Lawrence Williams

About the Author Lawrence Williams

Former CEO of Mining Journal Ltd. and subsequently General Manager of - a position relinquished in October 2012 to continue as a freelance writer. Graduate mining engineer from London's Royal School of Mines (part of London University) - has worked on gold, platinum and uranium mines in South Africa, copper in Zambia, uranium in Canada and holds a South African Mine Manager's Certificate. Joined Mining Journal originally as Financial Editor and worked for the company for over 30 years spending 13 years as CEO. Particular follower of the gold and platinum market and has written numerous articles on precious metals for Mining Journal and Mineweb and has also written for London's Financial Times as well as for other media and publications including SeekingAlpha. Has been regular writer for - and now has own blog - as well.

ECB Stimulus: Gold and Silver Up, Euro Still Stays Strong

With the European Central Bank’s Mario Draghi beginning his next phase of monetary stimulus the concept of ‘helicopter money’ comes to fruition. A fear that, when one has deflation [and actions to stimulate inflation that fail point to heavy deflation] and such a stimulative policy going on, deflation accelerates because of the excessive supply of new money. A look at the Weimar Republic’s hyperinflation showed how the two joined forces to accelerate inflation. While we don’t think that today’s action will lead to hyperinflation, such policies do eventually result in considerable economic damage.  We believe that the road to that result has begun. Gold and silver prices are the natural beneficiaries as currency values decline heavily.

But the U.S. will act to prevent a strong dollar from resulting as this will hurt the recovery there. The weapons to keep the dollar strong against the euro will prove insufficient eventually, if ‘helicopter money’ issuance grows much more.

Mario Draghi made it abundantly clear that Monetary policy can do only so much and that structural reform must be undertaken to make monetary stimuli work well. The decision to buy Corporate Bonds, we feel, is going too far, as this will bring such yields down to zero and likely below into negative territory.

The evidence of QE both in Japan and the Eurozone to date has been disappointing in terms of delivering economic growth. There is a good case to say that at least it has staved off deflation, which will grow again, if stimulation is halted. Hence, such current stimulus is only a temporary solution, at best.

It is unlikely that there will be a synthesis of structural reform policies within the E.U. in the near or foreseeable future due to the structure of the E.U.  The bubbles that are being formed in the bond markets will burst, the moment interest rates are hiked.




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