Currency Wars, Trade Wars… World Wars
History is repeating itself. While the times are different and the names have changed, the underlying circumstances and basic fundamentals remain the same. The Crash of ’29, The Great Depression, plunging commodity prices, currency wars, trade wars, world war. Now, four score and six years later: The Panic of ’08, The Great Recession, plunging commodity prices, currency wars.
Are trade wars and world war next?
Commodity prices’ continuing downward dive is indisputable evidence of a deteriorating global economy. For many, the Great Recession is depression. The equation is simple: there’s a glut of product and not enough people with enough money to buy them.
And today – just as it was prior to World War II when countries were denounced for devaluing their currencies to gain competitive export advantage – world reaction to China’s recent yuan devaluation continues to intensify.
Trends are born, they grow, mature, reach old age and die. As evidenced by Ben Bernake’s appearance before the US Congress in 2011, the war of words against China is a trend in progress:
Bernanke criticizes China over currency
The chairman of the US Federal Reserve has accused China of damaging prospects for a global economic recovery through its deliberate intervention in the currency market to hold down the value of the renminbi.
Speaking just hours after the Chinese government sharply criticized a US congressional bill that would punish Beijing for alleged currency manipulation, Ben Bernanke told a congressional committee that an undervalued renminbi was preventing the rebalancing of global demand towards emerging market economies.
“Right now, our concern is that the Chinese currency policy is blocking what might be a more normal recovery process in the global economy,” he said. “It is to some extent hurting the recovery.” (Financial Times, 4 October, 2011)
The day before Bernanke’s accusation, the US Senate voted overwhelmingly to open debate on a bill to impose tariffs on imports from countries with undervalued currencies. In response to the bill, the Chinese government warned that if passed, the legislation would lead to a trade war. Now, some four years later, and with scores of currencies substantially devalued, we forecast growing political pressure among nations to raise tariffs and/or impose import quotas.
The 14-year Afghan War, the longest war in American history, continues with no end in sight. The 12-year America-led Iraq War has re-ignited. Since the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, the war-torn nation grows more violent. Syria’s war ravaged, Yemen’s being bombed and throughout Africa, civil wars and cross-border wars rage. Bomb blasts in Bangkok, unrest in Egypt, massive protests in Brazil, war in Ukraine … and civil unrest ready to explode in countries where commodity prices have plunged, unemployment soars, debt levels grow and corruption is rampant.
Is world war on the horizon?
Trend Forecast: In the environment of currency devaluations, failing economies, global conflict and social unrest, we forecast gold will be valued as a safe haven commodity.