Thursday, December 17, 2009

"US pensions go bust, gold crashes, China flops, Bunds soar, predicts Saxo "

Our despondent* pal Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is the Telegraph's international business editor.
I have a feeling he writes his own headlines. Here's his latest:

America’s Social Security Trust Fund will go bankrupt; both gold and the Japanese yen will crash; and China’s currency will devalue as bad loans catch up with the over-stretched banking system -- all in the course of 2010.

The annual “Outrageous Predictions” of Denmark’s Saxo Bank are not for the faint-hearted, though there is good news for some.

Chief economist David Karsboel thinks the US trade balance may go into surplus for the first time since the mid-1970s, benefiting from the delayed effects of the weak dollar.

Yields on sovereign bonds -- the goods ones, not the bonds of quasi-basket cases such as Club Med, the UK, or Japan -- will plummet as deflation raises its ugly head again later in 2010. The ten-year German Bund yield will fall to 2.25pc. “Bunds are the ultimate safe-haven if something goes wrong, perhaps in Greece. We may even see some safe-haven buying of US Treasuries as well, despite the irresponsible fiscal policies in the US,” he said.

The US Social Security fund will finally tip over, technically going bust. “Ever since the good years of the 1960s politicians have been taking the money and spending it instead of setting it aside for the Fund, but next year it will go into deficit for the first time as US demography turns. The Fund is going to need a bail-out, financed by higher taxes, more borrowing, or more printing.”

Gold will spiral down to $870 an ounce from its all-time high above $1,200 last month. “There is a lot of speculative hot money in the gold price right now that needs to be shaken out. In the long-run we're bullish on gold, and think it could reach $1,500 over the next five years,” he said....MORE

*I once described his writing as a "continuum that ranges from morose to suicidal.