Inflation rises through a fresh upside wave in commodity prices, food prices, services and wages is definitely around the corner. The rises may initially be seen as growth but the naked reality may soon be realized. Inflation Rises are an obvious solution, likely to occur in the face of Serious Debt problems. Repeat Monetary Easing leads to excessive & a serious Debt Burden which is recovered through tough austerity measures & higher taxes imposed on the common man. To retain survival in the midst of high taxation & unemployment, wages, services & commodities are bound to rise in cost, triggering higher inflation rises.
I have repeatedly alerted since the mid of 2011 that, Taxes will be ruthlessly imposed with a view to alleviate the financial & social disasters of the time leading to the further lowering of living standards, a lot of homeless people and huge areas of vacant real estate. The impositions of more and more taxes will finally trigger large & violent revolutions. There will also be large waves of crimes triggered by the hard times.
When on a large or a global scale, rising living costs in the face of drastically lowered incomes, also trigger epidemics as health concerns get pushed to the back burner when daily needs & survival takes top priority. These epidemics trigger more expenditure & on such a massive global scale, when forced or circumstantial expenditure rises beyond all reasonable means, then Corruption, Revolutions & Riots are born.
Europe’s debt crisis is creating economic contagion and may be spreading to the already fragile Chinese and American shores. A deeper financial system collapse instigated through current economic, political and financial problems will likely remain & present worse problems for years. Any Euro-zone breakup may trigger more inflation as the creation of a new system & printing new money would incur heavy spending.
US Dollar’s expected sharp decline will add more to the Global Inflation Rises. U.S. QE3 undoubtedly is an assured event. It will be surely given a new dissembling name, a fresh acronym and remarketed as something other. An extension of the Fed’s so-called Operation Twist (ending in June) now may be a more realistic possibility. The scenario, post the November elections will be largely disappointing to those expecting a better future, due to the current politically driven dressing up of the economic statistics. It seems most unlikely that the U.S. economy can actually conjure up a healthy recovery in the face of a, yet very high unemployment rate, seemingly rising consumer spending, an extremely depressed housing sector with foreclosures yet continuing to rise, cutbacks in state and local government spending & a huge burden of private & public-sector debt. What aptly favors to the financially logically mind is that the politically motivated illusion of the dressing up of the economic statistics will not last long & sooner or later, an additional Federal monetary infusion- quantitative easing seems to be un-avoidable.
Rising incomes of the extremely large sized Middle class in the Emerging markets also contribute largely to the inflation rises on increased commodity demand. Services & Commodity prices rise as wages rise & thereby causing production costs to rise.
Emerging countries having sizeable reserves also turn into aggressive commodity buyers at all substantial declines which provide a solid support to these commodity prices when on the down slide triggered by lowered demand from the developed nations & this will avoid a global deflation that is usually the case in hard times.
Companies see higher Inflation rises despite having lower growth as employers would prefer to cut jobs & reduce their workforce than to cut salaries which de-motivates the employed leading to work-strikes & production shutdowns. This provides for inflation support also.
Higher unemployment will lead to Monetary easing repeatedly which in turn will lead right into the lap of Inflation rises. The US Fed has always favored the issue of unemployment over rising inflation. This stance of the US Fed, if implemented by other Central banks could potentially risk higher & faster inflation rises.
Unnecessarily large Quantitative Monetary Easing lead to a Realty Bubble in China & India where Real Estate prices have seen massive growth in Price terms in the last few years. The People’s Bank of China cut their interest rate last week due to concerns of a property crash and because of their slowing economy.
Ruthless acquisition & conversion of cultivation land meant only for agriculture to construction land to meet urban housing demand has drastically reduced the agro output & also the number of farmers who now are landless & also jobless. But Global food demand will always remain on the upside due to growing populations. These imbalances will also create acute food shortages leading to a sharp inflation rises.
Gold as potential Inflation Hedge: Gold would continue be a likely beneficiary from the ever increasing probabilities of never ending additional monetary easing and a disruptive political climate from all around the Globe. Central-bank representatives look for continued (Emergency Surgery) loose monetary policy around the world, particularly in the U.S. and Europe. Nations returning soon for more easing like Italy, Spain, Greece, The U.S., etc are clear examples that Monetary easing has not provided for the longer term benefit but has only proven to be an immediate relief provider- A Pain killer capsule & not a permanent cure to the problem.
Bad financial scenarios & rising inflation are generally seen as times to preserve wealth through Hedging against Inflation by investing in instruments which are known to be safe heaven against such situations, like Gold. Gold is liquid as well as portable & so the most preferred investment asset as a safe hedge against Inflation. But one tends to forget that these safe hedges only work when the negative situations may have a workable solution, though with some reasonable time lag.
But when the situations are of a more grave & dangerous nature & also on a global scale, these so called safe havens also lose value as they hold value only till demand is alive & preserved through more & consistent investments. The same is lost when demand falls due to unavailability of liquidity & more so when the same instrument turns back into the market to be liquidated to provide immediate means of survival. Gold too will see sharp declines as huge inflows are seen into the market through recycling / re-sale at the higher prices triggered due to the hedge demand against inflation created earlier. Gold will actually be sold (re-cycled) to overcome fiscal burdens & also for immediate liquidity to support life. Real estate prices would also crash due to lack of demand & liquidity, though liabilities (if created at un-realistic prices to acquire the properties) would remain higher than current asset valuations, adding pressure for liquidation of other assets.
Putting food on the table will be a more pressing concern than buying luxuries or gifts. Inflation & scarcity of food will be severely felt.
Large scale revolutions will surely be seen in almost all parts of the world but especially in the so-called developed nations. 2013 is the year when the pain really kicks in. The need for a transformation of existing state, business and banking structures will be strong, but nobody is going to use democratic methods to ask anybody for their point of view. There will be corruption and eventually the rooting out of corruption.
Bad times are not NEAR, they are almost HERE.