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Monday, February 4, 2013

Canary in the Coal Mine - Japan

My friend John said years ago that Japan is the Canary in the Coal mine to watch.   Japan's demographics and extreme deficit spending makes it worth while to watch.  They are in effect ahead of the US trajectory.

Unfortunately, I believe if Japan enters currency crisis, a vortex over the year following will take with it other countries not too far behind it. I am not predicting that Japan enters a crisis, (2014-15?) merely stating that if Japan hits a currency crisis, this will be the beginning of what I feared all the way back in March 2009. (about the bottom of the market)

The decision to transfer all risk from private to public, put the public financial system at risk.  Since money IS about trust (work done today, will be paid back tomorrow), once trust in the system hits a tipping point, it will get ugly.

Japan recently announced basically an all out currency war, pledging to break the yen.  While the yen is not yet broken, it has had a nice decline rather rapidly.  It has lost valuation, wiping out 2.5 years of gains in months.   If Yen reaches below 0.0083, in my mind, its game on for currency crisis.

US Dollar to Yen Exchange Rate Graph - Feb 6, 2003 to Feb 1, 2013

Safe havens for a possible currency crisis are going to get severely slapped around.  As tensions mount, I expect safe havens to fall, not rise at first.   Even once the worst has past, the safe-heavens should remain under brutal assault throughout the currency crisis.  There is no free lunch, and no easy way out.  A currency crisis will shake the very foundation of everything, and bring on an era not seen since the 1930's.

The last great depression got started the same way, loosely speaking.   A huge credit bubble, credit burst, currency war, then depression and world war 2.  I obviously hope we will avoid WW 3, and at this time don't expect it.

I do have optimism overall.  I believe we are seeing a massive redistribution of capability starting, preparing for the new economy after the worst has past.  I am re-iterating my doom and gloom call for USD until 2015-2017 time period, more likely in 2017.

Gary of the Smart Money Tracker has more to say on this topic, recommend subscribing to his service.

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