David Goldman: ‘Extreme Risk’ of Deflation is Dead Ahead

Thursday, 31 May 2012 07:45 AM

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Weak oil, gold and stock prices, rising demand for dollars and the likelihood of an implosion in Europe signal crippling deflation may strike the U.S. economy, says David Goldman of financial research firm Macrostrategy.

"It’s an extreme risk, though I don’t think it’s an inevitable outcome,” Goldman tells CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report."

Greece and Spain are coming under increasing financial duress as the debt crisis heats up, and should one find the strain of austerity measures and hefty debt burdens too much to endure and abandon the eurozone, a domino effect could ensue and push the continent and then the U.S. into a deflationary spiral.

Editor's Note: The Final Turning Predicted for America. See Proof.

"We have the first major OECD economy, namely Spain, which is going to implode to the point that, for example, bank senior debt is likely to be wiped out," Goldman says, referring to the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a 34-member international economic organization.

"That simply hasn’t happened in the postwar period to any major economy."

Should Greece or Spain decide eurozone membership is too painful, the larger France would suffer “because the French banks own the Spanish bank debt,” Goldman adds.

"There’s virtually perfect, 100 percent correlation between stock market, oil prices, gold prices, all of these things, treasury bonds," Goldman tells the network.

"It’s all moving together because people are moving out of risk."

U.S. monetary policy officials, meanwhile, are urging Europe to react and do so quickly.

"It's a grave situation indeed," Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard told reporters in Japan, according to MarketWatch

The European situation "is driving U.S. and Japanese equity markets down," Bullard says.

"It has also caused a tremendous flight to safety, which has sent government bond yields here (in Japan) and the U.S. and in Germany to record lows."

Europe must focus on fixing fiscal imbalances instead of using monetary policy tools such as quantitative easing — central bank liquidity injections into the financial system designed to spur growth and hiring and steer an economy away from deflationary decline.

The U.S. could resort to quantitative easing, an unconventional monetary policy tool, should the need arise but for now, the tool should remain on hold.

"I do think our most potent weapon as a committee is to do further quantitative easing. But if we take such action, we'd be taking more risk with our balance sheet. I think right now we've got the right trade-off," Bullard says.

Editor's Note: The Final Turning Predicted for America. See Proof.


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