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When Deflation Becomes Hyperinflation

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As we begin 2014; it seems incredible to me that we still have what is known as “an inflation/deflation debate” raging. But a debate which was merely frustrating five years ago is now absurd; because it is founded on an entirely false paradigm.

What is logically implied in this “debate” is that spiraling inflation or crushing deflation are alternative scenarios; when, in fact, it has been patently obvious for many years that these two forms of economic cataclysm not only can be but must be concurrent (if not simultaneous) scenarios.

Here I can claim no personal credit, as others saw the degeneration in the West into literal “Ponzi economies” sooner than myself. Darryl Schoon (for one) recently noted his own previous work in this area, and he, in turn, credited Bill Bonner with reaching this conclusion earlier than himself, going all the way back to 2006.

Even beyond this; there has been the work of John Williams, the eminent producer/creator of Shadowstats.com. It is Mr. Williams who first made the quantum leap in analysis in noting as our debt-saturated economies crumbled towards collapse – and fiat money-printing increased exponentially as a result – that “inflation” and “deflation” were not competing scenarios. He coined the term “hyperinflationary depression”, one which I subsequently adopted in my own work.

As we careen into a Greater Depression with nothing but “the Great Depression” to guide us as a template; what caused John Williams (alone among all analysts) to realize that this time it is different? Much like we could classify the fictional genius of Sherlock Holmes as “mere observation”; we could similarly abbreviate Williams’ brilliance as “mere arithmetic”.

What is different in the Greater Depression unfolding before us today, versus the Great Depression which occurred one Kondratieff Winter before this? It’s the arithmetic.

With few exceptions; all the larger economies in the world of 1929 were solvent, and (prior to the Great Depression) relatively healthy. The anemic, debt-saturated husks of the 21st century bear absolutely no resemblance to the robust economies of that era.

A healthy person can suffer through a serious illness, or engage in a stringent diet (or even fasting), and then expect to recover their vitality once the illness or self-imposed fasting had ended. However; put someone already suffering from anorexia on a severe diet and you kill them.

The Great Depression of 1929 was an economic catastrophe; a severe illness inflicted upon otherwise healthy economies. The Greater Depression of the 21st century is an existential event; where the current economic order is in a terminal descent. It is the combination of a severe economic epidemic ravaging a collection of already economically-crippled nations which makes these two, seemingly parallel catastrophes entirely distinct events.

Specifically, it is all about simple arithmetic. What were most of the nations of the Great Depression-era forced to do, in order to help their own populations weather that economic storm? They borrowed more money, generally much more. To use some of our own, modern vernacular; they “ran up their credit cards.”

What is the recourse of the debt-saturated economies of the 21st century, as this Greater Depression descends upon us? Our “credit-cards” are already maxed-out. And so these sovereign Deadbeat Debtors of the 21st century print ‘money’: more and more and more of it, backed by nothing – not even their own “IOU’s”.

Here we see the prediction of John Williams manifest itself in black-and-white (in a chart which regular readers are undoubtedly sick of seeing):

 

As the debts go higher and higher (which can only end in a deflationary crash); we see the money-printing accelerating at least as quickly, if not faster (which can only end in hyperinflation). Much like the deductions of Sherlock Holmes appear “elementary” once explained to the reader; so too do these economic dynamics appear, which Williams was the first to correctly decipher.

Prior to committing us to a hyperinflation death-spiral (as evidenced by the chart above); it would have been possible to have suffered only a deflationary collapse/purge – a debt-default purge known historically as “Debt Jubilee”. But this would have required the Masters of our Ponzi Economies to allow their own, ultra-leveraged Paper Empire to also be entirely vaporized in that economic purging of bad debt and malinvestment.

It is because these Masters (previously identified as “the One Bank”) refuse to allow their empire of bad debts and ultra-leveraged bets to implode that they have committed us to the worst of economic catastrophes, hyperinflation. Like trying to inflate a punctured tire; they pump more and more of their paper currencies into these Ponzi Economies (at an exponentially increasing rate).

Where confusion about this hyperinflationary depression ahead of us seems to envelope other commentators – and simultaneous or concurrent inflation and deflation – is that it is possible for some asset-valuations to go straight up (to infinity) while others go straight down to zero (or less).

Specifically, this dichotomy will take place between paper instruments and hard assets. Any/every entity which is encumbered by the millstone of debt will plunge to zero. With somewhere in excess of $200 trillion in debt already floating around the global economy; the downward “suck” as all these debt-dominoes implode will reach an economic velocity never before witnessed in our history.

Aggravating this debt-default cataclysm (immensely); all of the extremely leveraged gambling in which the One Bank engages in its Derivatives Casino will also, instantly implode. This reckless gambling (and fraud) has already reached some unimaginable sum well in excess of $1 quadrillion.

While most of this derivatives gambling is sequestered amongst these banking oligarchs, themselves; this even greater financial implosion will multiply the velocity of the debt-bubble(s) implosion which takes place across the broader economy. In physics terms; this is nothing less than an economic “black hole” – from which nothing (paper) can escape.

Beside this; we have the hyperinflation spiral, as exponential money-printing inevitably leads to the only mathematically possible outcome. Any item produced in infinite quantities, and at zero cost must be worthless, as an elementary proposition of logic/arithmetic.

Hard assets possess a virtue which is almost beyond the comprehension of most of us, in our debt-saturated lives. They are not encumbered by debt, meaning (as more elementary logic/arithmetic) they cannot go to zero in value. What then will be the “price” of those assets, denominated in absolutely worthless fiat currencies?

It is essentially a nonsensical question. One can “buy” nothing with a worthless currency, which is simply another way of saying that the “price” of hard assets will (quickly) soar to infinity. This is what economic theory (and simple arithmetic) tells us must happen with any exponential spiral in money-printing. This is what empirical evidence tells us has happened in the many hyperinflation episodes in history.

The simple fact that our nations are bankrupt cannot give worthless currencies value. The same level of money-printing which must result in hyperinflation in a solvent economy will also result in hyperinflation in an insolvent economy. This is the point of logic entirely lost in the inane inflation/deflation “debate”.

Conversely, hyperinflationary money-printing cannot prevent a debt-default implosion. If this was true; then we would have never seen any sovereign nation go bankrupt. Deadbeat nations would simply keep printing, and printing, and printing their worthless paper until they became “solvent”.

But this is nothing more than the metaphor of the deadbeat-debtor trying to ward-off personal insolvency by kiting cheques. One cannot “pay” debts with worthless paper. It requires wealth to satisfy obligation. In our world of electronic currency; this most-elementary proposition has been entirely forgotten – buried under the lies and propaganda of the bankers seeking to prop-up their Ponzi system.

The hyperinflationary depression first predicted by John Williams is not merely a plausible scenario. It is an absolutely inevitable fate.

We are already past the “point of no return” in our debt-default spiral. Proof of this is that we must now print these (worthless) fiat currencies by the trillions merely to pay the interest on our debts. This is the mathematical definition of a Ponzi-scheme.

As further proof of the desperation of these lawless Deadbeats; we now have Western governments engaging in the naked theft of assets to plug holes in their Ponzi economic system: the abominable euphemism which these Deadbeats call “a bail-in”.

We are already past the point of no return in our hyperinflation spiral. Proof of that is supplied every time the chart of the United State’s adjusted monetary base is flashed before readers’ eyes: an extreme exponential function (of the world’s “reserve currency”), which mathematically epitomizes the words “out of control.”

This is why commentators such as myself point to precious metals. They are hard assets. They are the ultimate “good money”, in a world about to be full of nothing but worthless paper currencies. And thanks to our current Hostage Markets; they are the most-undervalued of all hard assets.

Nothing can prevent the economic storm ahead of us. Nothing can shelter us from that storm better than precious metals.

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Jeff Nielson
...
written by Jeff Nielson, January 15, 2014
...Loved and shared your interview with SGT Report back in October.

I was wondering. Do you think the CAD will be swept with the USD if it goes into hyperinflation. I heard a few people say it would remain stable because we're more of a commodities economy. Also, we haven't gone through our real estate crash yet.

Will there be a flight to liquidity as the stock market bubble burst this time, boosting the value dollars for a short time? Is it safe to wait for such an event? Harry Dent argues we should save dollars and buy gold and silver on the low, but I'm scared of the bail-in laws freezing my money before I have a chance to buy enough. Is it safe at all to hold on to Canadian dollars right now?


Thanks for the support, Orb!

As for your question; had you asked me the same question five years ago, I would have quite probably suggested that the CAD could survive the final implosion of the USD. Indeed; I pretty much said that in a (much) older commentary:

Canada and Australia to 'shine' in '09... (or 2010 at the latest)
http://www.bullionbullscanada.com/canadian-commentary/460-canada-and-australia-to-shine-in-09-or-2010-at-the-latest

But by then Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party had already "gone to work" on the Canadian economy. Since then; there has been too much carnage to even summarize it here. Have a look at our "Canadian Commentaries" archive; and you can find more than a dozen commentaries detailing the destruction.

http://www.bullionbullscanada.com/canadian-commentary

In particular; Harper has turned what was the best/strongest/safest financial system in the entire world (as recently as the end of 2009) into just another financial Ponzi-scheme which virtually duplicates the U.S. bubble-system -- just as Harper has also duplicated the U.S. housing-bubble in Canada...

Banking Systems Ranked: who's first, who's worst
http://www.bullionbullscanada.com/intl-commentary/3499-banking-systems-ranked-whos-first-whos-worst

...as a result; the CAD will go to zero in the same, final "flush" which marks the end of the USD. smilies/angry.gif
Orb
...
written by Orb, January 15, 2014
Hello Jeff.
Loved and shared your interview with SGT Report back in October.

I was wondering. Do you think the CAD will be swept with the USD if it goes into hyperinflation. I heard a few people say it would remain stable because we're more of a commodities economy. Also, we haven't gone through our real estate crash yet.

Will there be a flight to liquidity as the stock market bubble burst this time, boosting the value dollars for a short time? Is it safe to wait for such an event? Harry Dent argues we should save dollars and buy gold and silver on the low, but I'm scared of the bail-in laws freezing my money before I have a chance to buy enough. Is it safe at all to hold on to Canadian dollars right now?
Jeff Nielson
...
written by Jeff Nielson, January 13, 2014
I have a question. When people spoke about hyperinflation I had difficulty grasping what this meant on a day to day basis for us; ordinary people. Because there is some detailed history available about Weimar I was able to get a feel for what was coming. On the other hand, as you say, this economic conquest of humanity and its disastrous result will take us far into uncharted territory...

If China and Russia produce gold backed currency, will the One Bank do the same in Canada and the U.S.?


No shame in acknowledging that you have difficulty envisioning hyperinflation. Indeed; this is an economic event TOTALLY beyond both our experience-level and our knowledge-level. We have neither ever lived through such an event, nor do we possess the intellects/intellectual tools to fully grasp the economic horror which awaits.

Saying our paper currencies will go to zero does not mean we understand what that actually implies. When (global) hyperinflation is triggered, it means INSTANT, MASS-POVERTY -- world-wide, and thus a "humanitarian disaster" roughly a hundred times worse than anything we have seen in history.

Moreover, once our currencies become worthless; not merely global trade but our entire economies will instantly grind to a halt. At best; there would be massive lay-offs (half or more of our entire workforces?). We are a species of commerce.

So when some lying banker or media Neanderthal spouts that tired, old line that "you can't eat gold"; ignore it. When our commerce-base cultures suddenly have NO MONEY; those of us sitting with significant quantities of "good money" will undoubtedly have less worries than those with no tools of commerce.

And for all the clueless Sheep who are caught holding significant amounts of paper; THEY can spend several years listening to us tell them that "you can't eat a Greenback"...



With respect to how this plays out at the national/economic level in terms of NEW currencies; there is only one thing we know for sure. There CANNOT be a transition (in terms of reserve currency) between a PAPER U.S. dollar and a gold-backed renminbi.

One currency would be obviously-and-totally worthless; one currency would be clearly valuable. It would spark the largest, most-chaotic financial stampede in the history of our species -- again, by several ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE. Thus the transition between "reserve currencies" must be between a paper dollar and a paper renminbi.

The only way this transition could play-out any differently would be if the USD was completely destroyed by hyperinflation and (thus) removed from circulation. IF the dollar is still in circulationn when the transition occurs; it must be from one paper currency to another.

Then after China has completed that transition; then (and only then) can it OFFICIALLY back its currency with gold -- and return us to a world of (more or less) Good Money.
owatica
...
written by owatica, January 13, 2014
Dear Jeff... Re: "Nothing can shelter us from that storm better than precious metals". I believe your insights are brilliant and completely agree. I have studied the work of everyone you mentioned as well as some others like Jim Willie, Deepcaster, the London Banker, Bob Chapman and many others. However, I have a question. When people spoke about hyperinflation I had difficulty grasping what this meant on a day to day basis for us; ordinary people. Because there is some detailed history available about Weimar I was able to get a feel for what was coming. On the other hand, as you say, this economic conquest of humanity and its disastrous result will take us far into uncharted territory.

If you have the wherewithal to possess PMs; and as you pointed out in this great article, they cannot be denominated in destroyed currencies, what do you think that looks like on a daily basis for us? How do we use PMs besides the obvious trades for necessities? Won't there be businesses left standing? How can one 'invest' PMs? Wait for the mania in prices then convert to whatever passes for cash and then immediately convert to other hard assets like land or buy stocks in commodities? Will there even be stocks? I cannot visualize how to cope with this situation other then to attempt to be as self-sufficient as possible. However, without 'markets' will PMs simply be meted out in small amounts to individuals such as the local farmer in exchange for food?

If China and Russia produce gold backed currency, will the One Bank do the same in Canada and the U.S.? They do business with the Vatican and no one knows how many tons of gold are hidden in the Vatican [as a sidebar I found it hilarious JPMorgan stopped doing business with the Vatican becaue the churches' business practices were so corrupt... ]. I mean the vacuum must be filled with something. Just asking....
Jeff Nielson
...
written by Jeff Nielson, January 10, 2014
Jeff, I never tire of seeing that graph. It always reassures me about my investments and preparations.



Lol Dgierl! To express that same sarcasm in a different way; looking at that chart can be thought of as "a sanity test".

U.S. Hyperinflation and Cultural Insanity

http://www.bullionbullscanada.com/gold-commentary/26439-us-hyperinflation-and-cultural-insanity

...with most people (on either side of our Border) failing miserably. smilies/wink.gif

dgierl
...
written by dgierl, January 10, 2014
Jeff, I never tire of seeing that graph. It always reassures me about my investments and preparations.

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