Financial markets continue to surge higher against the backdrop of a troubling global economic outlook. Observers are becoming less reserved in assessing the markets and what has brought the markets to this point. Our previous Touchpoint highlighted comments of two analysts who said the Federal Reserve is acting like a drug dealer feeding a ravenous addict’s habit. Last week, Peter Toogood, chief investment officer of leading global financial services company Embark, ranted about it on CNBC. He mocked the Federal Reserve’s insistence on creating “a monstrous beast of overinflated valuation” and derided those who still feel risk-asset market buys are a smart move. Toogood’s tirade begins this week’s roundup of economic news you shouldn’t miss.
- Peter Toogood of UK-based multifaceted financial services company Embark appears to have had enough of the markets and people who continue to indulge them in spite of mind-boggling valuations indicating they shouldn’t. In a recent CNBC appearance, Toogood “embarked” on a mini-tirade of sorts, sarcastically proclaiming everyone should “own risk assets … everywhere … everywhere,” because deciding to allocate to them has “nothing to do with fundamentals anymore. Fill your boots – why not?” Toogood took a direct shot at the central banks and super-accommodative monetary policy he and so many others see as the real culprits of overvalued markets: “We’ll just keep pumping, and we’ll just keep pumping, and we’ll just keep pumping ‘cause it’s worked for the last eight years and will keep going again.” Toogood didn’t reveal if he owned gold as a hedge against all of this manic market activity, but his outburst certainly makes a very good case for gold’s inclusion among core assets.
- There is now real concern artificial intelligence (AI) will be used to carry out devastating network attacks on our financial system, now heavily reliant on a comprehensive digital structure. “We will see the adoption of AI tools for targeted and automated attacks,” says Etay Maor of cyberintelligence company IntSights. The application of AI to nefarious purposes is such a frightening threat because attacks would require criminals and rogue agents to expend far less time and resources to get the job done. As CNBC puts it, “With AI, an attacker can carry out multiple and repeated attacks on a network by programming a few lines of code to do most of the work.”
- According to Tatiana Koffman at Forbes.com, China is now just mere months away from unveiling the digital version of its national currency, the yuan, which would put it on track to become the first country with a digitized version of its national central bank currency. Koffman notes China is already on pace to supplant the U.S. as the world’s largest economy within the next decade, in part because it already manufactures most of the world’s consumer products. With the launch of a digital yuan, China will have “the most efficient (and legal) payment system in the world,” writes Koffman. He says this will put the dollar at serious risk “of no longer being the global reserve currency.”
- Unemployment in the U.S. has been hovering at or below 4% for years now and financial indexes continue to surge ever higher in what has become the longest bull market in American history. Given these statistics, you would think retirement savings also must be at record levels – right? Wrong. Not only do fewer American families have retirement savings today than the 2008 financial crisis, but the net worth of pre-retirement households has barely recovered after falling by half after the recession. To find out why the 2008 global recession is still an obstacle to retirement for so many Americans and what steps you can take right now to help ensure another recession doesn’t impede your path to financial independence, read Augusta’s latest blog article here.
It’s a big challenge right now for retirement savers to tune out the euphoric sound of major financial indexes so they can hear the rumblings that seem to be signaling real trouble. There’s certainly no shortage of alarms being sounded, with analysts and money managers such as Peter Toogood now frequently taking center stage on high-profile financial media outlets to share their grave concerns.
Are you listening? If so, perhaps you recognize the value physical gold and silver could provide in securing your portfolio. Call Augusta Precious Metals at 800-700-1008 or review Augustapreciousmetals.com for more information. Ask the Augusta representative if you’re eligible to participate in our live 30-minute Profit & Protect Web Conference.
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