If it needs to be said, chances are Peter Schiff is going to say it.
The outspoken head of Euro Pacific Capital is at it again, noting that a currency war is unlike a conventional war in that “the objective is to kill yourself.”
Which is a problem, since one is currently being waged, he says. Schiff told The Breakout on Tuesday that although he thinks the United States is in position to win this particular conflict “in a big way,” it’s a pyrrhic victory due to the self-inflicted damage it would cause.
The website notes the reason countries are debasing their currencies is because it inflates corporate profits and makes it cheaper to pay back debts.
“The U.S., having borrowed trillions, prefers to pay those debts back using less valuable (debased) money,” it adds. “The lenders don’t like it, but for the borrowers, a currency falling in value is like newfound money. At least for a while.”
As the old adage goes, there is no free lunch. The price the U.S. pays for this currency debasement is that it amounts to a transfer of wealth from loaners to borrowers not just on an international level but also locally, The Breakout notes. Even minuscule inflation is losing out to many government securities favored by ultraconservative, generally aging investors.
“If and when inflation kicks in the way Schiff and others predict, the problem gets even worse,” the site says. “Suddenly retirees will have almost no buying power, those who borrowed recklessly get rewarded, and the economic world as we currently know it becomes a much more complicated and unpleasant place.”
Other countries are also now debasing their currency, but Schiff says they won’t be able to compete with the U.S. for long.
“We’re going to win the war, which means Americans are going to lose,” he said.
In a blow to Revolutionary War re-enactors, Schiff also told the site that America is becoming the “United States of Britain.”
“If you look at what’s happening in Britain right now, you have a glimpse of what’s about to happen in the United States,” Schiff noted by turning his ire to his old nemesis. “Britain is one of those countries that can print money, issue debt in its own currency, so according to guys like Paul Krugman, ‘Hey, they got no problem.’ The can stimulate and they’ve got no negative consequences. Well, the British economy contracted in the fourth quarter of 2012.”
And it’s probably going to contract again, he argues, adding that inflation is accelerating.
“It’s at 2.7%, which is the official rate; the actual rate is probably higher. It’s probably going to be above 3% soon, so Britain is moving into stagflation. Their central bank has said even though inflation is higher than they’d like it to be, they don’t care. They’re going to continue to stimulate the economy with cheap money.”