Peter Schiff

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Peter Schiff
Peter Schiff by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Schiff in 2013
Born Peter David Schiff
(1963-03-23) March 23, 1963 (age 52)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley
Occupation Stockbroker
Spouse(s) Lauren Schiff[1]
Children Preston, Spencer
Parent(s) Ellen Schiff, Irwin Schiff

Peter David Schiff (/ˈʃɪf/; born March 23, 1963) is an American financial analyst, stockbroker, author, and one-time Senate candidate. He 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,[2] and he was formerly host of an Internet podcast called Wall Street Unspun,[3] now archived as podcasts.[2][4]

From 2005 to 2007, Schiff correctly warned about collapses in the housing and financial markets that led up to the financial crisis of 2007-08. However, 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 US dollar.[citation needed]

Professionally, Schiff is CEO and chief global strategist[5] 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, Ontario; Montreal; Vancouver; and Tokyo. He is also 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.[6][7] He repeatedly expresses bearish views on the US economy and dollar and bullish views on commodities, gold, and foreign stocks and currencies.

Schiff voices strong support for the Austrian School of economic thought, which was introduced to him by his father, Irwin Schiff.[8] In 2010, Schiff ran in the Republican primary for the United States Senate seat in Connecticut, but he lost to Linda McMahon and came in third.

Personal life[edit]

Schiff was born to a middle-class family[9] in New Haven, Connecticut. His father, Irwin, the son of immigrants from Poland, served in the US Army during World War II. Irwin was a prominent figure in the US tax protester movement, who died in federal prison in October 2015 while he was serving a sentence of at least 13 years for tax evasion.[10][11]

His parents divorced when he was young, and he moved around the country with his mother and his brother, Andrew, from Connecticut to Manhattan to Florida and finally Southern California.[9] He credits his father for introducing him to the Austrian School of economic thought.[12]

Schiff was educated at Beverly Hills High School and obtained a Bachelor of Science with a double major in finance and accounting from University of California, Berkeley, in 1987.[13]

On October 20, 2015, Tax Notes Today reported that Schiff accused the Federal Bureau of Prisons of inhumanely treating his father, who had died in prison four days earlier, and not allowing the usual humanitarian release.[14]

Financial career[edit]

Schiff began his career as a stockbroker at a Shearson Lehman Brothers brokerage.[5]

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,[15] relocating the firm to Darien, Connecticut, in 2005.[16]

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.[17] It specializes in non-US markets and securities.

Economic and public policy views[edit]

Financial crisis forecast[edit]

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."[18] 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 in December 2005,[19] "are going to come crashing back down to Earth."

In his 2007 book Crash Proof, Schiff wrote that US economic policies were fundamentally unsound.[20] Since then, he has stated many times that without a change in US government economic policy, there will be hyperinflation[20][21] and that the imbalance between the amount of goods the US consumed and what it produced would eventually lead to problems for the US economy. As a remedy, he favored increased personal savings and production to stimulate economic growth.[22] Schiff cited the US'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 2000.[23] He attributed the low savings rate to what he asserts are high inflation and artificially low interest rates set by the Federal Reserve.[24]

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"[25][26] as factors that 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 added that he felt that the crisis would extend to the credit card lending industry, and he called consumer credit "a cancer on the free-market economy." Schiff said that interest rates would rise, that the dollar would "collapse," and that all classes of dollar-denominated assets would fall in value relative to non-US 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. He added 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.[27] Soon afterward, when the Associated Press examined 17 large credit card trusts from Securities and Exchange Commission filings, "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."[28]

In a March 2009 speech, Schiff said that it would be impossible for the US public debt to China to be repaid unless the US dollar's value is substantially diluted through inflation. In September 2009, with gold below $1,000 per ounce, Schiff said that he foresaw gold at over $5000 per ounce in the next couple years and that the stock market rally which began that year was a "rally in a bear market."[29] Later, in November that year, Schiff said that five stocks he picked for Fortune Magazine in January 2009 were "up collectively 360%."[30]

Minimum wage[edit]

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.[31]

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." Schiff 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 be worth only $2 an hour at their initial level of skills.[32][33][34]

Schiff claimed that 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 US Department of Labor's exemption of developmentally disabled persons from the minimum wage.[35]

Intellectually disabled persons are in fact currently exempt from the federal minimum wage, specifically because the Department of Labor acknowledges that such laws reduce their ability to find employment.[36] 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 and have neither confirmed nor denied that he made these qualifying statements in the unedited footage.


In March 2011, Schiff stated that a national sales tax should replace both personal and corporate income taxes, as he believes that the latter discourages work as opposed to a consumption tax. Schiff's second choice is a flat tax rate, which would abolish all deductions including the very popular home mortgage tax deduction, as Schiff believes that the state should not subsidize buying homes as opposed to renting.[37]

Trade deficit[edit]

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."[38]


In August 2012, Schiff criticized Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity by saying that 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."[39]

Gold and silver[edit]

Schiff is known especially for his bullishness on gold and his belief that gold will protect investors against a prolonged decline of the US dollar.[40] He introduced the first 100% physically backed gold/silver accounts integrated with the global debit card system back in 2011 through Euro Pacific Bank Ltd, his offshore bank. Schiff has made several predictions regarding precious metals.

In 2005 and 2006, when gold was around $500 per ounce, Schiff predicted that gold prices would rise sharply.[41] By 2011, gold prices had reached a record high of $1800 per ounce.[42]

In October 2012, Schiff said that the price of gold, which was then around $1700 per ounce, would rise to $5000 per ounce in a few years.[43] On April 16, 2013, Schiff told a CNBC interviewer that gold may go to $1000 per ounce but that if it does, the price will present a buying opportunity because it will subsequently rise to $2000 per ounce.[44]

In June 2013, he claimed a "vicious" gold rally was coming,[45] the biggest in history,[46] in August, he reiterated that a "spectacular" gold rally was coming;[47] and in September, he claimed that whatever the Fed did, gold would rally.[48]

In October, however, outflows from gold investment funds soared,[49] and on 19 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, where they remained on course to clock their first decline in 13 years[50] and were kicked into 2014 with a "drubbing."[51]

Goldman Sachs correctly predicted gold would "grind lower" over the course of 2014[52] after a brief rise after geopolitical events (such as in Ukraine), the metal began slumping back to its New Year lows, "hitting new multiyear lows relative to the Standard & Poor's 500 Index"[53] before it wiped out all gains for 2014 at the end of October[54] and hit four-year lows in November.[55] 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.[56] He claims that another quantitative easing program with the absence of higher interest rates will make gold price significantly higher. Neither another round of quantitative easing interest rate hike is yet to be announced from the Fed, as of July 2015.[57]


Schiff is one of the few libertarians uninterested in Bitcoin and has been called a "Bitcoin skeptic."[58] He claims that it has no intrinsic value,[59] and so he sees it not as an alternative to gold but more as resembling the tulip mania bubble.[60] Schiff considers it as payment method rather than a currency, which should be able to hold its value.[58]

However, he understands "the value of the technology as a payment platform," 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."[58]


Schiff's warnings of a coming economic collapse earned him the moniker "Dr. Doom,"[15][61][62] 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 the "easiest criticism of macroeconomists is that nearly all failed to foresee the recession despite plenty of warning signs."[63]

A YouTube fan video, "Peter Schiff was right," became popular in late 2008 and 2009.[64][65] 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."[66] 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" but the dollar later advanced against most currencies, "magnifying the losses from foreign stocks."[67] In response to Shedlock's criticism, Schiff wrote that "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."[68][69][70][71] 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.[72]

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?"[73] 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 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."[74]

In January 2012, Schiff stated that a US debt crisis and high inflation had been delayed merely by government policy.[75] 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.[76][77]

In November 2008, Schiff said he supported the reduction of government economic regulation and was concerned that the Obama administration might instead increase such regulation.[78] Schiff says that the late-2000s financial crisis provides an opportunity to transition from borrowing and spending to saving and producing. He is critical of the US government's efforts to "ease the pain" with economic stimulus packages and bailout, as he believes that replacing "legitimate savings with a printing press" could result in hyperinflation.[79]

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.[80]

Political career[edit]

2008 Ron Paul presidential campaign[edit]

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."[81]

2010 US Senate campaign[edit]

In December 2008, some Connecticut citizens created a website encouraging Schiff to campaign against incumbent Senator Christopher Dodd.[82][83] Approximately 5000 people made campaign contributions using the web site.[82] On February 21, 2009, a moneybomb raised over $20,000 for Schiff's campaign.[84]

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."[85] In June 2009, Schiff commissioned a poll of likely voters which indicated that he trailed Dodd in popularity by only four percentage points.[86] On July 9, 2009, Schiff launched an exploratory committee and an official campaign website.[82]

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.... 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."[87]

After giving some hints on The Daily Show,[88] Schiff officially announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination on September 17, 2009 during the MSNBC Morning Joe show.[89][90][91] By October 2009, Schiff had received more than 10,000 donations and many e-mails from around the world.[82] Schiff's campaign received endorsements from Ron Paul and Steve Forbes.[92][93]

At the May 2010 Republican convention, Linda McMahon received the most delegate votes but not enough to prevent an August primary election. Schiff received at least 400 more signatures than the required 8,268 needed to qualify[94] and was listed on the August 2010 Republican primary ballot. McMahon won the primary[95] 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.

The general election was won by the Democratic Party primary winner, Richard Blumenthal.[96]

Other endorsements[edit]

In April 2008, Schiff endorsed Murray Sabrin for the US Senate seat in New Jersey.[97]

Schiff endorsed not McMahon in the 2012 Republican primary but instead her opponent, former Representative Christopher Shays.[98] Shays lost the primary to McMahon,[99] who lost in the general election to Democrat Chris Murphy.



Schiff broadcasting his radio show from Washington, D.C. in March 2013.

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 leftist bias.[100] 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.[101][102]

According to his brother and public relations director, Andrew, Peter frequently appeared on CNBC, Fox News and Bloomberg to voice his opinions on the US economy and financial markets. However, after the financial crisis, his bookings dropped by 75 to 85% on these networks.[103]

In August 2012, Peter Schiff replaced G. Gordon Liddy in the 10 a.m.–12 p.m. time slot on the Radio America network Internet broadcast.[104]


Schiff is also a video blogger in the internet and distributes his media through YouTube, the website of Euro Pacific Capital, and iTunes. He currently has three 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 continue to communicate with the people; and Gold Videocast, an official newsletter for the clients of SchiffGold.


Schiff is often a commentator on CNBC and Fox Business.[105]

Schiff is a frequent guest on Boom Bust. [106]

Testimony before US Congress[edit]

Schiff has testified before Congress twice, in September 2011[107] and June 2012.[108]


Peter Schiff is the author of six books published by John Wiley & Sons. His book, Crash Proof 2.0, appeared on both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.


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