Top 4 Reasons For Deflation BEFORE Hyperinflation - Hidden Secrets Of Money Episode 6 (Mike Maloney)
I'm Mike Maloney, author of "Guide to Investing in Gold and Silver". It's the world's number-one best-selling book on investing in precious metals. It's available in eleven languages. And in my book, I said that we are on a wild rollercoaster of a ride, and that we would first see the threat of deflation, followed by a helicopter drop, and that would be followed by big inflation. And that has happened. There was the 2008 crisis... We're seeing the base money around the planet being hyper-inflated right now while all of the credit aggregates are collapsing, and so it's sort of netting out to zero inflation or just slightly positive inflation, even though base money around the planet is just taking off like a rocket. But it would then be followed by a real deflation and then followed by hyperinflation. So I think it sort of looks like this: we've got the markets going up in the real estate bubble in 2007, and then we had the threat of deflation, which was the 2008 market crash, and the big helicopter drop of currency, and you are here [laughs]. And then I think that we're going into something like this, and it'll be followed by the world central banks overreacting. People, you know, some people say I've been calling for hyperinflation, hyperinflation, hyperinflation... There isn't any time that I can find, in all of history, where a population that's all on one side of the boat, when you have a nation of debtors, what has to happen is that you go into a deflation first, allowing the banks to foreclose. The public, in general, is on the losing side of the bet. We are entering a period of financial crisis that is the greatest the world has ever known. The wealth transfer that will take place during this decade is the greatest wealth transfer in history. Wealth is never destroyed, it is merely transferred; and that means that on the opposite side of every crisis, there is an opportunity. The great news is that all you have to do to turn this crisis into your great opportunity, is to educate yourself. I believe that the best investment that you can make in your lifetime is your own education: education on the history of money, education on finance, education on how the global economy works, education on how all of these guys – the central bankers, the stock market – how they can cheat you; how they can scam you. If you learn what is going on and how the financial world works, you can put yourself on the correct side of this wealth transfer. Winston Churchill once said, that the further you look into the past, the further that you can see into the future. This program is all about creating your own crystal ball: being able to gaze into the future; being able to change this crisis – the greatest crisis in the history of mankind – into your great opportunity. Well I've been traveling overseas quite a bit, but I'm on my way home now to speak at an event in California, finally. What I've been trying to make clear is the fact that this rollercoaster crash that I was talking about in my book, and that I've been predicting since 2005, is playing out right before our eyes. One of the things I really like about speaking at live events is the chance to interact with people and sort of get my finger on the pulse of what they're thinking. And lately, it's become pretty obvious that for a lot of people, it's difficult to grasp why I think deflation is coming before big inflation, or even hyperinflation. So here, I'm going to break down four of the biggest reasons that I see deflation coming first. The first one is simple: The overreaction to the 2008 crisis has caused a credit / debt bubble, and all bubbles pop. So, I talked about hyper-inflating base money. This is, this *is* hyperinflation right here. Inflation and deflation is either an expansion or a contraction of the currency supply, and prices follow the inflation or deflation eventually. Now, most of this currency does not circulate. It's sitting on banks' balance sheets and what's called excess reserves. You know, if you look at the years leading up to this crisis, this red line is reserve balances. The white line is how much of it is excess, and here we have Alan Greenspan's response to 9/11. Look at the scale of how big this emergency is compared to 9/11. But what is Ben Bernanke afraid of, and now Janet Yellen has inherited this legacy? Well, one of the things that happened in the 2008 crisis is that banks froze up and wouldn't lend to each other. They were all scared to lend to each other, and our system is such a fraud, that at the end of each day, they all have to be able to borrow digits from each other that were created from nothing just to keep the whole smoke-and-mirrors game going. They all have to do this interbank lending to keep things balanced. Well, if one bank won't lend to another and they don't have any reserves, the whole system freezes up. Now, if you've got all these excess reserves that are on their balance sheet and you pay them interest to keep the reserves there and not use this as a basis of fractional reserve lending, they're going to be liquid. This basically prevents bank runs *by* banks *on* banks. It's not a public bank run with the the public lining up at the doors. It's a bank run where one bank is trying to get their currency out of another or won't lend to another, and so this keeps things liquid. Right now, what this has done though, the banks get to use this stuff in the middle of the day. And so, you see the use of margin in the stock market going to record levels. You see the stock market going to record levels. Things like – I follow collector cars – they've been going astronomical. The number of 10-million-dollar cars out there now is just absolutely insane. And there are cars now selling for *30* million dollars. Wine collections, art – it's all going ballistic at this point. And all bubbles pop. This is the average price of a new home divided by the median annual household income. Normally, 3, 4 times your income is about what you can afford with a house. When you drop interest rates, the affordability goes up, so people pay more for a house. But interest rates don't stay in one spot forever; they *have* to revert some time or another, and all these people are going to be trapped. Every bubble pops; that's a bubble. We are in for something big again, and this time it's going to be more horrific than the crash of 2008, simply because the response to 2008 created a lot of stored energy. And then when the market crashes, that energy is released in the opposite direction. That previous chart of the hyperinflation of base money, well, we're going to get a reaction from all of this. Whatever bubble you're in, the opposite happens of what is of greatest benefit to the most people. Right now, if we went into big inflation or hyperinflation, the average Joe Six-pack would get rewarded for mass stupidity. They're all out on credit; we're in a credit boom, we're in a bond bubble; those bubbles have to pop. And the popping of a credit bubble is deflationary. It's deflationary... and history's crystal- clear on that. A lot of the gold bugs say, you know, the Federal Reserve and central banks, they're creating money, which they are, unprecedented; but, they're actually inflating to fight the deflation that started to set in the late 2008, early 2009. And if you look back at history, as you say, every major debt and financial asset bubble in history – the railroad bubble of the early 1870s that peaked, followed by deflation; you know, the auto and farm bubble and tractor bubble – that's actually a tractor bubble that caused the Great Depression. It was farms failing and it was smaller local banks failing that caused the Great Depression and high unemployment. Deflation. Because the deflation has to root out the massive debt, and the financial assets that get over-inflated. And it's good if we bring down the cost of living, if we restructure debt, if we bring financial assets down; it actually improves our standard of living long-term. But it is painful when it happens. People don't – people think that the Federal Reserve can prevent deflation; that they control the money supply. Most people don't realize that the Federal Reserve controls *base* money only; and it's an incredibly small portion of – it's so tiny! – right, and all they do is influence the rest of the economy with interest rates and reserve balances and such. Well, you know, some people say the strategy didn't work. Well no, it did work: we would have been in a depression, just like the early '30s. We were going there: banks were melting down, financial institutions; *major* Fortune 100 companies were failing, like AIG. We would have imploded because once you have that much debt and leverage and things go wrong, it just builds the other way. Like you say, you get a bubble on one end, you get a crash. Bubbles don't crack; they burst. So we were going into that, but governments said no, we will do whatever it takes: Mario Draghi, you know, Ben Bernanke... and they created trillions of dollars to fill the hole. Well, all that does, it's like taking more drugs to keep from coming down. I mean a drug addict can keep taking more drugs until it kills them. Or until they just fall down and get dragged into detox. It's [the] exact same thing. Debt, especially when it's extreme, is a financial enhancing drug: it gives you more than you deserve, makes you feel better in the short-term. And, but when it's over, you have to go through a detox, as they would call it: a debt detox. And that's where you get deflation. This is the demographics of the United States back in the year 1940, and it's broken into five-year age groups. And what I'm going to show you here is the baby boom and one of the reasons that we're going into this deflationary scenario, and we're also in this swing from individualism to collectivism. This is a pendulum, a cycle that just goes back and forth throughout time. And this is the greatest threat to your well-being and the well-being of the economy – and, freedom. We're going through a period where this demographic is going to cause some huge problems. So, here we are in 1950 and you can see the beginning of that baby boom taking off: 1960, 1970, and this wave – now, the reason I've got this broken up into these different colors – children are the ultimate consumers: they consume everything, they produce nothing – except a quality of life for their parents; you know, a big reward as far as seeing them grow up and so on. But economically, children are an economic loss. They consume economic energy. What you're seeing here is this wave coming into working-age. The green area is sort of a break-even area; that's when people are getting a job and it might be a minimum-wage job or something like that, and uh, might be sharing an apartment with a few other people. And then, as you get into the yellow area you start to become a net positive for society. You're paying income tax, you're producing more than you consume, and then you get into what's called the maximum spending demographic. The maximum spending demographic is ages 45 to 54. And this group lives in the largest houses of their lifetimes; they're driving the most cars of their lifetimes; they're sending their kids off to college; they're spending A LOT. Then, the kids – then they become empty-nesters; that's the maximum saving demographic. Once the kids are gone, off to college, they go, "holy moly, we didn't save anything! We want to retire in five years or ten years!" And so they start saving. And then, you get to the point where they retire and they become maximum social burden demographic, I call it, simply because they're liquidating assets; they're pulling – they've got their stocks and their savings and each year they're going to liquidate some of those to live. And the only driver that in – the economic driver is the medical industry; they drive the medical industry. So economically, the maximum social burden group is a net loss for the prosperity of society, the prosperity of an economy. And so, I'm going to go back again and you can see that that maximum social burden group almost didn't exist in 1940. And there's a lot of people of that working age and maximum spending age supporting the few people that were of the maximum social burden category. And then we get the baby boom sweeping through and in the '80s and that stock market boom of the '90s and all the way up to 2000, that yellow area that really drives the economy was growing every year. Now, we have an economy where it's supposed to grow at about 3% or it's going to stall; we have, we inflate the currency supply at about that rate and... but now, after the year 2000, we've got 2010, the peak of the maximum spending demographic, and from now on it's sort of downhill. Maximum savers, they do help drive the stock market, but look at that maximum social burden category and look at what happens next. So we are going into this time period right now. Now, the reason there's no children on there is they haven't been born yet. But if you look at... you know, when I first presented this a couple of years ago, birth rates have been falling for quite a while now, and they've been falling at an even greater speed since the crash of '08. And if you look at the data from the Great Depression, birth rates just fell off a cliff in the Great Depression. And so you have less people, less people of the younger age coming into this demographic to support the people that are retiring. They didn't have the pill during the Great Depression. Contraception was something that was not within most people's reach. So here it is automated, and you can see that big wave sweeping through there. And if you could imagine data for the children, it would be a much lower rate. And if we do have a big economic pullback, you're going to see that really reduce. So we're in, most likely, some very serious trouble here. Because all of our social programs and the way the economy and the society is set up, everybody is expecting to be able to retire at a certain age and live fairly comfortably off of the rest of us, off of the government. Any comments on this, these different age groups: maximum spending demographic, maximum savings – you've got the same model we do. What is unique at this time in history – and it's the main topic of my most recent book – that's why I call it the Demographic Cliff. This is the first time in most wealthy countries – there's a few exceptions; let's call it Sweden, Switzerland, and Australia, countries like that – that have a larger millennial or echo boom; but almost every other country has an echo boom that only comes up near the same heights or is much smaller [like Germany and Japan] – oh, okay, so this echo boom here is what you're talking about – so my question to people is, what – like you say, it is a pyramid. Each generation has been larger and more wealthy to help pay off the debts or the accumulation from an aging generation before them. What happens when the millennial is having to support a generation that's actually larger than them? And what happens when there's not enough for them to drive house prices back? I've got a model now for housing that says, people spend the most on housing at age 41, but then when they die, at age 79 or 80 on average, they become sellers. So I have to subtract the dyers from the buyers, and when I do that, baby boomers are going to be dying at higher rates than the millennials are going to be buying. At some point there's going to be net negative demand for housing. Everybody thinks, oh, we're going to need more housing for them. No – not when a smaller generation follows a larger. So, for entitlements, that's huge; There is no way this next generation in the US, nevertheless in Japan or Europe where they're much smaller, can even hope to pay the entitlements [that have] been promised the baby boomers; it's a fairy tale. And, housing will never be the same. We saw the Bob Hope generation come out of World War II, the first middle-class generation in history, where the average person could buy a house on a mortgage. That was not the case in the Roaring Twenties, even; only the [affluent?] could do that. That so that was a big boon for housing; and housing went up, the Depression went away. Then the baby boom comes; unprecedented numbers. All of our lifetimes, housing's gone up with a few exceptions here and there. Housing is going to do well to go sideways for the coming decades, nevertheless go up much again, because of this generational shift. We've never seen this in history. So now that we've covered three of the major components for deflation, I wanted to show you one of the real biggies here. And this one is the convergence of cycles. There's a whole bunch of cycles. The first one is the wealth distribution cycle, and I want to use my own family as part of a demonstration of this. This is my father. He's right here, he's about the age where he enlisted in the army to fight in World War II. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge; he was among the troops that liberated Dachau. Here he is in the mid '50s; he was manager of an auto parts store that sold high-performance equipment. And here's his tax return from 1955; this would have been, he would have been filing this about a month and a half after I was born. And so, what you see here, is that he's a store manager in Salem, Oregon, and his income was about 9600 bucks, and he paid about 1160 bucks in tax, for an effective tax rate of about twelve percent. And you say, well, he only paid 12% because he didn't make very much, so he's in a really low tax bracket. But wait! This is median home values, this is US Census Bureau data, and here we have 1950 and 1960, so we're going to Oregon, 1950... a median price single-family home was 6800 bucks, and in 1960 it was $10,500. So, I'm going to say probably 8500 dollars as a happy medium there. Today, in Los Angeles where I live, a single- family median price home is 360,000. Now, he was making enough – making 9600 bucks he was making 1100 bucks more than the cost of the average home in Salem, Oregon. So, a auto-parts store manager would have to be making 360- to maybe 420,000 dollars, and then paying only 12% tax on it, to equate to the same amount. And it's part of this wealth distribution cycle. This is the amount of national income that the top 1% earns, and back in the '20s, the end of the roaring '20s, it was above 20%, of the national income, was going to the top 1% of the income earners. There's a trough here in the '70s where it got down to just 9%, but it's back up to 20%. And so, you know, in this area, the middle class was doing better, but – and paying less taxes – but, on the trip there, was the Great Depression, right here. So, getting back to that is going to be a very deflationary, painful thing. This, we've already seen the baby boom demographic, but I just need to show you one thing here. You recall that the maximum spending demographic drives the economy. The maximum social burden puts deflationary pressure on the economy; they sell their stocks, bonds, and real estate to survive, and they don't produce anything. But what I want to point out is that there's about 6 times more people driving the economy here in 1940 than there are putting deflationary pressure on it. And when you watch this wave go through, the drivers are always more until just the last couple of decades here, and now the people putting deflationary pressure on the economy exceed the number of people driving the economy. So if you could chart this out, with time on that axis and the energy going into the economy on this axis, the curve would probably look something like this. And I believe that we are right about here, right about now. And now for the next cycle in this big convergence, the stock market cycle. This is the S&P 500 P/E ratios. A P/E ratio is the price of a stock per share, divided by the annual earnings of that company per share. And if you're paying somewhere between 10 to 14 times annual earnings, that's fair value. Anything under 10 is undervalued, 14 to 20 is overvalued, and anything over 20 is bubble territory. And here comes the data – and what is important here is that when the stock market goes into a bubble, without exception, it has to visit undervalued before a new bull market can begin. Except for this time, the bubble, biggest bubble in history in the year 2000. And when it popped, we went down to fair value and bounced back up into a bubble. Do you really think that a new bull market can begin from here? That we're not going to visit extreme under-valuations? I don't think so, I think that we *have* to visit extreme under-valuations before a new, solid bull market can begin. And now for probably the biggest factor in this convergence of cycles: This is Nikolai Kondratiev. He's a Russian economist that Lenin commissioned to prove that capitalism wouldn't work. He went away for a couple of years to do his studies and came back with his findings, that capitalism was the superior system and would work marvelously well, but it would always suffer from these long-wave, boom-bust cycles – to which he gave the names of seasons – of spring, summer, autumn, and winter. We'll come back to this in some other episode and really dig into it. But for now what you need to know, is that the winter is the deflationary season; the last winter was the Great Depression. And they used to call this the 50-year cycle, but lately it's gotten stretched out and takes longer. Now, I believe, that it's got to be the length of a human lifetime. And the reason is that the winter is deflationary, and the people that were old enough to be of working age and have young families, that lost the house, lost their job, lost the family farm; they become very emotionally scarred. And they become very risk-averse, and very very frugal; and in order to make all the same stupid mistakes that we made in the Roaring Twenties that led to the Great Depression, that generation has to die off. Well, they *have* died off, and we *have* made all the same stupid mistakes. So this is very deflationary, should it happen. And here's the supporting evidence: this is interest rates, and what you see here is that they go right along with the cycle. This is wholesale prices in the US, and again, they go right along with the cycle. Until the point the Federal Reserve decides that what we really need is constant inflation. This is one of the biggest cycles of all. It's hard for people to see, though; this East-West cycle takes about 500 years for the pendulum to swing each direction, and 500 years back. It's innovation and prosperity, swinging from Asia, to Europe and North America, and back. And in the Dark Ages, China was developing gunpowder. Then, China stagnated while we had the Renaissance and Industrial Revolution. So, ingenuity and prosperity does flow back and forth; and right now, you should be able to feel that the Western economies are stagnating and have sort of stalled, while the growth in the Asian economies over the last 20 years has been mind-boggling. And so this is very deflationary for the West. And here is probably one of the most deflationary cycles of all: this is household debt as a percentage of disposable income. And alarm bells should really be going off when people owe more than their disposable income: anytime this exceeds 100%. But I believe that this is also a cycle; and that if we had data, if we could go back further, it would probably look like this. And what's interesting is that this reflects the seasons of the Kondratieff wave, of spring, summer, autumn, winter; spring, summer, autumn, winter; And we're going into a winter and that's very deflationary. The next cycle you've seen before; we learned about this in episode 2. But it's the shift in world monetary systems: the classical gold standard, the gold exchange standard, the Bretton Woods system, the US dollar standard, and there's something that's coming next; these usually coincide with major wars. But whatever this next shift is, it's going to be chaotic, and it's probably going to be a little painful; it's not going to be pretty. Right now, and we learned in Episode 3 how countries are abandoning the US dollar standard at a blazing rate right now; it's developing stress cracks, and it's going to implode. And here's the thing, is that that is going to be happening with the convergence of all of these cycles. We have the East-West cycle; we have the baby boom demographic; we have the wealth distribution cycle; household debt as a percentage of disposable income; the stock market cycle; the Kondratieff wave; and the shift in world monetary systems. And the thing about all these cycles is that they have all peaked, and they're starting to descend, which is deflationary. Deflation, deflation, deflation, deflation, deflation – and that is all happening at the time when the world monetary system is developing stress cracks. It's about to implode – and it's going to be extremely chaotic. These things are all going to make it even more chaotic. So that's the convergence of cycles and all of these things are the reason that I am expecting deflation before big inflation or hyperinflation. But just as I said in my book, any deflation is probably going to be short-lived. This is the nightmare scenario for every central banker, and all of the world's central bankers are Keynesians. They believe that they can print their way to prosperity, even though they have proved that you can't, time after time; all it does is cause a wealth transfer. When all of the world's central banks start printing their currencies into oblivion simultaneously, what you will see is a wealth transfer where the vast majority becomes very poor and just a few people become very rich. It's horrible for the economy. But Japan is the prime example that it does not work. You can't print your way to prosperity. And here's what you can do: educate others. Protect yourself from what is coming. And please, share these videos with everybody that you can. And until the next episode, thank you very much for watching. You can do stuff now to be ahead of this, and be positioned right, when this happens – cause this is inevitable. This *is* going to be the first time that we have an economic event of this scale that is global – a small percentage of people are going to make a fortune and do very well and most people are just going to not know what hit 'em.