Thursday, January 9, 2014
I have intuited that something was clearly amiss with the gold market since the early nineties when ample selling was taking place well in excess of known supply. This left the sense of a serious deliberate short position. Later we learned of tungsten substitution used to empty Fort Knox with names named. This provided a physical source but also established an even more brazen effort to protect a short position
Recall this short position provides hard cash and no interest charge. Thus used by a reserve bank this cash is used to leverage a huge loan portfolio. This earns hugely for the short selling bank. Unfortunately you must borrow the gold eventually from someone and where better than fort Knox?
The problems begin long after when you discover that you need to undo the position and because you have paid through all earnings on a rising credit market, it becomes too expensive to actually buy gold. Thus this year we witness the outright sharp knockdown of gold likely to accommodate repricing the short position and the offsets.
What has put the squeeze on is Chinese conversion of US dollars into physical Gold, essentially collapsing the physical gold market and forcing the paper gold market to dance furiously to keep ahead of transaction demand.
Worse the Chinese are wise to the tungsten scam as are the Germans who asked for theirs back last spring. Little has been returned obviously because it does not exist unless it is bought out of the market in competition with the Chinese. And of course, the Chinese population is buying aggressively and the Chinese are melting down all ingots to produce seriously smaller bars far less prone to fraud.
All this is disturbing and a disaster for the USA and the parties involved. It may come to a head with a rapid lift in the price of gold to the $2500 mark
January 3, 2014
In wrapping up 2013, I wrote on the day after Christmas that the year ahead “promises to be one of the most dramatic in the markets in our short-term memories. The stage has been set for some earth-wrenching shifts as conditions that have seemed stable suddenly become unstable.”
To say that events tectonic in scope could be felt in 2014 is not an exaggeration. Enormous pressure is building as incompatible market conditions encounter one another.
Consider what is happening in the gold market. As we have been reminded in the financial press, gold has turned in its first down calendar year since 2000; its worst year since 1981.
But demand for physical gold is positively booming. Indeed today, the first trading day of the New Year, while stocks and oil were down, gold jumped on the strength of physical demand from China.
While the price action is noted by the financial press, it misses the significance of the center of action in the gold markets moving away from the West. A November account (one that ran online but didn’t show up in the newspaper itself), noted correctly that global gold trading continues to shift eastward, from New York, London, and Zurich to Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
This is a movement in the financial world that promises all the impact of geologic plates colliding.
How can demand for gold be booming, while the price has fallen hard? Is gold production roaring along in overdrive? On the contrary, gold miners have had to react to the impact of lower prices. They have cut production, shuttered mines, laid off workers, and cancelled projects.
So what explains the mystery of a depressed gold price even as strong demand for physical gold persists?
At this point, let me bring in James Rickards, the author of the book Wars which I have highly recommended. (Disclaimer: Not only do Rickards and I share the same publisher, we also had the same editor.)
In a December 31 Bloomberg TV interview Rickards explained that the gold price decline even in the face of strong demand for the physical metal is very bullish for gold:
As I wrote last month, “…a subterranean river of precious metals continues to flow from the West to the East. This is a future-shaping trend of significance inversely related to the attention it is receiving. While it goes mostly unnoticed, tectonic pressures in the gold market are building nonetheless. When the shakeup hits, it promises to be a Richter-scale financial event.”
Welcome to 2014.