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.


Interest Rate Hikes May Cause Another Recession

By Thursday, May 21, 2015

Interest Rates to RiseLow interest rates create an incentive for retail investors, hedge fund managers, and banks to consider riskier assets that offer higher returns. Cheap money also makes it easy to borrow when the return exceeds the cost of borrowing.When short-term interest rates are low and unstable, investors are hesitant to borrow more and leverage. Read More

China Lowers Interest Rates for the Third Time in Six Months

By Tuesday, May 12, 2015

China Lowers Interest RatesOn Sunday, May 10, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced that it will lower its one-year benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points to 5.1%. They also cut the one-year deposit rate by the same amount to 2.25%. This is the third interest rate cut by China’s central bank in six months.Markets in Asia welcomed the expansionary monetary. Read More

When Will Yellen Launch Higher U.S. Interest Rates?

By Tuesday, April 21, 2015

interest ratesAt the height of the Cold War, the biggest concern was the global destruction associated with launching nuclear weapons. Fast-forward 50 years and not much has changed. At the height of the money-printing war, the biggest concern is the global destruction associated with launching higher U.S. interest rates.Time Is Ticking on Low . Read More

U.S. Dollar Strength the Real Threat to Investors, Not Higher Interest Rates

By Friday, March 13, 2015

US Dollar strengthThere are issues brewing in the stock market with interest rates fears and the strengthening greenback that could drive the S&P 500 lower by five percent or more.When Will the Fed Increase Interest Rates?First, we have the fears surrounding rising interest rates after the strong improvement in the unemployment rate to a pre-recession. Read More

Derivatives: The $563-Trillion Reason to Look at Gold

By Thursday, February 19, 2015

Reason to Look at GoldInterest rates in the U.S. economy have been remarkably low since 2007. We’re now hearing many analysts and pundits suggesting they will rise sometime this year. Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact time given, but when we look to the Federal Reserve, it seems very adamant about it, too.Officials at the Federal Reserve are continuously. Read More

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

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