October 2, 2022

Gold and Silver Soar As Fed Rejects Tapering and Revs Up The Printing Presses

Physical-GoldThe months long guessing game on whether or not the Fed would start tapering its $85 billion per month of treasuries and mortgage securities came to a conclusion today as the Fed promised to keep the printing presses going full blast.

Many analysts had come to the conclusion that the economy had strengthened enough for the Fed to begin reducing monetary stimulus but they were wrong as Fed, in Surprise Move, Leaves Bond-Buying Intact.

The Federal Reserve postponed any retreat from its long-running stimulus campaign Wednesday, saying that it would continue to buy $85 billion a month in bonds to encourage job creation and economic growth.

As Congressional Republicans and the White House hurtle toward another showdown over federal spending, the Fed said it was concerned that fiscal policy once again “is restraining economic growth,” threatening to undermine what the Fed had described just months ago as a recovery gaining strength.

Proponents of aggressive asset purchases, including Mr. Bernanke, also face mounting pressure from internal critics who argue that the modest benefits of bond-buying are increasingly outweighed by the risk that the Fed is encouraging excessive speculation or interfering with normal market function.

Some critics inside and outside the Fed have even begun to argue that the central bank’s bond-buying is preventing a return to normalcy.

“The economy is positioned to benefit from modestly higher longer-term interest rates,” Ms. George said earlier this month. She noted that higher rates could increase the income of retirees and bolster bank profits without a commensurate increase in risk-taking.

Despite the growing criticism of his securities purchase program the Fed decided that the time was not yet right for reducing the one trillion dollar securities purchase program which is financed by the Fed’s money presses.  According to the FRB press release:

Taking into account the extent of federal fiscal retrenchment, the Committee sees the improvement in economic activity and labor market conditions since it began its asset purchase program a year ago as consistent with growing underlying strength in the broader economy. However, the Committee decided to await more evidence that progress will be sustained before adjusting the pace of its purchases. Accordingly, the Committee decided to continue purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month and longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $45 billion per month.

The Fed has already blown up its balance sheet to $4 trillion and the federal government has almost tripled its debt load to $17 trillion from $6 trillion in 2002.  After this massive stimulus of $15 trillion into the economy, the Fed now tells us that more is needed.

US Debt

Today’s actions tell us that the Fed will never find an opportune time to reduce its money creation and the gold  and silver markets reacted accordingly.  After the Fed’s announcement gold skyrocketed by over $50 per ounce and silver shot up by almost $1.50 per ounce.

The reasons for holding gold and silver have never been stronger despite the recent pullback in prices and today’s announcement by the Fed serves to further prove this assertion.

gold soars

silver soars

Higher Gold and Silver Prices Are Guaranteed By the Endless Creation of Paper Currency

bernanke's paperBy: GE Christenson

Step into the “Wayback Machine” and journey back in time to:

1932: Silver was selling for about $0.25 per ounce (average annual price per Kitco.com). Our $100 bill would buy about 400 ounces.
1962: Silver was selling for about $1.20 per ounce. Our $100 bill would buy about 83 ounces.
1982: Silver was selling at about $10.60 per ounce. Our $100 bill would buy about 9 ounces. (Early in 1980 silver spiked to about $50 per ounce for a day or so and then crashed.)
2012: Silver was selling for about $31 per ounce. Our $100 bill would buy about 3 ounces.
Today: Silver prices have been volatile. Our $100 bill will buy perhaps 4 ounces of silver.

Over the course of the last 100 years, during which we have been blessed with the Federal Reserve and massive government spending, our $100 bill no longer buys 400 ounces of real physical silver; now it will purchase only about 4 ounces.

What have we learned from our quick survey of the history of silver prices?

Prices are volatile – they can go drastically higher and then crash.

On average, $100 buys less silver with each passing decade because the currency is worth less each decade.

What can we expect for the price of silver? It seems obvious that:

All paper currencies eventually decline in value to their intrinsic value – approximately zero. Voltaire understood this concept almost three centuries ago. Several hundred unbacked paper currencies have become worthless since the time of Voltaire.

Governments and banks represent the status quo so very little will change without a crisis or collapse. Governments spend more than their revenues and borrow the difference, thereby increasing total debt and the money supply. The status quo involves the creation of more and more currency, all of which is backed by debt, not assets.

US Government Revenue, Expenses, Official Debt (rounded in $Billions):

Year                       1971    2012
Expenses                210     3,500
Revenues               187     2,400
Official Debt           408    16,100

Inflation and debt are “hardwired” into our monetary system. Don’t expect government spending or total debt to decrease unless there is a massive financial crisis.

Official debt is shown but it does not include unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare, Pensions and so forth. The total debt including unfunded liabilities has been calculated in the $100 – $200 Trillion range and rapidly rising.

As the money supply and total debt increase, average prices increase. Hence silver has increased from a few cents to many dollars per ounce. Five cent coffee and $0.19 gasoline are ancient history.

The process will continue until it no longer can – perhaps a few years, perhaps a decade. Don’t bet on the imminent demise of a system that enriches banks and the political elite while it increases governmental power.

Plan on reduced purchasing power of unbacked fiat currencies.

Bet on the inevitability of higher silver and gold prices – because the value of the paper currencies is decreasing every year.

For the Future

 

Eighty years ago $100 purchased 400 ounces of silver while today that $100 purchases about 4 ounces. Someday soon $100 will purchase only one ounce of silver.

Depending on how rapidly the money supply is increased and how quickly confidence in paper money evaporates we may see the day when it takes ten, or more, $100 bills to purchase a single ounce of silver. Hyperinflation has happened in many countries in the past 100 years and many good analysts believe that it COULD occur again in Europe and the United States. If hyperinflation occurs, your silver and gold will be worth much more in nominal dollars and will, to some extent, protect your purchasing power. Unfortunately, life in a hyperinflationary economy is likely to be exceedingly difficult for most people.

Prepare by purchasing physical silver and gold and storing it outside the banking system.

Read: Gold, Silver and Sins of the Past

By GE Christenson, aka Deviant Investor

GE Christenson

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

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.”

Some People Are Celebrating The Gold Collapse – Taking A Long Term View On The Future

American-Gold-EagleMany financial bloggers who never bought into the “yes, it’s important to own some gold” theory have been almost hysterically gloating over the recent divergence between gold and stocks.  An example of this is a recent blog post comparing the performance of the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) to the Standard & Poor’s 500 (SPY).

Reality cannot be ignored – owning stocks over the past two years has been a black hole for investors compared to stocks

Here’s the ugly chart proving that investors who thought that precious metals had a golden future are wrong.

Courtesy: thereformedbroker.com

Courtesy: thereformedbroker.com

Short term views can be misleading and the biggest gains are made by making the right investment and holding for the long term. The picture of the GLD vs. the SPY looks quite different if we go back to 2005.

courtesy: yahoo finance

courtesy: yahoo finance

In addition, let’s not forget that the stock market as measured by the S&P 500 is just about where it was over a decade ago in 2001.

courtesy: yahoo finance

courtesy: yahoo finance

Considering the perilous state of world economic affairs and notwithstanding the recent significant drop in the price of precious metals, maintaining a position in gold and silver seems like a prudent long term option.

Barclays Sees Gold At $1,500 By Year End

gold buffaloIs there any hope for a recovery in gold and silver prices by year end?

Precious metals analyst Suki Coper discuses the prospects for the gold and silver markets in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

Ms. Coper notes that silver tends to follow the gold market but should show more price weakness relative to gold.  In order for the price of silver to stabilize, the precious metal needs investment support from both the industrial and investment side.   Economic weakness in both China and Europe currently portend weak industrial demand for silver.

Despite the current weakness in both gold and silver, Ms. Coper sees the price of gold approaching $1,500 by the end of the year.

Since the beginning of the year, the price of gold has dropped by $303 per ounce or 18%, to a closing price of $1,378.50 at the close of Tuesday’s trading in London.

courtesy: kitco.com

courtesy: kitco.com

Silver’s price decline has been even steeper than gold with a drop of $9.07 per ounce or 29.4% since the beginning of the year.

courtesy: kitco.com

courtesy: kitco.com

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

Will John Paulson Cut His Losses On Gold?

gold1Hedge fund investor John Paulson, who made billions shorting mortgage securities ahead of the financial crash, lost 13% on his gold holdings in May after taking a blood bath in April. 

Billionaire John Paulson, the hedge-fund manager trying to recover from losses related to bullion this year, posted a 13 percent decline in his Gold Fund last month, according to a letter to investors.

The drop brings losses in the strategy to 54 percent since the start of the year, the firm said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News. The Gold Fund is the smallest strategy of the $19 billion money manager, with about $360 million, or 2 percent of assets, most of it Paulson’s own money.

Gold fell 5.4 percent and gold equities declined 3 percent in May on speculation the Federal Reserve will scale back its bond purchases, reducing the attractiveness of bullion and related securities as a hedge against inflation.

Paulson holds most of his massive gold positions in the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) and had increased his position in mid 2012, bringing his total holdings to 21.8 million shares.  The  April 2013 gold crash resulted in losses on Paulson’s gold positions of over $600 million.   Even as other large hedge fund traders such as George Soros  liquidated large gold positions, Paulson remained committed to his gold positions and has told investors to remain invested in gold since current valuations provide a “significant upside.”

At December 31, 2012, Paulson’s position of 21.8 million shares in the GLD was valued at $3.4 billion.  Based on yesterday’s closing price of $133.25, the value of Paulson’s GLD shares would be worth $2.9 billion for a decline of $500 million, a serious loss even for a billionaire.

Seasoned stock traders know that “cutting your losses short”  is the most important rule of investing and often the toughest rule to follow.  Does Paulson know something about the gold market that no one else knows or will he wind up closing his gold positions to avoid further losses?   Since Paulson is the largest investor in the SPDR Gold Trust with an ownership position of 6.5%, liquidation of such a large position is almost certain to put additional downward pressure on the price of gold.

Maybe gold investors should hope that Paulson dumps his entire position in the SPDR Gold Trust.  Even brilliant investors like John Paulson can pull the trigger at exactly the wrong time.  After holding a massive position in both Bank of America and Citigroup for almost two years, Paulson liquidate his entire position in the stocks at the end of 2011 right before both stocks soared.  Since the end of 2011 Bank of America is up almost 300% and Citigroup is up around 100%.  Bottoms are made when the last seller capitulates.  Since gold is incredibly oversold at this point, a Paulson capitulation could be the trigger for an explosive move up in the SPDR Gold Trust.

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Courtesy yahoo finance