Inflation & Deflation During Hyperinflation
Silver Stock Report
by Jason Hommel, Nov 6, 2003
Inflation is defined as an increase in volume of the money supply, and deflation, as a decrease. Thus, the money supply is said to be either growing (inflating) or shrinking (deflating).
But there is a problem. The definitions for inflation and deflation contain a false assumption: that the money supply is a measurable volume. How do you measure the volume of money supply in dollars?
The dollar is a false weight and measure! The dollar is fraud! How do you measure a volume of a changing measure (dollars) and by what do you measure it? Do you measure the total number of dollars, or the value of the total number of dollars? I think the latter is better. And how do you measure the value? To measure a changing measure's value, we must use a monetary measure that is constant, such as gold.
The government does have several measures of the number of dollars that exist in the banking world, and one of their best measures of this money supply is M3. Current link to M3 statistics: www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h6/Current
What if the value of each dollar goes down (deflation) much faster than the rate at which they create more of them (inflation)? I think that's called hyperinflation, and that's what's been happening for over two years now, and I'll show you how to see that and measure it.
For the purposes of this essay, I will look at the value of M3 against the dollar price of gold at the time, because gold is money.
In the table below, I'm dividing M3 into the gold price at the time, to see how much gold the money supply is worth in "gold value" at each point in time. Read the lines below like this: In June 1998, M3 was 5,711 billion dollars. If you divide that by the gold price at the time of $296/oz., then M3 has a "gold value," or measure, of 19.3 billion ounces.
June 1998: M3 5,711 billion / gold price $296/oz. = 19.3 (billion oz. gold value)
June 1999: M3 6,221 billion / gold price $260/oz. = 23.9 (billion oz. gold value)
June 2000: M3 6,809 billion / gold price $288/oz. = 23.6 (billion oz. gold value)
June 2001: M3 7,628 billion / gold price $270/oz. = 28.2 (billion oz. gold value)
June 2002: M3 8,178 billion / gold price $318/oz. = 25.7 (billion oz. gold value)
June 2003: M3 8,761 billion / gold price $345/oz. = 25.4 (billion oz. gold value)
Sept. 2003: M3 8,909 billion / gold price $390/oz. = 22.8 (billion oz. gold value)
The last number on the far right of the equation is the number of ounces of gold that M3 can "buy in theory". It's a measure of the value of the money.
Note: the year 2001 was the pivotal year when things changed.
Since 2001, M3 as measured in gold (the value) has been going down! That's deflation. Since 2001, M3 as measured in dollars (the number) has been going up. That's inflation.
See? It depends on how you measure it. The reality is we have both inflation and deflation at the same time, depending on your point of view!
So the deflation (in gold value) is happening faster than the inflation (in number of dollars). That's hyperinflation. It means the value of money is going down faster than the rate at which they print more of it.
It is the same kind of hyperinflation that happened during the decade of the 1970's, when the gold price went up from $35/oz to $850/oz.
The shocking thing about measuring the value of M3 in gold is that all the gold in the whole world has been estimated as 3.2 to 4.2 billion ounces. And of course, the U.S. official stockpile of gold is a mere 261 million, or 0.261 billion ounces. The value of U.S. paper money should never be anywhere over 0.261 billion, and should be unthinkable to be over 3-4 billion ounces of gold! Yet, it was over 29 billion, which is insane!
Therefore, my estimate is that the volume of M3 (and the value of your dollar in your wallet) is about 100 times more valuable than it should be--because I think any value above the 0.26 billion ounces of U.S. gold, would represent fraud. Most people still think the dollar is somehow backed by gold. But there is only enough U.S. gold to back about one percent of the dollar.
A recent peak of M3 in value (as measured by gold) was April, 2001, when gold hit a low of $256/oz. In April 2001, M3 was 7,460 billion / $256/oz. gold = 29.1 (billion oz. gold value)
And a recent low of M3 in value (as measured by gold), was Feb., 2003, when gold hit a peak of $390/oz. In Feb. 2003: M3 was 8,596 billion / $390/oz. gold = 22.0 (billion oz. gold value)
The latest figures, for Sept., 2003, M3 was 8,908 billion / $390oz. gold = 22.8 billion
No wonder the Fed is concerned about deflation!
The value of M3 declined from being worth 29 billion ounces of gold to only 22 billion ounces from April 2001 to Feb 2003! This is a surprisingly large and swift decline in the value of M3! And it happened while the number of dollars increased 7.5 trillion to 8.6 trillion! Thus, printing more money will not stop the deflation. Printing more money has not stopped the deflation. This is a decline in the volume of the money supply, which is the definition of deflation. I'm simply measuring the volume of money by using a constant measurement, gold, instead of using the numbers they print on the papers.
We are witnessing monetary and wealth destruction, which is deflationary. It is similar to the deflationary wealth destruction that happened as the stock market collapsed. The value of stocks went down. Trillions worth of dollars were completely lost. That was a type of money that disappeared forever as dot-com stocks lost 99% to 100% of their value. People become "less wealthy" on paper, with respect to what they thought their assets could buy.
A wise man once said, "Money is never destroyed, it just changes hands." This, of course, implies that only gold (or silver) is money.
Wealth destruction will continue when the over valued housing market collapses.
People feel this wealth destruction in their pocket books and so they spend less. As they spend less, prices drop--even as the gold price will, and must, continue to increase at the same time!
So, there will be price deflation in some items (the over priced items like stocks & houses and labor and dollars), and price inflation in other items (the under priced items like gold and silver). Depending on what is used to measure the value of the dollar (that unjust weight and measure), such as either gold or a consumer price index, people will claim there is either inflation or deflation, and the silly debate will continue.
Several times in history, the value of M3 grew to dangerously high levels, and then the gold price went up to set things right again, and wipe out the fraud. Inflation of the money supply has not always immediately resulted in the decrease in the value of the units of money, but of course, it eventually does.
For example, look across the decades. Note the fixed gold price from 1960 to 1970 at $35/oz. This meant that every increase in M3 created a directly proportional increase in the theoretical gold value of the money supply, because the dollar was on a gold standard. Then, in 1971, when the gold standard collapsed, the excesses and fraud of the dollar also collapsed. Then, from 1980 onward, the value of the money supply began increasing again--to even higher levels than the historic high of 1970 when the money supply of dollars had a 17.6 billion oz. gold value.
Jan. 1960: M3 300 billion / gold price $35/oz. = 8.6 (billion oz. gold value)
Jan. 1970: M3 616 billion / gold price $35/oz. = 17.6 (billion oz. gold value)
Jan. 1980: M3 1,822 billion / gold price $850/oz. = 2.1 (billion oz. gold value)
Jan. 1990: M3 4,088 billion/gold price $420/oz. = 9.73 (billion oz. gold value)
June 2000: M3 6,809 billion/gold price $288/oz.=23.6 (billion oz. Gold value)
One main point of this paper: There is absolutely no need to worry about the current deflation of the value of the money supply if you are a gold investor. This deflation (the shrinking of the value of paper money) will not cause the price of gold to go down. It cannot. The deflation is the result of the gold price going up!
The price of gold went down from 1980 to 2000 during inflation! During that time, there was both inflation in the number of dollars, from 1822 billion to 6809 billion, and also, an increase in the value of M3 dollars, which went from being worth 2 billion ounces of gold, to being worth 29 billion ounces by 2001.
And the current deflation in the value of the money supply does not mean that there won't be hyperinflation in the number of dollars created. We will likely see both at the same time.
Now, Alan Greenspan (Chariman of the Federal Reserve Bank of the U.S.) has spoken of deflation as being a concern; and the remedy as proposed by one of his henchmen has been to print more money to fight it. I can only assume they are speaking of the primary kind of deflation that exists, which is the deflation of the value of the money supply as measured by gold. So then, what if Alan Greenspan's goal is to keep the value of M3 constant at being able to buy 29 billion ounces of gold? Then, at a given a gold price of $350/oz., he must "inject enough liquidity" to cause M3 to rise to 10,150 Billion to "combat the deflation". (29 x 350 = 10150). And at $400/oz., he needs to let M3 climb to $11,600 billion from the $8,800 billion it is today. So, Alan Greenspan, let M3 climb another 1 to 2 trillion! Feel free! But it won't do any good!
I am confident that Greenspan will fail to keep M3 constant or increasing in value. I believe that we can expect the value of M3 to drop to be worth around 2 Billion ounces of gold, as in 1980, or much less--no matter how much paper is printed. And if the value of M3 declines so that it can only buy 2 billion ounces of gold, then at the current level of M3 of 8,760 billion, then gold will be valued at $4380/oz. That's the inflation-adjusted gold price as compared to 1980's $850/oz. gold price.
And if M3 will one day buy less than 0.26 Billion ounces of gold (The official U.S. gold reserves) then expect a gold price of $34,261/oz. or higher. That number simply represents a destruction of the fraudulent value of all the excessive dollars that exist as M3.
Now, some people might disagree with me and re-define deflation as being strictly limited to a decline in the number of dollars as M3, as we saw in the last month. They might then claim that we would not see any price inflation of gold under those conditions. Nothing could be further from the truth. We could still see a release of the pent-up inflation that has already occurred in the past as a rapidly rising gold price, even if the number of dollars as M3 declines.
Thus, we could have two kinds of deflation, but hyperinflation would still exist. We could have one, deflation in the number of dollars, and two, deflation in the value of dollars, which would manifest itself as hyperinflation of the gold price. Let me explain an example. M3 could "deflate" to 4000 billion dollars, which is less than half what it is today, (due to bank failures, of course). And that smaller volume of money could still end up being worth less than 1 billion ounces of gold, thus the dollar price of gold could still skyrocket to well over $4000/oz.
One important thing to notice about the 1970's is that the gold price increased much more than M3 during that decade. M3, in number of dollars, increased by a factor of 3, from 616 Billion to 1822 Billion from 1970 to 1980. Yet the gold price increased by a factor of 24, from $35/oz. to $850/oz. Thus, the monetary inflation (the increase of M3) during the 1970's was not the primary factor of the inflation of the gold price at that time. The rise in the gold price was due to the inflation (the increase of M3) that started all the way back from the 1930's or even earlier starting from 1914 when the Federal Reserve was created, that was finally showing up as gold price inflation. Likewise, the inflation of the last 20 years will soon manifest itself as a rapidly rising gold price: a gold price that will rise much faster than any new monetary dollar creation.
And all that past inflation will show up, whether or not the number of dollars of M3 declines from current levels, or goes up from current levels. Frauds always come to an end; there's no stopping that fact.
The other important thing to note is the difference between now and 1970. Today, there has been greater paper money creation and excess valuation of paper money than in 1970. M3 recently was valued at 29 billion ounces of gold in 2001, which was much greater than when M3 was valued at 17 billion ounces of gold in 1970. This strongly implies that the gold boom this time will be relatively much bigger.
This means that we should logically expect the gold price to rise more than a factor of 24 as happened in the 1970's. Consider the following: Recently, gold hit a low of $250/oz. in 1999 and 2001. The bull market of the 1970's lasted 10 years, and M3 increased by a factor of 3 during that time. For comparison then, by 2009 we might expect the number of M3 in dollars to be likewise three times what it was in 1999 (6221 billion dollars x 3 = 18,663 billion). (This is dollar inflation in number). Meanwhile, we could expect the value of M3 to again decline to being worth 2 billion ounces of gold or less. (This is dollar deflation in value) This would mean that by 2009, we might expect a gold price of (18,663 billion / 2 billion) $9,331/oz. or more, which is an increase of a factor of 37 from $250/oz.
For bond holders who want a risk-free stable return on investment, please note that this price prediction is an annualized increase of over 70% per year from now, which would be the following: 2003 $350/oz., 2004 $595/oz., 2005 $1011/oz., 2006 $1719/oz., 2007 $2923/oz, 2008 $4,969/oz., 2009 $8448/oz. All from just holding gold bullion.
Now then, if M3 increases by more than triple in number in the next decade, this would mean an even higher gold price. And also, there is no reason to expect M3 to be valued at 2 billion oz., (the bottom in 1980), when it should be worth much less gold, which would also mean a higher gold price.
So then, if M3 shrinks in value to be equal to the gold held by the U.S. government, and if it takes ten years for this to happen, and if the number of dollars triples in those ten years as M3 tripled as happened in the 1970's, here's what the gold price would be: M3 $8,800 billion in 2003 times three to $26,400 billion M3 in 2013 / 0.261 billion oz. gold = $ 101,149/oz. Yes, gold, in a decade from now, could be worth over a hundred thousand dollars per ounce all due mostly to prior inflation of the money supply finally showing up, and the deflation in value of the money supply back to real levels.
So, once again, there's nothing to fear from deflation (which makes prices go down) if you are invested in gold, because the gold price has only one direction it can go from here, which is up.
For those skilled at making charts, here's a suggestion and a request: Please start creating charts of the value of M3 over time using various ways to measure it: Number of dollars, or by the current gold or silver price, or by the official inflation rate, or by the dollar index against other currencies, etc. I'm sure people will love such charts. Such a chart would show how much extra money they have created as M3, which a standard gold price chart does not show. And I believe M3 charts that use the gold price to measure the value of M3, will be much more useful than a gold price / DOW ratio chart.
When I started this essay, I did not know what the numbers would be. I knew there was a debate and confusion over the issue of inflation verses deflation. I knew the dollar was fraud and that you can't measure dollars by dollars. I knew M3 was ever increasing in number of dollars. I knew the gold price was also increasing. I did not know what the balance would be; meaning, I did not know which (the gold price or dollar creation) was increasing faster relative to the other. So I'm very glad I took the time to do the math.
I'm amazed. I've been living under and experiencing two and a half years of hyperinflation, since April 2001 until now, and I didn't even see it. Maybe I have not noticed because few others have noticed either, as they are all too busy arguing over whether we are seeing inflation, or deflation, depending on their point of view.
During these times of hyperinflation, I think silver will outperform gold, especially as silver resumes its role as money. The silver to gold ratio, at about 75:1 today, will likely revert back to the historic ratio of 15:1 and beyond, perhaps to 1:1, when the world wakes up to the supply/demand gap in silver, and the fact that refined silver is more rare than gold.
Select silver stocks have been rapidly increasing in value for months, and I believe that will continue for quite some time. If you would like to be on my email list for my free weekly silver stock report, email me at email@example.com Also, come by and visit my web site at silverstockreport.com