Interest Rates

Of all the different elements of the economy, the direction of interest rates is most important. That’s why, as the editors of Profit Confidential, we expend a considerable amount of our time analyzing and providing guidance on interest rates. We believe that the unprecedented debt the U.S. has accumulated will eventually result in foreign investors demanding a better return on U.S. Treasuries. Too many U.S. dollars in circulation will also eventually force interest rates to rise.

Economics 101 suggests inflationary pressure builds during periods of low interest rates. The demand usually increases when people both borrow and consume more. As the price of goods and services is directly correlated with demand, it increases—resulting in inflation.

To tackle inflationary pressures, central banks increase interest rates. Why? Because once they increase interest rates, it is supposed to do the opposite of lowering the rates—forcing people to save and cut back on discretionary spending.

Following a 30-year down-cycle of interest rates in the U.S., we are on the cusp of a new 30-year up-cycle in interest rates; a move that could cripple the government and the economy. This is mainly because the government has added too much debt to its balance sheet, and the Federal Reserve has printed significant sums of money.

After phenomenal amounts of bailouts were doled out, followed by non-stop government spending, the U.S. national debt rose 76.2%—from $9.2 trillion in 2008, to $16.3 trillion in 2012. (Source: TreasuryDirect, last accessed November 27, 2012.)

It gets worse. The current administration said it would keep the budget deficit below $1.0 trillion. It hasn’t. For fiscal 2012, the federal budget deficit was $1.1 trillion, slightly below the $1.3 trillion deficit recorded in 2011. (Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury, October 12, 2012.) What’s more, 2012 marked the fourth consecutive year in which the U.S. government experienced an annual deficit above $1.0 trillion. As a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), the U.S. government’s budget deficit for the year 2012 stands at seven percent.

Along with skyrocketing government debt, the Federal Reserve has printed $3.0 trillion. Where did the $3.0 trillion come from? It’s not backed by gold. It was simply created out of thin air. And, the presses continue to print an additional $85.0 billion a month!

Looking at an even bigger picture, between January 2000 and September 2012, the amount of U.S. money in circulation (the “M1 money supply”) has increased 112%, or $1.25 trillion. That’s a lot of money printing.

Similarly, the “M2 money supply,” which includes the M1 money supply plus savings deposits, balances in money market mutual funds, and deposits, has increased 118%. M2 is a better measure of actual money supply. Since the beginning of 2000, M2 money supply has increased more than $5.4 trillion. (Source: Federal Reserve, October 11, 2012.) Again, the printing presses have been in overdrive.

Now think of it this way; as more money is created and more debt is added to the federal government’s balance sheet, U.S. economic viability becomes questionable. What does this mean? The interest rate at which the government is currently able to borrow is being kept artificially low. With the government adding more debt and the inflationary pressure building—something has to be done.


Housing Market: Affordability and Interest Rates Working Against Higher Prices

By Monday, July 20, 2015

Housing MarketThe National Association of Realtors’ Housing Affordability Index has dropped 12% in the first five months of 2015. (Source: National Association of Realtors, last accessed July 16, 2015.)In January, the qualifying income to get a mortgage for an existing median-priced home in the U.S. was $36,576. In May, buying a median-priced. Read More

U.S. Economy: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen Issues Warning to Investors

By Thursday, July 16, 2015

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Gold Price Forecast: Is Gold About to Hit $2,500?

By Thursday, July 9, 2015

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Interest Rates: Six Reasons They Are Going to Go Up

By Monday, June 22, 2015

Interest RatesThe Federal Reserve provides projections on U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) four times each year; in March, June, September, and December.Just a few days ago, the Fed released its June projections. The Fed expects the U.S. economy to grow between 1.8% and two percent this year. (Source: Federal Reserve, last accessed June 17, 2015.). Read More

U.S. Mortgage Applications Spike 8% in Advance of Rate Hikes

By Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mortgage ApplicationsSoaring mortgage applications are usually an indication of a strong economy, but the recent bump in volume could actually signal that problems are ahead.On Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that total U.S. mortgage application volumes jumped 8.4% from the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis. The refinance. Read More

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From: Michael Lombardi, MBA
Subject: Golden Opportunity for Stock Market Investors

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