Jim Sinclair's Formula
All the way back in September in 2006, when the Dow sat above 11,300 on its way toward the 14,000 high, and while gold prices were barely holding above the $600 mark, veteran gold guru Jim Sinclair laid out his 12-point formula for how he envisioned the ongoing currency crisis playing out. I first posted his formula to my blog in December 2007, and have watched with fascination as each successive step plays out as he described.
As I interpret it, Sinclair's formula is both a play-by-play for the onset of stagflation, as well as a quintessential negative feedback loop leading to a devastating contraction of economic activity. As I re-read my Part 1 of the Top 10 Reasons to Hold Gold today, I was struck by how many of the elements I was describing reminded me of various stages of Sinclair's formula. [Incidentally, Part 2 of that article will be out early next week.]
I want to intiate a discussion about this formula, and welcome all perspectives on the topic. If we strike a lively discussion, perhaps I'll work it into an article. For starters, I'll just lay out the 12-point formula as he presented it in 2006, and we can break it down step by step as the discussion unfolds.
Jim Sinclair's Formula:
1. First interest rates rise affecting the drivers of the US economy, housing, but before that auto production goes from bull to a bear markets.
2. This impacts many other industries and the jobs report. An economy is either rising at a rising rate or business activity is falling at an increasing rate. That is economic law 101. There is no such thing in any market as a Plateau of Prosperity or Cinderella - Goldilocks situations.
3. We have witnessed the Dow rise on economic news indicating deceleration of activity. This continues until major corporations announced poor earnings, making the Dow fall faster than it rose, moving it deeply into the red.
4. The formula economically is inherent in #2 which is lower economic activity equals lower profits.
5. Lower profits leads to lower Federal Tax revenues.
6. Lower Federal tax revenues in the face of increased Federal spending causes geometric, not arithmetic, rises in the US Federal Budget deficit. This is also true for cities & States as it is for the Federal government.
7. The increased US Federal Budget deficit in the face of a US Trade Deficit increases the US Current Account Deficit.
8. The US Current Account Balance is the speedometer of the money exiting the US into world markets (deficit).
9. It is this deficit that must be met by incoming investment in the US in any form. It could be anything from businesses, equities to Treasury instruments. We are already seeing a fall off in the situation of developing nations carrying the spending habits of industrial nations; a contradiction in terms.
10. If the investment by non US entities fails to meet the exiting dollars by all means, then the US must turn within to finance the shortfall.
11. Assuming the US turns inside to finance all maturities, interest rates will rise with the long term rates moving fastest regardless of prevailing business conditions.
12. This will further contract business activity and start a downward spiral of unparalleled dimension because the size of US debt already issued is of unparalleled dimension.
At the end of the list he added the following two paragraphs:
Therefore as you get to #12 you are automatically right back at #1. This is an economic downward spiral.
I heard all this “slow business” as negative to gold talk in the 70s. It was totally wrong then. It will be exactly the same now.
What do you think? Do you see a progression that more or less describes much of what we've experienced thus far? If so, which step do you think we're on now? He's sometimes a bit cryptic, so take a few minutes with it, and thanks again for sharing your thoughts. :)