See all the gum: My US Dollar cannot even buy me the cheap, second tier singled pack- of "Freedent" gum! Deflation??? Where are the pitch forks?
Ladies and gentlemen, this is serious. These illustrations may seem trifling to some but these are the foreshocks of hyper-inflation to come. As you can see, serious damage has already been done. But it isn’t over. As we witnessed on February 25, 2010 – the elected scoundrels met to devise a way to further plunge our nation into the abyss. What they are trying to promulgate with their government healthcare scheme is unmitigated economic jihad on the US dollar and will absolutely require trillions in additional counterfeit dollars. If you –own- debt (bonds) and cash/equivalents – you are unprotected.
Let’s suppose you already own gold and/or silver but you want to add something to your hedging program that can easily be traded as –currency- in smaller denominations.
I have an idea for you. To set the table for this one, I think we agree it is an axiom that our dollar is secured by little more than the empty rhetoric of elected swindlers. Due to their profusion, the dollar has lost over 90% of its value over the past century and they are on their way to 100%. Because they took us off of the gold standard, there is no measurable valuation for our currency and the same goes for our Treasury Bills, Notes and Bonds.
By thinking a little outside the box, the realization came to me that the US Government currently issues an overlooked vehicle that COULD easily function as a cash-like currency –and- an investment. Unlike the Federal Reserve Notes we use, this vehicle is backed by something with measurable, intrinsic value. The best part is that it could also go far higher in value than the broad inflation rate.
Without further ado, the idea I bring you is none other than the US Postal Service’s recently introduced “Forever Stamp” (Pictured below).The US Postal Service is not going away regardless of their balance sheet. They should make major adjustments but regardless, mail will continue to be delivered and this stamp is a GUARANTEE by the US government. It is not an empty guarantee giving you a claim to mere “thin air”. As it is written on their website (linked below) – “The Forever stamp will always be valid as First–Class postage on standard envelopes weighing one ounce or less, regardless of any subsequent increases in the First–Class rate.”Source: https://shop.usps.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10052&catalogId=10001&productId=10001880&parent_category_rn=&orderItemId=210773147&rn=OrderItemDisplay
THINK about that. That little stamp currently GUARANTEES you that you can transport a standard envelope weighing 1 oz or less – all the way across the continental United States. That takes gasoline friends. Not only does it give you claim on energy, it also gives you a piece of “manpower” regardless of wage inflation. If the dollar continues to plummet, causing gasoline to go to $500 per barrel and minimum wage to $50.00 per hour, you still have the right to transport that envelope from Key West to Seattle if you want. Now that’s a great deal more than what Little Timmy Bonaparte at Treasury is guaranteeing! Going forward in a hyper-inflationary environment, the USPS will have to raise prices on postage dramatically, creating a secondary market for “Forever Stamps”. Any difference in the spread between new stamps and the old Forever Stamps would be what I dub henceforth as “stamp arbitrage”. Efficient markets wouldn’t allow for that spread remaining wide for long.
Yes this idea is bordering on the tongue-in-cheek side but you never know. It could sweep the nation if enough people and business owners gradually participated. If it hit the proverbial fan, this would be easier than bartering with the gold dust you might have to grind up from your bullion (for smaller purchases). Item prices could be quoted in terms of the quantity of stamps for smaller items and in “books” (currently $8.80 for a book of twenty) for larger items. I don’t expect Wal-Mart and McDonalds to accept stamps as currency anytime soon but if you are a business owner who doesn’t mind holding some stamps and you are fed up with the financial jihad being waged against you by your elected swindlers - put a little sign in your window that says “We accept Forever Stamps” or “Forever Stamps are same as Cash”. You may even offer a little discount initially to get attention. If enough businesses and consumers started participating, it could take off. If we forced the government to eliminate the Forever Stamps due to the coming losses – at least we would have done something.
Just please don’t share this with China or they may bid up the stamp market while dumping their Treasuries. Wink.
Footnotes: Now before you start tell me how ineptly run the US Postal Service is – let me just say – I AGREE! But so is the US government overall and if I had to decide whether I wanted the folks at the USPS managing my healthcare or the Congress, Senate and President, I would opt for the USPS. They actually were the ONLY branch of the federal government to turn a profit until email came along. Back in the 90’s they were turning profits of over $500 million a year. I do not sell gold and this is not a commercial. My goal is to bring value in the quality of my columns because writing is one of my singular greatest felicities and my goal is to eventually leave the business of investment banking and do this full-time. If you would like to use material from the columns, feel free, just please use proper attribution. Contact: MrArbitrage@TableOfWisdom.com