It didn’t take long for Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis to reassert itself. Here we are in May, a short three months after the last bailout of Greece, and Europe is crumbling again.
Greece is on the ropes, and will most assuredly have to splinter away from the euro and take back its currency, the drachma. It’s the only way Greece can get out of its depression. Dump the euro, take back the drachma, devalue it, and inflate its way out of the mess and out of debt.
Portugal is reeling again, too. Spain is also going down the tubes. Depositors are making runs on the banks. Moody’s has downgraded virtually the entire Spanish banking system. Spain’s stock market is at 20-year lows.
It’s not much better in Italy, the most-indebted country in Europe. And France isn’t far behind. Now that the Socialists lead the country, you can expect France’s fiscal situation to worsen.
Meanwhile, the only economy holding Europe upright is also starting to slow. Germany’s giant export machine is wobbling, and so is its economy.
So it should be no surprise to you that stock markets are falling now. In order of weakness: Europe is the most-vulnerable, U.S. stocks are the second-weakest, and Asia’s equity markets are the least-weak of the three corners of the globe. Latin American markets will generally follow the U.S. markets.
But what about commodities? It’s certainly understandable that economic weakness would also take its toll on demand-sensitive commodities such as copper, foods, other base metals, and the like. After all, if economies are sinking anew, demand for these commodities is sure to fall.
And that’s precisely what I’ve predicted for the commodity sector. I was perhaps one of the only commodity bears out there for the past several months, but now my warnings are coming true. We’re seeing a sharp decline in most commodity prices.
The big question on most investors’ minds is why gold and silver are also falling. After all, when governments are on the verge of collapsing, shouldn’t that be bullish for gold and silver?
Under certain circumstances, yes. But not always. If the peripheral economies are collapsing, and their governments are under social attack, like what’s happening in Europe, then it’s not all that bullish for gold and silver. The core of the global economy, the U.S. and the U.S. dollar, can still suck up much of the frightened capital.
Again, that’s precisely what I warned, and precisely what’s happening. As scared capital flees Europe — it’s going primarily into cash, and into the U.S. dollar.
That’s pushing the U.S. dollar up, and taking the shine off of precious metals. Plus, always keep in mind that at the beginning of a crisis like we have now in Europe, investors want cash above all else. So gold is not the king right now. Cash is king.
That’s all going to change soon, because the world’s central banks despise runs to cash … they despise falling asset prices … and they absolutely abhor disinflation or, even worse, outright deflation.
So that means that central banks are soon going to start printing massive amounts of money again, flooding the global economy with trillions of additional dollars.
And when they do, you could just as easily see gold and silver bottom out and begin the next legs up in their bull markets.
I believe that’s not too far away. But it’s likely we will see further declines first. My models tell me that we are not yet at asset price levels that would send central banks into panic mode, forcing them to put the pedal to the metal with their money printing.
Here’s what my models are telling me. Look for further declines ahead …
- Down to below $1,440 in gold
- Down to below $26 in silver, to as low as $21
- Down to below $85 in oil
- Down to below 12,000 in the Dow Industrials
And mark my words: When the commodity markets do bottom out and central banks start printing money again — it will represent the beginning of the biggest phase yet in the commodity bull markets.
So get ready, because it’s right around the corner.
Best wishes, as always …
Larry Edelson has nearly 33 years of investing experience with a focus in the precious metals and natural resources markets. His Real Wealth Report (a monthly publication) and Resource Windfall Trader (weekly) provide a continuing education on natural resource investments, with recommendations aiming for both profit and risk management.
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