November 28, 2022

The Price Has Crashed; it’s Time To Buy Silver

silver-eaglesA Fun Look at Silver’s Looong Correction and a Positive Look Ahead

By:  Joe (Silverheels) Paulson

I remember it like it was yesterday…

It was the spring of 2011.  It was exceptionally warm and glorious. All was right with the world.   The air was sweeter, the sky bluer, the birds and bees were birdier and buzzier… it was all beautiful, man!  Why? Because those were the weeks that found me becoming wealthier by the day.  All of that bulky, heavy silver that I had purchased over the previous 10 years was turning me into an investing genius.  There was a different look in my wife’s eye.  What was it?…  Joy?  No… Love?  Yeah, sure, of course, but there was something else… it was more like… respect.  I was no longer the crazy man who hoarded silver metal.  I was now that wise investor who was making our family rich… well, rich-er, at least.

 As those weeks passed, and I did my mental calculations several times a day in front of the computer, or CNBC, or anywhere else I could get my quote, I realized that price was going vertical and that it would be wise to sell a portion of my stack because I, and everyone else in the world, knew that the correction was coming. (pause for reflection and dramatic effect here)  I won’t go into how or why I didn’t sell some of our precious, and I won’t say it’s been the most pleasant two years of silver holding.  I will say, though, that the look in my wife’s eye is long gone.  In case you haven’t been following the silver news, price has experienced a bit of a setback.  “How much of a setback?” you ask.  Well, (mumbling) it went from almost $50 to $18 or so.  “What’s that you say?  You’re mumbling.  Speak up, please.”  I say it crashed from $50 to $18.  (pause here)  When you are finished laughing and wiping your eyes I tell you that now is the time to buy.  (yet another pause) When you get up from the floor from your ROTFLMAO’ing and you catch your breath you ask me how I can say that.  Why is now the time to buy?  I reply it’s because the price crashed from $50 to $18.

Maybe you’ve heard this one before, but there’s an old saying that goes “Buy low; sell high.”  Well, my friends, relatively speaking, the price is low.  Doesn’t that mean it’s time to buy? Well, the thing about that saying is that it’s not very clear how high is “high” or how low is “low.”  Could the price go lower?  Sure it could; in fact, it might.  But if it does, it probably won’t go much lower.  And even if it does, it’s gonna’ go up, and up, and up.  How do I know?  Well, I am not a financial advisor.  I am not a silver salesman.  I am merely looking around at this world of ours; at the shaky governments and economies; at the bail outs and imminent bail ins; at the real inflation around us (not the inflation rate that the government offers us); at the incessant printing of dollars and euros and most all currencies world-wide, and I know that we cannot continue like this.  There are some rough times a’comin’ and when there is instability, people seek stability.  In financial-speak, that means precious metals – silver and gold.

If my “gut instinct” isn’t enough for you.  Check out just about any article written about the fundamentals of silver written over the last 10 years.  Review some of the excellent articles written on the Gold and Silver Blog.  When you look at them, ask yourself what has changed?  I’ll tell you the one thing that has changed:  The price of silver has gone down.  That means that it’s even more of a screaming buy than it was back in 2011.  If that’s not enough (and it probably shouldn’t be), here’s some more for you (in case you’ve forgotten):

  • The demand for silver is high and growing every day; at the same time silver stockpiles are being depleted and there is much talk about an imminent financial and industrial silver shortage
  • Silver is a very small market; when a few “big players” get involved, price will move rapidly upwards
  • Silver typically follows gold;  and the fundamentals for gold are outstanding right now
  • Many countries around the world, including China and India, are importing large quantities of silver and gold
  • The silver/gold ratio is abnormally high (~60:1); it’s more traditional level is more like 15:1.  That means that silver is probably a much better investment compared to gold right now.  (But they’re both going to go up!)
  • Many silver analysts are claiming that the bottom is in for this correction.  Many claim that the next stop is in the $60 range; after that comes the $100 range.  Some even claim that if our government keeps printing $85 billion every month, we may even see four-figure silver.

And If that’s not enough for you to go out right now and buy some silver, then I encourage you to stop for a moment, check the news, and do some more research; breathe for a minute and listen to your gut.  The signs are all around us that challenging times lie ahead.  Even if you’re not convinced, purchasing at least a little bit of silver or gold – maybe 5%-10% of your savings – would probably be a good idea.  Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing that look in my wife’s eye once again… soon.

Joe (Silverheels) Paulson is a husband, father, teacher, and an avid silver follower and investor (for over 30 years – !)  You can click here to find out more about different types of silver investing.  Get more of his unique and fun perspective on silver investing at tobuyandsellsilver.com.

Gold and Silver Are the Only Safe Assets In a Dangerously Unstable Financial System

Physical-GoldBy: GE Christenson

Consider these thoughts on “the great lie,” our strange world, its unstable financial system, overwhelming debt, exponential growth, inevitable collapse, fractional reserve banking, counterparty risk, and gold – from highly intelligent individuals who think beyond the traditional:

From Karl Denninger: Detroit: The Shape Of Things To Come

“If you make political promises that can only be met through increased tax rates, now or in the future, you begin the process of slitting your own throat. That outcome is inevitable when you agree to political promises that have escalating expenses over time as pensions, medical benefits, salary “step” increases, bond issues that have a payment schedule longer than the useful life of the asset bought and similar.

There is no way out of this box other than to repudiate those promises.”

From Richard Russell: (subscription service)

“The compounding debt is the monster that is eating the U.S. The only way out is to renege on the debt or try to pay it off with inflation or hyperinflation. The bull market in bonds is over. From now on, we are dealing with a bear market in bonds, at which time natural forces will drive bonds down, and as bonds fall, interest rates will rise.”

“It’s taken almost two centuries for bankers to pull the wool over Americans’ eyes, but today you and I are working for intrinsically worthless paper that can be created by bureaucrats – created without sweat, without creative ability, without work, without anything but a decision by the Federal Reserve.

This is the disease at the base of today’s monetary system. And like a cancer, it will spread until the system ultimately falls apart. This is the tragedy of the great lie. The great lie is that fiat paper represents a store of value, money of lasting wealth.”

From Bill Bonner: Why Gold is the Only Money that Works

“When you have a system based on credit, rather than bullion, deals are never completely done. Instead, everything depends on the good faith and good judgment of counterparties – including everybody’s No. 1 counterparty: the US government. Its bills, notes and bonds are the foundation of the money system. But they are nothing more than promises – debt instruments issued by the world’s biggest debtor.

A credit system cannot last in the modern world. Because, as the volume of credit rises, the creditworthiness of the issuers declines. The more they owe, the less able they are to pay.”

“Naturally, everybody loves a credit system… until the credits go bad. Then they wish they had a little more of the other kind of money. Wise governments, if there are any, take no chances. They may feed the paper money to the people. But they hold onto gold for themselves. Throughout history, the most powerful governments were those with the most gold.”

But suppose much of the government and central bank gold is gone. As Eric Sprott concluded, after considerable research,

“Our analysis of the physical gold market shows that central banks have most likely been a massive unreported supplier of physical gold, and strongly implies that their gold reserves are negligible today.”

It seems likely that the western governments and central banks have sold (or leased to a bullion bank who sold it to a buyer in China, India, Hong Kong, or the middle-east) most of their gold. Germany recently requested the return of their gold from the Federal Reserve Bank in New York but was told they would have to wait seven years to get a portion (only 300 tons) of it. It is clear there is more to the story – and the obvious conclusion is that the Federal Reserve Bank can’t easily return what it no longer possesses. In non-banking circles, this could be called theft or embezzlement, but in the banking world it is called “leasing” or rehypothecation, and it is legal.

Bill Bonner:

“But if they (central banks) have sold such massive quantities over the last 10 years, how much do they have left? Maybe not much.

Which wouldn’t be surprising. Western central banks are committed to their credit-money system. They intend to stick with it. And they know that unraveling this unruly skein of credit would be extremely painful.

Selling gold into the bull market of the last 12 years probably seemed like a very smart move. We’ll see how smart it was later, when the credit-based money system blows up.”

But, I ask you, who formerly owned the gold, and who is quietly amassing a vast horde of gold to increase global influence in the future? This process of selling gold and converting it to paper promises has been occurring (so the evidence indicates) for several decades and appears to be working well for now. The “game” appears to be:

Asian countries and the middle-east accumulate more gold and unload their dollars.

The bullion banks borrow gold from the central banks, sell the gold, and earn interest.

The central banks claim they own the gold, even though much of it is almost certainly gone.

The gold sales support the value of the dollar so the US government benefits.

Consumers in the US pay for imports with dollars that are still relatively strong, although when the dollar weakens and gasoline costs $10, the “game” won’t look so attractive.

Conclusions

Politicians and bankers work together to benefit themselves at the expense of the people actually producing something of value. Politicians increase their power and influence by spending ever-increasing amounts of paper currencies. The bankers enable the process by creating the paper currencies (from nothing), loaning those newly created dollars, euros, yen, and pounds to the politicians, governments, and businesses, and collecting interest. This process succeeds until the debts must be paid. Then:

Borrow more paper currencies, extend and pretend, lie and deny, etc.

Inflate or die! QE4-ever!

Raise taxes and fees. (Hope the parasites don’t kill the host.)

Encourage the Fed to create enough new currency to bail out the bankers and prevent a deflationary collapse (the other option besides horrific inflation).

Let consumer price inflation accelerate. $10.00 gasoline anyone?

When the mathematics doesn’t work, when the plan is lame, when the debts must be paid, when the sins of the past must be acknowledged and corrected, there are few choices remaining.

Review the cogent thoughts from The Burning Platform, Karl Denninger, Richard Russell, and Bill Bonner. Then ask yourself:

Do you believe debt and interest payments can increase forever?

Do you believe that either an inflationary or deflationary collapse (in some form) is inevitable?

Do you believe that unbacked paper currencies represent a store of value or a wasting asset? (Do you remember gasoline at $0.19 per gallon?)

Do you trust the lasting value of gold more than the integrity of a politician’s promise?

Do you believe that the US government and the Federal Reserve have all the gold they claim (not audited since the 1950s), when it benefits both the US government and the Fed to surreptitiously “lease” gold (sell it into the market)?

Do you believe that Russia, China, the Arab countries, Hong Kong, India, and many other countries are making a wise choice by trading dollars for gold?

Do you believe that your food and energy expenses will remain constant or substantially increase in the next four years?

Do you believe congress will balance the budget and that world peace is coming?

Do you believe and understand counterparty risk?

Do you believe the existing economic system will meet your needs in the future?

Having considered your beliefs, do you think it would be wise to convert some of your paper assets to real gold and silver? If so, I encourage you to purchase gold and silver from a reputable dealer and store them safely outside the banking system.

GE Christenson
aka Deviant Investor

The Price Correlation Between Silver and Crude Oil

1881-CC-Morgan-DollarBy: GE Christenson

Crude Oil bottomed (weekly data) about 12/25/1998 at $10.75. It rose erratically for several years, hit another low on 8/24/2007 at $68.70, and then rallied dramatically to an all-time high of $147.20 on 7/11/2008. Subsequently, crude collapsed to $35.35 on 12/26/2008.
High to Low Ratio: 147.20 / 10.75 = 13.69
Total time: 12/25/98 to 7/11/08 = 9.55 years
Final blow-off Ratio: 147.20 / 68.70 = 2.14
Time for Blow-off: 8/24/07 to 7/11/08 = 0.88 years
Collapse Ratio: 35.35 / 147.20 = 0.24
Collapse time: 7/11/2008 to 12/26/2008 = 0.46 years

Silver bottomed (weekly data) about 11/23/2001 at $4.01. It rose erratically for several years, hit another low on 2/5/10 at $14.78, and then rallied dramatically to a nearly all-time high of $48.58 on 4/29/2011. Subsequently, silver collapsed to $18.53 on 6/28/2013.
High to Low Ratio: 48.58 / 4.01 = 12.11
Total time: 11/23/01 to 4/29/11 = 9.44 years
Final blow-off Ratio: 48.58 / 14.78 = 3.29
Time for Blow-off: 2/05/10 to 4/29/11 = 1.23 years
Collapse Ratio: 18.53 / 48.58 = 0.38
Collapse time: 4/29/11 to 6/28/13 = 2.17 years

So What?

Both crude and silver took about 9.5 years to rally from a significant low to an important high. The high to low ratios were similar – over 13 and over 12. Both collapsed after their blow-off highs and fell 76% and 62% from their highs. Crude rallied during the next four years and is now over triple its crash low. Silver, a much smaller and more volatile market, seems likely to do something even more dramatic.

Questions

Assume market prices for crude oil are based on supply and demand of physical crude oil. Do you think supply and demand for physical crude oil changed sufficiently between the crude low in August of 2007 to the high in July 2008 to the low in December 2008 to justify a rise from $68.70 to $147.20 and then a fall to $35.35?

Answer one: Obviously it did; the market price changed and the market price is always correct.

Answer two: Perhaps politics, High Frequency Trading (HFT), and derivatives also affected the supply and demand of paper contracts for crude such that the price of crude more than doubled and then collapsed by 76% in about 1.3 years.

You choose the best answer.

Assume market prices for silver are based on supply and demand. Do you think supply and demand for physical silver metal changed sufficiently between the silver low in February 2010 to the high in August 2011 to the low in June 2013 to justify a rise from $14.78 to $48.55 and then a fall to $18.53?

Answer one: Obviously it did; the market price changed and the market price is always correct.

Answer two: Perhaps politics, High Frequency Trading, and derivatives also affected the supply and demand of paper contracts for silver such that the price of silver more than tripled and then collapsed by 62% in about 3.4 years.

You choose the best answer.

Why Discuss This Parallel?

Sentiment for silver and gold was (June 2013) exceptionally low – at multi-year or multi-decade lows depending on who is measuring sentiment. As of the end of June 2013 there seemed to be “no light at the end of the tunnel” for silver bulls and there was no joy in “silver-ville.” Most people I know wanted nothing to do with silver or gold.

It was about the same with the crash low in crude 4.5 years ago in December of 2008 and the S&P500 crash low in early 2009. But the world economies demanded crude oil while the supply was flat or declining. Consequently the price rallied back to over $105 this month – about triple its collapse low price.

I think it is quite reasonable to expect that silver will also rally substantially from here. In fact an explosive rally would not be surprising. What seems likely is a multi-year rally (that culminates in another price blow-off) to four or six (or ten) times the low price in June, the inevitable price collapse, and then some months or years in a trading range at prices that make sub-$20 silver look like an absolute bargain. I suppose that if the US congress balances the budget AND world peace is confirmed, then silver prices are unlikely to rally… but I would rather bet on higher silver prices.

How are crude oil and silver similar?

Both had a nine plus year rally to a blow-off peak, collapsed, and rose again. Crude began its rally about three years before silver, and peaked about three years earlier. Both are essential for modern economies and their prices on the paper exchanges are heavily influenced by politics, HFT, and derivatives. The supply of crude is probably declining and the supply of silver is growing quite slowly. The world-wide demand for crude is likely to increase, even with slowly growing economies. The world-wide demand for silver is likely (my opinion) to dramatically increase due to increasing industrial demand and potentially explosive investor demand. There is good reason and good historical precedent to expect the price for both commodities to increase substantially, with great volatility.

Do you remember when crude was priced under $5.00 per barrel and silver was priced under $2.00? Given the penchant for governments around the world to run huge deficits, amass unpayable debt, and increase the money supply (monetize bonds) in seemingly unlimited quantities, do you think either $250 crude or $100 silver is unlikely in the next several years?

Neither do I!

We will see $250 crude, $10 gasoline, and $100 silver, unless the world’s economies and governments become responsible and accountable.

Have you purchased your Silver Eagles today?

Read: Silver – Keep It Simple
Read: Gains In Silver Will Be Historic

GE Christenson
aka Deviant Investor

Gold Could Quickly Rally Over $2,000

tenth oz gold-eaglesBy GE Christenson:

Background: Gold prices peaked in September 2011 and have dropped over one-third in the past 22 months. Sentiment by almost any measure is currently terrible. Few in the US are interested in gold (although gold is selling well in China), most have lost money (on paper) if they bought in the last two years, and the emotional pain seems considerable. It reminds me of the S&P, gold, and silver crashes in 2008-9.

So, will gold drop under $1,000 or rally back above $2,000?

To help answer that question, I examined the chart of gold for the last 25 years and identified several long-term cycles. Then, I constructed a spreadsheet that attempted to model the price of weekly gold based on those cycles and a few assumptions.

Assumptions

  • Use only long-term cycles – a year or longer.
  • The weight assigned to each cycle is approximately proportional to its length. A 200-week cycle should be approximately twice as heavily weighted as a 100-week cycle.
  • This is NOT a trading vehicle but a long-term indication of reasonable price projections based on past relationships. Those past relationships may or may not continue, even if they have been valid for over 20 years.
  • Keep it simple. Do not over-complicate the model or aggressively “curve-fit” it.
  • Prices are assumed to rise more slowly than they fall, so 62% of the cycle is related to the rising portion of the cycle, and 38% of the cycle is related to the falling portion of the cycle.

Data

Low-to-Low cycles: 100 weeks, 122 weeks, and 162 weeks

High-to-High cycles: 88 weeks and 270 weeks

Exponential growth: 1/1/1990 – 1/01/2002: growth of negative 3.0%/year, and 01/01/2002 – present: 18% per year, calculated weekly

Process

Find the beginning dates (lows) for the 100, 122, and 162 week cycles and assign those beginning dates an index value of -1.0. Proportionally increase those index values from -1.0 to +1.0, and then reduce those index values from +1.0 to – 1.0, and repeat for each low-to-low cycle. Use the beginning index value on the 88 and 270 week high-to-high cycles as + 1.0. Extend the proportional increases on all time cycles from -1.0 to + 1.0 so that the rising period takes 62% of the cycle time.

Assign each cycle a weight approximately proportional to the cycle length. Use a beginning value and calculate the exponential increase (-3% or +18% per year) for each week, and then add or subtract the percentage changes for each weekly time cycle. Adjust the cycle index weights to obtain the best visual fit on a graph of actual gold prices versus the calculated price of gold.
What Could Go Wrong?

The exponential increase might not continue from 2013 forward. I expect gold prices to accelerate higher, but it is possible that they will continue falling. See Caveats.

The cycles, although relevant for over 20 years, might be less relevant from 2013 forward.

The calculated price was “curve-fit” to the actual prices, and that “curve-fit” result might be less accurate from 2013 forward.

Results
Statistical correlation over the last 20 years is slightly larger than 0.97 (quite high). The calculated gold price is generally consistent with the actual gold price, even though occasional large variations are clearly evident.

Highlights: (based on weekly closing prices)
Calculated high: December 2006 at $779
Actual high: May 2006 at $712

Calculated high: April 2008 at $784
Actual high: March 2008 at $999

Calculated low: April 2009 at $618
Actual low: October 2008 at $718

Calculated high: August 2011 at $1,931
Actual high: September 2011 at $1,874 (daily high was $1,923)

Calculated low: July 2013 at $1,267
Actual low: July 2013 at $1,213 (actual weekly low, so far)
The Future

This simple model, which uses only five cycles and an exponential increase, indicates that a low in the gold price is expected approximately now (May – October 2013), and that the next high is projected for approximately September 2014 – June 2015, possibly in the $2,500 – $3,500 range. (From the current lows, a price of $3,000 seems unlikely, but gold traded below $700 in October 2008 and rose to over $1,900 by September 2011, so a substantial rise is quite possible.)

Caveats!

There are many. This is not a prediction; it is simply a projection based on the entirely reasonable, but possibly incorrect, assumption that gold prices will continue to rise about 18% per year, on average, and that these five cycles will push actual prices well above and below that exponential growth trend.

Why will gold prices continue to increase? Our current monetary system depends upon an exponentially increasing debt and money supply. It seems likely that the US government will continue to run massive budget deficits and thereby increase total debt. In addition, the central banks of Japan, the EU, and the US will continue to monetize debt and increase the money supply to promote asset inflation and to overwhelm the deflationary forces in their respective economies. Gold supply increases slowly, the demand increases more rapidly, while each Dollar, Euro, and Yen purchase less, on average, each year. It seems quite reasonable to expect that gold (and silver) prices will increase substantially from their current low level. Read: Gold & What I Know for Certain.

Timing: The model was basically correct (over the last decade) on timing and price with some large variations. Clearly, there are more factors driving the price of gold than five simple cycles. Those political, HFT, emotional, and economic factors will inevitably push the price higher or lower, sooner or later, than the model indicates. Regardless, the model has some value indicating the approximate price and timing for long-term highs and lows in the price of gold.
Use it while appreciating its limitations. Read: Back To Basics: Gold, Silver, and the Economy.

GE Christenson
aka Deviant Investor

Does The Decline In Gold Signal An Imminent Financial Collapse?

GOLD COINBy: GE Christenson

Unsustainable trends can survive much longer than most people anticipate, but they do end when their “time is up” – at the culmination of their time cycles. Examples of these trends include deficit spending, exponential debt increases, overpriced bond markets, and unbacked paper currencies, to name a few. For perspective on how and when these trends could change direction, we analyzed more than 20 different cycles. They nearly unanimously point to tectonic shifts in the months and years ahead. We have been warned!

At this point, we have enough confirmation to accept that the precious metals crash – starting in April of 2013 – was the first warning of what is coming globally.

Financial crashes and economic collapses are not inevitable, but they seem more likely in the next few years, starting later this summer. Preparation might appear to be a waste of time and resources, but lack of preparation could result in the loss of wealth, incomes, jobs, and lives. Perhaps our leaders will guide the world economies through some upcoming hard times, but they might also aggravate those hard times by following policies that benefit the political and financial elite at the expense of the middle class and the poorer classes. Look at current trends in government and banking, and decide for yourself!

The remainder of this decade is likely to be quite problematic for most of the world’s population, particularly the poor. People who have the majority of their assets in stocks, bonds, and paper debt may also be hurt as the currencies are inflated and purchasing power declines sharply.

We have presented a summary of cycles for stocks and bonds, war, gold and silver. We show the source of the cyclic information, the relevant timing, and some commentary.

Summary

There are many cycles that suggest a stock market correction or crash is near. That correction/crash will probably be accompanied by a correction in the bond market that reverses much of the bullish action of the past 30 years. (Signs of a bond bear market are already visible.) Gold and silver should rally substantially as their cycles are turning up while money flees the stock and bond markets and attempts to find safety in an increasingly dangerous world. Financially and socially, many cycles have turned downward; and many will not bottom until later in this decade. Much can go badly wrong during the next seven years. Now is NOT the time for complacency or procrastination.

Along with the decline in equities, bonds, and the value of paper money will come – probably – more social unrest, considerably higher consumer prices for food and energy, bankrupt local, state and national governments, more debt defaults, higher unemployment, possible monetary and/or economic collapse, and a likely escalation in regional and global wars.

A gradual cooling (NOT warming) will reduce crop yields and drive already expensive food prices much higher. The world’s poor will suffer. Hungry people are inclined to rebel and threaten governments. Hence governments will become more repressive and will increase their information gathering on all those viewed as potentially threatening to the status quo.

(Read entire article here.)

GE Christenson

aka Deviant Investor

“Sentiment on Gold and Bonds Incredibly Negative” – Marc Faber Predicts Endless QE

Liberty-EagleIts hardest to buy at bottoms since you never know where the bottom is.  Equally hard to do is to buy when the sentiment is incredible negative as it was in early 2009 for stocks and 2000  for gold and silver.

Marc Faber, editor of Gloom Boom & Doom Report discussed the current status of the global markets and investment strategies on Bloomberg Television.

Faber said that the sentiment on gold and bonds in incredible negative and that the Fed, regardless of who winds up replacing Bernanke, will be forced to engage in endless monetary stimulus.   According to Faber “as I said already three years ago, we are going to go with the Fed to QE99.”

Faber notes that the cost of living continues to increase  on a global basis and the benefits of QE are mainly benefiting the richest members of society who hold large amounts of assets.  As money printing destroys the purchasing power of the middle class there will be worldwide social unrest which has already erupted in numerous countries.

As to what the price of gold will be at year end, Mr. Faber declined to speculate saying that “I am not a prophet but I will continue to buy gold.”

An Audit of U.S. Gold Holdings Last Done Over 50 Years Ago

Fort KnoxDoes anyone really think that gold is unencumbered, unleased, and actually physically there? Yes, I know…

  • They would not lie to us, right?
  • The official numbers must be true, right?
  • They seem like trustworthy people, right?
  • Why wouldn’t it be there?

The official gold holdings ( rounded numbers) of the US Treasury Department are as follows:

Fort Knox 147,000,000 ounces, West Point 54,000,000 ounces, Denver 44,000,000 ounces, Federal Reserve of NY 13,000,000 ounces, other 3,000,000 ounces –  Total – 261,000 ounces.

Glad you asked that question. Why wouldn’t it be there? Gold is a bit like an “anti-dollar.” The Federal Reserve creates new dollars by the trillions – dollars are their product. Wal-Mart sells snow shovels and a few other things, Wall Street sells stocks and everything paper, Hollywood sells dreams and entertainment, but the Fed sells dollars, and they don’t like competition. Gold has been real money for 5,000 years world-wide. Federal Reserve notes have been passed off as money for a few decades, and in that time they have lost most of their value as measured against commodities such as wheat, gasoline, and cigarettes.

It could have been worse! Western central banks (officially) and governments sold a considerable sum of gold during the 1990s to help repress the price of gold and to slow the apparent decline in the value of paper money. They also “leased” an unknown amount of gold to bullion banks who also sold that gold into the market. The leases are still “on the books,” so the central banks officially still own the gold, even though it is probably long gone – likely to China, Russia, India, and the Middle East.

Yes, central banks and governments have motive, means and opportunity to suppress the price of gold. They want to support their product (dollars, euros, etc.) and to defeat the competition – gold. If you were a central banker or treasury official who was inflating his currency and consequently reducing its purchasing power, wouldn’t you want to suppress the price of gold to delay recognition of your involvement in the devaluation process?

So why not just do an audit? This is a simple question with a complex set of answers. Here are a few.

    • The US gold has not been audited in over 50 years. This must seem strange to any thinking person, but it appears unlikely to change.
    • If the Treasury agrees to an audit and the gold is not there, the result will be much unpleasantness – possible indictments, damaged reputations, social unrest, chaos, disillusionment, and destroyed trust – and there is plenty of disillusionment and destroyed trust already.
    • If the Treasury performs an audit and the audit claims the gold is actually there, will anyone believe the results of the audit? Is it truly unencumbered – not sold, leased, or hypothecated? Would we even believe an audit had been actually performed?
    • If the Treasury acknowledges the lack of a credible audit for over 50 years and then says “we don’t think it is necessary,” will anyone take them seriously?
    • The Treasury might claim an audit would be too expensive, but the US government probably wastes the cost of an audit every few hours, so that explanation is likely to sound hollow and stupid.Bottom line: The whole subject of an audit is fraught with potential trouble for both the Treasury and the Fed. The simple solution is to stonewall the audit question and “extend and pretend.”

The problem is that the questions just won’t die. GATA has researched the subject thoroughly and suggests that much of the Treasury gold is probably gone. Eric Sprott has examined the export numbers (official US government export data) and concluded that somehow the US exported about 4,500 tons of gold more than can reasonably be accounted for.

Germany asked for their gold back – a measly 300 tons – and was told it would take seven years to return their gold. It the gold was physically in the vault and unencumbered, it should have taken a few weeks at most. Seven years – really? This must seem strange to any thinking person.

From Bill Holter: “I would like to address the biggest (in my mind) conspiracy theory (fact) of all. It has been “said” for nearly 60 years that the U.S. has 8,400 tons of gold left. First off, there has been no audit done since 1956, not even Senators or Representatives (except for one time in the ’70?s for glance) have been allowed to actually see the gold. “Trust us” is what the population has heard, “trust us” is what foreigners are told…trust us, trust us, trust us. The problem is that so much anecdotal evidence has been dug up by GATA and others. Eric Sprott just last month looked at the U.S. gold export numbers going back 10 years or more and found that 4,500 tons OVER AND ABOVE what are reported as production has been shipped out. Where did that gold come from? When looked at with your 3rd grade mind in gear, there is no way that the gold is really there.

… Forget about all of the past official memos uncovered. Forget all of the evidence that GATA has uncovered over the last 15 years. Forget that Germany asked for their gold and were told “wait 7 years.” Forget that gold and silver prices have not acted like any other market since the mid 90′s and those prices have now crashed 3 times in the face of massive demand. Forget that 2 of the smash downs occurred WHILE the CFTC was supposedly “investigating” the silver market. Forget that 40% of the world’s total gold production was sold in reckless fashion in less than 12 trading hours (who would, could, do this?) FORGET IT ALL! …trust us. … All of this “conspiracy stuff” when put together rather than separately makes sense.”

I don’t know how much gold is left, but I have two (only slightly serious) suggestions:

A very large number of readers on the Deviant Investor site have voted over the past several months regarding what % of the gold they think remains in the US Treasury. The choices were all of it, most of it (>75%), about half (40% to 75%), some (20% – 40%) or very little (<20%). Readers clearly do not believe the official story – about 60% believe very little remains and another 21% believe less than 40% remains. Only 3% think it is all there. A weighted average suggests that the voters on this site believe approximately 20% of the gold physically remains and is unencumbered.

Nixon temporarily closed the “gold window” almost 42 years ago. Since that time, the official CPI shows that the dollar has lost about 83% of its value. For simplicity, let’s assume that 17% of the dollar’s purchasing power remains and assume that 17% of the gold remains.

We don’t know how much of the gold remains. Does it really matter?

Do any of the following matter?

  • Government promises
  • Central bank promises
  • Integrity of politicians
  • Integrity of hundreds of present and past Treasury employees
  • Backing for $Trillions in debt besides “full faith and credit”
  • A possible solution to the massive debt problem of the US government. If the gold is still there, value it at some large number, say $15,000 – $30,000 per ounce, and then back the dollar with gold. This is not my idea – some very intelligent people have advocated it. If the gold is mostly gone, this option is less likely.

Summary

  • Fort Knox: Per the voting and dollar devaluation “method” – assume about 20% of the official gold remains – physically in the vaults, unencumbered, not hypothecated or leased to bullion banks. Yes, I know, this is not defensible, scientific, statistically significant, or verifiable. But it sounds about right to me.
  • Denver: Assume about the same
  • West Point: Assume about the same
  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York: Ask the Germans! Assume very little remains.

How much physical gold do you have? How much do you want when you contemplate nearly $17,000,000,000,000 in official US government debt, another $100 – $200 Trillion in unfunded liabilities, and nothing backing that unbelievable amount of debt except the “full faith and credit” of what is clearly a government that won’t balance a budget and must resort to printing dollars to pay its bills?

How much gold do you have stored in a secure (off-site) facility?

GE Christenson
aka Deviant Investor

Gold and Silver Investors Need to Ask Themselves 10 Basic Questions

1933-double-eagle1Rick Rule listed 10 key questions regarding today’s economy. They are:

10 Questions for Precious Metals Investors

  • Is the financial crisis in the Western world over?
  • Have the G20 countries balanced their budget?
  • Did the commercial banks manage to become solvent?
  • Are (real) interest rates positive or negative?
  • Is a global competitive devaluation to increase exports still ongoing?
  • Is the European periphery still financially challenged?
  • Do the Asian countries still have a cultural affinity with precious metals?
  • Which are the US budgetary issues and solutions?
  • Are the derivatives from large banks still a problem for economies and client portfolios?
  • Can liquidity solve the issue of insolvency?

If these are the questions, then gold and silver are two good answers.

But, let’s approach these questions from a different direction.

  • Have gold or silver ever defaulted?
  • Do gold or silver have counter-party risk like EVERY paper investment?
  • On January 1, 2000 the Dow was about 11,500, gold was priced at $289, and silver was priced at $5.41. As of May 24, 2013, those numbers were: Dow: 15,303, gold $1,386, silver $22.49. Which was the best investment?
  • Gold fell (in 21 months) from over $1,900 to about $1,320. Does that mean the gold bull market is over? The Dow crashed from 14,100 (October 2007) to about 6,500 (March 2009), and then rallied back to new highs. Don’t exclude the possibility of new highs for gold and silver in the coming months.
  • Why are Chinese businesses, individuals, and their central bank buying gold as rapidly as possible? Why does the Chinese government refuse to allow any gold to be exported? Why does China (world’s largest gold producer) additionally import a massive amount of gold every year?
  • Ask the same for Russia, India, and much of Asia. What do they know about the VALUE of gold that the EU and the USA (who are selling gold) don’t understand?

Further:

  • Gold and silver have gone up and down, when priced in unbacked paper currencies. The same is true for trucks, diamonds, the Dow Index, laundry detergent, gasoline, cigarettes, and wheat. Price increases and volatility will continue.
  • Gold, silver, and the national debt have increased exponentially since Nixon severed the link between the dollar and gold in 1971. All three will continue to rise. Gold and silver will occasionally rally too far and crash, while the national debt will increase until politicians no longer enjoy spending other people’s money.
  • Goldman Sachs (and many others) have said gold is in a bubble. The same individuals and groups probably did not see the bubble in Internet stocks and housing. Do you trust them or the 3,000 years of history during which gold and silver have been real money and a store of value?
  • If JP Morgan (and others) can make huge profits using computers, complex mathematical algorithms, and High-Frequency-Trading, then they will. Often their trading temporarily drives the prices for gold and silver down. After the markets have been driven far enough down, the same trading process is used to drive the prices higher. Expect it!
  • Silver has dropped from about $49 (April 2011) to just above $20 (May 2013) – almost a 60% drop in price. Does that mean it will continue to drop more – perhaps to $10? Silver has retained its value, on average, for 3,000 years but has fallen in price for two years. On the basis of price action in those two years, most individuals (based on sentiment measures) have chosen to trust unbacked paper currencies issued by an insolvent central bank and an insolvent sovereign government instead of silver. This is typical of market bottoms, even if it is not sensible.
  • About 4.5 years ago (October 2008) silver crashed to a price bottom where “everybody felt” like it was hopeless to expect silver to rally again. About 4.5 years before that (May 2004), silver also crashed to a price bottom where “everybody felt” like it was hopeless to expect silver to rally again. But, in fact, the silver rally off the low in 2008 was over 450%, and the rally off the 2004 low was over 175%. Silver will rally again.
  • We may not trust bankers and politicians to effectively run the country, but we can trust them to “print money” and to spend in excess of their revenues. Consequently, we should trust them to drive the prices, as measured in unbacked paper currencies, for gold and silver – MUCH higher.

GE Christenson
aka Deviant Investor

Why All Governments Hate Gold

bars-of-goldMOTIVE: 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.

Hence, central banks and governments have a strong motive to “manage” the inevitable price increases in gold. They have a motive to suppress the price and to allow it to rise gradually over time, while occasionally smashing it down and temporarily destroying confidence in gold as an alternative to unbacked paper currencies. The press helps by regularly claiming gold is in a “bubble.”

Yes, there is a clear and compelling motive.

MEANS: This brings up a heavily debated topic – do governments and central banks have the means to manage the price of gold? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Did banks manipulate rates in the LIBOR market?
  • Does the Federal Reserve (and other central banks) set (manage – manipulate) interest rates in the credit markets?
  • Do banks exercise considerable influence over regulators and Congress?
  • Are the various central banks of the world centers of power and wealth?
  • Do they use their wealth and power to achieve their policy objectives?
  • If the Fed can create and lend/loan/swap/give away over $16 Trillion dollars after the 2008 crisis, is it possible that some of that $16 Trillion was used to influence the gold market?
  • Did Greenspan, when he was Chairman of the Federal Reserve, make a statement in 1998 that central banks were ready to lease gold if the price of gold rose? Link is here.
  • If central banks lease gold to bullion banks and those banks SELL that gold into the market, would that have any influence on price?
  • Are central banks allowed to claim leased gold, which they no longer physically possess, as an asset on their balance sheet? (Lease it into the market but still claim they have it – this works until they run out of gold or the physical gold is audited.)

Yes, central banks and governments have the MEANS to suppress the price of gold.

OPPORTUNITY: As long as:

  • Governments spend more than their revenues
  • Central banks and governments control their gold in secrecy
  • Physical gold is not audited (last real audit of the USA gold was about 60 years ago)
  • Gold can be leased out while being listed as owned,

then there is opportunity.

Further, if a few billion dollars can be created and then used by a futures trader, and that trader sells (naked shorts) a large number of gold contracts on the futures exchange, that will drive the gold price down rapidly. Look at the chart of gold prices for April 11 – April 16 and ask yourself if that looks like a managed market.

Yes, central banks and governments have the OPPORTUNITY to suppress the price of gold.

But there is more to the story!

Central banks and governments have, to one degree or another, the motive, means, and opportunity to manage the price of gold. Clearly, their bias is to hold the price of gold low and to restrict its upward movement. Similarly, they want bond and stock markets to move higher, but that is another story.

YOU have motive, means, and opportunity to protect yourself and to profit from this process.

You know that unbacked paper currencies are declining in purchasing power. The path is erratic but clearly lower over the last four decades. You want to protect your purchasing power – you have a MOTIVE to own gold instead of owning devaluing currencies that pay next to nothing in interest.

You probably have paper dollars that are “invested” in stocks, bonds, IRAs, and other savings. You have the MEANS to protect yourself. Sell some paper and buy gold. The Chinese and Russians are doing it as rapidly as they can. What do they see that you might not fully understand?

You have the OPPORTUNITY to buy gold and silver at a huge discount to their real value – just my opinion – but both are “on sale” at current prices. (Gold is currently priced about the same as in late 2010.) “But can’t they go lower?” Yes, of course, gold could drop to $1,000, the Middle East could be transformed into a region of tranquility, peace, and cooperative people, and the US Congress could balance the budget. But as long as governments and central banks are “pushing paper,” digitally printing unbacked currencies, and overspending their revenues, the price of gold will increase – just my opinion – to much higher than it is today.

Gold and silver are in long-term bull markets. One of the objects of a bull market is to arrive at the peak with very few long-term participants. The “bull” wants to buck you off periodically. It usually happens. Basic human nature – fear and greed – makes it difficult to ride the bull most of the way up and exit at the proper time. Fortunately for gold and silver bulls, there are many more years of deficit spending and increasing debt that will push metals prices much higher.

Read from the DI: Why Buy Gold?

GE Christenson
aka Deviant Investor

The Bull Market In Gold Is Dead

Gold coinsApril was a brutal month for precious metal investors.  Gold ended the month down almost 8% and silver prices tumbled almost 13%.   The sell off continued in May with gold down another $60 per ounce to $1,412 and silver down $1.55 to $22.87 per ounce at mid month.

With investors already nervous, two mainstream news organizations today did the equivalent of yelling fire in a theater crowded with gold and silver investors.

Both Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal published extremely bearish articles on gold which essentially proclaimed the death of the gold bull market.

“Gold is going to get crushed”

Gold will trade at $1,100 an ounce in a year and below $1,000 in five years, according to Ric Deverell, head of commodities research at the bank. Lower prices are unlikely to lure more central-bank buying, said Deverell, who worked at the Reserve Bank of Australia for 10 years before joining Credit Suisse in 2010.

“Gold is going to get crushed,” Deverell told reporters in London today. “The need to buy gold for wealth preservation fell down and the probability of inflation on a one- to three-year horizon is significantly diminished.”

Investors are losing faith in the world’s traditional store of value even as central banks continue to print money on an unprecedented scale. Bullion slumped into the bear market last month after a 12-year bull market that saw prices rise as much as sevenfold. Gold is a “wounded bull,” Credit Suisse said in a Jan. 3 report.

“When gold is going up, it looks like a great idea to buy more gold,” Deverell said. “And when it’s going down, do you really think risk-averse central bankers are going to try and catch the knife? No.”

A surge in demand for bars, coins and jewelry following gold’s drop to a two-year low in April is temporary, Deverell said. The U.S. Mint said April 23 it ran out of its smallest gold coins and Australia’s Perth Mint said volumes jumped to a five-year high. India’s bullion imports may surge 47 percent to 225 tons in the second quarter to meet consumer buying, according to the All India Gems & Jewelery Trade Federation.

“This is bargain-buying,” Deverell said. “It’s like when you have cash for clunkers in autos, you bring forward activity, but it’s not a massive addition to buying.’

Courtesy: kitco.com

Courtesy: kitco.com

“The bears are mauling gold”

The metal fell for a sixth consecutive trading session on Thursday, as investors continue to flee toward assets that promise higher returns.

The characteristics beloved of “gold bugs,” the sizable army of large and small investors who swear by the metal, are precisely what bears are feasting on. Unlike most other assets, gold doesn’t offer a steady return, or yield, and it is often seen as protection against inflation or currency devaluations.

At present, however, global economic growth is sluggish, interest rates in many developed countries are at or near record lows, and investors of all stripes are scrambling to find higher-yielding assets.

“There’s basically no inflation, equities are taking off, and we’ve got a strong dollar,” said Fain Shaffer, president of Infinity Trading Corp. in Medford, Ore. “All of those are just eroding away the investment value of precious metals.” Mr. Shaffer this week recommended his clients bet on lower gold prices.

On Thursday, bears seized on a World Gold Council report showing that total demand for gold fell 13% in the first quarter, to a three-year low of 963 tons in the period.

Other investors are taking the opposite view. John Workman, chief investment strategist with Convergent Wealth Advisors, said the firm late last year recommended that clients trim their gold holdings by about 25%. He cited gold prices that have stagnated despite more stimulus from the Federal Reserve in the form of asset purchases, the same money printing that galvanized gold bugs after the financial crisis. Falling prices were a signal that many investors just weren’t concerned anymore that the stimulus measures would stoke inflation and weaken the dollar.

To sum things up –

  • it no longer matters that central banks everywhere are printing money on an unimaginable scale,
  • the world economy is doing fine and will continue to improve,
  • gold, used as a currency and safe haven for 5,000 years, is inferior to fiat paper currency,
  • returns are better in stocks and bonds,
  • monetary stimulus via central bank asset purchases will propel the world into sustained economic growth,
  • there is no inflation and
  • investors want assets with yields.

Price fluctuations may not make much sense in the short term, but long term precious metal investors know where things are headed – see Why I Will Always Own Gold.