He believes the metal will be a prime beneficiary of the currency war, while consumers will be its main victim.
"Anybody who believes there is no inflation isn’t shopping," he said.
Government cost-of-living indexes such as theconsumer price indexare a “total fraud. Consumer prices in the U.S. are moving up much faster than indicated by the CPI. It is manipulated. It is deliberately designed to mask inflation, not report it,” he said.
As for U.S. economic prospects, Schiff believes they are gloomy.
Gross domestic productindicated a slight contraction in the fourth quarter, though most economists expect that to change in future revisions and growth to be steady but modest through the year. In the meantime, the European sovereign debt crisis is beginning to return to the news as well, though the stock market hasn’t seemed to mind any of it.
But that could change quickly.
"We’re broke. We owe trillions. Look at our budget deficit, look at the debt to GDP (ratio), the unfunded liabilities," Schiff said. "If we were in the euro zone they would kick us out."
For Schiff, such talk, though incendiary, is fairly routine.
He found a good deal of interest at the conference, though, with attendees crowding him after his panel discussion even as some other participants were beginning to catch flights out.
"The Fed knows that the U.S. economy is not recovering," he said. "It simply is being kept from collapse by artificially low interest rates and quantitative easing. As that support goes, the economy will implode.”