Europe and The Coming Inflationary Times
Accumulated worldwide debt will soon be weighing heavily upon global stock markets. Europe right now is facing a tidal wave of debt, and the Germans don't have enough fingers to plug all the holes in the dike.
Meanwhile, over in the United States, Congress will soon be pressed into raising the debt ceiling (again), which last year, with Republicans in a temporary revolt against the lift, helped fill the markets with enough fear that the Dow Jones spiraled down nearly 20%.
Look, at some point this debt burden must catch up to us. For a household, it's okay to take out a loan if you really need the money to pay for some big ticket item like a car or a house, or an emergency like medical care or temporary unemployment, but even MasterCard and Visa, who want nothing more than enslaving the average person to a life spent paying off their usurious rates, will not keep lending you money indiscriminately as your debt piles towards the sky.
The coming wave of inflation
Following World War II, the U.S. government was the best risk out there. With an expanding economy, and thriving industry, people had no problems at all funding the U.S. debt. But why, even during these prosperous times, did the US borrow money? Because is was politically expedient to do so. It gave Congressmen the ability to fund more projects in their districts and helped them avoid having to cut needless and wasteful programs.
"Hey, if Visa is going to keep giving me the money, I'll keep spending it." The simple fact is that governments eventually must balance their budgets. It can't keep going like this forever, although, admittedly, they've had an excellent run at "forever." In the US we are at an impasse, because although the major advantage our government has is the ability to print $15,000,000,000,000 (trillion) and pay everybody off, this, of course, might "annoy" the Chinese who hold two trillion of our debt, as would it be anybody who holds cash as inflation would instantly eat through a life time of savings. On the bright side however, all the irresponsible debtors on the planet would throw their arms over their heads and scream "Hooray!"
And the failing states of Southern Europe, who would normally just print money to alleviate their problems (devaluing it in the process,) are unable to do so as they are part of the greater EuroZone, and the European Central Bank's (ECB) stated purpose is to fight inflation.
And every time there's a bailout, they're just kicking the can further down the road. No matter how hard Germany tries, they'll never be able to plug the dike. Its like giving an obese person liposuction, and watching them maintain the same diet. Yes, you can call for austerity, in the same way you cold call for fatso to pick up the Kentucky Fried Chicken; it's just not happening until you change the underlying psychology of the individual, or in this case, the country.
And now, in a bit of grand gamesmanship, the Spanish decided to play chicken with Angela Merkel, and pretty much stated the terms for which they would accept their bailout, knowing that the Germans believe it's more costly to let them fail, than to sweeten the honey pot a little. It's game theory at its best.
Now the June 17 election in Greece takes on a new importance, as its citizens, no doubt aware of the deal the Spanish carved for themselves, will likely throw a political temper tantrum either disavowing the austerity deal they made by electing a new party, or somehow demanding renegotiations.
So what does all this mean, and how will this help you make money in the market? Simple, in the US we're going to have inflation. There's no ifs, ands, or butts about it. We have already drastically increased the money supply the last several years, and politicians are loath to do anything but take the simplest route. It's a simple recipe.
Based on this prediction, investing in the commodities sector is the way to go. Anything from companies like Brasil Foods (NYSE: BRFS) and Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE: ADM), to Chevron (NYSE: CVX) or Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM), to even Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) which not only has debt on its balance sheet (remember: "hooray!" during inflationary times), but is also a low cost producer, and owns a good amount of real estate which should increase in nominal value. The other option is to take a 30 year fixed mortgage out, and buy a house at the lowest rates ever, which is a form of essentially shorting the U.S. dollar.
As for Europe, you know what I say: let the Germans pay. Their citizenry could subsidize all of Europe's debt for the next 20 years, and still be on the red side of the historical ledger. I'm genuinely hoping some loud mouth politician utters this basic truth ... I'm still waiting.