Selected excerpts on currency and QE:
“Nobody ever wins a trade war, a currency war, which is just another kind of trade war. Everybody loses in the end , some may temporarily come out ahead but it’s temporary if nothing else. As you have pointed out, the cost of living of many people is going up, and it certainly is, my gosh, in Japan you have a currency that’s down 25% in a year. Well I assure you the Japanese are feeling that because everything that Japan imports has gone up fairly substantially AND even the things that they don’t import are up because the Japanese manufacturers and the Japanese producers can raise prices because they don’t have to worry about competing with the foreigners any more.
So we’re all losing in currency wars. How long can it go on? Well, it can go on as long as politicians can continue to print money. The problem is, of course, eventually the markets will just say, “We’re not going to play this game anymore” and we’ll have a serious collapse. I wish the politicians were smart enough at some point to say, “We’ve got to stop this, this is going to be bad.”
But unfortunately they never have, and probably never will. Mr. Bernanke is certainly not going to stop it, because he doesn’t want to go down in history as causing the collapse. Mrs. Yellen, when she comes in, she’s not going to stop it, first of all she doesn’t believe in stopping it, she thinks printing money is good. And she knows – I hope she’s smart enough to know – that if she stops, oh my gosh, it’s going to collapse. So she’s not going to stop. Nobody wants to go down as causing the collapse of the world. So I’m afraid this is going to go on until the market eventually says to them, “Okay, enough is enough,” we have a big collapse and then they’re all thrown out and we can start over.
Once the pain comes, the pain is going to get pretty serious. We had Mr. Volcker who came in, was told “stop the madness” back in the 1970s and he did. Well, Jimmy Carter got thrown out, because he was who had told him to do that, because the pain was so bad. Reagan of course thought it was wonderful, that pain was taking place because that got him elected. And it was help to clean up the problems. That’s what happens, you cause the pain and they throw you out.
But that’s the only way that you’re going to see it stop someday. The market is just going to say, “We don’t want to play.” That’s what happened with Jimmy Carter when he was in, everything was collapsing: bond yields were falling apart, you know, inflation was everywhere. “Thank you Mr. Carter, we don’t want to play this game anymore. It’s absurd.”
Back in the late 1970s, Mr. Volcker was told and he came in and said: “I am going to kill inflation because Mr. Carter has told me to.” And Mr. Carter was very clear that he had to stop inflation. I doubt if we’ll have that kind of scenario again but we would think, we would hope, that the Federal Reserve will announce, you know, that they publish their numbers so we can all see what’s happening. At the moment they are buying a trillion dollars a year – that’s a trillion with a “T” – of assets. Eventually we will see that they stop that if they do or slow it down.
What will probably happen is that they will slow it down at first to see what happens, and if things aren’t too bad at first – and they probably won’t be too bad at first – well what is likely to happen is they will slow it down, things will drop, and then they will rally and the Federal Reserve will say “Hey, this is not so bad, we can do it.” And they’ll cut some more. Things will drop again and then rally, because it will take a while for people to really believe how bad it can get, or will get. And so eventually they will try to cut [QE], it will finally cause the collapse, at that point we will have a big change, because they will throw them out, whether it’s the politicians or the central bankers or whoever … will continue because they like it, they got the job because of the collapse and then we’ll finally start over. But it may be really painful in the meantime.
Selected excerpts on precious metals:
I’ve owned gold for many years, I’ve never sold any gold and I can’t imagine I ever will sell gold in my life because it is somewhat of an insurance policy. I hope that my daughters own my gold someday, I mean I owned gold, I’ve never sold any gold and if gold comes down and I expect it to go down, doesn’t mean it will, I’ll buy more. I’m certainly not going to sell.
Well, everybody should own some precious metals as an insurance policy. So if they don’t have any right now, I would urge them to go buy something, buy themselves a gold coin if nothing else, and see that it’s not going to hurt. It won’t hurt you to buy the first gold coin, the first silver coin, and from that you start accumulating as your own situation dictates.
First, do your homework, don’t buy gold because you heard me say it or even because you hear you say it. But if people don’t own they should start after they have done their homework. And then they will probably, if they do their homework, most people will then realize, “Oh my gosh, I better have insurance, and gold and silver may get me through serious problems ahead.”
Well, silver is historically down 60% from its all-time highs, so yes, I would prefer silver at the moment because gold is down only what, 30 or 40% from its all-time highs.”