Friday, March 04, 2011

Marc Faber's Thoughts on When QE3 (and QE4, QE5, etc) Will Take Place

Marc Faber gave a stellar 30+ minute interview for The McAlvany Weekly Commentary.  You can read the transcript here, and listen to it here.

Of the many interesting (and unique) points Faber made, one that stuck out was his claim that 80% of the US budget is basically untouchable:
David: What measures might the Fed and the Treasury employ to defend the bond market as it is so critical to the financing of our deficits and our way of life in America?

Marc: I think they do not necessarily want to support the bond market, because the debt issuance is so huge, they almost have to monetize part of the debt.  I have read Treasury reports in 2010 by Tim Geithner saying the U.S. government debt increased by more than 2 trillion dollars during that period of time.  The deficit, in my opinion, mathematically, cannot come down, because 80% of the budget is mandatory expenditures, in other words, you cannot cut them.  Legally, they have to be met.

Of the remaining 20%, you can cut a little bit, but not that much, because then services collapse.  In my view, the fiscal deficit of the U.S. will stay around 1½ trillion dollars for as far as the eye can see, and maybe even go to 2, or 2½ trillion dollars, and then the interest expenditures on the debt go up.  So actually, over time, in my view, unless taxes are increased significantly, and spending is cut significantly, not by a little bit here, a little bit there, the budget will never again be balanced, and that will then necessitate, in time, QE-III, QE-IV, and QE-V.  Taxes cannot be increased dramatically, because if you increase them very substantially, we will go straight back into a recession.
Let's say it all together in our best Faber voice: "Mr. Bernanke is a money printer!"

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