Jim Puplava Perspectives Series

PowerShift: Oil, Money, & War

  • Oil, Money, & War

    27 June 2014

    In this timeless and re-released article Jim outlines three major powershifts of the 21st century stemming from the ongoing struggle of resource scarcity. Both historical and forward looking, "Oil, Money, and War" analyzes the dynamic relationship between these three forces and...

  • There Is No Plan "B"

    14 October 2005

    We have reached what system analysts refer to as "a single point of failure." It is the one item that if it breaks down, it brings the entire system down with it. Like it or not, the U.S. economy runs on "cheap oil" and we are running out of it. Oil powers our economy in manufacturing, transportation, and agriculture. Without it, our economy would cease to function. There is no other commodity other than water that can have such an effect on how and what we do. Oil is the lifeblood of our economy...

Storm Watch Update

  • No Way Out, Part 1

    9 August 2011

    Fear has returned with a vengeance to the financial markets once again. The media has elevated the threat levels and seems bewildered. Why the sudden change? Less than a month ago it looked like markets were ready to break out to new highs. What went wrong?

  • The Great Reflation

    2 May 2010

    The nearly 80% rise of the stock market from its March lows is being primarily driven not by sound economic data or a perceived turnaround, but by massive monetary injections into the financial markets. Unfortunately, this artificial—and unsustainable—source of credit merely serves to create...

  • The End of an Era

    24 July 2009

    "Green shoots" has become the new economic mantra used by the media to describe our current economic condition. The recession that began in December, 2007 is now in its twentieth month. You would have to go back as far as 1981–82 or 1973–74 to find a recession that has lasted this long with unemployment rates this high...

  • Forecast 2007

    19 January 2007

    Jim lays out a summary of the various potential events and scenarios that could derail the markets in 2007 in light of the current euphoria.

  • The Next Rogue Wave

    15 December 2006

    What are the greatest potential rogue waves on the horizon? Rampant debt and speculation, derivatives, and an unsustainable expansion of credit. Jim describes the implications of such events on the financial markets and how the Fed will respond.

  • The Core Rate

    24 June 2005

    The "core rate" is a fictional concept designed to soothe the financial markets and distract them from the reality of rising inflation. The core rate does not exist anywhere in our economy. It is a fictional concept designed to obfuscate inflation. The next time you go to the grocery store and experience shock and awe as the checker rings up your shopping cart, ask him or her for the "core rate." See what kind of look you get...

  • Tipping Points

    20 May 2005

    Jim outlines how a leveraged carry trade, growing trade deficits, US consumer debt, a potential banking crisis, and reliance on foreign investment are like dominos precariously awaiting a sudden fall.

  • The Investment Constant

    8 April 2005

    While you may not be able to count on the returns from stock appreciation, something more bankable is the returns you get from dividend payments. Dividends are the closest thing you get in the stock market to a "sure thing." They aren't guaranteed, but they are predictable. A company can always lower its dividend or in extreme cases omit it under financial difficulties. Nonetheless, most dividends arrive like clockwork every quarter. They are bankable and you don't have to sell a stock to receive the cash...

  • The Perfect Option

    4 November 2004

    We have begun a new bull market in precious metals that will last for many years and are just at the beginning phase of this new bull market. Investing in junior producers and junior exploration companies can become the most profitable way to participate in this emerging bull run. As with the use of options, which offer the investor a way in which to use leverage, junior miners offer investors leverage to the price of precious metals. They represent a call option on the future price of silver and gold. Unlike regular options, they have no time expiration. This makes them "the perfect option."

  • The “Carry Trade” Economy

    4 August 2004

    Anyone who even remotely follows the current state of the U.S. economy realizes one irrefutable fact: our economy is driven entirely by credit. Secondly, we acknowledge the fact that credit feeds on itself and must constantly and consistently expand.

  • This Is As Good As It Gets

    15 July 2004

    Most economists believe the good times will continue well into next year. The 2001 recession was one of the shortest recessions on record. Despite a recession, the terrorist attacks on 9-11, a stock market crash and a war, the economy has bounced back strongly. The economy has recovered, consumer confidence is high, businesses are building inventories again and housing has replaced the stock market as a wealth generator. What is not to like about this picture? Or put another way, what is wrong with this picture? It is very simple...

  • The Unraveling

    18 June 2004

    Companies, consumers, the government at all levels, the financial markets, and our entire economy are far more leveraged today than we were in 1991 or even 2000. A rise in interest rates of as much as 1, 2, 3 or 4% (as many analysts and economists are indicating) would collapse our economy and financial markets. What is sustaining the U.S. economy, our financial markets, and the American consumer is ever increasing amounts of debt and the asset bubbles that underpin that debt...

  • Moving to Center Stage

    3 June 2004

    Water and energy are moving to center stage and are likely to remain there for the balance of this century. A clash between nature and urbanization is about to unfold. At stake is an industrialized world dependent on growth to support its rising debt levels and an emerging world hell bent on industrializing. Both worlds require energy, water, and food to support a population base that has grown from 3.5 billion humans to today’s 6.4 billion in three decades...

  • Its Time To Cross Over

    14 May 2004

    In the last month over 70% of all purchasing managers in this country are reporting price increases for everything they buy. They mean everything from aluminum, coal, corrugated containers, oil and natural gas, to fabricated steel. Natural gas prices, as shown in the chart below, have risen for over 20 months...

  • Illusions

    6 May 2004

    Given all of the structural imbalances in our economy and in our financial markets, aggressive rate hikes by the Fed are an illusion. In fact, the Fed is impotent and in want of a policy Viagra. What is more relevant are the actions of the bond market. As shown...

  • Super Bull

    22 March 2004

    Seven factors are listed providing support for a new super bull-market in precious metals that will turn out to be much bigger than what occurred in the 1970s.

  • The 'OK' [unbalanced & at risk] Economy

    2 October 2003

    The easiest way to gain an understanding of the U.S. economy is to think in terms of four words: debt, consumption, speculation, and illusion. When looking at the U.S. economy from the perspective of these four words, it becomes easier to understand why the recovery isn’t shaping up like the cyclical recoveries of the past.

  • The 'OK' [but fictional] Economy

    11 September 2003

    Stocks have risen this year on the basis that the economy and earnings are improving. This makes sense on the surface. If the economy is getting stronger, then profits would be expected to rise along with improving economic conditions. Yet we see that the employment rate remains high as businesses continue to shed jobs each month, unemployment claims hover over 400,000 typical of a recession, and capital spending by business along with business sentiment remains weak...

  • The 'OK' [unless something happens] Economy

    4 September 2003

    When it takes $6 of debt just to produce $1 of GDP growth, it is safe to say that this turnaround is not built upon sound healthy fundamentals, but unsustainable levels of higher and higher debt. Although appearing the mend, the economy is actually far from healthy. Without large injections of new money and credit...

  • Silver: The Undervalued Asset Looking for a Catalyst

    2 July 2003

    The precious metals market—especially silver—is a sleeping giant waiting for a catalyst to ignite it. That catalyst, I believe, will be a financial and monetary storm that is kindled by an unforeseen or unexpected event, either geopolitical or financial. Monetary authorities are desperately trying to keep the financial markets under control, but they are gradually losing their grip...

  • The Catalyst

    28 May 2003

    We have now arrived at a new paradigm–a new catalyst–that will drive money out of paper and into hard assets as people flee the dollar. The smart money is exiting, taking larger positions in gold and silver while the herd is still chasing the last bull market in paper.

Storm Watch Update, The Day after Tomorrow

The Great Inflation

  • “Money Never Sleeps”

    24 September 2010

    Welcome to the world of cheap and easy money. It's a time where asset bubbles get inflated, deflated, and reflated again and again until the value of money becomes meaningless. It's an environment defined by zero interest rates, trillion-dollar deficits, and currency debasement. It's a world where real values get inflated until value has nothing to do with hard work or the creation of productive goods and services. It's all about speculation, a liquidity-driven market swarming around the globe looking for returns and a temporary place to land. Such is the beginning of all great inflations.

  • The Nature of Money

    22 September 2004

    What is money? Money means different things to different people. On Main Street it may mean the dollar bills in a wallet or the cash balance in a checking account. On Wall Street it represents the electronic digits in the interbank settlement system. To others money represents credit, the ability to buy a home with a mortgage, access cash through a credit line, or the ability to purchase goods with a credit card. Ask different people what money represents and you will get a wide variety of answers.

Perspective, The Great Inflation

  • The Two Bens

    28 October 2005

    Fast forward 230 years later and we find the same mistakes made by government. We now have another Ben in charge of the nation's money. Like his predecessor, Mr. Franklin, our current Ben has a similar philosophy.

Perspective, The Perfect Financial Storm?

  • Rogue Wave (Continued)

    5 November 2000

    The “powers that be” are intervening in just about every market. The Plunge Protection Team is active in coaxing a floor underneath a dipping market. Their fingerprints can be observed in the market for the last three consecutive weeks. The Treasury is actively involved in suppressing long-term interest rates buying longer-dated government bonds.

The Perfect Financial Storm?

  • Rogue Wave - Rogue Trader

    25 October 2000

    Severe storm fronts have been buffeting the financial system since the stock market crash of 1987. We've seen rogue waves hit in the peso crisis of 1994 and the Asian and Russian Debt crisis of 1997 and 1998. We have also seen the emergence of the rogue trader. First there was Orange County Treasurer, Robert L. Citron, who pushed Orange County to the brink of bankruptcy. Then we saw Nick Leeson bring down Barings, the British investment bank. Leeson put an end to 325 years of banking tradition in one weekend. More recently we saw Long Term Capital Management's disaster in 1998. In the case of Long Term Capital Management, it was a group of traders, including two Nobel Laureates.

Perspective, The Stock Market

  • Remembering Agincourt

    17 April 2000

    On a gray and rainy day, October 25, 1415, a small English army led by King Henry V, although weakened by disease and hunger, met and defeated an overwhelming force of Frenchmen. Henry, a claimant to the French throne, had invaded France and seized the French port of Harfleur. As he attempted to make his way back to England, he feared meeting up with the superior French force of heavy cavalry.

  • Booms, Busts & Boomers

    10 March 2000

    In economic terms things have never looked better. Most Americans have jobs. Wages are rising. The stock market is booming and the world is at peace. As far as economic recoveries go, we are enjoying the longest running expansion in the nation's history. As the graph below indicates, the economic recovery that began in March of 1991 continues to barrel along.

  • A Chicken in Every Pot

    2 February 2000

    It is the best of times or the worst of times -- depending on which economic neighborhood you live in. For politicians it is a good time to be in office. The economy is growing at rates not seen since the 50's and 60's. Everyone who wants to work can find a job. Wages and personal income are rising. Consumer confidence is high.

  • Trains, Planes, & Dot Coms

    3 January 2000

    As I sat down to write this edition of Perspectives on January 2, 2000, I thought about how much technology transformed the twentieth century. It is hard to believe that less than one hundred years ago, the landscape of America was rural. In the nineteenth century, America was unified by the technology of transportation. Railroads criss-crossed our continent, making travel between the east and west coasts a reality.

  • The Earnings Game

    4 December 1999

    It's unstoppable. Year after year the market has risen relentlessly, confounding even the experts. Each and every year since 1982 the Dow Industrials has ended the year at a higher level than where it began in January. During the 1990s and especially since 1995, that rise has been at double-digit levels.

  • Why Not Dow 1,000,000?

    29 November 1999

    For Wall Street it just doesn't get any better than this. As of this writing, the new Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 20%, the S&P 500 is up over 15% and the Nasdaq has achieved a parabolic rise of over 53%. On Wall Street, they will be handing out more than just million dollar bonuses. It will be time to break open a bottle of Dom Perignon and light up a Macanudo.

  • Miracle of Miracles

    20 November 1999

    It has become the main topic of conversation around the country from the evening dinner table to idle chatter at cocktail parties. It has become the conversation-du-jour of the media ... from the evening news to talk radio to full time financial networks ... all devoted to the same topic. I'm referring to the American stock market and its meteoric rise this year—more than any other year in memory.

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