LONDON (MarketWatch) — Euphoria over bank bailouts and the temporarily buoyant stock markets is masking a sober reality.
The piper still has to be paid.
One fairly sanguine estimate of the cost of salvaging Wall Street came Tuesday morning from analysts at Merrill Lynch. They figure the inflationary effect of all the bank bailout measures now underway will push gold to $1,500 an ounce and oil back to $150 a barrel. See related item.
Related: article: Why Gold Is Dropping When It Shouldn’t – and what it all means
The analysts don’t offer a timeline, but the way markets have been jumping around lately it could be any day now.
Perhaps the real question is: why stop at $1,500?
All the world’s governments have managed to do so far is to stop the bleeding from the credit crunch injuries that we actually know about.
There’s still going to be a very nasty recession. And it will happen simultaneously in most of the developed world.
Fewer people will have jobs. The interest rate on their adjustable mortgages will be shooting up. There are bound to be more foreclosures, and more toxic debts.
That doesn’t even begin to look at what happens as more credit card debt goes bad, or the truly enormous derivatives markets. See Paul Farrell.
For its part, Wall Street has completely lost any credibility in arguing against increased governmental spending. They are the first and biggest pigs at the troughs each day, even if they are being force fed.
And with a U.S. administration that’s overseen the biggest deficits in history about to be replaced by the closest thing to a socialist government America’s ever had, “stimulus” spending will likely remain high on Washington’s agenda.
Given all that, $1,500 for gold looks more like a floor than a ceiling in the years to come.
Tom Bemis, assistant managing editor
Last update: 9:52 a.m. EDT Oct. 14, 2008
Source: Market Watch