Posts Tagged ‘currency’
Tuesday, April 19, 2011, 12:22 pm,
by Chris Martenson
Things are certainly speeding up, and it is my conclusion that we are not more than a year away from the next major financial and economic disruption.
Alas, predictions are tricky, especially about the future (credit: Yogi Berra), but here’s why I am convinced that the next big break is drawing near.
In order for the financial system to operate, it needs continual debt expansion and servicing. Both are important. If either is missing, then catastrophe can strike at any time. And by ‘catastrophe’ I mean big institutions and countries transiting from a state of insolvency into outright bankruptcy.
In a recent article, I noted that the IMF had added up the financing needs of the advanced economies and come to the startling conclusion that the combination of maturing and new debt issuances came to more than a quarter of their combined economies over the next year. A quarter!
I also noted that this was just the sovereign debt, and that state, personal, and corporate debt were additive to the overall amount of financing needed this next year. Adding another dab of color to the picture, the IMF has now added bank refinancing to the tableau, and it’s an unhealthy shade of red:
(Reuters) – The world’s banks face a $3.6 trillion “wall of maturing debt” in the next two years and must compete with debt-laden governments to secure financing, the IMF warned on Wednesday.
Many European banks need bigger capital cushions to restore market confidence and assure they can borrow, and some weak players will need to be closed, the International Monetary Fund said in its Global Financial Stability Report.
The debt rollover requirements are most acute for Irish and German banks, with as much as half of their outstanding debt coming due over the next two years, the fund said.
“These bank funding needs coincide with higher sovereign refinancing requirements, heightening competition for scarce funding resources,” the IMF said.
When both big banks and sovereign entities are simultaneously facing twin walls of maturing debt, it is reasonable to ask exactly who will be doing all the buying of that debt? Especially at the ridiculously low, and negative I might add, interest rates that the central banks have engineered in their quest to bail out the big banks.
Greece’s Public Debt Management Agency paid a high price to sell €1.625 billion of 13-week Treasury bills at an auction Tuesday, amid persistent speculation that the country will have to restructure its debt.
The 4.1% yield paid by Greece, which means it now pays more for 13-week money than the 3.8% Germany currently pays on its 30-year bond, is likely to increase concern over the sustainability of Greece’s debt-servicing costs.
Greek debt came under heavy selling pressure Monday after it emerged that the country had proposed extending repayments on its debt, pushing yields to euro-era highs.
Greek two-year bonds now yield more than 19.3%, up from 15.44% at the end of March.
With Greek 2-year bonds now yielding over 19%, the situation is out of control and clearly a catastrophe. When sovereign debt carries a rate of interest higher than nominal GDP growth, all that can ever happen is for the debts to pile up faster and faster, clearly the very last thing that one would like to see if avoiding an outright default is the desired outcome. How does more debt at higher rates help Greece?
It doesn’t, and default (termed “restructuring” by the spinsters in charge of everything…it sounds so much nicer) is clearly in the cards. The main question to be resolved is who is going to eat the losses — the banks and other major holders of the failed debt, or the public? I think we all know the most likely answer to that one.
“Contagion” is the fear here. With Ireland and Portugal already well down the path towards their own defaults, it is Spain that represents a much larger risk because of the scale of the debt involved. Spain is now officially on the bailout watch list, because it has denied needing a bailout, which means it does.
Spain is now at the ‘grasping at straws’ phase as it pins its hopes on China riding to the rescue:
European officials are hoping that the bailout for Portugal will be the last one, and debt markets have broadly shown both Spain and Italy appear to be succeeding in keeping investors’ faith.
Madrid is hoping for support from China for its efforts to recapitalize a struggling banking sector and there were also brighter signs in data showing its banks borrowed less in March from the European Central Bank than at any point in the past three years.
If Spain is hoping for a rescue by China, it had better get their cash, and soon. As noted here five weeks ago in “Warning Signs From China,” a slump in sales of homes in Beijing in February was certain to be followed by a crash in prices. I just didn’t expect things to be this severe only one month later:
BEIJING (MNI) – Prices of new homes in China’s capital plunged 26.7% month-on-month in March, the Beijing News reported Tuesday, citing data from the city’s Housing and Urban-Rural Development Commission.
Average prices of newly-built houses in March fell 10.9% over the same month last year to CNY19,679 per square meter, marking the first year-on-year decline since September 2009.
Home purchases fell 50.9% y/y and 41.5% m/m, the newspaper said, citing an unidentified official from the Housing Commission as saying the falls point to the government’s crackdown on speculation in the real estate market.
Housing transactions in major Chinese cities monitored by the China Index Research Institute (CIRI) dropped 40.5% year-on-year on average in March, a month when home buying typically enters a seasonal boom period.
Transactions rose month-on-month in 70% of the cities monitored, including five cities where transactions were up by more than 100% on a month earlier, secutimes.com reported on Wednesday, citing statistics from the CIRI. [CM note: month-on-month not useful for transactions as volumes have pronounced seasonality]
Beijing posted a decrease of 48% from a year earlier; cities including Haikou, Chengdu, Tianjin and Hangzhou saw drops in their transaction volumes month-on-month, according to the statistics.
Meanwhile, land sales fell 21% quarter-on-quarter to 4,372 plots in 120 cities in the first quarter of 2011; 1,473 plots were for residential projects, the statistics showed.
The average price of floor area per square meter in the 120 cities dropped to RMB 1,225, down 15% m-o-m, according to the statistics.
Real estate is easy to track because it always follows the same progression. Sales volumes slow down, and people attribute it to the ‘market taking a breather.’ Then sales slump, but people say “prices are still firm,” trying to console themselves with what good news they can find in the situation. Then sales really drop off, and prices begin to move down. That’s where China currently is. What happens next is also easy to ‘predict’ (not really a prediction because it always happens), and that is mortgage defaults and banking losses, which compound the misery cycle by drying up lending and dumping cheap(er) properties back on the market.
In that report back in March, I also wrote this:
If China enters a full-fledged housing crash, then it will have some very serious problems on its hands.
A collapse in GDP would surely follow, and all the things that China currently imports by the cargo-shipload would certainly slump in concert.
This is another possible risk to the global growth story that deserves our close attention. How this will impact things in the West remains unclear, but we might predict that China would cut way back on its Treasury purchases if it suddenly needed those funds back home to soften the blow of an epic housing bust.
If a more normal ratio for a healthy housing market is in the vicinity of 3x to 4x income, then China’s national housing market is overpriced by some 60% and certain major markets are overpriced by 80%.
Which means that the entire banking sector in China is significantly exposed.
The reason we care if China experiences a housing bust is the turmoil that will result in the global commodity and financial markets as a result. Everything is tuned to a smooth continuation of present trends, and China experiencing a housing bust would be quite disruptive.
If Spain is hoping for a big cash infusion from China and/or Chinese banks, it had better get its hands on that money quick. China is barreling toward its own full-fledged real estate crisis, which will drain its domestic liquidity just as surely as it did for the Western system, and probably even more quickly, given the stunning drop-offs in volumes in prices.
However, I should note that the United States housing market hit its peak (according to the Case-Shiller index) in July of 2006, and it was a year and a month before the first cracks appeared in the financial system, so perhaps there’s some time yet for Spain to cling to its hopes.
The larger story here is how a real estate slump in China will impact global growth, which absolutely must continue if the debt charade is to continue.
Who Will Buy All the Bonds?
With Japan now focusing on rebuilding itself, and China seemingly now in the grips of a housing bust that could prove to be one for the record books, given the enormous price-to-income gap that was allowed to develop, it would seem that the financing needs of the West will not be met by the East.
One important way to track how this story is unfolding is via the Treasury International Capital (TIC) report that comes out every month. The most recent one came out on April 15th and was quite robust, with a very large $97.7 billion inflow reported for February (the report lags by a month and a half).
On the surface things look ‘okay,’ although not especially stellar, given a combined US fiscal and trade deficit that is roughly twice as high as the February inflow. But digging into the report a bit, we find some early warning signs that perhaps all is not quite right:
Net foreign purchases of long-term securities totaled a lower-than-trend $26.9 billion in February, reflecting $32.4 billion of foreign purchases offset by $5.5 billion of domestic purchases of foreign securities. Inflows slowed for both Treasuries and equities with government agency bonds and corporate bonds posting outflows.
When including short-term securities, the February data tell a different story with a very large $97.7 billion inflow. Country data show little change in Chinese holdings of U.S. Treasuries, at $1.15 trillion, and a slight gain for Japanese holdings at $890 billion. It will be interesting to watch for change in Japanese Treasury holdings as rebuilding takes hold.
Only $26.9 billion, or 28%, of that $97.7 billion, was in long-term securities, reflecting a trend first outlined for us in our recent podcast interview with Paul Tustain of BullionVault whereby fewer and fewer participants are willing to lend long. Everybody is piling into the short end of things, not trusting the future. The concern here is that when interest rates begin to rise, financing costs will immediately skyrocket, because too much of the debt is piled up on the short end.
Also in the TIC data cited above, we need to reiterate that it is for February, and the Japanese earthquake hit on March 11. The next TIC report will be somewhat more telling, but even then only partially, and so it is the report for April (due to be released on June 15) that we’re really going to examine closely. Our prediction is for a rather large dropoff due to Japan’s withdrawal of funds.
With the Fed potentially backing away from the quantitative easing (QE) programs in June, the US government will need someone to buy roughly $130 billion of new bonds each month for the next year. So the question is, “Who will buy them all?”
Right now, that is entirely unclear.
Sadly, the budget ‘cuts’ proposed so far in Washington DC are too miniscule to assist in any credible way, and they practically represent a rounding error, given the numbers involved. The Obama administration has proposed $38 billion in spending reductions. (I hesitate to call them ‘cuts’ because in many cases they are merely lesser increases than previously proposed).
April 14, 2011
WASHINGTON – Congress sent President Barack Obama hard-fought legislation cutting a record $38 billion from federal spending on Thursday, bestowing bipartisan support on the first major compromise between the White House and newly empowered Republicans in Congress.
The Environmental Protection Agency, one of the Republicans’ favorite targets, took a $1.6 billion cut. Spending for community health centers was reduced by $600 million, and the Community Development Block Grant program favored by mayors by $950 million more.
The bipartisan drive to cut federal spending reached into every corner of the government’s sprawl of domestic programs. Money to renovate the Commerce Department building in Washington was cut by $8 million. The Appalachian Regional Commission, a New Deal-era program, was nicked for another $8 million and the National Park Service by $127 million more.
For the record, these ‘cuts’ work out to ~$3 billion less in spending each month, or less than the amount the Fed has been pouring into the Treasury market each business day for the past five months.
The fact that a major write-up on the budget finds it meaningful to tell us about specific $8 million cuts (that’s million with an “m“) tells us that we are not yet at the serious stage in these conversations. After all, $8 million is only 0.0005% of the 2011 deficit, and even the entire $38 billion is just 2.3% of the deficit and slightly under 1% of the total 2011 budget.
How much is $38 billion?
- Less than 2 weeks of new debt accumulation (on average)
- About 2 weeks of Fed thin-air money printing, a.k.a. QE II
In other words, it’s a drop in the ocean.
It is this lack of seriousness that is driving the dollar down and oil, gold, silver, and other commodities up. It is the reason we will be watching the TIC report for clues that foreign buyers and holders of dollars are getting nervous about storing their wealth with a country that is increasingly seen as unable or unwilling to live within its means. It explains why the IMF has been finger-wagging so much of late.
Somehow the US federal government managed to increase its expenditures by 30% from 2008 to 2011, but is now struggling to reduce the total amount by just 1%.
That, my friends, is an out-of-control process, and the 1% in ‘cuts’ is simply not a credible response to a very large problem.
There are two entirely, completely, utterly different narratives at play here. One of them is that the economy is recovering, policies are working, and the vaunted consumer is either back in the game or close to it. The other is that the world is saturated with debt, there’s no realistic or practical model of growth that could promise its repayment, and the level of austerity required to balance the books is so far beyond the political will of the Western powers that it borders on fantasy to ponder that outcome.
If we believe the first story, we play the game and continue to store all of our wealth in fiat money. If we believe the second, we take our money out of the system and place it into ‘hard’ assets like gold and silver because the most likely event is a massive financial-currency-debt crisis.
The IMF, the World Bank, the BIS, and numerous other institutions with access to $2 calculators have finally arrived at the conclusion that there’s still ‘too much debt’ and that it cannot all be paid back. And they are now alert to the idea that the predicament only has two outcomes: either the living standards of over-indebted countries will be allowed to fall, or the global fiat regime will suffer a catastrophic failure.
China is unlikely to ride to the rescue of the West, although it may have some time yet to help out a few of the smaller and mid-sized players, such as Spain.
Read the entire article HERE.
By Chris Puplava
“Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair.”
While most investors are familiar with the Dollar Index, it is actually a poor tool in gauging the strength of the USD given its weightings and only being a six currency basket. To truly see how the greenback is performing on a global scale one needs to look at more than six currencies and include precious metals. When one does this it is truly amazing how much the purchasing power of the USD has declined since 2009 after two rounds of quantitative easing (QE), and it is this loss of purchasing power that has the potential to at least cause another growth scare like 2010 or even a bear market.
The Biggest Loser
As I pointed out in a recent article, the USD Index has broken a three year trend line, which largely resembles a similar setup in the 1970s. When that break occurred stocks suffered in real terms and commodities went screaming higher with gold advancing more than 350% in two years. Whenever the USD Index has approached this 3-year trend line support I take a look at how it is performing versus world currencies over different time periods to see if it is beginning to strengthen and indicate a change in trend.
What you see below is the USD versus 30 world currencies and 4 precious metals over 6 different time periods. If the USD was in the process of staging an intermediate bottom you would begin to see more and more currencies and precious metals declining relative to the USD on a short term basis (1 day, 5 day, 1 month) but we simply aren’t seeing that. Shown below, only 8 currencies/metals are declining relative to the USD yesterday and over the 5 day , 1 month, and 3 month horizons, the USD is still declining against 2/3 of the currencies below.
Stepping back just a bit further in time we can see that the USD has lost a great deal of its purchasing power from a global perspective, particularly versus precious metals. Since 2009 and after two rounds of quantitative easing the USD has declined more than 75% versus palladium, 69% versus silver, and 39% versus gold. The USD has also lost a great deal of purchasing power versus commodity currencies like the Australian Dollar, Brazilian Real, and Canadian Dollar. Clearly, when looking at the USD from a global perspective, cash has been trash thanks to Helicopter Ben Bernanke and a Congress and President that have extended U.S. debt to the stratosphere.
What a Weak USD Means to You
Given the U.S. economy is now primarily a service economy by exporting its manufacturing base overseas, it is important to keep in mind that we are far more susceptible to import inflation. Thus, one of the major trend components in import inflation is the USD as commodities are priced in dollars. Shown below is the inflation rate for import prices (blue line) along side the annual rate of change in the USD Trade-Weighted Index (orange line—shown inverted for directional similarity and advanced several months). The close relationship between the USD and import price inflation could not be more clear with the recent weakness in the USD hinting at even higher import prices in the months ahead. This is certainly not going to be good news to consumers already struggling with high food and energy prices.
What a Weak USD Means to Corporations
One of the things I argued for as to why there was still pain ahead in the middle of 2008 was the extremely high level of corporate profits relative to their normalized levels (“The Worst Is Yet to Come”). Essentially, corporate profit margins tend to reverse and move back towards the long run average, and we were still well above historical norms back in the summer of 2008—a strong reason for why I was not ready to turn bullish on the markets.
Yet again, the extreme in corporate profits is causing me to turn more cautious on the economy and stock market as the drivers that helped corporations boost their margins (shedding payrolls while sales recovered) is largely behind us as payrolls are now being added again. Additionally, while inflation was quite tame in 2009 and for most of 2010 it is picking up momentum and a weak USD ahead will only exacerbate the problem. Shown below are current corporate profits relative to normalized levels (historical average times Gross Domestic Product), which imply significant downside risk for the earnings seasons ahead. As of the end of last year, corporate profit margins were more than two standard deviations above normalized levels (see red line in second chart below), with 2007 representing the last time this occurred.
What a Weak USD Means to the Economy & Stock Market
The current rising inflationary pressures we are seeing are coming from the 15% decline seen in the USD Index since last summer, and further USD weakness ahead will only compound the problem. Higher inflation cuts into corporate profit margins as well as reduces consumer’s discretionary spending levels as they are forced to pay more for less. Inflation levels are leading economic indicators as it takes time for consumers to respond from ticker shock and change their spending habits, and current inflationary trends portend a decelerating shift for the economy ahead.
Seen below are three different Federal Reserve regional surveys with both the headline index and the price index for the surveys shown together, with the price index shown inverted for directional similarity and advanced owing to their leading tendencies. As you can see all three price indexes (red lines) haved moved sharply higher (lower in chart since inverted) and indicate we are likely to see lower national ISM and regional ISM numbers ahead.
Why is this important to you as an investor? Well, there is a strong correlation between the ISM numbers and the year-over-year rate of change in the S&P 500 as seen below. Given the price indices for regional ISM’s are forecasting lower headline ISM numbers in the months ahead, we can also expect the stock market to be at risk with flat to negative returns. That said, with QE 2 still in force the price weakness forecasted by the regional ISM price indexes may have to wait until QE 2 comes to a close in June.
Source: ISM, Standard & Poor’s
What Does it All Mean?
The last time we were in a similar scenario was late 2007 to early 2008. While I am not forecasting another crash like the one seen in late 2008, I do believe we can see the same trends. What were the characteristics of that time period? A weak USD, rising inflationary pressures, lower retail sales, lower corporate profit margins, and outperformance by commodities in general and precious metals in particular. If the USD accelerates its current decline then commodity based investments would be the most likely beneficiaries. Additionally, defensive sectors like consumer staples, health care, utilities, and telecommunications will likely outperform the more cyclical sectors such as technology, consumer discretionary, and financials.
Read the entire article HERE.
By Bill Bonner
09/24/10 Delray Beach, Florida – Gold hit three new record highs last week. This week, following the announcement by the US Fed on Tuesday, it is hitting still more highs…closing in on $1,300 as we write.
Gold should go up with consumer prices. But, for nearly two decades – from 1980 to 1999 – gold went down while consumer and asset prices rose. Now, consumer prices are stable. Yet gold hits new records.
All views on gold are baroque. There’s no line of thought on the subject that doesn’t have a curve in it. Some buyers are loading up on gold because they see a recovery coming. Others are buying it because they don’t. Recovery, say some, will boost consumer appetites, resulting in higher inflation levels and a higher price for gold. The absence of recovery, say others, will cause the Fed to undertake more money printing.
Those who have no opinion on the matter are among gold’s most aggressive buyers. To them, gold looks like a “can’t lose” proposition. If the economy improves, gold rises naturally. If it doesn’t improve, the Bernanke team will force it up.
And if not Bernanke, the Chinese. Gold makes up only 1.7% of China’s foreign exchange reserves. Many analysts believe China is targeting a 10% figure. If so, it would have to buy every ounce the world produces for two and a half years. Or, if it relies on only its own production – China is the world’s largest producer – it would take nearly 20 years of steady accumulation to reach the 10% level.
The metal holding down the 79th place in the periodic table has many uses. People make spoons, forks and bathroom faucets out of it. It’s occasionally used as roofing, or even as a murder weapon; Crassus had molten gold poured down his throat after being captured by the Parthians. And Lenin said he would line the public latrines with it. But the best use ever found for it was as money – as a reliable measure of wealth.
Even gold is not perfect as money. During the years following the Spanish conquest of their New World territories, for example, gold flooded back into the Iberian Peninsula. Soon there was much more gold than the other forms of wealth it was meant to represent. Each incremental ounce of gold was disappointing. It bought only a fraction as much as it had before this monetary inflation began. And had you bought it in 1980 you would have seen 90% of your purchasing power disappear before the bottom finally came. Even today, you still would not be back at breakeven. The price of gold will have to almost double from today’s level to reach its inflation-adjusted high of 1980.
But this is what makes gold very different from other money. If you happen to have a billion-Mark note from the Weimar Republic or a trillion dollar note from Zimbabwe, you can hold onto that paper until hell freezes; its value will never return. Gold, on the other hand, will never go away. And when the post-1971 monetary system cracks up, gold is likely to return to its 1980 high…and keep going.
Over the centuries, mankind has often experimented with alternatives to gold. Driven by larceny or desperation, base metal and paper were tried on many occasions. Paper was particularly promising. You could put as many zeros on a piece of paper as you wanted, creating an infinite supply of “money,” as Ben Bernanke once noticed, at negligible cost. But the experiments all ended badly. People realized that money gotten at no expense was only gotten rid of at great cost. Given the ability to create “money” at will, a central banker will sooner or later create too much.
But one generation learns. The next forgets.
Read the entire article HERE.
by Dan Armstrong
Posted: 07.12.2010 at 8:13 PM
New types of money are popping up across Mid-Michigan and supporters say, it’s not counterfeit, but rather a competing currency.
Right now, you can buy a meal or visit a chiropractor without using actual U.S. legal tender.
They sound like real money and look like real money. But you can’t take them to the bank because they’re not made at a government mint. They’re made at private mints.
“I sell three or four every single day and then I get one or two back a week,” said Dave Gillie, owner of Gillies Coney Island Restaurant in Genesee Township.
Gillie also accepts silver, gold, copper and other precious metals to pay for food.
He says, if he wanted to, he could accept marbles.
“Do people have to accept dollars or money? No, they don’t,” Gillie said. “They can accept anything they want or they can refuse to accept anything.”
He’s absolutely right.
The U.S. Treasury Department says the Coinage Act of 1965 says “private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash, unless there is a state law which says otherwise.”
That allows gas stations to say they don’t accept 50- or $100 bills after a certain time of day in hopes of not getting robbed.
A chiropractic office in Lapeer County’s Deerfield Township allows creativity when it comes to payment.
“This establishment accepts any form of silver, gold, chicken, apple pie, if someone works it out with me,” said Jeff Kotchounian of Deerfield Chiropractic. “I’ve taken many things.”
Jeff Kotchounian says he’s used this Ron Paul half troy ounce of silver to get $25 worth of gas from a local station.
Read the entire article HERE.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Gold price manipulation is the most controversial theory that has circulated among gold bugs for 20 years.
Conspiracy theorists think that gold prices have been illegally suppressed over the last two decades by central banks and governments. GATA or Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee is the biggest complainant.
Central banks reportedly have 32,000 tons of gold, with the International Monetary Fund accounting for 2,800 tons. Under the Washington Agreement on Gold, its members can only sell a maximum of 400 tons a year thereby restricting the amount of gold in the open market place.
GATA argues that central banks in actuality have less than 15,000 tons of gold and that the missing gold has been secretly sold into the market preventing gold prices from rising to their actual price, which helps the country’s paper currency, bonds and interest rates. The suppression theory means that global economies are in worse financial shape than investors think and that gold should be bought as the ultimate safe haven.
The New York Post recently reported that the the Commodities Futures Trade Commission and the Department of Justice have launched criminal and civil probes into JPMorgan’s trading in the silver market to determine if the investment bank depressed the silver price for their advantage. There are also rumors circulating that a major New York law firm will launch a similar lawsuit against the investment bank.
I interviewed Chris Powell, secretary and treasurer of GATA to get the facts of this alleged manipulation.
Can you explain the basics of silver/gold manipulation?
Powell : Gold, and to a lesser extent, silver are currencies. Governments have intervened in the gold market in the open throughout history. Our complaint is that more often now they’re doing it surreptitiously as a mechanism of supporting their currencies, supporting government bonds and suppressing interest rates.
So can you break it down, how the government is doing it on the sly as you said?
Powell: Yes, the manipulation of the gold market now is achieved through two mechanisms mainly. One is the outright sale or leasing of central bank gold reserves to add gold to the market. The other is the sale of futures and options, gold derivatives by the big investment banks that have special relationships with the central banks, particularly with the Federal Reserve. These are essentially naked short positions in the gold and silver markets.
We believe they are pretty much backed up by the central banks, which will, at least in the gold market, provide whatever gold is necessary when somebody actually wants to remove gold from the system to really liquidate a position. The problem is the gold supply has been inflated in the futures market so there’s so much more gold paper out there than there really is gold.
For someone who has no idea what this means, how do the central banks lease to the bullion banks?.
Powell: It basically began as a carry trade. It was in the interest of most central banks and the investment banks. The central banks would lend gold at a very low interest rate, perhaps 1% to an investment bank. The investment bank in turn would sell the gold for cash and use the cash to fund its operations.
And this worked very well for the investment houses as long as they had some confidence that the gold price would not rise and destroy the carry trades. Central banks liked it because it kept the price of gold, the competitive currency down. It kept interest rates down. It supported the government bonds and the government currencies. Now this carry trade is breaking up a bit. We think because central banks are running out of gold that they can distort.
So that doesn’t seem so bad. You lease gold, it goes into the markets. So what’s the problem?
Powell: Well the problem is it’s surreptitious. It’s a matter of deceiving the gold market and more importantly, the currency and government bond markets as to what the government is doing. It also gives inside information to the investment houses that are working the trades that the government wants done. It’s a grand deceit. If it was done in the open, people would understand what the government policy was. But open policy would not have the effect of deceiving the markets. If you remove the deceit from the gold pricing scheme, the scheme is of very little use.
How long do the investment banks get to lease the gold for, from central banks?
Powell: The leases may be written in limited periods of a year or two years or three years. We believe that most of the central bank gold sales, or supposed gold sales in recent years, were not really gold sales at all. They were cash settlement of lease gold that could not be recovered and returned to the central bank without causing a huge spike in gold prices.
Continue the article HERE.
Purchase Professionally Graded Gold and Silver Coins HERE.