Editor's note: This article originally appeared at 1 p.m. on Feb. 2 on Real Money, our premium site for active traders. To get great columns like this from Jim Cramer and other top columnists earlier in the trading day, click here.
Gold and the euro at three-month highs. Yen at a two-month high. Dollar index at a three-month low.
Wait. That's not supposed to happen, right?
In the past 13 months, we've had two Fed rate increases, more than a tripling of the fed funds rate, yet the dollar is down, gold is up and inflation is at multiyear highs, not just here in the U.S. but now observable in many other countries.
What is going on?
What's going on is exactly what I said was going to go on. In fact, I said this all the way back in commentaries I wrote here before the first rate hike in December 2015. I said buy gold when the Fed hikes rates. I said sell the dollar and, more recently, I said it again with the latest rate hike in December.
Right now, those who were wrong are digging in their heels, at least when it comes to those who are still bullish on the dollar. They're saying this is just a pause. It's just a matter of time. The economy is going to reflate, they argue, and the Fed's going to raise rates and there's going to be a border tax and the dollar is going to zoom higher. Even one of Goldman Sachs' big-time analysts is going all in on the dollar, doubling down on what's already been a bad trade, because he is so wedded to his bullish dollar view.
I will take his money. Gladly.
It's incredible for me to watch. The same people who got it all wrong when the Fed cut rates to zero and bought assets and boosted its balance sheet from $800 billion to over $4 trillion are wrong again. Back then, we got nothing. Well, nothing at least along the lines of what they predicted, like hyperinflation and a crashing dollar and soaring gold prices.
Crickets. Crickets. Even better, the complete opposite. We got slow growth and deflation.
I was the one who called it. All along I have been explaining why it turned out the way it did and all along in article after article here on Real Money I have been explaining how the monetary system truly functions and why the mainstream are so out of step. They're going to keep on getting it wrong. Meanwhile, their guesses flow to my bank account.
Now we are in a new paradigm, one of rising rates and rising inflation. The dollar's long-term rally, which I called back in 2009, is over. It is going down. Rate hikes, fiscal stimulus will conspire to unwind the benign conditions that have caused the dollar to climb over the past eight years.
Stocks? For the time being, stocks will continue to feel gravity tugging at them in the form of inflation. The stock market should experience a modest correction. Multiples are too high, it would appear, given these inflationary pressures. As I've explained in the past, inflation reduces the value of future earnings.
Ultimately, rising rates are not a bad thing because they raise the level of aggregate income to the point where people have more money to spend. From that flows rising consumption, which will equate to higher corporate revenues and, potentially, higher corporate profits. Think about it: We haven't seen decent top-line corporate revenue growth in a long time; since the Great Financial Crash, actually, because the Fed was stripping away income. Now that is being restored.
On that income point, in the GDP report last Friday, we saw personal interest income in the fourth quarter rise by $16.6 billion. That was the biggest gain since the third quarter of 2015. And this is just the beginning. We are also seeing bank deposit growth starting to reverse a four-year decline. This, too, is due to the money the Fed has been pumping in via the rate hikes.
Right now, though, you want to ride the inflation wave. That means being long gold and commodities and being short the dollar and Treasuries.
Disclosure: I am short 10-year Treasury note futures and long gold futures.