Schiff in 2013
|Born||Peter David Schiff
March 23, 1963
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley|
|Parent(s)||Ellen Schiff, Irwin Schiff|
Peter David Schiff (//; born March 23, 1963) is an American financial analyst, stockbroker, author and one-time Senate candidate. He is best known for the accuracy of his early warnings for the housing and financial markets leading up to the financial crisis of 2007-08.
Schiff has appeared as a guest on numerous financial television shows and has been quoted in major print publications as a financial analyst and economist. He is host of The Peter Schiff Show, an audio show broadcast on terrestrial and Internet radio and was formerly host of an Internet podcast called Wall Street Unspun now archived as podcasts. In 2005-07, Schiff correctly predicted the coming collapse in U.S. housing prices. Since 2009, Schiff has predicted skyrocketing gold prices, sharp increases in real consumer prices, hyperinflation, poor returns for the US stock market, a collapsing bond bubble, and ultimately, a collapse in the value of the U.S. dollar. In 2014, Schiff began advising listeners to consider relocating to Puerto Rico to take advantage of the territory's tax laws.
Professionally, Schiff is CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital Inc., a broker-dealer based in Westport, Connecticut. He is Founder of Euro Pacific Canada Inc., a Canadian registered global brokerage firm headquartered in Toronto, with offices in Burlington, Montreal, Vancouver and Tokyo, Japan; Founder and Chairman of Euro Pacific Bank Ltd., offshore bank based in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Founder, CEO and Chairman of Euro Pacific Asset Management, LLC., a asset management company founded in Newport Beach, currently relocated to San Juan, Puerto Rico since 2013; and Founder and Chairman of SchiffGold, a precious metals dealer based in Manhattan.
Schiff expresses bearish views on the U.S. economy and the U.S. dollar, and bullish views on commodities, gold, foreign stocks and foreign currencies. Schiff voices strong support for the Austrian School of economic thought.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Financial career
- 3 Economic and public policy views
- 4 Political career
- 5 Broadcasting
- 6 On network television
- 7 Private life
- 8 Other activities
- 9 Books
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Early life and education
Schiff was born to a middle-class family in New Haven, Connecticut. His father is Irwin Schiff, an immigrant from Poland, served in the US Army during World War ll. Irwin Schiff was a prominent figure in the U.S. tax protester movement, who, as of 2015, was serving a 13-year sentence for tax evasion in federal prison. His parents divorced when he was young and he moved around the country with his mother and brother, Andrew (from Connecticut to Manhattan to Florida and finally southern California). He credits his father for introducing him to the Austrian School of economic thought.
In 1996, Schiff and a partner acquired an inactive brokerage firm, renamed it Euro Pacific Capital, and began operating it from a small office in Los Angeles, relocating the firm to Darien, Connecticut in 2005. Euro Pacific Capital Inc. is currently headquartered in Westport, Connecticut, with offices in Scottsdale, Arizona, Boca Raton, Florida, Newport Beach, California, Los Angeles and New York City. It specializes in non-U.S. markets and securities.
Economic and public policy views
Financial crisis forecast
In an August 2006 interview Schiff said: "The United States is like the Titanic and I am here with the lifeboat trying to get people to leave the ship ... I see a real financial crisis coming for the United States." On December 31, 2006, in a telecast debate on Fox News, Schiff forecast that "what's going to happen in 2007 is that real estate prices," which had peaked at the end of 2005, "are going to come crashing back down to Earth."
In his 2007 book Crash Proof, Schiff wrote that United States economic policies were fundamentally unsound. Since then, he has stated many times that, without a change in U.S. government economic policy, there will be hyperinflation in the U.S. and that the imbalance between the amount of goods the U.S. consumed and what it produced would eventually lead to problems for the United States economy. As a remedy Schiff favored increased personal savings and production, which, he said, would stimulate economic growth. Schiff cited the U.S.'s low personal savings rate as one of the causes of its transformation from the world's largest creditor nation in the 1970s to the largest debtor nation in the year 2000. Schiff attributed the low savings rate to what he asserts are high inflation and artificially low interest rates set by the Federal Reserve.
In 2008 and 2010 appearances on Fox News and financial news network CNBC, Schiff mentioned factors such as speculation and "the absence of lending standards" as factors which had contributed to the housing crisis which began in 2007. On December 13, 2007, in an interview on the Bloomberg TV show Open Exchange, Schiff further added that he felt that the crisis would extend to the credit card lending industry, and called consumer credit "a cancer on the free-market economy." Schiff said that interest rates would rise, the dollar would "collapse" and that all classes of dollar-denominated assets would fall in value relative to non-U.S. assets. He predicted "a huge crisis" and "the blow-up of credit card finance" in 2008, with the result that consumer credit card spending limits would be "slashed" by card issuers, and said that Americans would no longer be able to make purchases using their credit card lines. Referring to the housing market, Schiff went on to criticize the policy of the Bush Administration to "vilify and threaten the lenders" for reckless borrowing. Following this observation, it was soon reported that "Defaults – when lenders essentially give up hope of ever being repaid and write off the debt – rose 18 percent to almost $961 million in October" according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings by 17 large credit card trusts examined by the Associated Press.
In a March 2009 speech, Schiff said that it would be impossible for the U.S. debt to China to be repaid unless the U.S. dollar's value is substantially diluted through inflation. In September 2009, with gold below $1,000 an ounce, Schiff said that he foresaw gold at over $5,000 an ounce in the next couple years, and that the stock market rally which began that year was a "rally in a bear market." Later in November of that year, Schiff said that five stocks he picked for Fortune Magazine in January 2009 were "up collectively 360%."
Schiff believes that minimum wage laws hurt the poorest and least skilled by pricing them out of the job market and reducing their opportunities to acquire the skills which would make them more employable.
During a January 2014 appearance on The Daily Show, correspondent Samantha Bee asked Schiff to provide an example of “a person who whose work would be worth $2 an hour," and he remarked that some "mentally retarted" persons are happy to find work, even at just $2 an hour. Schiff was heavily criticized for his suggestion that developmentally disabled persons may only be "worth" $2 an hour at their initial level of skills.
According to Schiff, his remarks were taken out of context by splicing different parts of a four-hour interview, which included a remark regarding the use of unpaid interns by "The Daily Show", as well as the U.S. Department of Labor's exemption of developmentally disabled persons from the minimum wage laws.
Intellectually disabled persons are in fact currently exempt from U.S. minimum wage laws, specifically because the Department of Labor acknowledges that such laws reduce their ability to find employment. Schiff says that he mentioned this during the interview to help make his point about the well-known effects of wage restrictions on low-skilled workers, but that it was edited out by the program makers to cast his position in a more negative light.
To this date, Comedy Central and The Daily Show have not released the four-hour unedited interview with Schiff, nor confirmed or denied that he made these qualifying statements in the unedited footage.
Schiff prefers a national sales tax on consumption over a tax on income. In March, 2011, he stated that the U.S. should abolish the corporate income tax, because revenues not used on salaries or paid as dividends, which are taxed separately, are used for investment and growth of the economy. Schiff also believes in a flat tax rate and under such a regime believes in abolishing all deductions, including the home mortgage interest deduction on personal income tax, so as to have a lower tax rate.
On February 12, 2015, Schiff stated, “The degree of debt we have, the degree we are dependent on artificially low interest rates which are obviously unsustainable and the massive trade deficits we have chronically year after year.” “These are growing problems that are ultimately going to lead to a U.S. dollar crisis.”
In August, 2012, Schiff criticized the Ryan Budget Plan, saying it is "too little, too late." Referring to Ryan's plan to save Medicare, Schiff said, "Why would we want to preserve it? It's a Ponzi scheme ... What we really need is real Medicare cuts today for people who are already on the system."
Gold and silver
Schiff is well known for his bullishness on gold, who is of the opinion that gold will protect investors against a prolonged US dollar decline. He introduced the first 100% physically backed gold/silver accounts integrated with the global debit card system back in 2011 through his offshore bank, Euro Pacific Bank Ltd.. Schiff has made several predictions regarding precious metals. In 2005 and 2006 when gold was around $500 an ounce, Schiff predicted that gold prices would rise sharply. By 2011, gold prices had reached a record high of $1800 an ounce. In October 2012 Schiff said that the price of gold, which was then around $1700 per ounce, would rise to $5,000 per ounce in a few years. On April 16, 2013, Schiff told a CNBC interviewer that gold may go to $1000 an ounce but that if it does, the price will present a buying opportunity because it will subsequently rise to $2000 per ounce. In June he claimed a "vicious" gold rally was coming, the biggest in history; in August he reiterated that a "spectacular" gold rally was coming; and, in September, he claimed that, whatever the Fed did, gold would rally. In October, however, outflows from gold investment funds soared, and, in December 2013—after the Fed announced the start of its tapering of monetary stimulus—gold futures lost 2.7%, prices having dropped by almost 30% over the year to a three-year low on 19 December, where they remained on course to clock their first decline in 13 years, and were kicked into 2014 with a "drubbing". Goldman Sachs predicted gold would "grind lower" over the course of 2014. As indeed it did: after a brief rise after unforeseeable geopolitical events (Ukraine, etc.), the metal began slumping back to its New Year lows, "hitting new multiyear lows relative to the Standard & Poor's 500 Index", before wiping out all gains for 2014 at the end of October and hitting four-year lows in November. The downward trend in gold prices continued into the summer of 2015, with gold at less than $1200 per ounce. However, Schiff's long term view of precious metals relative to many currencies is that their value will rise significantly corresponding with a decline in currency values. He claims that another Quantitative Easing program with the absence of higher interest rates will make gold price significantly higher. Neither another round of QE nor interest rate hike is yet to be announced from the FED as of July 2015.
Schiff is one of the few libertarians uninterested in Bitcoin and has been called a "Bitcoin skeptic". He claims that bitcoins have no intrinsic value and does not see bitcoin as an alternative to gold, but more resembling the tulip mania bubble. Schiff sees bitcoin more as a payment method rather than a currency, which should be able to hold its value. He understands "the value of the technology as a payment platform" though and his Euro Pacific Precious Metals fund partnered with BitPay in May 2014, because “a wire transfer of fiat funds can be slow and expensive for the customer”.
Schiff's warnings of a coming economic collapse earned him the moniker "Dr. Doom", but later articles in Business Week and other business news journals reported that Schiff "more or less accurately" predicted the financial crisis of 2007–2010, while "nearly all [macroeconomists] failed to foresee the recession despite plenty of warning signs". A YouTube fan-video "Peter Schiff was right" became popular in late 2008 and 2009. It contained a compilation of his appearances on various financial TV news programs between 2005 and 2007.
In January 2009, economic blogger and investment adviser Michael Shedlock wrote: "I have talked with many who claim they have invested with Schiff and are down anywhere from 40% to 70% in 2008". Later that week an article appeared in the Wall Street Journal reporting that Schiff's broker-dealer firm had "advised its clients to bet that the dollar would weaken significantly and that foreign stocks would outpace their U.S. peers"; however, the dollar later advanced against most currencies, "magnifying the losses from foreign stocks". In response to Shedlock's criticism, Schiff wrote: "to examine the effectiveness of my investment strategy immediately following a major correction by looking only at those accounts who adopted the strategy at the previous peak is unfair and distortive". In December 2012 Schiff wrote an article entitled "Mish Shedlock exposed", in which he criticized Shedlock for selective use of short-term data in the financial crisis and argued that his investment strategy had made strong returns over the long-run.
Schiff's views have been criticized several times by economist Paul Krugman. In October 2010, Krugman wrote, "I keep being told that Peter Schiff has been right about everything; so, how's that hyperinflation thing going?" In December 2011, Krugman quoted Peter Schiff's statement from December 2009: "I know inflation is going to get worse in 2010. Whether it’s going to run out of control or it’s going to take until 2011 or 2012, but I know we’re going to have a major currency crisis coming soon. It’s going to dwarf the financial crisis and it’s going to send consumer prices absolutely ballistic, as well as interest rates and unemployment." Krugman noted that inflation had instead remained low, and he concluded that Schiff's type of economic "model is all wrong" since it predicts that a tripling of the monetary base, such as had just occurred, must lead to "dire effects on the price level". In January 2012, Schiff stated that a US debt crisis and high inflation had merely been delayed by government policy. In November 2012 and again in November 2014, Krugman repeated his criticisms of Schiff's predictions of high inflation and rising interest rates in America.
In November 2008, Schiff said he supported the reduction of government economic regulation, and was concerned that President Obama's administration might increase such regulation. Schiff says that the economic crisis of the late-2000s provides an opportunity to transition from borrowing and spending, to saving and producing. He is critical of the U.S. government's efforts to "ease the pain" with economic stimulus packages and bailouts. According to Schiff, the U.S. government's approach of replacing "legitimate savings with a printing press" could result in hyperinflation. For example, in 2009, Schiff predicted a "protracted period of economic decline accompanied by rapid increases in consumer prices". Schiff's critics point out that inflation rates have remained very low in the five years that followed, despite his predictions.
Schiff was an economic adviser to Ron Paul's 2008 presidential campaign. In support of Paul's economic revitalization plan, Schiff said: "We need a plan that stimulates savings and production, not more of the reckless borrowing and consumption that got us into this mess in the first place. Ron Paul's plan is the only one that amounts to a step in the right direction. If you want meaningful change—for the better that is—Ron Paul is the only candidate capable of delivering it."
2010 U.S. Senate campaign
In December 2008, some Connecticut citizens created a website encouraging Schiff to campaign against incumbent Senator Christopher Dodd. Approximately 5,000 people made campaign contributions using the web site. On February 21, 2009, a moneybomb raised over $20,000 for Schiff's campaign. In a May 2009 video blog, Schiff said that he was seriously considering a run for the senate and when questioned by a Washington Post reporter, he said the chance of him entering politics was "better than 50-50". In June 2009 Schiff commissioned a poll of likely voters which indicated that he trailed Dodd in popularity by four percentage points. On July 9, 2009, Schiff launched an exploratory committee and an official campaign website.
In a campaign speech in Hamden, Connecticut on December 3, 2009, Schiff said "Unlike everybody else, I pretty much predicted everything that would happen in 2008 in specific and exact detail", and that "Somebody needs to be in Washington to prevent the next round of [government] stimulus from taking place, because that will be the end of it. That will be the toxin that completely destroys the economy."
After giving some hints on The Daily Show Schiff officially announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination on September 17, 2009, during the MSNBC Morning Joe show. By October 2009 Schiff had received more than 10,000 donations and many e-mails from around the world. Schiff's campaign received endorsements from Ron Paul and Steve Forbes.
At the May 2010 Republican convention, Linda McMahon received the most delegate votes but not enough to prevent an August primary election. Peter Schiff received at least 400 more signatures than the required 8,268 needed to qualify and was listed on the August 2010 Republican primary ballot. McMahon won the primary with 49% of the vote. Rob Simmons came in second with 28% of the vote, and Schiff came in third with 23% of the vote.
From 2005 to 2010 Schiff hosted a weekly short-wave radio show named Wall Street Unspun, which featured commentary on financial market activity. From October 2010 to September 2014 he hosted The Peter Schiff Show broadcast on Internet and terrestrial radio. The show featured commentary on market activity, current events and economic philosophy; it had many notable guests including Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Niall Ferguson, Dennis Kucinich, Rick Santelli and John McCain. The Peter Schiff Show guest-hosts included Thomas Woods, Neeraj Chaudhary, Stefan Molyneux, Larry Elder, and Andrew Schiff. On June 25, 2015, Peter Schiff released a video on his YouTube channel asking his "fans" to reedit his Wikipedia page to correct what he believed to be a strong liberal bias . This explains the very biased and inaccurate description of his track record, lack of mention of his own securities sanctions and those of his firm.
According to his brother and public relations director, Andrew Schiff; Peter frequently appeared on CNBC, Fox News and Bloomberg to voice his opinions on the U.S. economy and financial markets. However, after the financial crisis, his bookings dropped by 75–85% on these networks.
Schiff is a video blogger in the internet. He distributes his media through YouTube, website of Euro Pacific Capital and iTunes. He currently has 3 major programs. The Schiff Report, an official news letter for the clients of Euro Pacific Capital. The Peter Schiff Show Podcast, a program he continued after terminating his daily radio broadcasting in August 2014 to communicate with the people. And Gold Videocast, an official news letter for the clients of SchiffGold.
On network television
Testimony before U.S. Congress
Schiff has testified before congress twice. His first Congressional Testimony was on September 13th of 2011. He debated with the subject THE PRESIDENT'S PROPOSAL TO STIMULATE THE ECONOMY AND CREATE JOBS.
Brink Lindsey, senior scholar, Kauffman Foundation
John Taylor, professor of economics, Stanford University
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, senior fellow, Manhattan Institute
Heather Boushey, senior economist, Center for American Progress
Peter Schiff, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Global Strategist, Euro Pacific Capital
His Second Congressional Testimony was on June 7th of 2012. He debated with the subject OVERSIGHT OF THE FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION'S MULTIFAMILY INSURANCE PROGRAMS
Marie Head, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Multifamily Housing Programs, Office of Housing, Federal Housing Administration
Michael Bodaken, President, National Housing Trust
Sheila Crowley, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Low Income Housing Coalition
Mary Kenney, Executive Director, Illinois Housing Development Authority, on behalf of the National Council of State Housing Agencies
Rodrigo López, President and Chief Executive Officer, AmeriSphere, on behalf of the Mortgage Bankers Association
Richard L. Mostyn, Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, The Bozzuto Group, on behalf of the National Multi Housing Council
Robert F. Nielsen, Immediate Past Chairman, National Association of Home Builders
Joseph L. Pagliari, Jr., Clinical Professor of Real Estate, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Peter Schiff, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Global Strategist, Euro Pacific Capital
Occupy Wall Street movement
Schiff went to New York City's Wall Street financial district during the Occupy Wall Street protest movement. He interviewed the occupiers with a sign reading "I Am The 1%, Let's Talk," debating and arguing with the people for nearly 2 hours. The video was released by ReasonTV titled Peter Schiff at Occupy Wall Street.
- Crash Proof: How to Profit From the Coming Economic Collapse, February 2007, ISBN 978-0-470-04360-8 1
- The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets: How to Keep your Portfolio Up When the Market is Down, 2008, ISBN 978-0-470-38378-0 2
- Crash Proof 2.0: How to Profit From the Economic Collapse, 2nd Edition, September 2009, ISBN 978-0-470-47453-2 3
- The Little Book of Bull Moves, Updated and Expanded: How to Keep Your Portfolio Up When the Market Is Up, Down, Or Sideways, 2010, ISBN 0-470-64399-4 4
- How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes, 2010, ISBN 978-0-470-52670-5 5
- The Real Crash: America's Coming Bankruptcy – How to Save Yourself and Your Country, 2012, ISBN 978-1-250-00447-5
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- Peter Schiff (July 18, 2013). "The Powerful Case for Silver". StreetInsider.com.
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- Javier, Luzi Ann (19 January 2014). "Hedge Funds Raise Gold Wagers as Goldman Sees Drop: Commodities". bloomberg.com. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
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