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Manipulation of Gold & Silver by Bullion Banks

Manipulation of Gold & Silver by Bullion Banks

As a former spot currency trader for a major international bank, I have had first-hand experience of central banks directly intervening in currency markets in massive size, repeatedly. You’ll hear a lot of people say market manipulation is a conspiracy theory, despite the fact that it has been proven in court several times in various assets classes and especially in precious metals. Books have been written about Gold and Silver manipulation for decades. Central Bankers have admitted it publicly. Now it has become so obvious that it’s predictable. I know because I made 500% in less than 24 hours on Friday last on a 1-week SLV 15.50 strike put option I bought on Thursday at 2pm. I bought that put expecting the Bullion Banks to come in and hammer the metals, given the typical signals I was seeing ahead of each time they slam Gold and/or Silver lower. Moreover, I began warning people on Twitter a week ahead of time that this could happen (note the dates posted):

I’ll provide those typical signals later, but let’s take a look at what happened to Gold…

Since May 24th, Gold has been capped at its 200 day moving average despite being oversold, extreme overbearish per the DSI and Funds positioning being at levels that has consistently led to strong rallies over the past 3 years. Yet, on this occasion the price went down?

So why did the price go down? Below is the daily changes in Gold open interest (“OI”) on the COMEX up to and including Friday last.

Notice how OI rose significantly around May 10, and the price of Gold fell hard. Then OI fell consistently but the price did not rise, instead it remained capped under its 200-day MA. Then, beginning Tuesday, June 12 and for the next two days, open interest rose a total of 18k contracts.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Deutsche Bank could spell economic and financial chaos. Could this be why Germany has repatriated 583 tons of Gold?

Deutsche Bank could spell economic and financial chaos. Could this be why Germany has repatriated 583 tons of Gold?

Before declaring bankruptcy, Lehman Bros. had $639 billion in assets. It was thought to be too big to fail. Currently, Deutsche Bank has almost triple those assets, $1.7 trillion, but its future is in question. The bank’s net income plummeted by 80 percent from its 2017 level. The Federal Reserve has labeled Deutsche Bank’s US operation as troubled. And that might be an understatement.

The growing problems at Deutsche Bank, combined with unprecedented global debts, could spell economic and financial chaos. Deutsche Bank is only one of the major banks in trouble. Others are nipping at its heels.

Mismanagement has plagued Deutsche Bank’s U.S. operations for years. The Federal Reserves criticized it in 2014 for inaccurate reporting and regulatory violations. In 2015, 2016, and 2017, the Federal Reserve demanded corrections, but Deutsche Bank did not comply.

When Deutsche Bank’s stocks crashed, S&P downgraded the bank from A- to BBB+, a rating not far from junk. One of the problems cited by S&P was unstable and shifting leadership and generally poor performance.

Deutsche Bank is far from acknowledging any problems. Its new CEO Sewing spoke to his staff after the rating downgrade and reassured them of the bank’s inherent strength and future strategies. Following this speech, Deutsche Bank was forced to report a drop in revenues of 5 percent, and a decrease in income of 79 percent. Could Sewing have been a tad optimistic?

Its losses for 2017 were reported at 497 million euros, compared to the 290 million euros predicted by Reuters analysts. If Deutsche Bank is to survive, significant changes will have to be implemented. And so far, it’s not even acknowledging it has a problem.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Federal Reserve: Public Enemy Number One

The Federal Reserve: Public Enemy Number One

When currency was backed by gold, a central bank’s main function was to maintain the value of the issued currency in terms of gold.  For example, if a central bank created too much money against the gold reserves in the banking system, an increasing number of people would begin to exchange their currency for gold.  To combat this, a central bank would be forced to raise interest rates and decrease the money supply.  The higher interest rates would incentivize people to exchange gold for larger savings on deposit that earn interest.  Banking reserves – gold – would return to the banking system and the economy would return to balance.  The prime reason for insisting on defining currency in terms of a precious metal was to provide a self-correcting braking mechanism to the creation of money.  As expressed by the great Wilhelm Röpke:

If in the production of goods the most important pedal is the accelerator, in the production of money it is the brake.  To insure that this brake works automatically and independently of the whims of government and the pressure of parties and groups seeking “easy money” has been one of the main functions of the gold standard.  That the liberal should prefer the automatic brake of gold to the whims of government in its role of trustee of a managed currency is understandable.”[1]

The US dollar was backed by gold as recently as 1971.  Any central bank in the world could present the Federal Reserve $35 and receive 1-ounce of gold in exchange.  However, on August 15, 1971 – blaming it on the “gnomes of Zurich” – President Nixon “temporarily” broke the dollar’s last link with gold.  Nixon closed the “gold window” and reneged on the promise to exchange an ounce of gold for $35.  Since then, the system of credit in the US has been under the Fed’s complete control.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Ronald Stoeferle: Gold Is Dirt Cheap Right Now

And a new bull market for the metal is beginning
Fresh from releasing his exhaustive 230-page annual report titled In Gold We Trust, Ronald Stoerferle joins us to summarize his forecast for the yellow metal.

Stoerferle, an author of several books on Austrian economics and head of strategy and portfolio management at Incrementum AG, concludes that gold is extremely cheap right now in dollar terms. And he sees a new bull market beginning for the precious metal — one likely to quickly build momentum as the next (and long overdue) financial market correction arrives.

We’re at the beginning of a new stage of a bull market.

We’ve seen a massive correction with a big drawdown, but we’re now seeing the Commitment of Traders report suggesting that there’s been a washout. We’re seeing that sentiment is really negative. We’re seeing that nobody really cares about gold and mining stocks, and especially about silver. Silver is probably the biggest contrarian investment, though silver mining stocks are probably even more contrarian at the moment.

We all know that the herd behavior in the sector is getting more extreme. I think it has got to do with career risk in the financial industry, so nobody really wants to make a contrarian call. But once we go above this $1,360-$1,380 resistance, which is also the neckline of a large inverse head & shoulder formation, I think gold will hit $1,500, $1,600 pretty quickly.

The most important thing is: in comparison to all the monetary printing that we’ve seen in the last couple of years, gold got significantly cheaper. Gold, in monetary terms, is dirt cheap at the moment. We’re basically at the same levels like in 1971 when it comes to the gold backing of the US dollar. So gold is a bargain at this level.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

My Views on US-Canada Trade, Steel’s Impact on National Security, NAFTA, and the Dollar

My Views on US-Canada Trade, Steel’s Impact on National Security, NAFTA, and the Dollar

Wolf Richter with Jim Goddard on This Week in Money:

Trade agreements are designed to benefit companies, not people – which is part of the problem. We also get into whether gold and silver will remain stuck in the current trading range, and whether there will be a recession under Trump.

 

Not All Forms Of Gold Ownership Are Equal

Ultimately, the value of gold is based on its tangibility. So, why do so many investors assume they’re getting the same protection from investments like gold futures that they’re getting from physical gold: while gold futures and ETFs will fill most of the needs of owning gold in normal circumstances, in extraordinary circumstances, something that’s intangible like a futures contract just won’t do. Because how will you collect your gold from the custody bank when all the banks have failed?

This week, the Goldnomics podcast ranks the safest ways to own gold to the least safe. The safest is, of course, owning physical gold bars. The next safest is to own allocated and segregated gold, which is owning physical gold kept in a separate physical account. The next level of safety is unallocated gold, then there are physically backed-ETFs and non-physically backed ETFs.

Further out the safety spectrum is owning shares of gold miners, which trade like equities (because they are). However, the vast majority of investors own gold via an ETF.

While it’s an easily accessible way of owning gold, it’s not designed for physical deliverability. “The idea of having gold in a systemically linked instrument like that could be convenient in normal times but when things get out of hand, suddenly those contracts don’t bear any weight.”

Like Alan Greenspan said, Gold is trusted by everybody as a form of payment. And indeed, most gold investors own the precious metal for its tangibility. And reading the fine print of these ETFs, the fund manager is protected from ever having to be found liable for delivering its gold. Instead, the gold is stored with large custodian banks, and if there’s ever any serious systemic risk, the owner of the ETF won’t ever be made hole.

“Don’t think you’re checking that hedging box if you own gold through an ETF, or a digital gold provider.”

Listen to the rest of the podcast below:

Gold and the Monetary Blockade on Iran

Gold and the Monetary Blockade on Iran

This blog post is a guest post on BullionStar’s Blog by the renowned blogger JP Koning who will be writing about monetary economics, central banking and gold. BullionStar does not endorse or oppose the opinions presented but encourage a healthy debate.

With Donald Trump close to re-instituting economic sanctions on Iran, it’s worth remembering that gold served as a tool for skirting the the last round of Iranian sanctions. If a blockade were to be re-imposed on Iran, might this role be resuscitated?

The 2010-2015 Monetary Blockade

The set of sanctions that the U.S. began placing on Iran back in 2010 can be best thought of as a monetary blockade. It relied on deputizing U.S. banks to act as snitches. Any U.S. bank that was caught providing correspondent accounts to a foreign bank that itself helped Iran engage in sanctioned activities would be fined. To avoid being penalized, U.S. banks threatened their foreign bank customers to stop enabling Iranian payments or lose their accounts. And of course the foreign banks (mostly) complied. Being cut off from the U.S. payment system would have meant losing a big chunk of business, whereas losing Iranian businesses was small fry.

One of the sanctioned activities was helping Iran to sell oil. By proving that they had significantly reduced their Iranian oil imports, large importers like Japan, Korea, Turkey, India, and China managed to secure for their banks a temporary exemption from U.S. banking sanctions. So banks could keep facilitating oil-related payments for Iran without being cut off from the dollar-based payments system. The result was that Iran’s oil exports fell, but never ground to a halt. This was a fairly balanced approach. While the U.S. wanted to deprive Iran of oil revenue – which might be used to build nuclear weapons – it didn’t want to force allies to do entirely without necessary crude oil.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Total U.S. Public Debt & Interest Expense Hit A New Record High

Total U.S. Public Debt & Interest Expense Hit A New Record High

The total U.S. public debt hit a new record high of $21.145 trillion on the last day in May.  As the U.S. debt increased, so did the interest expense which jumped by more than $26 billion in the first seven months of the fiscal year.  That’s correct; the United States government forked out an additional $26 billion to service its debt (Oct.-Apr) versus the same period last year.

While the U.S. debt reached a new high on May 31st, it took nearly two months to do it.  Let me explain.  During tax season, the total U.S. public debt actually declined from a peak of $21.135 trillion on April 10th to a low of $21.033 trillion on May 3rd.  Since then, the U.S. debt has been steadily moving higher (including some daily fluctuations):

If you spend some time on the TreasuryDirect.gov site, you will see that the total public debt doesn’t go up in a straight line.  There are days or weeks where the total debt declines.  However, the overall trend is higher.

Now, a rising debt level impacts the interest the U.S. Treasury must pay on this debt… especially when the average interest rate also increases.  According to the TreasuryDirect.gov, the interest expense rose from $257.3 billion (Oct-Apr) 2017 to $283.6 billion (Oct-Apr) this year:

As I mentioned, the U.S. government paid an additional $26 billion to service the debt than it did last year.  Now, $26 billion may not seem like a lot of money these days, but it could buy the total global Registered Silver inventory:

Thus, the extra $26 billion paid by the U.S. Treasury to service its debt would have purchased the 1+ billion ounces of silver held in the COMEX (270 million oz) and all the Global Silver ETFs. And, this would include the 138 million oz of silver supposedly stored at the JP Morgan vaults.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Good as gold: Turkey uses bullion to stabilise its economy

Commercial banks are putting gold into Turkey’s central bank to help deal with rapid inflation

Turkey’s central bank has accumulated an additional 400 metric tonnes of gold since 2011 (Reuters)
Turkey’s economy has been in a tailspin with an inflationary currency, but the country is using something rare to help stabilise itself: gold.

In late 2011, Turkey started to allow commercial banks to use gold instead of the Turkish lira for their required deposits at the central bank. These deposits are known as reserve requirements and help ensure that the banks are capitalised.

Over the past six-or-so years, Turkey’s central bank has accumulated an additional 400 metric tonnes of gold. That’s a lot of yellow bricks – more than what Britain has – and the sizeable stash has the possibility to take the edge off the crisis.

To put the Turkish gold haul in perspective, there are 10 million ounces of gold – roughly 311 tonnes – at the Bank of England, according to the New York-based financial consulting firm CPM Group.

The burgeoning balance of bullion comes as the result of a change in banking rules made earlier this decade.

I thought the Turkish thing was pure genius

– Jeff Christian, CPM Group

“I thought the Turkish thing was pure genius,” says Jeff Christian, founder of CPM Group. “It was using gold in the way that you should use it.”

In the simplest terms, the tweak to the rules allows gold to be used as a financial asset by the banks. In addition, the new regulation helped flush out a lot of gold that was previously held privately.

“This change allowed the government to get hold of the under-the-mattress gold to help stabilise the banks and the underlying economy,” says Ivo Pezzuto, professor of global economics, entrepreneurship, and disruptive innovation at the International School of Management, Paris, France.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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Gold Production On The Cusp of Peaking

Gold Production On The Cusp of Peaking

Gold is valuable because it is a finite resource. What happens when all available gold is mined and processed? There is still abundant gold deep within the earth, but it has not yet been found. Mining companies are unable, to dig deep enough. It is difficult for them to know where to locate this deep gold. All known locations have been depleting for years.

That is the reason mining gold has become more difficult and output is expected to begin decreasing steadily. The precious metal is becoming harder to find.

Most of the world’s gold was mined before the 1848 Gold Rush era. Since 1950, 125,000 tons of gold has been processed, which is approximately two-thirds of all gold ever mined. All of the gold that could be accessed easily has been mined.

Gold cannot be manufactured or created. It can only be mined from the earth’s crust. If we want more gold, companies, and investors will need to begin allocating more capital to exploration companies.

According Eugene King of Goldman Sachs, known mineable gold reserve may be gone in 20 years. The definitive word here is “known.” Gold mining companies are gearing up for a new era of exploration deeper below the surface than ever before. This means these companies will be incurring new costs at the same time their profits are decreasing. That is the reason why so few new mines are being excavated and few new projects are being started.

The earth’s easy-to-find gold has already been found and mined. There will not be another California Gold Rush. The search for new gold becomes increasingly challenging and expensive each year. Outdated equipment and technology need to be replaced.

To add to the problem, the lead time between discovery and production of a new gold deposit is 20 years. Much of this is due to jurisdictional, local policies. Global reforms could remove many of the current obstructions.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The “Axis of Gold” Just Got Stronger

The “Axis of Gold” Just Got Stronger

As you probably know by now, President Trump backed out of the nuclear deal with Iran and is re-imposing harsh sanctions.

And just this morning, Trump announced that he’s canceling the much-anticipated nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un because of Kim’s recent belligerent comments.

What does that mean, aside from the added geopolitical risk to markets?

As you’re about to see, you can now expect what I call the “Axis of Gold” to get even stronger. And it has potential to accelerate the demise of the dollar-based international system.

The Axis of Gold includes Russia, China, Iran and Turkey. I would also include North Korea in that list, although as a junior member.

These countries are forming a trading and financial network revolving around gold and are acquiring massive amounts of physical gold to support it. They are steadily moving toward a gold-based balance of payment system.

Why is this happening?

Well, if you’re on the receiving end of American sanctions like Russia, Iran or North Korea, you want a way to work around these sanctions. And gold is a powerful alternative.

Let’s first consider North Korea.

With the summit called off, there’s every reason to expect that North Korea will only intensify its nuclear program.

But how can North Korea obtain the foreign nuclear and missile technology it requires to advance its program?

By using gold.

If a rogue state wants to acquire ballistic missile components or equipment to enrich uranium, it can’t buy them through SWIFT, the international payment system. But it can use gold.

Gold can’t be hacked or traced. Unlike digital money in bank accounts, it can’t be frozen. You just put it on a plane or ship and send it to its destination.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Petroyuan is Only the Beginning, Pop Goes the Metals Market

Petroyuan is Only the Beginning, Pop Goes the Metals Market

No boom today.  Boom tomorrow.  There’s always a boom tomorrow”

— Susan Ivanova “Babylon 5”

When Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) bought the London Metals exchange in 2012 all the speculation about about the effects on gold trading.  The primary reason for buying the LME was to obtain its warehouses and ensure a free flow of metals to points east.

What it also did was give them control over what type and kind of futures contracts could be traded on their exchanges.  No longer would the west control this very important part of the precious and industrial metal supply chain.

Now we’re seeing the next evolution of the power of owning the exchange.   After successfully launching a yuan-denominated gold futures contract last year, the LME is now preparing to issue a range of yuan-denominated metals futures.

In other words… Boom.

First Rule: Do No Harm

When China bought the LME the usual suspects in the contrarian investing community talked about the coming apocalypse for the bullion banks.  It never happened. In fact, China was in a position to help them cap the price of gold and extend the gold bear market for the past six years while it and its strategic partners, namely Russia, accumulated vast quantities of the world’s most important metal.

The Chinese were smart. Take over the LME and, for a while, change nothing. Don’t upset the apple cart and allow markets to operate mostly normally.  Now their ownership of the LME is not an issue.

Until now.  First gold trading in Yuan. Now the rest of the metals.

We’ve all been breathlessly focused on how strong the so-called ‘petroyuan’ oil futures contract has been for the Shanghai Exchange.  It has captured more than 12% of the total oil futures market in just under two months.  That’s incredible.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Learning from America’s Forgotten Default

​President Franklin D. Roosevelt​ signs the Gold Bill (also known as the Dollar Devaluation Bill) ​Bettmann/Getty Images

Learning from America’s Forgotten Default

One of the most pervasive myths about the United States is that the federal government has never defaulted on its debts. There’s just one problem: it’s not true, and while few people remember the “gold clause cases” of the 1930s, that episode holds valuable lessons for leaders today.

LOS ANGELES – One of the most pervasive myths about the United States is that the federal government has never defaulted on its debts. Every time the debt ceiling is debated in Congress, politicians and journalists dust off a common trope: the US doesn’t stiff its creditors.

There’s just one problem: it’s not true. There was a time, decades ago, when the US behaved more like a “banana republic” than an advanced economy, restructuring debts unilaterally and retroactively. And, while few people remember this critical period in economic history, it holds valuable lessons for leaders today.

In April 1933, in an effort to help the US escape the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt announced plans to take the US off the gold standard and devalue the dollar. But this would not be as easy as FDR calculated. Most debt contracts at the time included a “gold clause,” which stated that the debtor must pay in “gold coin” or “gold equivalent.” These clauses were introduced during the Civil War as a way to protect investors against a possible inflationary surge.

For FDR, however, the gold clause was an obstacle to devaluation. If the currency were devalued without addressing the contractual issue, the dollar value of debts would automatically increase to offset the weaker exchange rate, resulting in massive bankruptcies and huge increases in public debt.

To solve this problem, Congress passed a joint resolution on June 5, 1933, annulling all gold clauses in past and future contracts.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Gold Should be Viewed as Money — Not as an Investment Instrument

Gold Should be Viewed as Money — Not as an Investment Instrument

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On May 4 and 5, 2018, Warren E. Buffett (born 1930) and Charles T. Munger (born 1924), both already legends during their lifetime, held the annual shareholders’ meeting of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Approximately 42,000 visitors gathered in Omaha, Nebraska, to attend the star investors’ Q&A session.

Peoples’ enthusiasm is understandable: From 1965 to 2017, Buffett’s Berkshire share achieved an annual average return of 20.9 percent (after tax), while the S&P 500 returned only 9.9 percent (before taxes). Had you invested in Berkshire in 1965, today you would be pleased to see a total return of 2,404,784 percent: an investment of USD 1,000 turned into more than USD 24 million (USD 24,048,480, to be exact).

In his introductory words, Buffett pointed out how important the long-term view is to achieving investment success. For example, had you invested USD 10,000 in 1942 (the year Buffett bought his first share) in a broad basket of US equities and had patiently stood by that decision, you would now own stocks with a market value of USD 51 million.

With this example, Buffett also reminded the audience that investments in productive assets such as stocks can considerably gain in value over time; because in a market economy, companies typically generate a positive return on the capital employed. The profits go to the shareholders either as dividends or are reinvested by the company, in which case the shareholder benefits from the compound interest effect.

Buffett compared the investment performance of corporate stocks (productive assets) with that of gold (representing unproductive assets). USD 10,000 invested in gold in 1942 would have appreciated to a mere USD 400,000, Buffett said – considerably less than a stock investment. What do you make of this comparison?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Turkey Repatriates All Gold From The US In Attempt To Ditch The Dollar

After Venezuela, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands prudently repatriated a substantial portion (if not all) of their physical gold held at the NY Fed or other western central banks in recent years, one month ago Turkey announced that it too has decided to repatriate its gold stored in the US Federal Reserve and deliver it to the Istanbul Stock Exchange, according to reports in Turkey’s Yeni Safak. As we reported at the time, it wouldn’t be the first time Turkey has asked the NY Fed to ship the country’s gold back: in recent years, Turkey repatriated 220 tons of gold from abroad, of which 28.7 tons was brought back from the US last year.

And now, according to a report by the Swiss Schweiz am Wochenende, the repatriation is complete with the Turkish central bank withdrawing all of its gold reserves from the U.S. due to the “tense political situation.” However, in a strange twist, instead of moving the physical gold to Istanbul as the Turkish press reported in April, the Swiss newspaper notes that around 19 tons of Turkish gold is now stored at the Basel-based Bank for International Settlements.

It was not immediately clear why Turkey would shift its gold from the NY Fed to the BIS, whose historical “gold rehypothecation” tendencies have been well documented over the years.

According to the latest IMF data, Turkey’s total gold reserves are estimated at 596 tons in May, up 5 tons since April, and worth just under $23 billion, rising 40% over the past year. This makes Ankara the 11th largest gold holder, behind the Netherlands and ahead of India.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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