2020, we will conservatively see 20% of American colleges and universities close its doors with enrollments in remaining colleges and universities declining by between 15% and 30%. NIA will expose the facts and truth about the upcoming American college education crisis in its upcoming documentary, 'College Conspiracy'. We are almost done producing 'College Conspiracy' and will be releasing more information about the hour long movie in the days and weeks to come.