If you're like The Turd, you will most likely get peppered tomorrow with questions from pseudo-intellectual relatives regarding the current world/market environment. Your over-educated yet under-informed cousin or brother-in-law will seek out your current "wisdom" on investing, politics, etc. He or she will then feign interest while you speak but you will feel certain that, in the end, they just don't "get it" as your absolute conviction overwhelms their status quo mindset. You could probably talk for hours about the failure of Keynesianism, Quantitative Easing, the criminal political class, the fallacy of TBTF, POMO and the PDs, the infallibility of gold, etc...but why even try? Your cousin's husband doesn't understand any of this anyway and your show of intellect will only make him feel threatened. He'll quickly tune you out and run off to the family room to watch the Cowboys.
So what do you talk about tomorrow when someone asks? What kind of simple advice can give someone to prepare them for what is certain to be a very challenging year ahead? I plan to dial it back a bit and talk about one thing...inflation. And not just any old, run-of-the mill 3% inflation but serious inflation. I'm talking 20-30% inflation. Milk to $5/gallon kind of stuff. That is what's coming and its a topic most folks can actually get their arms around. Even the fuzzy-headed new boyfriend of your divorcee sister understands inflation and he might even be able to understand why its coming if you explain it well. (This is a chance for you to show off some of your worldly knowledge, too.)
Most folks with a high school-level understanding of economics (this includes your Fed governors) only understand and recognize demand-pull inflation. This is the classic demand side, Phillips Curve inflation that says rising wages, employment and wealth cause economic expansion which leads to more money chasing a static amount of goods. New, excess demand "pulls" prices up and the result is price inflation. Pretty simple stuff. What is coming in 2011, however, is the forgotten beast of cost-push inflation. This type of price inflation is caused by producers and merchants being forced to pass along through higher prices the rising cost of inputs to their products. Consumers, particularly the lower-and-middle income, bear the brunt of the pain. Your income isn't rising to keep pace with rising expenses and you get squeezed. Hard. And its not luxury items that are going up in price, its the staples. Bread, milk, gasoline, clothes, eggs, meat...the basics that no one can realistically live without. It's going to hurt and 2011 is going to be a mean year.
Why will input costs go up? Simple, they are all dollar-dominated and with our Fed now engaging in their final policy option, "QE to Infinity", all dollar-dominated assets are going up in price. Significantly. Your crazy uncle Henry may never take your advice to sell his stocks and buy precious metals but he just might take your advice to stock up now on essentials, before the prices skyrocket. Tell him that if he's going out to buy a new pair of pants, he should buy two. Tell your sister that instead of just buying her kids' winter coats for this year, she should buy coats for next year, too. Tell your cousin that instead of buying groceries every week to, instead, buy a whole dressed-out cow and put it in the freezer along with all the other dried and canned goods she can store.
Still, most crazy relatives won't listen but at least, come next Thanksgiving, they'll remember that you were right. One down side, however. Because you'll end up being the only member of the family that will have prepared and, most likely, the only one with affordable food to eat, you'll probably have to host everyone at your house next Thanksgiving. Oh well, there's a cure for that, too. Wine. Lots and lots of wine. Keep a couple of good Pinots on reserve and you'll be able to handle just about anybody.
Lastly, as expected, gold and silver are wrapping up an uneventful day. Barring any Korean craziness, Friday should be quiet, too. I'll check in again after the close on Friday to report on the status of the weekly chart and its implication for the weeks ahead. I still expect next week to be quite exciting as $36B in POMO is just over the horizon.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING (in the US) !!! Turd out.