The dollar index has risen for nine-straight months and recently hit a 12-year high vs. the euro. The greenback’s robust rise caught a lot of traders by surprise; for years the conventional wisdom was the dollar was heading down the tubes because of America’s runaway debt and the Fed’s easy money policies. Now, sentiment has now swung 180 degrees to where “everyone” it seems, is bullish on the almighty dollar.
But some things never change. Peter Schiff, CEO of EuroPacific Capital, remains steadfast in his uber-bearish view.
“I’m surprised it’s rallied this much but that doesn’t mean it’s permanent,” he tells me in the accompanying video. “When traders wake up to reality and realize how wrong these [bullish dollar] bets are, they’re going to unwind these trades and the dollar is going to unwind quickly.”
The ‘reality’ according to Schiff, is the U.S. economy has not “recovered” and the Federal Reserve is not going to raise rates anytime soon.
Related: Schiff: The Fed is “bluffing,” no rate hike in 2015
“When people realize we can never raise rates and it’s permanent QE, that the Fed can’t shrink its balance sheet and has no ability to control inflation – they’ll be no place to hide,” he says. “The real move of the dollar is going to be a crash.”
Schiff, who is known for making dramatic statements, has been calling for the dollar’s collapse for years now. But like any true believer, the dollar’s recent ascent has made him more steadfast in his view vs. changing course.
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“I don’t think it’s going to take decades” for the dollar to tumble; “I’m surprised it’s taken this long,” he says. “But I do believe the fact we’ve had to wait so long, it’s an even bigger pay day. All the problems have gotten bigger. The Fed has inflated the mother of all bubbles.”
Predictably, Schiff believes the dollar’s demise will reward those who’ve followed his long-standing advice to buy gold. “Gold’s going a lot higher,” he says, recalling his past forecasts ranging from $ 2000 to $ 5000 an ounce. “There’s no real ceiling on gold because there’s no floor on the dollar,” he says.
In the interim, Schiff says he’s long foreign stocks and can bide his time because he’s not leveraged against the dollar.
Related: The Black Swan in Plain Sight – King Dollar
While it’s tempting to snicker at Schiff’s perms-bullish stand on gold (and perms-bearish view on the buck), it’s important to remember he was warning about the housing bust when most policymakers and pundits were singing the virtues of the housing boom. And, he makes a fair point about how central bankers around the world — not just the Fed — are trying to invite inflation via extraordinary measures, including negative interest rates.
“There’s a new mantra: ‘price stability is bad. If we don’t force consumers to pay more for things they need and want, all hell’s going to break loose,’” he quips. “It’s like firemen coming to your house to set fires, not put them out.”
Take it from someone who knows something about inflammatory language.
Aaron Task is Editor-at-Large of Yahoo Finance. You can follow him on Twitter at @aarontask or email him at [email protected]
- Peter Schiff