John  Browne

As China enters the "Year of the Snake," Singapore stands as a beacon of sound currency in a world gone mad. China's renminbi remains pegged to the US dollar, while even steadfast Switzerland has followed the US, UK, EU, and Japan into an impoverishing strategy of currency debasement. Singapore, alone, has been able to sustain genuine economic growth in the context of a strong national currency.

The Currency Snakes

In most major economies, a corrective recession has become politically unacceptable. In order to conceal negative real economic growth, politicians and their central bankers have resorted to the irresponsible policy of excessive government spending. This is financed by unsustainable borrowing,excessive taxation, and/or currency debasement. The result is the progressive impoverishment of citizens and increasing government intrusions, dressed as 'help' for the needy. This places government in an ever-more dominant position over its citizens, reducing them to subjects.

The Fed's massive QE programs, now virtually unlimited, have been imitated by the stewards of the world's other reserve currencies - and the result has been stagflation.

The EU, the world's largest economy, saw its combined economy shrink by 0.3 percent last year, and it is forecast to fall an additional .3 percent this year. Unemployment is estimated to reach 12.2 percent in 2013. With youth unemployment in Greece at 62 percent and the mighty German economy shrinking by 0.6 percent in Q4 of 2012, Europe is primed for deep recession,possibly even depression. 

The UK saw contraction for 3 of 4 quarters of 2012. Though it saw an uptick in Q3, economists are bracing for a "triple dip" recession.

Japan remains stagnant, with 3 quarters of no growth. While growth is forecast to pick up in 2013, this may simply be economists' rosy excitement over the massive stimulus announced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. [Read Peter Schiff's analysis of Japan's stimulus shock & awe plan and what it means for the US dollar.]

USA: The King Cobra

Among the major developed economies, only the US shows positive economic growth. But official US inflation figures have been massaged covertly to the downside. Even after deflating GDP growth with the official CPI inflation rate of 1.6 percent, the US economy grew at only 2.2% in 2012

John Browne

John Browne is the Senior Market Strategist for Euro Pacific Capital, Inc.