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Quotable – On Greek debt

“More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”

                           Woody Allen

FX Trading – Even gold agnostics must never say never!

Where does one hide if bond markets everywhere look risky at the same time? In another excellent article by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at the UK Telegraph, sent to us by a friend, Ambrose summarizes the latest very scary warnings from the Bank of International Settlements about sovereign debt crisis [our emphasis]:

“’The question is when markets will start putting pressure on governments, not if. When will investors start demanding a much higher compensation for holding increasingly large amounts of public debt? In some countries, unstable debt dynamics — in which higher debt levels lead to higher interest rates, which then lead to even higher debt levels — are already clearly on the horizon.’

“Official debt figures in the West are ‘very misleading’ since they fail to take in account the contingent liabilities and pension debts that have mushroomed over recent years. ‘Rapidly ageing populations present a number of countries with the prospect of enormous future costs that are not wholly recognised in current budget projections. The size of these future obligations is anybody’s guess,’ said the report. The BIS lamented the lack of any systematic data on the scale of unfunded IOUs that care-free politicians have handed out like confetti.

Love that line—“Care-free politicians have handed out like confetti.” Of course all of this confetti is rationalized on the back of Neo-Keynesian prime pumping for which our own Diet Coke swizling economic czar, Larry “I am somebody” Summers, so proudly confesses.

This is looking parabolic. And adding the IOU’s we can’t account for, and this would move from parabolic to moon launch trajectory.

US Federal Debt Outstanding:

Can we expect the confetti makers to change now that the Western electorate is on to the fact that it can vote themselves the goodies? After all, “if the government pays for it it’s free” is sadly the moronic belief of so many people in the US. Economics 101 was never on their course schedules. And given the latest report that half of all US households are carrying the burden of the other half that pay no taxes at all—at least 50% see no problem with government handouts. Well down the path of a full-blown European welfare state the US is headed. So sad, but so true!

Who is John Galt?

I think I know what you were thinking when I asked: Where do we hide from this? Going out on a limb I am thinking you answered gold? And as much as we are gold agnostics, maybe the long-term chart of gold is at least hinting at that when we compare it to long Treasury bond prices.

Gold (black) versus US 30-yr T-bond futures (red) weekly:

Hmmm…and if look a little closer at the long-term bond chart alone, do we see a gigantic head-and-shoulders pattern in the making?

30-year US Treasury Bond Futures Weekly: Using the Head and Shoulders measuring gap give us a target of around 84. Yikes!

Okay, maybe it’s a bit of a stretch. But then again, if you traveled back in time and talked to an active investor three years ago, sharing what you know now, said investor never would have believed you.

The lesson here is be skeptical of doom and gloom, indeed; but when it comes to markets, never say never!

Happy Friday!