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Tuesday January 13, 2009 - 14:37:35 GMT
Black Swan Capital -

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Is This Really How It Is?

Key News
• Bernanke Says Stimulus May Be Inadequate, Signals Asset Buying, Guarantees (Bloomberg)
• U.S. Trade Deficit Narrows to $40.4 Billion, Five-Year Low, as Oil Tumbles (Bloomberg)

“All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.”

          George Orwell

FX Trading – Is This Really How It Is?

I got another email – this time from a random email contact that doesn’t follow the markets and has no idea that I do follow the markets – regarding the secretly soon-to-be released Amero currency.

It was the same Youtube-type video we’ve been sent before. But for all of you not up to speed with the various conspiracy theorist movements, the Amero is the currency which will allegedly be instituted for all of North America and immediately replace the US dollar upon its introduction.

Frankly, it’s troubling that some guy that looks like he’s broadcasting such an outlandish message on a webcam outside an elementary school or shopping plaza can incite such worry and fear. Unfortunately, as is the modus operandi of so many these days, scaring people into believing something they know little about, regardless of the facts, is the easiest sell.

Sure, maybe 10, 15 or 30 years down the road these comments won’t appear so outlandish. But if I heard correctly, again, then this fellow put a target date of 2009 on his Amero prediction. The clock is ticking ... tick-tock ... tick-tock ...

Usually when we’re sent stuff like this, people want our opinion. And typically we have no problem giving it to them. The pages of Currency Currents have been laced with our view (especially recently) of why the US dollar is not set to lose its position as World Reserve Currency, much less be replaced entirely and cease to exist.

The thing is, when you’re arguing in favor of the US dollar these days, it’s kind of like arguing in favor of either of the top two US presidential candidates – you make a solid case opposing one candidate, but when you’re asked why you favor the other you can’t seem to round up much to say except that he’s “less-bad”.

So while we still believe our story, and expectation, for a lasting US dollar rally is still valid, it’s not an easy task selling fruit that’s growing on rather pathetic looking tree.

With that way things are going, it is a concern of ours that the US government is creating an inflationary time-bomb set to detonate years down the road. To that point, here’s a short Q and A we shared with a member last week.

Q. As subscribers to your services, we're a bit concerned with [the attached] reports or more specifically: "the dollar is about to experience its biggest plummet yet, as the Obama administration prepares to print off several trillion more greenbacks... money used to pay for the coming stimulus packages, bailouts, and to create nearly 2.5 million jobs."
Will the other currencies continue to plummet even more than the USD?

A. We cannot deny that excess money printing is a concern; but it is a long-term one that can and should be looked past at the present time (for the sake of prudent near- and intermediate-term investment decisions). The extent of the government’s involvement does give us a stomach ache. We’d much prefer see them take a different approach – more hands-off than hands-on.

Anyway, to us there’s still plenty of time before this inflation fear will prove valid because of how dramatically the global economy has shifted. Demand stimulation as is being attempted by government and central banks will prove ineffective and not immediately inflationary. Thus, this is only postponing the eventual recovery – which is still a good ways off the horizon.

The market process will need to work out the current imbalances itself unless or until the government enacts policies that target healthy, new means of growth (Likely to come soon? Nah.) Not until legitimate signs of recovery surface -- whether premature or well-deserved  -- can we expect the true inflationary impact of the current money-printing and spending to become clear.

Basically, it seems that now is as good a time as any for the government to take a back seat and let the market work itself out. I’ve argued several times that the speed at which the US recovers is no matter (in the long-run) if the recovery is not based on healthy, organic growth. What good is clearing away the excesses if you’re creating new excesses as your only means toward heading-off further contraction?

Much of the work has been done ... key asset prices have fallen immensely ... consumers attitudes are shifting from spending to saving ... trade imbalances are starting to even out ... investor attitudes remain more cautious than risk-seeking.

Unfortunately, we need to see Americans grin and bear it. If we’re willing to let politicians dictate (through implicit and explicit scare-tactics) the direction of the economy, the currency and the tax-payers’ dollar then maybe we shouldn’t expect anything beyond what we’re getting.


John Ross Crooks, III
Black Swan Capital LLC


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