May 28, 2022

American Eagle Gold Bullion Sales Plunge in February Following Weak 2014 Sales

gold-bullionThe US Mint’s February sales report for American Eagle gold bullion coins revealed slow sales in February continuing the weak sales trend set in 2014.

For the month of February 2015 total sales of the American Eagle gold bullion coins rang in at only 18,500 ounces, down 40.3 percent from the comparable prior year’s month and down a whopping 77.2 percent from the prior month’s sales of 81,000 ounces.  Who needs gold when you can buy government debt at negative interest rates?

The situation with gold and all other assets classes has been distorted beyond all traditional metrics by the ultra easy monetary policies of the world’s central banks.  Leverage in the world financial system now exceeds by many orders of magnitude that which existed prior to the financial crisis of 2008 which nearly brought the system to a grinding halt.  Where and when we go from here is anyone’s guess but I think it’s fair to conclude that at some future point gold will be acknowledged as the only store of value that cannot be devalued by desperate governments and central banks.

Until the investment masses reach that moment of clarity when they conclude that central banks cannot provide prosperity to the masses by printing money and monetizing government debt, gold may remain on the deep discount rack.  One has to wonder about the critical thinking skills of citizens such as Greece or Russia or Venezuela or many other countries in which the currency is plunging in value and life savings are being wiped out but yet the masses are not moving into a traditional universally accepted store of value such as gold.  Considering the fragile state of paper currencies and concerted efforts by central banks to destroy the purchasing value of the currency, it should be impossible to buy any amount of gold in many countries since no logical sellers would offer their gold at any bid.

Gold bullion sales in 2014 dropped to only 524,500 ounces after fairly robust sales of about 800,000 ounces during both 2012 and 2013.  The decline in the sale of US Mint gold bullion coins can be seen in the chart below.  Note that sales figures for 2015 include year to date totals through the end of February.

Although sales of gold bullion coins has been in a definite downtrend it is interesting to note that sales of the coins are still fairly robust compared to average sales in the years prior to the financial crisis.  After an increase in sales during 2013, sales of the gold bullion coins have declined every year since peaking during 2009 despite the fact that gold bullion did not reach its peak price of almost $1,900 per troy ounce during late 2011.

Listed below are the annual sales of the US Mint American Eagle gold bullion coins since 2000.

 

Gold Bullion U.S. Mint Sales Since 2000
Year Total Ounces Sold

2000

164,500

2001

325,000

2002

315,000

2003

484,500

2004

536,000

2005

449,000

2006

261,000

2007

198,500

2008

860,500

2009

1,435,000

2010

1,220,500

2011

1,000,000

2012

753,000

2013

856,500

2014

524,500

2015

                       99500

TOTAL

 9,483,000

2015 totals through February 28, 2015

Will 2015 turn out to be another year of low demand for American Eagle gold bullion coins?  Time will tell but based on annualzied year to date sales, total US Mint gold bullion coins would total 597,000 ounces, slightly above 2014 coin sales.

American Eagle Silver Bullion Coin Sales Up From Previous Year and On Track For Record Breaking 2014 Sales

silver eagleThe US Mint American Eagle silver bullion coins remain more popular with investors than ever, despite the decline in the price of silver.  Apparently there are plenty of long term silver investors who prefer to hold the physical metal and are viewing the decline in the price of silver as an opportunity to load up at bargain prices.

The latest report from the US Mint shows that November sales of the silver bullion coins totaled 3,426,000 ounces, down from the previous month but up by 1,126,000 ounces or 49% from the previous year.  October 2014 was the highest selling month of the year with total sales of 5,790,000 coins.

Sales of the American Eagle silver bullion coins year to date through November 30 now total 41,547,000, just shy of the all time record sales year of 2013 when the Mint sold 42,675,000 coins.  If December sales of the silver bullion coins surpass 1.1 million coins, which is very likely, 2014 will be another record breaking sales year.

Gold and silver investors can only shake their heads and wonder at investor confidence in central banks as an orgy of money printing continues worldwide and leveraged debt piles up at a rate and amount never seen before in history. The attitude seems to be “who cares – my stocks and bonds and real estate are going straight up.”

At some future point that no one can predict you can count on another financial accident on par or greater than that of 2008-2009 that will destroy confidence in paper money and the ability of governments to repay debt with sound money.  At that point the exchange rate between dollars and precious metals will amply reward the investors now buying bargain gold and silver.

Silver has now given back the bulk of its gains from the highs reached in early 2011 and could well go lower given the bearish sentiment and declining price pattern.

Since 2000 investors have purchased over 300 million American Eagle silver bullion coins.  Below are the sales by year with the 2014 total through November 30.

 

Gold Plunges After Swiss Voters Reject Central Bank Gold Buying

SNBGold can’t catch a break lately as Swiss Voters Reject Measure Forcing SNB to Acquire More Gold.

Swiss voters rejected a measure in a referendum requiring their central bank to hold a portion of its assets in gold, a measure its President Thomas Jordan termed an “invitation to speculators” that could have hurt the economy. Bullion tumbled to a three-week low.

The “Save Our Swiss Gold” proposal stipulating the Swiss National Bank hold at least 20 percent of its 520-billion-franc ($540 billion) balance sheet in gold and never sell any bullion was voted down by 77 percent to 23 percent, the government said yesterday. Polls had forecast the initiative’s rejection. Two other initiatives on tax privileges for foreign millionaires and immigration limits also were rejected.

SNB policy makers estimated they would have needed to buy 70 billion francs worth of gold if the referendum had passed. Some economists estimated the SNB wouldn’t have had to sell euros to meet the requirement, given its dollar holdings. At the end of the third quarter, it held 45 percent of its 460 billion francs of foreign currencies in euros and 29 percent in dollars.

Even though the Swiss gold referendum was expected to be defeated gold prices plunged by over $38 per ounce in late Sunday trading and silver was pulverized with prices down almost 8%.

As stocks and bonds continue to soar on liquidity provided by central bank quantitative easing investors have been dumping gold by the tons from their portfolios.  The Swiss Gold Rejection simply gave investors another reason to stay away from gold which has been in a vicious bear market.

Gold has lost 19 percent since peaking in March and investor holdings of exchange-traded products are near a five-year low. While prices probably won’t be affected too much by the “no” vote of the initiative called “Save Our Swiss Gold,” approval would have improved sentiment and increased prices by as much as $50 an ounce, HSBC Holdings Plc estimated in November.

“Gold had received some support in the last couple of weeks” before the vote, Georgette Boele, an analyst at ABN Amro Bank NV in Amsterdam, said by phone. “We’ll get more pressure on gold. The overall outlook is not looking great.”

2014-proof-gold-eagle

Even the surprise news that India had ended curbs on gold imports did nothing to support prices.  In a bear market all news is bad and gold can’t seem to find a support level.  The irony of it all is that the massive euro holdings of the Swiss National Bank were purchased with Swiss francs manufactured out of thin air by the SNB to prevent its currency from appreciating against the euro.  Governments world wide have turned an experiment with quantitative easing into  national policy and are churning out trillions of dollars of printed fiat currencies.  Last I heard the value of anything depreciates as the quantity increases.  Although it’s a tough market right now, long term I’m betting that it’s a smart move to have some gold on hand.

Gold American Eagle Bullion Coin Sales Soar 37% in June – Will Gold Outperform Stocks in 2014?

2014-proof-gold-eagleSales of the US Mint American Eagle gold bullion coins soared in June to 48,500 ounces from the previous month of May during which sales totaled 35,500.  Demand for gold bullion coins, however, has been relatively soft compared to previous years.

June sales of the gold bullion coins were down from the year ago period when 57,000 ounces were sold during June 2013.  At the current sales pace 2014 annual sales of the gold bullion coins would come in at roughly 500,000 ounces down significantly from total sales of 856,500 ounces during 2013.  Sales of the American Eagle gold bullion coins hit a record high of 1,435,000 ounces during 2009 when the financial system was still in intensive care and the Federal Reserve initiated a massive money printing campaign to “save” the world.

Gold should always have a presence in an investment portfolio but since mid 2011 stocks have become a powerful competing investment alternative to precious metals. The easy money policies of the Federal Reserve have served to inflate asset values of stocks and bonds to dangerously overvalued levels according to many analysts.

Will stocks and bonds continue to enjoy easy gains of 20 to 30 percent a year or will the entire house of cards built on easy printed money come tumbling down when the world least expects it?  Just this week the Bank for International Settlements (a consortium of the world’s biggest central banks) issued an alarming warning about growing levels of debt and the dangerous unintended consequences of zero interest rate policies.

The report issued by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) noted that “Overall, it is hard to avoid the sense of a puzzling disconnect between the markets’ buoyancy and underlying economic developments globally.”  The head of the BIS’s economic department further noted that  “Financial markets are euphoric, in the grip of an aggressive search for yield…and yet investment in the real economy remains weak while the macroeconomic and geopolitical outlook is still highly uncertain.”  The BIS noted the obvious when it cautioned that the ultra low levels of interest rate due to financial repression by central banks is encouraging further borrowing but an eventual rise in interest rates will amplify the problem of excessively high levels of debt, a consequence that no one seems prepared for.

So who needs gold when stocks are heading straight up and the consensus is that this wealth machine of easy money and asset inflation is unstoppable?

Gold, silver and stocks

At some unknowable point in time and for some unpredictable reason the euphoria of the credit bubble created by the central banks will burst just as all bubbles in history have burst.  The resulting financial chaos that ensues from the bursting of a central bank induced credit bubble will be calamitous since the situation could well become uncontainable by world monetary authorities.  As the BIS notes, “keeping interest rates unusually low for an unusually long period can lull governments into a false sense of security” whereby they continue to borrow vast amounts of low cost funds to such excess that further expansion of government borrowings become impossible.  Governments that are unable to finance additional borrowings when the next economic downturn comes will turn to their only savior – the central banks.  Unable to stimulate the economy through rate cuts since rates are already at zero, central banks will be forced to monetize government debts on a monumental scale and when this day arrives we should all want to have a heavy percentage of our portfolios in gold.

The current mania for paper assets seems to have even infected China and India who have historically turned to gold as a safeguard against profligate governments and paper money backed only by the promises of lying politicians.   According to the Wall Street Journal demand for gold is expected to decline in both China and India during 2014.

The crowd seems to be leaning heavily towards paper assets and away from gold, suggesting that a turnaround is probably forthcoming.  Gold has already had its correction and is now on track for what will probably be a historic rally.  Consider that despite widespread bearishness on gold, the price during 2014 has held its own and is actually up on the year.  From a price of $1,225 per ounce at the start of the year gold has moved up to $1,326, not exactly a sign of weak demand.

Soaring Gold and Silver Prices Should Not Be a Surprise to Anyone

bars-of-goldThe precious metal markets caught on fire in a big way today.  Gold prices surged the most in nine months by over $40 per ounce and silver closed in on $21 per ounce.  After losing 28% last year as short term hot money investors sold out their holdings, gold and silver were ready for a huge rally from both a fundamental and technical standpoint (see Why Gold and Silver Could Outperform Every Other Asset Class in 2014).

Precious Metals June 19, 2014

METALS PRICE CHANGE PER CENT GAIN
GOLD $1319.00 +40.50 3.17%
SILVER $20.89 +0.88 4.45%
PLATINUM $1472.00 +24.00 1.66%
PALLADIUM $841.00 +12.00 1.46%

The reasons for today’s huge gains in precious metals varied in the mainstream press but soaring prices should have been no surprise to long term investors who understand why gold and silver should be a part of every portfolio.

Gold and silver constitute a fundamental defense for wealth preservation against the rapidly eroding value of paper currencies backed by broke governments which is Why All Governments Hate Gold.

The various governments of the world and their central banks produce and distribute a product – paper currencies. Those currencies are backed by confidence, faith, and credit, but not by gold, oil, or anything real. Those currencies are digitally printed to excess, since almost all governments spend more than their revenues. The UK, Japan, and the USA are prime examples.

Politicians want to spend more money, but they also need to maintain the illusion that the money is still valuable, that it will retain most of its purchasing power over time, and that inflation is under control. The illusion weakens when food, gasoline prices, and other consumer goods are wildly rising in price. At a more abstract level, gold indicates the same lack of confidence in the printed pieces of paper that our central banks distribute.

If last year’s price correction shattered your conviction in owning gold and silver please consider The Fundamental Reasons for Owning Gold and Silver Are Stronger Than Ever.

One of the best methods for protecting wealth against a constantly depreciating paper currency is to own precious metals.

The bull case for precious metals remains intact as central bankers worldwide have become the lenders of last resort for nations that have exhausted their borrowing capacities.  Very little has changed since 2008 when the world financial system stood at the abyss of collapse.  Unsustainable debt levels continue to increase even as the capacity to service the debt diminishes.

Virtually every government in the world has taken on debts and liabilities that are clearly unsustainable.  Governments “don’t go broke” is the sustaining mantra for those with faith in paper currencies but governments do and will continue to print money that accelerates the loss of purchasing power of fiat currencies.  Please consider the following charts courtesy of John Mauldin Economics.

Eventually, as people realize that the central bank emperors have no clothes it will become clear Why There is No Upside Limit for Gold and Silver Prices.

The increase in the value of gold and silver is due to the fiscal and monetary policies of nations struggling to deal with massive levels of debt – policies that virtually guarantee a continued rise in the price of gold and silver.  Central banks, having exhausted all conventional means of monetary easing, have moved on to the last resort option of quantitative easing and currency debasement.

Government officials argue that unprecedented deficit spending and quantitative easing are necessary to stimulate economic  growth, but this theory has not worked in the real world.  Despite trillions in stimulus spending,  job creation and economic growth have been extremely weak and are likely to remain so according to economists Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart who wrote This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.  According to Rogoff and Reinhart, economic growth is subpar when public sector debt exceeds 90% of GPD which the U.S. and many other developed nations have already surpassed.  In addition, a recovery of the job and housing markets after a financial crisis take many years due to the burden of excessive levels of debt.  Ultimately, Rogoff and Reinhart predict that austerity measures will need to be imposed along with some type of debt restructuring.

Is the U.S. capable of reducing spending and  instituting austerity measures? Cutting deficits means cutting payments to a long list of incomeless recipients who really don’t care where the entitlement money comes from.  Those still actually paying taxes will object strongly to any proposed tax increase to fund government spending.  Unable to cut spending or raise taxes leaves the Government with one bad option – print more money.

Politicians, who value getting elected above all else, are likely to strong arm the reliably compliant Federal Reserve to “come to the rescue” again with additional printed dollars.   In the minds of politicians and Federal Reserve officials, there will always be very compelling reasons to continue borrowing and money printing.

A nation that has reached the limits on taxation and borrowing has few viable policy options other than a continuing series of quantitative easing programs.  Current government policies, if left unchanged, virtually guarantee a continued increase in the price of precious metals.

 

Why Gold and Silver Could Outperform Every Other Asset Class in 2014

gold-buffaloAfter almost a three year bear market in gold and silver it’s safe to conclude that most of precious metal bears have sold out and moved on.  As gold and silver prices corrected sharply over the past three years, the chorus of bearish sentiment in the mainstream press has become endemic, thus setting the stage for a powerful and unexpected contra rally.

What will set off an explosive rally in precious metals remains to be seen but there are plenty of potential triggers including war in the Ukraine or South Korea as well as the significant financial risk of collapsing asset bubbles engineered by the extremely loose monetary policies of the world’s central banks.

Here’s some of the most interesting recent commentaries on why 2014 could be a big year for gold and silver.

Gold and Silver Are Almost Ready to Rally

While every journey does begin with the first step, we need more evidence than a minor rally day to declare that a bull market has arrived. For the SPDR Gold Trust ETF (ticker: GLD), the April 24 rally was not very remarkable other than the fact that the day started with a loss and ended with a gain.
Now let’s talk about what it was rather than what it wasn’t.

For starters, it was an encouraging hold of short-term support from March. And the failure to set a lower low for the current two-month decline also falls on the bullish side of the ledger.

But more importantly, it was a suggestion that prices will not travel to the bottom of a giant year-long trading range again. In other words, any further strength now would tell us that investors are ready to buy. They will not wait for “better” prices to buy at the bottom of the range, and that means a shift in sentiment for the better.

Finally, the gold market has a “golden cross” in place. This is a condition where the 50-day average crosses above the 200-day average, and while it is really a stock market indicator, the macro look and feel are the same to me. After a long decline and period of sideways movement, this is the market’s first sign it has had enough healing. As long as the sideways trading range is not so long that the averages are completely flat, I think the signal is worthy of respect.

We can also we look at rising momentum indicators as bullish. Weekly charts show the relative strength index (RSI) setting higher lows between June and December even as prices set equal lows. This means the bears were tired as 2013 ended, and the fact that this indicator continued to rise this year suggests the bulls are starting to wake up.

Silver also had a bullish short-term reversal last week, but it has a lot more technical damage to repair. It does not have a moving average golden cross in place, and has already fallen rather close to its previous major lows from last year. Generally, that’s not a good sign, but in this case it’s not so clear cut.

When we look at the bigger picture using the iShares Silver Trust (SLV), we will see something really interesting. Recall 2010, when both gold and silver shot higher, but silver moved at a much faster pace than gold did. On the charts, we can see the technical launching point and breakout in August of that year.

As we see in many markets that appear to be bubbles, with such steep gains and ever-accelerating trends, the “bubble” part of the rally is often completely erased before conditions stabilize and then improve. Silver’s rally is now erased, which means the market is likely washed out and left for dead. Even so, there is a bullish RSI condition in place for the white metal, just as there is for gold.

 The Long Goodbye – by Andy Xie

The recent tumbling of Internet and biotech stocks may indicate that the speculation in such stocks has peaked. But, unlike in 2000, the bursting will occur in slow motion. The financial market structure has radically changed in the past 15 years. Too many money managers have a one-sided incentive to long such stocks.

The global financial system has experienced one bubble after another because major central banks have kept monetary policy loose. Prolonged loose monetary policy has made the financial system extraordinary large relative to the real economy. This change forces central banks to respond to negative shocks, like the bursting of a bubble, from the financial system. Such responses make the financial system even bigger. This vicious cycle explains why speculation has become such a powerful force.

A bubble cannot expand forever, even in an environment of loose monetary policy. The balance between fear and greed can tip over when the price of an asset becomes too high, like Internet stocks now relative to the average. The subsequent deflating bubble, in a continuing environment of loose money, just shifts air into other assets.

The talk of monetary tightening in the United States or China will not be followed up with strong enough actions. Real interest rates will remain negative until another crisis, like high inflation or hyperinflation or political crisis, force the hand.

Gold is the safe asset in today’s environment. As paper currencies lose credibility, the demand for gold will surge. The alternative digital currencies are fool’s good, really scams to take advantage of people’s fear over the potential collapse of paper currencies.

Two changes in the past 15 years have made bubble formation a constant feature of financial markets around the world. The inefficiencies in capital allocation and income redistribution to finance are the main reason for today’s sluggish global economy.

At the macro level, globalization has made inflation slow to emerge, as multinational companies can shift production around the world in response to cost pressure. This force has given central banks more room in increasing money supply without facing the inflation consequences for years. Hence, central banks around the world have become more active in response to economic fluctuations. The consequence is a rising ratio of money supply or credit to GDP. By definition, this means a bigger and bigger financial system, which needs more and more income to survive.

The real economy, as the previous analysis indicates, can only bear so much. Bubble formation has become central to supporting a bloated financial system. A large and bubbly financial system is unstable. Its periodic collapse brings down the economy, which triggers more monetary stimulus. Hence, constant monetary stimulus and an ever-expanding and bubbly financial system have formed a vicious cycle.

What’s Up With Gold and Silver? (Market Anthropology)

Anecdotally, we are seeing and hearing from those anxiously long the precious metals sector and contentiously short. With gold and silver down sharply in the early morning session – then reversing violently higher, the emotional spectrum in the market is likely diverged at or near another extreme. Over the past 10 months, both bulls and bears alike have been waiting for the next leg to commence. Instead, the market has played the jester – traversing a narrowing range and taking turns at frustrating both sides.

When will the argument resolve itself ?

Although it’s felt like a standing room only performance of Waiting For Godot, we expect long-term yields still hold the key to the next chapter for precious metals and the broader market story. We continue to view the move in 10-year yields as historically stretched to a relative extreme (see chart), a notion apparently lost on many participants as the Fed tapers their way to the end of QE and through an esoteric Fed cycle.
Just this week we saw that a Bloomberg survey of 67 economists unanimously expected 10-year yields to rise over the next six months (see Here). From a contrarian point-of-view, this should wake up participants that underlying sentiment is dangerously listing towards one side and the downstream and kinetic effects could be severe in many markets. The ratio chart below depicts the relationship between gold and 10-year yields, which as we noted last December had also reached a historic extreme. If and when long-term yields breakdown, we suspect a much stronger tailwind to develop behind precious metals.

As the Nikkei was breaking down at the start of the 1990’s, risk appetites changed and developed a palette for the Nasdaq. After the Nasdaq cracked going through the Millennium, investors turned to precious metals. The cycle can also come full circle, as we believe the performance and seasonal presentments of the current risk du jour describes. As the biotech index now turns down just past its zenith, we expect silver and the precious metals sector to begin making their way materially out of the trough they have trended towards over the past three years.

The Reformed Broker

Jeff Gundlach looks at the gold market. He’s not a big gold guy, but says that if you’ve held it this long (and through this much pain), “for god’s sake don’t sell it here!” He thinks the holders who remain are the quintessential, proverbial “strong hands” and that gold miner equities are completely underpriced for the potential of the metal running back up again. He’s more positive on commodities now in general, given how uninterested the investment community seems to be.

http://www.thereformedbroker.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/25.jpg

Silver Bullion Coin Sales Soar In March, Gold Coin Sales Slump – Are Coin Buyers Stupid?

2014-proof-gold-eagleThe March sales report of American Eagle bullion coins by the U.S. Mint showed a large drop in gold bullion coins while sales of the ever popular silver bullion coins soared.

Sales of the American Eagle gold bullion coins in March totaled 21,000 ounces, down by 32% from February’s total of 31,000 ounces and down by a dramatic 66% from March 2013 when 62,000 coins were sold.  Year to date sales through March of 143,500 ounces of the American Eagle gold bullion coins plunged 51% from the comparable period last year when the U.S. Mint sold 292,500 ounces.

The decline in sales of gold bullion is in marked contrast to last year when sales boomed despite an almost 30% decline in gold prices, the worst performance since 1981.  Investors in physical gold across the globe viewed the decline in gold as a buying opportunity.  Sales of gold coins in 2013 by The Perth Mint soared over 40% while sales by the Royal Canadian Mint surged over 80%.  Sales of American Eagle gold coins by the U.S. Mint in 2013 jumped by 6.3% to 800,500 ounces.

Are Gold and Silver Bullion Coin Buyers Stupid?

While gold rebounded in 2014 from a low of $1221 to as high as $1385 before pulling back to a current price of $1284, perhaps buyers are waiting to see if the rally in gold will continue or if gold will decline again in 2014 as predicted by the likes of Goldman Sachs.  Long term it does not matter since the entire concept of fiat money has never ended well over the long term.  According to Bloomberg, the “long term” may be upon us sooner than many think.

Sound money and sound banking policies of governments have always been suspect but since the financial crisis of 2008, the entire concept of sound money has been utterly abandoned on a global basis as central banks printed trillions of dollars to support a financial system that imploded due to over indebtedness.  “Curing” the problem of too much debt with more debt and printed fiat money has in many people’s mind saved the world financial system, a tenuous theory at best.

1881-CC-Morgan-Dollar

According to the Bank for International Settlements, the amount of global debt (primarily government borrowings) has soared by a staggering 40 percent to $100 trillion since 2008 with the U.S. in the lead increasing the national debt to $12 trillion from $4.5 trillion at 2007 year end.  Fast forward to the next recession which could have its roots in a variety of events from the collapse of Japan’s epic empire of debt to the start of a serious military conflict over Ukraine driven by the warmongering military industrial complex in the U.S.  Another serious economic crisis, whatever its genesis, will result in money printing on an unimaginable scale as central banks do the only thing they can do which is to print more money.

Buyers of physical bullion are long term investors who understand what’s happening and are buying the only true money that cannot be debased by government profligacy and rapacious tax policies.  In the meantime, fluctuations in the price of gold caused by speculators such as hedge fund operators who can push around the price of physical gold without ever owning it through the use of futures contracts or options merely provide fantastic buying opportunities when they slam down gold prices.  Long term gold and silver are the only protection to preserve wealth against governments determined to debase fiat money to keep the highly leveraged financial system from imploding.  Current gold buyers will at some point will be holding an asset that soars in value as confidence in central banks completely evaporates as the value of paper money collapses.

American Eagle silver bullion coins meanwhile continue to soar and are a much more affordable option for many buyers compared to gold.  March sales of American Eagle silver bullion coins soared in March to 5,354,000 ounces, up by 43% from the prior month’s sales of 3,750,000 ounces and up by 60% from the March 2013 sales of 3,356,500 ounces.   Sales of silver bullion coins also increased dramatically in 2013 to a new record high of almost 42 ounces, up from almost 34 million ounces in 2012.  Based on annualizing the year to date sales of silver bullion coins, 2014 could turn out to be another block buster year with sales approaching another record of over 55 million ounces compared to 42 million ounces in 2013.

Buyers of physical gold and silver are long term investors who are intelligently protecting their wealth against governments hell bent on inflation and debasement of the currency in order to keep the house of debt cards from collapsing.  Accordingly, short term declines in the sale of gold bullion coins is totally irrelevant.

The Rationale for Owning Gold and Silver Is Stronger Than Ever

1933-double-eagle1By: GE Christenson

Consider our economic world from two perspectives:

The Deviant View – as represented by those who visit deviantinvestor.com, read alternate media, are skeptical of the “official” news, and who critically examine the financial world.
or
The others – call it the mainstream media view.
Deviant readers are more likely to believe:

  • The US government gold supposedly stored in Fort Knox and at the NY Federal Reserve is mostly gone. (Deviant Investor survey showed that over 81% believe that less than 20% of the gold is actually available.)
  • The Federal Reserve will eventually be forced to increase QE instead of reducing it. (Deviant Investor survey showed that 62% believe that QE will be increased to $100 Billion per month, or more, by the end of 2014.)
  • Gold bottomed in December and is going to new highs. (Deviant Investor survey indicates that 92% believe that gold has bottomed and is going to new highs.)
  • The Federal Reserve has, over the past 100 years, debased the dollar, produced inflation, and substantially increased the profits for the financial industry mostly at the expense of the American people.
  • Dollars are unbacked debt based Federal Reserve Notes that work well for daily commerce. However, they have no intrinsic value and, in terms of decades, been not been a good store of value.
  • Gold and silver are excellent for savings and investing at the present time, have intrinsic value, and are a store of value over the long term.

SILVER DOLLARS

Mainstream Media View

  • Of course the gold is still physically stored in Fort Knox and at the NY Federal Reserve! Why would it not be there?
  • QE will be reduced, the economy is beginning to grow, and the economy will appear much healthier in time for the 2016 elections.
  • The Syria intervention that did not happen was mostly about human rights, not gas pipelines or control over energy markets.
  • The stock market is a good measure of economic health, even though it primarily benefits the upper ten percent of the US populace.
  • Pension funds are seriously underfunded, but they will be fine – with only a few exceptions – as always.
  • Social Security is a “pay as you go” retirement plan for Americans; and even though it is a legally sanctioned “Ponzi Scheme,” it is a solid system.
  • Politicians will be politicians, but for the most part, the US political system works with only a modest amount of corruption and inefficiency.
  • If you like your health plan, you can keep it. If Crimea votes to join Russia, they can. If you don’t want to pay taxes, … well, that is a different issue.
  • If you run a too-big-to-fail bank, you need not worry about breaking the law or prosecution, since the bank is necessary for the survival of the economy.
  • Stocks are good, gold is bad. Per Warren Buffett, “Gold gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it.” From Charlie Munger, “Civilized people don’t buy gold.”

And there you have it – a simple summary of the Deviant view versus the Mainstream view.

Implications

Suppose that 50% to 80% of the gold in Fort Knox and the NY Fed is either gone, leased, or rehypothecated. Suppose that China has amassed the largest horde of gold in the world. Do these suggest the price of gold is likely to increase over the next few years?

Suppose that the Federal Reserve is forced via market conditions (interest rates rising, the S&P crashing, war, dollar collapse, financial melt-down, or other possibilities) to expand the QE program and to “print and purchase” $100,000,000,000 or more per month of distressed paper, damaged derivatives, flaky mortgage-backed securities, and increasingly large quantities of dumped T-bonds and notes. Do you think this will support the price of gold over the next few years?

money printing

Suppose that gold double bottomed in June and December 2013 after being crushed by the naked short sales in April and June of 2013. Suppose that the unintended consequence of that market take-down was increased demand for physical gold, particularly from Asia and the Middle East. Does the new uptrend and increasing world-wide demand for gold suggest higher prices in the next few years?

Suppose that, for whatever reason, the world launches into another cycle of war, several countries send troops to various spots around the world, and the US engages in one or several hot wars. Will this increase the deficit, increase the national debt, increase financial and social anxiety, upset the stock market, and suggest higher gold prices?

Summary

The Deviant View: Gold has bottomed, the US deficit will expand, the national debt will continue its exponential increase, and consumer prices for the things we need, such as food and energy, will substantially increase. War, fraud, and corruption will increase prices more rapidly.

The Mainstream View: You can keep your health plan, NSA spying on everyone is mostly good, wars keep the economy healthy and moving, the stock market will continue to roar higher, and, as former Vice President Dick Cheney stated, “Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter.”

Another View On Gold: The following are comments that I have paraphrased from another site that dislikes gold. (I disagree with all of these comments.)

  • If and when humanity advances, the value of gold will be zero.
  • The problem is that gold is not an asset because it produces no return.
  • Gold is not only high-risk but also costly since it pays no return.
  • Gold is not a savings vehicle.

I express my opinions, and I expect others to do the same. There will be disagreements. We all experience the consequences of our thoughts and actions. This is why it is so important to perceive economic reality clearly. A belief in current delusions and the uselessness of gold will be expensive.

Additional Reading

Andrew Hoffman: “Deflation,” and Why You Must Own Precious Metals – Now!

Hugo Salinas Price: We Cannot Get Away From Gold or Silver

GE Christenson
aka Deviant Investor

Gold’s Next Big Move Is Up – Every Bull Market Has Pullbacks

gold generalBy: GE Christenson

Gold peaked in August of 2011 and fell erratically into December 2013.

Was that the end of the collapse, or is there more downside coming in gold prices?

Bearish Scenario: Listen to the banks who are forecasting weak prices in 2014 and thereafter. “Nothing to see here folks, the dollar has weakened drastically since 1971, gold sells for 30 times its 1971 price, but it’s all good. Just move on and pretend… Gold will drop below $1000 before you can say 2016 elections…”

I’m not a fan of:

The bearish gold scenario when decades of Federal Reserve “printing” and US government budget deficits have all but guaranteed continued destruction of the purchasing power of the dollar.

Belief that even though dollar debasement practices have accelerated since the 2008 crash, gold prices will fall because bankers say so.

Propaganda that gold is useless and that unbacked debt based fiat currencies are solid and stable.

Large High Frequency Trading companies that short the gold market, loudly proclaim that gold prices will fall, dump a huge number of paper contracts on the Comex, quietly cover their shorts after the gold price crash, book huge profits, and then reverse the process as they push prices up. These traders are in the business of making profits so none of this is surprising.

Instead of listening to self-serving banker opinions, let’s examine the data. The following chart shows monthly prices for gold since 2000. Note that highs and lows as listed in the monthly data are slightly different from actual hourly highs and lows. For this analysis over 14 years, the differences are immaterial.

This table shows the price and approximate number of years.

table3102014

Summary: The price of gold bottomed in 2001, rallied for 3.0 years, fell for 1.1 years, rallied for 2.8 years, fell for 0.6 years, rallied for 2.8 years, and fell for 2.4 years. Lows were about 4 years apart, highs were about 3.5 years apart, and the rallies lasted, on average, about 3 years.

Gold in December of 2013 had dropped to the lower logarithmic
trend line after falling for 2.4 years. The patterns suggest that the next move should be a rally that lasts approximately 3 years to new highs near the top of the trend channel well above $3,500.

roosevelt

But there is more: (If you distrust Technical Analysis, skip this section.)

  • Gold prices made a double-bottom in June and December 2013 thereby indicating a successful test of the lows formed in June.
  • The MACD – a technical indicator (first chart) which tracks the difference between two moving averages – registered a very low reading in December 2013. Further, the moving averages in the indicator have turned up. This is strongly supportive of the analysis that December marked a major low in gold prices.
  • The TDI-Trade-Signal line – another technical indicator (first chart) – registered its lowest reading in 15 years at the June 2013 low and has also turned up. This is another strong indication that gold bottomed in December.
  • The RSI – Relative Strength Index – as shown on the second chart was at a 15 year low at the June 2013 gold price lows. It has turned upward.
  • The disparity index, which is simply the deviation between the monthly prices and the 12 month simple moving average (second chart), was at a 30 year low and flashing a buy signal after the June 2013 gold price lows.

For those who have no faith in technical analysis:

Consider this GEM – Gold Equilibrium Model (thanks to Nick Migliaccio for the name). I summarized the model in this short article. The model is based on three variables and calculates the equilibrium gold price with no reference to oscillators or technical indicators. The GEM model projects a “fair” or equilibrium price for gold in March 2014 of approximately $1,580. Gold prices, based on this long-term model, are currently low and are likely to move much higher over the next several years. This long-term model produced an excellent statistical correlation with the smoothed price of gold over the 42 years from 1971 – 2013.

Conclusions

  • The GEM indicates that, over the next several years, gold prices are headed much higher.
  • The chart of gold prices since the year 2000 (log scale) shows a “megaphone pattern” of higher lows and higher highs. Currently the gold price is near the bottom of the exponentially up-trending pattern.
  • Technical oscillators indicate important bottoms in June and December – at levels not seen in more than a decade.
  • The disparity index shows that gold prices in June were well below the 12 month moving average. Similarly daily and weekly prices were well below their moving averages. Prices tend to regress to the mean – another indication that prices are likely to rise from the deep lows in June and December.
  • Short term prices could rise or fall a little from here – I’m offering no opinion – but gold prices should be much higher in 2015 and 2016.
  • Gold is for savings and investing, not trading. Dollars buy groceries while gold buys safety, insurance, and peace of mind.
  • As Darryl Robert Schoon always says, “Buy gold, buy silver, have faith.” It is good advice.

GE Christenson, aka Deviant Investor

Yellen’s Remarks to Senate Committee Constitute an All Out Buy Signal for Gold and Silver

money printingFed Chairman Yellen’s less than sparkling performance before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Thursday constitutes a complete affirmation for continued purchases of gold and silver.  The Chairman’s testimony was so disjointed that two major news organizations published completely contradictory headlines of her stuttering remarks.

Tapering – will she or won’t she was the question on everyone’s mind regarding future actions of the Fed and here’s the yes and no answer to the big question based on Yellen’s testimony.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Yellen Says Rethinking Bond Pullback is Possible.

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said she isn’t sure how much of the recent deterioration in U.S. economic growth is due to weather, adding the central bank might consider a pause in its reduction of bond buying if the weakness persists.

“Asset purchases are not on a preset course, so if there’s a significant change in the outlook certainly we would be open to reconsidering, but I wouldn’t want to jump to conclusions here,” Ms. Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee Thursday.

“A number of data releases have pointed to softer spending than analysts had expected,” Ms. Yellen said. “That may reflect in part adverse weather conditions, but at this point it is difficult to discern exactly how much.”

Since Feb. 13, U.S. economic data has shown signs of weakness. The softness has been broad-based, with retail sales falling 0.4% and industrial production sliding 0.3% in January. The recovery in housing, a crucial gauge for the success of Fed policies, has also shown signs of fraying. Some economists have blamed harsh winter weather for the slowdown.

Meanwhile, Yellen’s remarks were viewed in a different light by a Bloomberg headline stating that Yellen Repeats Fed Likely to Keep Trimming Asset Purchases.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank is likely to keep trimming asset purchases, even as policy makers monitor data to determine if recent weakness in the economy is temporary.
Yellen repeated the Fed’s statements that the central bank intends to reduce asset purchases at a measured pace, and she said in response to a separate question that the bond-buying program was likely to end in the fall.

Does Yellen have a dissociative identity disorder (DID), commonly referred to as a multiple personality disorder? According to Wikepedia, DID is characterized by two identities or dissociated personalities that alternately control a person’s behavior. The disorder is a controversial subject in the field of psychiatry and there is no consensus regarding either diagnosis or treatment so we can give Yellen a pass of this one.
Here’s the facts we do know about Yellen and Fed policies and they all represent some of the best reasons for increased ownership of both gold and silver.

2013-gold-eagle
The Fed stands ready to increase its $4 trillion balance sheet at the slightest sign of weakness in the stock market or the economy despite the lack of conclusive evidence that their money printing spree has helped the real economy.

The money surging out of the Fed has created multiple asset bubbles which will eventually pop, prompting further asset purchases with printed money to contain the damage and the cycle stays on auto repeat until the entire empire of debt and printed money completely collapse.

The Fed is firmly committed to an annual inflation target of at least two per cent to combat the threat of deflation.   The Fed is terrified of deflation since it increases the value of money and decreases  the ability of borrowers to service their debt burdens relative to income.   Deflation would make it difficult and eventually impossible for governments to continue borrowing to stay current on their mountains of debt and entitlement obligations.

Inflating away the debt is the Fed’s solution for keeping U.S.A. Inc. in business.  The Fed’s inflation targeting will help the U.S. government from being overwhelmed by debt but long term it guarantees that the future purchasing power of the dollar will continue its relentless decline and the downward spiral in real inflation adjusted wages will continue.

There will be a “next recession” and when it comes the Fed’s only option is money printing since short term rates are already at zero.

1881-CC-Morgan-Dollar
Yellen has acknowledged that she has a soft spot in her heart for the unemployed. The Fed’s conflicting mission of ensuring a stable value of the dollar and promoting employment has morphed into a full blown effort to create economic wealth and jobs through higher inflation and printed money.

Courtesy: zerohedge

The monetarist fools at the Fed, lead by Yellen, seem fully committed to solving every economic problem with more monetary printing. This policy may keep the wheels from falling off in the short term but guarantee disastrous long term results.  Bernanke had his critics but Yellen seems like a novice by comparison – maybe she should grow a beard.