Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Marc Faber: Japan Bond Buying is a Ponzi Scheme

Nov. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Marc Faber, editor and publisher of "The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report," comments on Bill Gross' remarks about deflation and explains why he thinks Japan is engaged in a Ponzi Scheme. He speaks with Bloomberg's Trish Regan on "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)



MARC FABER: Well, I think the concept of inflation and deflation is frequently misunderstood because in some sectors of the economy you can have inflation and in some sectors deflation. But if the investment implication of Bill Gross is that – and he’s a friend of mine. I have high regard for him. If the implication is that one should be long US treasuries, to some extent I agree. The return on 10-year notes will be miserable, 2.35 percent for the next 10 years if you hold them to maturity in each of the next 10 years.

However, if you compare that to French government bonds yielding today 1.21 percent, I think that’s quite a good deal, or Japanese bonds, a country that is engaged in a Ponzi scheme, bankrupt, they have government bond yields yielding 0.43 percent. So –

REGAN: You say Japan is engaged – go ahead.

MARC FABER: Well I think they’re engaged in a Ponzi scheme in the sense that all the government bonds that the Treasury issues are being bought by the Bank of Japan.

REGAN: So Japan’s engaged in a Ponzi scheme. What about the US? We’ve done our share of money printing. We’ve had record low interest rates for six years.

MARC FABER: I think the good news is – for Japan is that most countries are engaged in a Ponzi scheme and it will not end well. But as Carlo Ponzi proved, it can take a long time until the whole system collapses.

REGAN: So all this QE in your view is a form of a Ponzi scheme. It’s going to take some while before it catches up with us, and yet, Marc, you look at the jobs numbers coming out of the US. You look at the GD print (ph). All this has actually been pretty good lately. So isn’t there a case to be made for some economic growth here?

MARC FABER: I really have to laugh when I look at the economic statistics because they are published by the Obama administration, and there I would be very careful to take every figure for granted. The fact is simply that first-time home buyers in the US are now at the 30-year low. What does it tell you? That people don’t want to live in homes anymore? No. They can’t afford to live in homes anymore. That is the problem. And the whole exercise with quantitative easing has been to boost asset prices, but the bigger problem is the affordability. A lot of people are being squeezed very badly because the costs of living are rising more than their salaries and wages.


Marc Faber is an international investor known for his uncanny predictions of the stock market and futures markets around the world.Dr. Doom also trades currencies and commodity futures like Gold and Oil.

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