It just doesn’t matter much whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump wins the election, at least in terms of gold and silver market fundamentals. That said, the contest itself is signaling something important precious metals investors should be watching intently.
This campaign is dragging whatever prestige is still associated with the Office of President into the mud. Few voters on either side bother to spend much time arguing the greatness of their candidate. When both Trump and Clinton carry more baggage than American Airlines, it’s easier to focus on their opponent’s shortcomings.
The victor in this epically polarized contest will garner only tepid support from a minority of Americans. He or she will be despised by most everyone else.
Washington DC is having a very bad decade. This year’s election is just part of a larger pattern that has big ramifications for the dollar and therefore precious metals; the devolution of confidence in our federal institutions.
Among the biggest losers are the two major party establishments. Evidence recently emerged that Democrat Party operatives have been hiring and training hooligans to incite violence at Trump campaign rallies. There are indications of widespread voter fraud. And the supporters of Bernie Sanders won’t soon forget how their party leadership cheated them during the primary.
On the Republican side, Trump won with more votes than have ever been cast for a candidate in the party’s primary. Yet he is getting almost zero advertising support from the RNC and public rebukes from many Republicans.
A Trump win looks like the worst outcome for House Speaker Paul Ryan and other top party leadership. They would have to contend with an angry and vindictive president-elect who already seems anxious to punish them.
The widespread fraud and misdealing aren’t just limited to Democratic and Republican Party headquarters. It permeates Washington DC, and the embarrassing details just keep coming:
- The FBI and Department of Justice are enforcing two sets of rules. One for Hillary Clinton and Wall Street and another for the rest of us.
- IRS officials have been caught punishing people and organizations that advocate conservative and constitutional ideologies.
- Our national intelligence services – the CIA and NSA are increasingly unaccountable. Edward Snowden and others have exposed their ambition for total surveillance and a willingness to ignore laws in order to achieve it.
- The Supreme Court routinely upholds unconstitutional expansions of the Federal government. Their tortured rationale for upholding the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) being one great example.
- Congressional approval ratings have been in the dumpster for years. That hasn’t slowed the parade of scandals. And much of the legislation produced there remains wildly unpopular – bailing out crooked banks, perpetually hiking the debt ceiling, and always putting big money first.
- People are rapidly losing faith in the Federal Reserve. And why not? After spending a few trillion dollars, central bankers don’t have much to show for it other than Wall Street profits and some even bigger bubbles waiting to pop.
- The list of confidence-destroying blunders goes on in a myriad of smaller ways. The Transportation Security Administration fails 95% of the time when it comes to catching smuggled weapons. VA hospitals have been caught covering up the long wait times and lousy service for veterans. And on and on.
We now get to the U.S. dollar. Confidence in the greenback is, so far at least, holding up remarkably well. How long can that edifice keep standing while faith in the institutions surrounding it continues to crumble?
Not forever, that’s for sure.
Clint Siegner is a Director at Money Metals Exchange, the national precious metals company named 2015 “Dealer of the Year” in the United States by an independent global ratings group. A graduate of Linfield College in Oregon, Siegner puts his experience in business management along with his passion for personal liberty, limited government, and honest money into the development of Money Metals’ brand and reach. This includes writing extensively on the bullion markets and their intersection with policy and world affairs.
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