Posts Tagged ‘Dollar Devaluation’
by Tyler Durden
January 1, 2012
When it comes to the fabled President’s Working Group on Capital Markets, also known as the Plunge Protection Team, the myths about the subject are certainly far greater than any underlying reality. To be sure, vast amounts of popular folkflore has been expounded into the public arena, with most of it being shot down simply due to it assuming conspiracy theories of such vast scale that the human mind is unable to grasp the complexity, and ultimately the inverse Gordian Knot makes an appearance with the claim that vast conspiracies are largely untenable simply because it is impossible to keep a secret from so many people for so long. Yet what if the secret is not a secret at all but is fully out in the open, and is only a matter of interpretation, and contextualizing? Why just 3 years ago it would appear preposterous to allege the capital markets are a ponzi and that the Fed does everything in its power to keep stocks higher. Well, what a difference three years make: now the Chairman himself in a Washington Post OpEd has admitted that the sole gauge of Fed success is the loftiness of the Russell 2000, neither unemployment nor inflation really matter now that the Fed’s third mandate has been fully whipped out. Furthermore, Keynesian economics, and the entire top echelon of the educational system have also been represented as a paradigm which merely perpetuates the status quo as the alternative is the realization that the whole system is a house of cards. As for the global capital markets being nothing short of a ponzi, we merely point you to the general direction of Europe, the ECB and its bank, where the monetary interplay is nothing short of the world’s biggest pyramid scheme. Yet the PPT, or whatever it is informally called, does not exist? Consider further that only recently did it become known that the former SecTres Hank Paulson himself was exposed as presenting material non-public information to a bevy of Goldman arb desk diaspora hedge funds, headed by with none other than the head of the President’s Working Group on Capital Markets Asset Managers committee David Mindich. So, if contrary to all the evidence that there is some vast underlying pattern, if not a conspiracy per se, one were to take the leap of faith and take the next step, where would one end up? Well, most likely looking at the Exchange Stabilization Fund, or ESF, which Eric deCarbonnel has spent so much time trying to unmask. Is it possible that the ESF, located conveniently at the nexus between US monetary policy, foreign policy and last but not least, a promoter of the interests of the US military-industrial complex, is precisely the organization that so many have been trying to expose for years? Watch and decide for yourself.
As a reminder deCarbonnel is not some tinfoil hat clad sub-basement dweller – it was his input that led us to the realization that in attempting to control the Treasury curve, the Fed will, and already has, experiment with selling puts on various Treasury maturities in an attempt to generate reflexivity whereby the synthetic determines the value of the underlying (something ETFs are now doing oh so well), the value naturally always being higher, higher, higher irrelevant of what underlying demand there is (and as we showed last week, with a record amount of international outflows in the past month, the demand, at least from abroad, is just not there). So what does Eric assert?
After months of work, the video series on the Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund is finally finished!
Why you should watch these five videos:
It is impossible to understand the world today without knowing what the ESF is and what it has been doing. Officially in charge of defending the dollar, the ESF is the government agency which controls the New York Fed, runs the CIA’s black budget, and is the architect of the world’s monetary system (IMF, World Bank, etc). ESF financing (through the OSS and then the CIA) built up the worldwide propaganda network which has so badly distorted history today (including erasing awareness of its existence from popular consciousness). It has been directly involved in virtually every major US fraud/scandal since its creation in 1934: the London gold pool, the Kennedy assassinations, Iran-Contra, CIA drug trafficking, HIV, and worse…
So while nursing that New Year’s Day hangover, take some time and watch this series of videos. If nothing else, they even if merely the extended ramblings of some person that one can quickly dismiss as merely the latest lunatic, they do present an alterantive reality to what so many may be accustomed to. After all at the end of the day imagination, the ability to think outside the box, and to see patterns where previously there were none, is the greatest threat to the ending status quo by far.
Read the entire article HERE.
Morgan Stanley On Why 2012 Will Be The “Payback” For Three Years Of “Miracles” And A US Earnings Recession
by Tyler Durden
Yesterday, we breached the topic of the real decoupling that is going on: that between the macro and the micro (not some ridiculous geographic distribution of the US versus the world), by presenting David Rosenberg‘s thoughts on why Q4 GDP has peaked and why going forward it is energy prices that are likely to be a far greater drag on incremental growth than the preservation (not the addition as it is not incremental) of $10 per week in payroll taxes (which only affects those who are already employed), even as company earnings and profit margins have likely peaked. Today, following up on why the micro is about to return with a bang, and why fundamentals are about to become front and center all over again, albeit not in a good way, is, surprisingly, Morgan Stanley’s Mike Wilson, who has issued his loudest warning again bleary eyed optimism for the next year: “Think of 2012 as the “payback” year….when many of the extraordinary things that happened over the past 3 years go in reverse. I am talking about incremental fiscal stimulus, a weaker US dollar, positive labor productivity, and accelerated capital spending.” Said otherwise, 2012 is the year when everything that can go wrong in the micro arena, will go wrong. And this is why Morgan Stanley being bullish on the macro picture! As Wilson says, his pessimistic musing “tells the story for what to expect in 2012 assuming the situation in Europe doesn’t implode. In other words, this is not the macro bear case.” If one adds a full blown European collapse to the mix, then the perfect storm of a macro and micro recoupling in a deleveraging vortex will prove everyone who believes that 2012 will be merely a groundhog year (in same including us) fatally wrong.
Lastly, when it comes to predictions Morgan Stanley (which called the EURUSD short the hour Goldman put it on as a long) should be taken far more seriously than Goldman, which merely wants to be on the other side of its clients.
The complete very troubling forecast from Morgan Stanley:
Interview by James Turk
The Gold Report
November 7, 2011
A war-mongering U.S. government could be less than 18 months away from decimating the last 5% of value left in the dollar, says Richard Maybury, the author of the U.S. & World Early Warning Report. Until some new exchange-traded-fund-like basket of natural resources provides a store of value, this “juris naturalist” has some advice about how to protect your wealth during the coming collapse.
The Gold Report: Richard, last month, you made a presentation at the Casey Research/Sprott Inc. “When Money Dies” Summit entitled “The War that Will Kill the Dollar.” You explained that the corrupting influence of power had sent our country’s leaders shopping for war, disregarding Westphalian respect for sovereignty and hastening the collapse of society. What are the signs that we are reaching a critical point? And, is there any way we can change course?
Richard Maybury: You can see the signs very clearly in the Middle East and North Africa. The Federal government is involved in several wars there that have nothing to do with America. One of the best examples is Libya. U.S. officials are taking credit for Moammar Gadhafi’s death just a year after they were bragging about having tamed the threat. Now Libya is a mess. It will very likely be taken over by some sort of Islamic government that isn’t going to be very friendly to America.
TGR: Why do we, as a country, do this? If it’s not going to end well for us, what’s the economic or political reason to get involved?
RM: The U.S. government gets into wars in far corners of the world that have nothing to do with America because the leaders like getting into wars. That is how presidents achieve greatness in the history books. A president has no prayer of going down in history as great unless he has won a war. Look at Mount Rushmore. All four presidents featured there won wars. That seems to be the number one criteria historians use for deciding whether someone is a great president. It constitutes an automatic incentive to go out looking for wars.
TGR: What is the incentive for the American people to go war shopping?
RM: Nothing. It’s absurd. During the First Gulf War, people had a tremendous good feeling about going to war with Iraq. They would come home from work, order a pizza, sit in front of their TV sets and watch the war like it was a football game. War became a form of entertainment.
TGR: Is there anything we could do to incentivize our presidents to act peacefully?
RM: I doubt it very much. People go into politics because they seek political power. Once they get the power, they naturally want to use it on somebody. What is the point of having power if you can’t use it? So, no matter what kinds of controls you put on, future presidents will find a way around it.
The ideal situation would be one where war is used as a last resort. Westphalian sovereignty, a set of agreements dating back in the 1600s, established the precedent that the European powers would only go to war in self-defense. You had to have a clear and present danger before you could go to war. And, even then, it was supposed to be the last resort. That was the basis of international law up until this year. That isn’t to say that the Westphalia treaties weren’t violated a lot of times, but they helped. After Iraq, Serbia and now Libya, it is pretty clear that the policy is we can just go out and hit anybody we want for any reason we want as long as we believe the other guy is up to no good.
TGR: If this is the new reality, then let’s talk about some of the economics around it. War is expensive. You have pointed out that since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, the dollar has lost 95% of its buying power. You said, “War destroys currencies.” It usually leads to governments printing more dollars to pay for guns and tanks. How much debt and overprinting can the country take before the velocity of economics, which is something that you also talked about in association with how quickly dollars are exchanged, catches up with reality and the dollar loses that last 5% of its value?
RM: Velocity refers to the speed at which money changes hands, and it is a measure of money demand. When people don’t really want the money, they start trading it away faster, trying to get their hands on things they do want, things that have value that they trust. The cost of this war in the Islamic world will continue going up. At some point, it’s going to be a major contributor to people losing what confidence is left in the dollar and people all over the world will start dumping it. This is a psychological thing. It’s about emotions, so it is hard to pinpoint when they will lose all confidence in the dollar.
TGR: What would it look like if that last 5% were gone? Are we talking about hyperinflation? Are we talking about banks collapsing? Are we talking about bartering? What would it look like?
RM: We are talking about all of that. It would be chaos. We saw it in Zimbabwe when the Zimbabwean dollar became worthless because the government printed so many that people wouldn’t accept them anymore. The country experienced enormous runaway inflation where prices were rising 50% a day before the Zimbabwe dollar collapsed.
It would probably start with someone somewhere in the world selling off his dollars and begin trading them for whatever it was he had confidence in. The foreign exchange value of the dollar would fall. Other people would notice; they would get scared and start selling their dollars. The foreign exchange value of the dollar would drop more. This process would continue until you have panic around the world to get out of dollars. Americans would be the last ones to get involved. We are always the last to know what is happening to America. Suddenly Americans would wake up one morning and find that a gallon of milk that cost $4 the day before costs $6 today. The next day they would find that it costs $12. And the next day they would find that it costs $36. That is when Americans would realize that they are in deep trouble; their dollars are about to become worthless.
TGR: Of course the Fed wants to avoid that scenario. You describe yourself as a follower of Austrian economics made famous by the Nobel laureates Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises. They describe financial systems as complex processes run by billions of constantly changing individuals rather than something that can be manipulated from a central point, which seems to be what is being attempted right now. If that is the case, what will be the outcome if the central government tries to force a more Keynesian control of the flow of money?
RM: They will mess it up even worse than they already have. The world has been living under Keynesian economics since 1971 when Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard. John Maynard Keynes was a semi-socialist. He believed that the way to fix the economy was to print a whole bunch of dollars and dump them out there. This has been standard procedure for the past 40 years. All currencies have been dropping in value during that time. Another round of quantitative easing (QE) could further speed the rate at which the money circulates, something that has the same effect as increasing the supply of dollars, creating a larger demand for goods and services and having an inflationary effect. I think Fed officials are dropping hints about the next QE because they are trying to cause velocity to rise, a secret QE if you will.
TGR: What if the stealth QE campaign doesn’t work? What form might a real QE3 take?
RM: It is hard to tell what they will do. One of the myths that everyone is taught is that the government has some sort of tremendous understanding of economics and the ability to make adjustments to economic activity. The term fine-tuning is used sometimes. Actually, we are talking about a group of human beings who don’t know much more about real economics than anybody else. They think they do, but they don’t. They just bounce around from one attempt to control things to the next, making a mess of the country. The economy is not a machine. It is people, human beings. It is a biological system, not a mechanical system. But, the government treats it like a mechanical system, so they are always making mistakes.
TGR: If war and hyperinflation are the inevitable future, how can investors survive or maybe even thrive during a time like this? What are the opportunities? Natural resources? Commodity equities? Where can we be safe other than putting that $100 bill under the bed?
RM: Well, I wouldn’t put $100 under the mattress, at least not for very long, because it will soon become worthless. But commodities, stocks of raw materials firms, gold and silver and platinum coins have value. Generally, I try to see the world in terms of two kinds of investments: dollars and non-dollars. You definitely want non-dollars, things that do not have their value tied to the value of the dollar. An example of a dollar asset is something like a bond or bank CD. Their values are tied directly to the value of the dollar. If the dollar falls, then their values fall.
Gold is a non-dollar asset. When the dollar falls, usually gold rises. The same is true with silver and oil. All of these things have values that are not tied to the dollar. My advice is to invest in non-dollar assets. Gold would be at the top of the list, silver and platinum and then oil.
TGR: In your Early Warning Report Newsletter, you predicted that gold will top $3,000/ounce (oz), silver will hit $50/oz and oil will exceed $300/barrel. Gasoline will go to $9/gallon. When will we see these rises? And what will be the catalysts that take them there?
RM: The next QE, which I expect to come along no later than March, could set off a flight from dollars. Then we could see those predictions realized within 18 months.
TGR: You said that once we have had this loss of the entire value of the dollar and people are looking for another way to trade, money could be based on some collection of metals with currency acting as a receipt for the tangible gold, silver, platinum and whatever else happens to be in that basket. What would that transition look like? How painful would that be? How would it be orchestrated?
RM: It doesn’t have to be painful. The markets are moving in that direction. People trade exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for practically everything now. I can envision a mutual fund or an ETF that is a collection of various things. It could be gold, silver and platinum. It could have oil in there. It might include Swiss francs. It could even have various patches of real estate. The ETF itself would then become a currency, not because anybody has it planned that way, but because the markets will see that there will be a demand for something that is a non-dollar asset that is easily tradable and seen as a store of value. There would probably be hundreds of these baskets of assets at the start. Some would work better than others would; the less workable ones would shake out. You might wind up with maybe a half dozen ETFs or mutual funds that are baskets of various assets circulating in the world. They would essentially become the currencies.
TGR: Would investing in ETFs now be a good way to prepare?
RM: No. I don’t know of any that are arranged that way. It may be a while until somebody catches the idea and decides to give it a try.
TGR: What about the precious metal equities? Would that be a good way to prepare?
RM: Yes. There are lots of good precious metal stocks. I own quite a few. That is another way to protect yourself. However, be sure to deal with a broker who really knows natural resources. You have to have some skill in picking those stocks. It’s not like going down and buying a gold coin where you just walk into the coin dealer and tell him I want a handful of American Eagles or Canadian Maple Leaves. You really have to know what you are doing when you are buying gold stocks.
TGR: Any final thoughts you want to leave with The Gold Report readers?
RM: The world has changed. When you look at the news and you say to yourself, “My God, America isn’t what it was; the world isn’t what it was,” have the confidence to know you are right. We are probably not going back to what America or the world was anytime in my lifetime. Therefore, you want to start learning everything you possibly can about this new condition and adapt to it.
TGR: Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
RM: Thank you, JT. I appreciate being here.
by Dave Brown, Gold Senior Reporter
Thu, Oct 20, 2011
Gold Investing News
Even as spot market gold prices have traded at historical highs over the past few months, central banks are increasing positions and demonstrating support for the precious metal.
Earlier this week, the World Gold Council released an update on its official gold holdings indicating the Bank of Thailand reported an increase for its gold reserves of 9.3 tonnes in August following the net purchases of 28 tonnes during the first half of the year. These purchases combine to represent 4.2 percent of the total foreign reserves and an increase of gold holdings to 136.9 tonnes. This might seem of interest for gold investors as the Bank of Thailand may continue to add to the position during short term fluctuations in gold prices to the downside, given the still relatively modest percentage of foreign reserves in gold that it has. In terms of a monetary policy, Thailand has maintained its interest rate level for the first time this year, terminating the longest consecutive period of increases since 2006. A weakening global economy and the worst floods in five decades are seen as impediments for growth in the South East Asian nation.
Regional peer, Vietnam has recently re-authorized gold trading on foreign accounts in order to narrow the difference between domestic and international gold prices following a recent increase in demand for gold in Vietnam. The State Bank of Vietnam changed its policy following a careful collaboration with its domestic gold jewellery industry and commercial banks.
South American demand
The central bank of Bolivia reported an increase of 7.0 tonnes in gold reserves bringing its total to 42.3 tonnes of gold. The country is holding approximately 21.3 percent of its foreign reserves in gold with its last reported gold acquisition dating to last December when it also reported a 7.0 tonne increase. Bolivia has recently been in the news as a result of strong environmental protests and declining political support for the leader Evo Morales. Mr. Morales’ socialist agenda appears committed to reducing the country’s poverty; however, requisite infrastructural progress, mining activity and gas development which are critical for economic growth are generating protest movements. Although the administration’s second term in office is due to end in early 2015, some observers are uncertain that stability in the South American nation will be maintained until a new election.
Russia adding gold to its reserves
Russia has also increased its gold position to 841.1 tonnes, adding 8.0 tonnes of gold to its reserves during the summer months of July and August. Russia has been consistently adding to its gold reserves for 52 consecutive months.
The central bank of the Philippines recorded a decrease in gold reserves of 10.3 tonnes, bringing its total to 147.8 tonnes of gold. Recently the central bank of the Philippines decided to protect growth by maintaining the benchmark interest rate at 4.5 percent, keeping with the monetary policy demonstrated by South Korea and Indonesia.
Sri Lanka has reduced its gold reserves to 8.1 tonnes as the result of selling 9.3 tonnes of gold. The country has followed other Asian examples in maintaining a cautious monetary policy; however, Mr. Anoop Singh, Director of Asia Pacific Department from the IMF indicates in a press briefing last month, “Sri Lanka has introduced new fiscal reforms to broaden the tax base, to remove exemptions, to bring these in line with international standards, and I think we can be quite confident the government and the central bank remain confident to carry forward these reforms.” Facing such uncertainty in the global economic context, the country is also modestly holding 4.6 percent of its foreign reserves in gold.
Read the entire article HERE.
BY KEITH FITZ-GERALD
Chief Investment Strategist
October 12, 2011
Do you want to know the real reason banks aren’t lending and the PIIGS have control of the barnyard in Europe?
It’s because risk in the $600 trillion derivatives market isn’t evening out. To the contrary, it’s growing increasingly concentrated among a select few banks, especially here in the United States.
In 2009, five banks held 80% of derivatives in America. Now, just four banks hold a staggering 95.9% of U.S. derivatives, according to a recent report from the Office of the Currency Comptroller.
The four banks in question: JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS).
Derivatives played a crucial role in bringing down the global economy, so you would think that the world’s top policymakers would have reined these things in by now – but they haven’t.
Instead of attacking the problem, regulators have let it spiral out of control, and the result is a $600 trillion time bomb called the derivatives market.
Think I’m exaggerating?
The notional value of the world’s derivatives actually is estimated at more than $600 trillion. Notional value, of course, is the total value of a leveraged position’s assets. This distinction is necessary because when you’re talking about leveraged assets like options and derivatives, a little bit of money can control a disproportionately large position that may be as much as 5, 10, 30, or, in extreme cases, 100 times greater than investments that could be funded only in cash instruments.
The world’s gross domestic product (GDP) is only about $65 trillion, or roughly 10.83% of the worldwide value of the global derivatives market, according to The Economist. So there is literally not enough money on the planet to backstop the banks trading these things if they run into trouble.
Compounding the problem is the fact that nobody even knows if the $600 trillion figure is accurate, because specialized derivatives vehicles like the credit default swaps that are now roiling Europe remain largely unregulated and unaccounted for.
To be fair, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) estimated the net notional value of uncollateralized derivatives risks is between $2 trillion and $8 trillion, which is still a staggering amount of money and well beyond the billions being talked about in Europe.
Imagine the fallout from a $600 trillion explosion if several banks went down at once. It would eclipse the collapse of Lehman Brothers in no uncertain terms.
A governmental default would panic already anxious investors, causing a run on several major European banks in an effort to recover their deposits. That would, in turn, cause several banks to literally run out of money and declare bankruptcy.
Short-term borrowing costs would skyrocket and liquidity would evaporate. That would cause a ricochet across the Atlantic as the institutions themselves then panic and try to recover their own capital by withdrawing liquidity by any means possible.
And that’s why banks are hoarding cash instead of lending it.
The major banks know there is no way they can collateralize the potential daisy chain failure that Greece represents. So they’re doing everything they can to stockpile cash and keep their trading under wraps and away from public scrutiny.
What really scares me, though, is that the banks
think this is an acceptable risk because the odds of a default are allegedly smaller than one in 10,000.
But haven’t we heard that before?
Although American banks have limited their exposure to Greece, they have loaned hundreds of billions of dollars to European banks and European governments that may not be capable of paying them back.
According to the Bank of International Settlements, U.S. banks have loaned only $60.5 billion to banks in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy – the countries most at risk of default. But they’ve lent $275.8 billion to French and German banks.
And undoubtedly bet trillions on the same debt.
There are three key takeaways here:
There is not enough capital on hand to cover the possible losses associated with the default of a single counterparty – JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), BNP Paribas SA (PINK: BNPQY) or the National Bank of Greece (NYSE ADR: NBG) for example – let alone multiple failures.
That means banks with large derivatives exposure have to risk even more money to generate the incremental returns needed to cover the bets they’ve already made.
And the fact that Wall Street believes it has the risks under control practically guarantees that it doesn’t.
Seems to me that the world’s central bankers and politicians should be less concerned about stimulating “demand” and more concerned about fixing derivatives before this $600 trillion time bomb goes off.
Read the entire article HERE.
August 14, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – For gold sellers on eBay, the recent stock market turmoil has been a boon for business. Gold and silver sales on eBay had already been rising steadily over the past several years – so much so that eBay Inc. created a special area in May to make it easier for buyers to find sellers.
Now, activity on that part of the site, the Bullion Center, is intensifying as consumers unnerved by the economic uncertainty flock to gold in hopes it will be a stable investment.
“When people are coming down to the question, ‘Do they want to have cash in the bank or gold in their hands?’ the answer is they’d rather have gold or silver,” said Jacob Chandler, CEO of Great Southern Coins, the largest seller of precious metals on eBay.
The stock market just ended one of its most volatile weeks in years, prompted in part by a downgrade in the nation’s credit rating and fears of another recession. The Dow Jones industrial average fell nearly 6 percent on Monday, its worst one-day drop since December 2008. Then the index rose Tuesday, fell Wednesday and rose Thursday and Friday to end the week 2 percent lower than a week ago.
Through most of last week, the average selling price increased for gold bullion – bars or coins stamped with their weight and level of purity.
According to the most recent data available from eBay, sales of 1-ounce gold American Eagle coins and 1-ounce gold Pamp Suisse bars rose steadily from Aug. 5 to Wednesday, before dipping slightly on Thursday.
On Aug. 5, when Standard & Poor’s lowered the nation’s credit rating, American Eagle coins were selling for an average of $1,800 among eBay’s featured sellers. The average price of the coins, produced by the U.S. Mint, rose more than 8 percent to $1,952 on Wednesday, before dropping to $1,915 on Thursday.
The Pamp Suisse brand of gold bars sold for an average of $1,787 on Aug. 5 and climbed nearly 8 percent to $1,927 by Wednesday. On Thursday, the bars dropped slightly to $1,890.
Even before last week’s market turbulence, investors were cautious because economic signals in the U.S. and overseas pointed toward trouble.
The Dow index fell 6 percent in the week ending Aug. 6. That week, the number of gold buyers on eBay rose 11 percent compared with the year’s weekly average. The number of gold sellers rose 14 percent. EBay would not provide the total number of buyers and sellers.
“With all the turmoil in the markets, this is seen as a way to diversify,” said Anthony Delvecchio, eBay’s vice president of business management and strategy for eBay’s North America business.
EBay, which is based in San Jose, Calif., does not impose minimum purchase amounts for bullion. Sellers offer gold both through auctions and “Buy It Now” fixed-price sales.
The increased popularity of gold on eBay echoes what’s happening in the broader gold market, where prices have spiked during the past two years.
Gold traded at about $900 per ounce in the summer of 2008, before the financial crisis unfolded that year. It passed $1,600 in late May and briefly rose above $1,800 for the first time on Wednesday before pulling back to $1,784. On Friday, gold fell to $1,740.60 per ounce, still nearly twice the summer 2008 prices.
Great Southern Coins has benefited from this uptick. Chandler said the company is selling more gold lately, and its silver sales remain strong, too. Chandler estimated his business has nearly quadrupled in the past 45 days, and he said it appeared to be up about five or six times during the past week, with most of this growth coming from sales on eBay.
Daniel Hirsch, a New York-based statistician who recently purchased more than a dozen gold coins on eBay from Great Southern Coins, said he started buying gold less than a year ago in an effort to expand his investment portfolio.
“It’s kind of a safe haven and a hedge against low interest rates,” he said.
Read the entire article HERE.
In this GoldMoney segment, James Turk, Director of The GoldMoney Foundation, talks to Jim Sinclair, host of JSMineSet.com, about his successful gold price predictions, US debt problems, how to ride the trend and the second phase of the gold bull.
Jim Sinclair talks about a formula/theory that Jesse Lauriston Livermore used called “the square of the numbers.” Jim Sinclair’s father, Bert Seligman was a business partner of the famous Stock Operator Jesse Lauriston Livermore.
Sinclair discusses a barrier, whether psychological or not, of the price in gold at $1764. This key theoretical price is the price that which confidence is lost in the markets and growth in gold price can go exponential. James Turk continues on to discuss the fundamentals of gold, the debt ceiling, the dollar, euro, fiat currency, sound money, the banking system and markets.
While the impact on Treasurys as a result of the downgrade may be limited (after all the other side of the Atlantic is about as ugly as the US, so where could $8 trillion in marketable USTs practically go… at least for now), the same may not be said about the far smaller, $2.9 trillion municipal market, which is about to see a blanket downgrade tomorrow as S&P warned on Friday night, and of which Matt Fabian of Municipal Market Advisors earlier said that “There will be hundreds and hundreds of municipal downgrades, which will not do well to bolster investor confidence.” The scary bit: “Treasuries may be able to shake off a real impact from the downgrade. Munis I’m less sure about.” Indeed, with futures already trading, and most risk assets experiencing a brief knee jerk reaction on a global coordinated PPT response by the G-7, there is still little clear understanding of what will really happen to not only the traditional system but to shadow liabilities such as repos and money markets. And munis are just one part of all of this. So what will happen if tomorrow the muni market starts unravellling, as Whitney, among so many others, has predicted? For that we turn to JP Morgan’s Peter DeGroot for some quick observations.
From JP Morgan on munis:
- Market volatility should continue next week with S&P’s US downgrade following this week’s manic capital market performance
- Tax-exempt yield movements will likely remain unstable, as dictated by benchmark Treasury yields, despite low long-term new issue volume next week
- Instability in the US credit may further net outflows in the municipal space. Net issuance, however, remains supportive of liquidity
- After S&P’s announcement of the US downgrade, expect follow-through on municipals directly supported by the US credit, as well as those highly reliant on the federal government
- The Central Falls bankruptcy case will be important to follow because of its potential broad implications for local government credit
- While we have been warning for some time of the elevated strain on local government fiscal positions, Central Falls could potentially have ramifications that could support local credit quality by (i) bringing clarity to the priority of the GO credit, (ii) providing a model for state activism, and (iii) adding steam to the momentum of some small cities using Chapter 9 to reduce fixed labor costs
What follows for munis as a result of the US rating action:
We anticipate some period of volatile/higher Treasury yields over the short horizon. We do not expect materially higher US borrowing costs as a result of the downgrade given that we do not expect sizable forced selling of Treasury bonds; rate movement of other sovereigns has been muted when faced with similar ratings actions; Treasuries quickly retraced their yield movements following the initial warning by the rating agencies; and the spot metrics for the US are arguably within the range for a AAA sovereign rating (see Treasuries).
We can expect S&P will downgrade all municipals backed by the US credit such as pre-refunded bonds and agency-backed municipal debt. Further, those credits with large fiscal transfer dependencies would also likely see in-kind downgrades. The rating implications are likely similar to those specified by Moody’s in their 7/13/2011 note.
Moody’s suggested moving approximately 7,000 muni bond ratings totaling $130bn, “directly linked” credits in lock-step with the US credit. Moody’s also reviewed “indirectly related” credits and placed five of the fifteen states they rate as Aaa on review for potential downgrade. These would also move in lock-step with the federal government rating.
Issuance limps along in August
The tax-exempt bond market will again take cues from the broader US fixed income markets, based on news of the US downgrade. Yield movements will likely remain unstable, despite low long-term new issue volume. Next week we expect supply of just $3bn based on late adds to the calendar.
Issuance in this range would be the lowest in four months (excluding the holidayshorted week of 7/5/11; Exhibit 3). This follows $4.9bn in primary market supply this week. The largest deal currently on next week’s docket is a $300mn Los Angeles Department of Water remarketing followed by $268mn Florida State Board of Education bonds. The expected light calendar should tick higher as refundings rush to take advantage of fight to quality yield levels if they hold after the S&P downgrade news.
The lack of a primary calendar and investor need for yield against the backdrop of low and dropping highgrade yields provide a fertile environment for paring typically hard to trade structures and credits. Investors may be motivated to lock in gains on these names and structures while demand is robust to preserve total return performance in the event of an unexpected shift in liquidity between now and year-end.
Municipal fund net outflows resurge on global risk-off trade
Broader credit market uncertainty may prolong muni outflows in the near term.
For the period ending 8/3/2011, combined weekly and monthly municipal reporters registered the highest net outflows (-$232mn) since the first week of June. Highyield funds (-$117mn) and long-term funds (-$726mn) also experienced net outflows. Intermediate funds (+$314mn) enjoyed positive flows for the ninth consecutive week.
Municipal funds who report weekly were also negative (-$861mn) for the period ending 8/3/2011. High-yield funds (-$118mn), long-term funds (-$732mn) and intermediate funds (-$55mn) all experienced net outflows (Exhibit 4).
And a quick primer on Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection from DeGroot as pertains to not only last week’s Central Falls bankruptcy filing, but to what me be “hundreds and hundreds” just over the horizon.
And after all that, the conclusion is that there is no conlusion, and only time will tell what will ultimately happen. That said, anyone actually predicting that a historic US downgrade will have no impact, is an idiot.
Read the entire article HERE.
by Tyler Durden
08/03/2011 14:50 -0400
The Treasury’s Borrowing Advisory Committee, chaired by such luminaries as JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, which according to some (and by some we mean anyone who cares about such things) is the brains behind the decision-making process of US debt issuance has released its quarterly minutes, in which it has issued one of the most stark warnings about the fate of the US Dollar to date. While it is now a daily occurrence for China and Russia to bash the dollar, for the most part still powerless to provide an alternative (but rapidly gaining), the same warning coming from Jamie and Lloyd has to be taken far, far more seriously. Which is precisely what happened today. As Bloomberg reports, “The Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee… said the outperformance of haven currencies and those from emerging nations has aided in the debasement of the dollar’s reserve status, according to comments included in discussion charts presented ahead of the quarterly refunding. The Treasury published the documents today. “The idea of a reserve currency is that it is built on strength, not typically that it is ‘best among poor choices’,” page 35 of the presentation made by one committee member said. “The fact that there are not currently viable alternatives to the U.S. dollar is a hollow victory and perhaps portends a deteriorating fate.””
But, wait a second… Isn’t Ben Bernanke debasing the dollar precisely for the benefit of the members of the TBAC? And considering that he has done such a tremendous job, is it a little hypocritical to be taking the USD devaluation in one hand, and complaining about it with another? Perhaps someone less jaded than us can answer. As for another important question looming over the US, namely the so called imminent US downgrade, the TBAC has spoken: “None of the members thought that a downgrade was imminent.” Which means that both S&P and Fitch have now been bribed with enough peas to keep their mouths shut. The status quo wins again.
Some other interesting observations:
- Primary Dealers expect a much smaller fiscal deficit in 2011 than either the CBP or OMB, at $1358BN compared to $1480BN and $1645BN respectively. Which means, if wrong, that Dealers will be on the hook to purchase up to $300 billion more debt than currently modelled. Will they be able to handle this extra load?
- PDs expect 2011 Marketable Borrowing to be between $980 and $2055 Billion. A rather wide range
- Bills as a percentage of the portfolio have plunged to decade lows, while coupons are at decade highs
- From the previous bullet point, the PDs expect the average maturity of debt to continue to increase. We disagree considering the hundreds of billions in Bills that will have to be reissued to make up for the 2 month non-rolling fiasco
- There is $1.8 trillion in debt refinancing needs in 2011; Just over $1.4 trillion in 2012, and just under $1.1 trillion in 2013. Good luck rolling all of this debt.
The TBAC’s conclusion is actually rather spot on:
- The benefits of extension do not come for free. Historical analysis suggests that shorter term funding has at many times been both cheaper and the volatility costs have not been high
- Recent cycles of rising rates have not lasted long enough for maturity extension to pay off
- It is possible, however, that “this time is different” because
- Nominal rates are much closer to the zero bound than previous periods
- Deficits are very high historically and rising interest expense less acceptable
- Concentrated foreign ownership creates less reliable demand
- The benefits of funding attributable to being the reserve currency may be fading
- While this presentation has focused exclusively on average maturity, a topic for future study is the impact of the distribution of maturities on total interest expense
That indeed would be an interesting analysis
Full must read presentation:
Read the entire article HERE.
by Brian Sylvester
The Gold Report
July 29, 2011
The Gold Report: You recently wrote that these are not normal times. Perhaps the current macroeconomic picture is the new normal?
Jay Taylor: The new normal is being shaped. We haven’t seen the final product yet. The new normal will be a world in which most Americans do not enjoy the standard of living that they have enjoyed in the past. I think this directly results from a situation in which the people who are able to create money out of nothing wrestle wealth away from those who create it. The miners, the manufacturers, the investors, the farmers—people who actually do things that are good for people—are not getting their fair share because the banking class attached to the politicians has control of the system. This is one of the reasons that I think we should go back to a gold standard. The new normal will be a decline in the general standard of living for most Americans. And I don’t think we’ve seen the bottom of that yet.
TGR: Your Inflation/Deflation Watch (IDW) chart is up about 53% since you launched it on Jan. 31, 2005. However, you believe that the chart’s current neutral direction suggests that the market is running on speculative money, not growth. Can you explain your rationale for that?
JT: By “neutral,” I mean that it is just a momentum gauge. We actually saw a decline in the IDW, or a real deflation, for a few months after the Lehman Brothers crash in 2008. Huge amounts of money, trillions and trillions of dollars of stimulus pumped into the economy, have managed to get it back up to the positive 50%-plus you noted. Now, it seems that we could be topping out. What we’ve seen is a rise in commodity speculation and games played by Wall Street—not a substantial rise in the real economy globally.
TGR: Recently, companies like Apple, Morgan Stanley and AT&T have all posted really strong earnings. That sounds like growth to me.
JT: Look at the economic statistics. Look at the unemployment numbers. I’m not saying that that top 20% isn’t going to do better. They are. Quite frankly, we have a fascist economic system and it’s becoming more and more so because the people who are really calling the shots are getting stronger.
TGR: Do you worry about marginalizing yourself by labeling this system a fascist economy?
JT: Go to the definition of fascism: government and corporate entities in bed together. What about the bankers getting bailed out at the expense of the poor? Is that good for poor people? Is that good for middle-class people? You might think it is. That’s the game. That’s the propaganda that we’ve been fed. I don’t buy it. The top banks, those that are “too big to fail,” know full well that they can enter into the next risky business and always get bailed out.
TGR: You had a conversation with Ian McAvity, the author of the Deliberations on World Markets newsletter, who suggested that we are in a secular bear market that dates back to 2000. He believes the Dow Jones Industrial Average will ultimately fall below its March 2009 lows. What do you make of Mr. McAvity’s projection?
JT: I think we are in a secular bear market. I’m not absolutely sure that we’ll see the nominal lows of 2009. In fact, if you look at what the equity market has done via gold, you’ll see that we are in a heck of a bear market right now in terms of the Dow Jones. In terms of purchasing power, there’s going to continue to be a decline in the wealth of the Dow.
TGR: What will be the impact of all this on gold and silver? There’s certainly been an unusually good run in July.
JT: I focus on the bigger picture. I look at the long-term secular moves. There have been 10 straight years of bull markets in silver and gold. I don’t know how much longer it’s got to run, but I think that it will keep running as long as the global economic picture remains unstable. The whole global system is in disarray right now. We have a system that’s broken. That’s why I don’t care whether the economy goes into a hyperinflation or deflation—gold has to be the cornerstone of a portfolio to preserve wealth. Investors want to own real money. They want to own what the markets have determined to be money over centuries: gold and silver. Fiat currencies have always failed. The U.S. dollar will eventually fail. This is a perfect storm for gold and silver.
TGR: Your model portfolio recently consisted of about one-third speculative mining equities. Why do you dedicate such a large position to one of the riskiest sectors of the market?
JT: I don’t think it is one of the riskiest sectors in this market. During the last 10 years, we’ve had triple-digit gains very frequently in those kinds of securities. Yes, we’ve had a soft patch in gold and silver stocks, which have not kept up with bullion markets. But they will. I remain very bullish on this sector because the majors need the juniors to replenish their resources and reserves. The large companies produce many millions of ounces of gold per year. They are not very good at replacing those ounces.
I caution my subscribers not to back up the truck and buy one or two of these stocks, but to spread out their portfolios and limit their allocation to about 5% of any one name. Taken as a basket, these types of companies will enhance returns very significantly, as they have over the last 8 to 10 years.
TGR: Another financial collapse could force some mining companies lacking adequate cash reserves to go out of business. You suggest searching for companies with plenty of cash, low burn rates and good management.
JT: I prefer companies that are project generators or prospect generators. Riverside Resources Inc. (TSX:RRI), Millrock Resources Inc. (TSX.V:MRO) and Yale Resources Ltd. (TSX:YLL) are very careful about how they spend their money. Yale uses its intellectual capital to find good prospects. Then it lets other companies take those risks and put money in the ground to pull out these deposits.
I like the new producers that are producing cash flow. Dynacor Gold Mines Inc. (TSX:DNG) is a new producer doing custom milling for companies in Peru. It is selling at about three times cash flow, but has lots of growth potential. It also has some exploration potential that looks extremely good.
Among the silver mining companies, Alexco Resource Corp. (TSX:AXR; NYSE.A:AXU) in the Yukon is earning very nice profits with huge upside right out of the gate. It has exploration and production potential.
Great Panther Silver Ltd. (TSX:GPR; NYSE.A:GPL) is also cash flow positive.
TGR: Great Panther is a company that would see immediate benefits from a rise in the silver price. It recently acquired new concessions near its existing mines in Mexico. Do you have any idea how long it might be before it starts drilling those?
JT: I’m not absolutely sure what the company’s plans are right now. I do like the management though. They do a great job of executing and lowering costs. The big things there are underground mines and there are some limitations on how much ore can be pulled out. If the company is able to pull up some more ore in that vicinity, it could bode very well for longer term profits.
Another company that is ready to take off is San Gold Corporation (TSX.V:SGR). It’s a long-term favorite of mine. It has a new management team that is really starting to execute its business plan of under-promising and outperforming.
It’s taken awhile for the company to get the operational side of its business in place, but it is going to drill. The new chief executive, who was a top operating guy at Placer Dome Inc., said that it is the most aggressive drill program he’s ever seen on a single project. The company can finance all this from cash flow, so it doesn’t have to dilute shareholder interest any further.
Timmins Gold Corp. (TSX.V:TMM) is another new producer with good cash flow and the ability to grow; it has great exploration potential.
These are new gold producers that have the opportunity to grow organically.
TGR: Do you know anything about Merrex Gold Inc. (TSX.V:MXI)?
JT: Merrex is a good exploration company. I have a very high opinion of it. The management is outstanding. IAMGOLD Corp. (TSX:IMG; NYSE:IAG) owns about 11% of Merrex’s stock. However, I like the fact that its management owns something like 15% of the stock, too.
Merrex has the Siribaya Gold Project in western Mali. Its latest NI 43-101 resource number is 315,000 oz. (315 Koz.). However, I could see that growing to 500 Koz. with a very extensive drill program; if that is the case, it could have upwards of 5 Moz. Moreover, we’re looking at 3 g/t. I’d caution that this is really forward-looking. Nobody knows until the company drills it out. However, the possibility for a very high-grade, open-pit deposit is certainly what attracted IAMGOLD, which is earning 50% interest by spending $10 million to fund this exploration.
The stock has not done well since I put it in my newsletter. We recommended it at nearly $0.60 and it’s down to $0.49—and there are more shares outstanding than there were before. I just think this is an excellent exploration program. IAMGOLD is very successful. This stock is certainly worth a couple of percentage points of a portfolio because it could come up really big. If the markets were to perceive that possibility of 500 Koz., it could lift share prices considerably.
TGR: Is Siribaya near any other noteworthy gold deposits?
JT: A couple of other properties nearby are in production: the Sadiola Gold Mines and the Loulo Gold Mine. Geologically, they are considered to be very similar to the Siribaya.
TGR: Another company you’ve discussed in your newsletter is Crocodile Gold Corp. (TSX:CRK; OTCQX:CROCF). The guidance there for 2011 is between 85 Koz. and 100 Koz. Do you think that it’s going to meet those expectations?
JT: I think it will. Last year was a bit of a disappointment. The share price has come down significantly. I recommended the stock at $1.56, and it’s at something like $0.68 now. It’s not one that I like to brag about. But fundamentally, the company is in a position to grow over the long term. It is a high-cost producer at around $875/oz.–$975/oz., but with gold selling at $1,600/oz., that still creates a pretty nice margin. The company is going into an underground mine with higher grades; that should help them bring their costs down as well.
Crocodile had its wettest rainy season in many decades last year, and that virtually halted its open-pit production. Mother Nature was the company’s biggest enemy last year. It did try to stockpile ahead of time, but no one had any idea that it would be such a wet season.
If the company is able to produce 85 Koz. to 100 Koz. as expected this year, it will generate enough cash flow to possibly allow the company to start producing.
TGR: Are there any other names that you’re excited about?
JT: Northern Gold Mining Inc. (TSX.V:NGM) has the potential to come up with a multimillion ounce, open-pittable deposit. The Garrison Project is in the Timmins Gold Camp, located along the Destor-Porcupine fault system. The Garrcon property within the Garrison claim area is a bulk-mineable target that would definitely appear to have open-pit, multimillion-ounce potential. Its Jonpol deposit is a high-grade underground target. The company has come up with a couple of very spectacular drill intercepts. It has enormous upside potential.
TGR: Vishal Gupta at Dundee Securities thinks the resources at Garrcon and Jonpol could go from about 1.1 Moz. to between 3 Moz. and 5 Moz. Do you agree?
JT: That would seem to be in the cards, but you never know until the truth machine tells you. I think that’s very well within reason, however, and it could possibly be much bigger than that over the long term.
TGR: Any parting thoughts on a macro level?
JT: We are in a bull market of a lifetime for gold mining companies, caused by the macroeconomic situation, the loss of confidence in fiat money, the deleveraging that needs to take place in the credit markets and the need to go back to honest money rather than the fake stuff that we’ve been conned into using by the policymakers. Gold has gone from $250/oz. to $1,600/oz. within the last 10 years. This is probably the sixth major credit-deleveraging episode over the past 300 years, with the first four being U.K.-centric and the fifth being the U.S. in the 1930s. In deleveraging cycles, what an ounce of gold will buy rises dramatically. That’s good news for gold mining profits.
Before Lehman Brothers’ demise, an ounce of gold would have bought 17% of the Rogers International Raw Materials Fund, which is a fund that has all manner of commodities in it. By March 2009, an ounce of gold would have purchased 44% of the Rogers International Raw Materials Fund. Now it’s around 40%. The real price of gold is up dramatically and that is not a fluke. That is the overriding theme that makes me extremely bullish—we are in a secular bull market of a lifetime for gold mining companies.
TGR: That sounds great, Jay.
Read the entire article HERE.