An interview with Jim Willie where we discuss the potential of bank failures emanating from the Middle East and rippling throughout the world being the catalyst for the next round of the credit contraction.
JIM WILLIE: Hi, good to be here.
ENEMIES AT THE GATE
TM: Yeah, good to have you with me. I know we communicate every now and then about lot of the very important things. And you have just posted a really important article about five minutes ago. Can you give us a brief overview about what this article is about?
JW: Sure. The article is entitled "U.S. Bank Enemies at the Gate", I wanted to take off on that wonderful title about the Siege of Stalingrad, but you know there's a lot of attention, Trace, that US Banks are doing this and interest rates kept low, liquidity is strong and blah, blah, blah.
And what they're missing is that foreigners have their own agenda. They have their own bank failures. They have their own failed construction projects and their own failed-nations if you will, like Spain. I think we may see a threat to the U.S. banking system come from outside. Like for instance Persian Gulf bank failures just span across the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and before you know it - London and New York, so maybe there is a threat outside and we have got too much attention on the inside.
TM: Yes. Because we are seeing really high inflation rates in many middle eastern countries and they are also engaging in their own type of bailouts and stimulus packages, although they might be named differently. And so you are thinking that we may see perhaps a major bank failure come out of the middle east which will affect one of our large London or New York banks?
JW: Yeah. What I am hearing that the Dubai construction projects with all the pictures of magnificent bridges and unbelievable architecture for high rise buildings may look good but are failing at an unbelievable rate - the construction boom has turned into a magnificent bust and the bailouts have come from Abu Dhabi, the financial center, is like the London of the entire Persian Gulf.
So, they are bailing out these construction firms, billions are changing hands, and the currency of choice that is being loaded up on all kinds of balance sheets is Treasury Bonds. So they will start liquidating and they have already begun this and if they continue the liquidation process then we are likely to see more bank failures just from lower values.
And you know, they have to deal with their own reality. They do not have a Plunge Protection Team there, they do not have phony stress tests there, they do not have phony accounting standards board. I go into more details in the article and even more detail in my August Hat Trick Letter member's only which is a great source of information.
There is a lot of stinking stuff coming down the pipe and if we see some bank failures string across the Persian Gulf then there is no way it does not reach London and New York because they own a lot of bank stocks for the giant U.S. Banks. Now, there is a threat that you are just not catching in the financial networks in the U.S.
FAILED REAL ESTATE
TM: Right. Interest rates regulate production over time. By keeping the interest rates artificially low, we stimulated this huge commercial real estate bubble here in the U.S., but if we think the US commercial real estate bubble is a mess then just look at what has happened in Dubai.
They built all this commercial real estate and what underlying economy do they have in Dubai; sand. There is no real underlying economy there to support any of these loans on the bank's balance sheets.
So now they have built all these giant skyscrapers that are all like white elephants of dehydrating debt in the dessert. There are these huge buildings and they are all completely empty; are they not? Of course we are going see many bank failures coming out of Dubai. Do you think that is going to start impacting the U.S. banks here because like Prince Alwaleed, a big shareholder in Citigroup, for example might want some New York banks to subsidize these failed projects with bailout fund?
JW: Well, I think that could be the sequence that happens and there are a lot of unknowns. There is one particular construction project that I think of all the time when somebody says, "Oh, the big Dubai construction boom". Well, there is a big property with all kinds of housing and it is laid out from shaped like a big palm tree. If you are looking down from 5,000 feet it is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
What I have heard is that it is entirely empty. It has failed with no income stream. Now, I would like to just to make a quick point here and it is not like their economies are based on processing sand. They have an oil industry and a petro-chemical industry. They make refined gasoline, chemical products, have feed stock, crude oil and natural gas.
Saudi Arabia actually has the most diversified economy in the Persian Gulf. I do not think they make their own pharmaceutical aspirin pills or razor blades or soap but maybe some. But as for other Persian Gulf nation like Kuwait, U.A.E. and Bahrain, they do not have a diversified economy but they do have a petro-chemical industry and that is it. Banks and Petro-chemical.
So, beware of the threat from the back door where you have some bank failures as this is not just a liquidation of Treasury Bonds, I am talking about bank failures - large, large Persian Gulf banks that go bust and as a result there is a vast liquidation that takes place which ripples into New York and London. That is what I think could happen.
TM: Yeah, and then we see the next round of this credit contraction start because, as you know, we had the first shocks last year and we had a little bit of shaking and we saw couple of buildings go down - Lehman Brothers and AIG, but as I have written about in my book The Great Credit Contraction, which you like, is that this is just getting started. And we are seeing the collapse of a multiple centuries old monetary system. We are in for the next round and I would not be surprised if we do see the next shock-waves emanate from the Middle East.
JW: But we are getting shock-waves that happen from the inside too, Trace. Look at the FDIC today. FDIC came out and says four hundred and sixteen troubled banks, well try a thousand.
TM: Or four thousand!
JW: And their fund is dead, so they raised some fees earlier this year on member banks within the system. But they are going to have to raise it again and the bank industry has said this will reduce earnings and it is going to reduce liquidity which decreases their ability to lend.
So, the FDIC itself is going to be a wet blanket on the banking industry even if they appeal to Congress for the increased funds and that is going to cause the insolvency of more banks and add pressure to the U.S. government and the Dollar. So the threat is outside the gate.
The point my article is that we have got many threats inside the economy and I agree with you completely-we are about to the second round of the monetary banking credit crisis. Perhaps September or October, probably September, but there are a lot of factors that point to the next few weeks.
The FDIC announcement may be one of those factors. The summer vacation is another, they have to increase the Federal Debt limit beyond $12.1 trillion and look for Congress to come back with an attitude of responsibility when they cannot afford to stop the printing press. So, we a lot of factors coming in right now.
WHAT TO DO
JW: Well, on a smaller scale, if you only have a few thousand dollars that you want to protect, and you are not huge saver from the last twenty years from your career then I would suggest getting some gold coins or silver coins.
But I would avoid the century old, you know, like the Morgan Silver Dollars. But you do not want to be buying fifty thousand dollar coins. You want bullion coins like the Silver Eagle, Kruggerand, Mable Leafs, Gold Eagles, etc.
Get the standard coins because you get a lot more bullion for the price. But I do not think buying $150,000 worth of coins makes too much practical sense. You have to store them.
I recommend buying gold and silver bullion bars whether 1 kilogram, 5 kilograms, 10 kilograms and etc. The real lesson that we are seeing in this credit contraction, economic failure and banks system insolvency is that because for a full generation the money has been been paper and now what survives will be not paper. It will be the metal.
TM: Yes. And in most cases, it is not even paper that is the currency supply but just little digits on a hard drive which is even less real than paper. We might even see a rush to the physical paper notes before we see a rush from the physical paper into the physical metal.
JW: The electronic money trade makes not only possible paper counterfeit but electronic counterfeit and where you can have computer programs counterfeiting your bonds, I mean imagine, this is why we have got trillion dollar frauds. One of the points I make in this article is something that Karl Deninger said that we need a new resolution trust corporation. But that is totally of the mark.
We are never going to see it because because many properties are tied to different mortgage bonds and the fraud. And you cannot have an RTC if they go and buy a mortgage bond and then they have got to pay it out three times. It will not make any money and so there will not be a new RTC. You are going to have a top down solution with more and more fraud like TARP solutions, etc.
TM: Well good interview. I know that we are pretty short on time so I would like to thank you for coming on and sharing a little bit with our RunToGold.com listeners. Once again, you have been listening to Jim Willie of the GoldenJackass.com and thanks Jim.
JW: It has been my pleasure and watch this case that is likely its going to go the Supreme Court where the Federal Reserve is going to defend itself against the Freedom of Information Act. It is going to be the private Wall Street Syndicate versus the People. This will be quite interesting.
TM NOTE: Be sure to pre-order a copy of End The Fed by Ron Paul which debuts on 16 September 2009 and help Raze The Fed.
With enough pre-orders it will make its appearance as #1 on Amazon and perhaps be a bestseller on the New York Times list which will cause even more pain for the Federal Reserve and Tim 'tax cheat' Geithner regarding House Resolution 1207. He was extremely uncomfortable in his Digg.com interview with the Wall Street Journal.