Euro Pacific Capital CEO and economist Peter Schiff’s outlook for the U.S. stock market in 2020 isn’t very optimistic, and it’s not because of the coronavirus — yet.
“Look, obviously, it’s too early to tell if there’ll be any kind of impact or meaningful impact on global trade, GDP or the markets as a result of this virus,” Schiff said in a recent interview on RT Boom Bust.
The perennial gold bull thinks the real issue with the market is that stocks are extremely overvalued, thanks to the Federal Reserve, which he argues has created a fake rally through its “stealth quantitative easing” action that’s pumping fake money into the system.
“It should be coming down. The only thing really supporting it is the Federal Reserve and all the money they’re printing with their stealth QE program, although it’s not stealth really,” Schiff said. “Everybody knows they’re doing it. They just refuse to admit it.”
Dallas Fed Chief Robert Kaplan even admitted that the central bank’s action is affecting assets earlier this month.
“My own view is it’s having some effect on risk assets,” Kaplan said. “It’s a derivative of QE when we buy bills and we inject more liquidity — it affects risk assets. This is why I say growth in the balance sheet is not free. There is a cost to it.”
Schiff thinks the market isn’t being bolstered by factors that normally drive a rally, and soon enough the bubble is going to burst.
“There’re no earnings behind this,” he said. “There’s no strong economy behind this. This is an inflation-driven bubble, but the air should be coming out.”
And speaking of bubbles, Schiff points to another bubble in the U.S. auto industry that has been enabled by none other than … the Fed.
“I think the U.S. auto sector is another bubble that was made possible by the Fed,” Schiff argues. “You have Americans who are buying cars with seven or eight-year loans, where they’re lying about their incomes just to qualify. So I think you have a dangerous auto bubble here.”
Schiff thinks that auto bubble will lead to a contraction in the U.S. auto market — where delinquencies are at an eight-year high — but foreign auto markets may actually get stronger.
“Particularly in places like China, where people don’t borrow money to buy cars. They buy cars they can actually afford using the money they actually have,” Schiff jabbed.
And he doesn’t think U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to hit the EU with auto tariffs will work simply because the U.S. isn’t competitive in the sector.
“When you live in glass houses, you’re not supposed to throw stones,” Schiff said of the tariffs. “And we haven’t been playing fair in that part of the market.”
“It’s long overdue,” Schiff argued. “Obviously, there’s a lot of politics involved now in whether they can kick the can down the road long enough to kick the recession past the 2020 election.”
Schiff thinks that if a recession does happen this year, there’s no way Trump wins his reelection bid in November. And he pointed out that if Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders were to take the presidency, it would “be very dangerous for the U.S. stock market,” but he said Monday it would be great for gold.
“There is a lot of risk to the U.S. economy,” he said, “and the U.S. market that everybody is ignoring at the moment.”