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July 17 2018

moneymetals

Gold & Silver Investors’ 8 Commandments for Avoiding Rip Offs


For every promising investment opportunity you come across, there are multiple opportunities for bad-faith brokers and hucksters to try to rip you off.

It could be undisclosed commissions and fees in an annuity, unwanted accounts opened up by a banker seeking additional fees, trades sabotaged by market manipulators, or any number of other schemes.

Rip-off artists, unfortunately, operate within the precious metals space as well.

Most recently, a scammer posing as a government agent in order to gain people’s trust was convicted of selling counterfeit gold bars and phony Morgan silver dollars. He took one investor for $11,000, according to reports.

You can avoid this type of scam as well as other common cheats when buying or selling precious by heeding the following guidelines.

1. Avoid “Too Good to Be True” Deals

If a price on a bullion product sounds too good to be true – or comes with exorbitant incentives or exaggerated claims – you should be suspicious.

Too good to be true!

Gold and silver bullion products do not legitimately sell below spot prices. Individuals holding precious metals can visit a dealer and sell items immediately, for full value. Given that everyone has this option, it is highly likely anyone offering items well below actual value is trying to stick it to you.

Legitimate dealers cannot afford to offer items way below cost either. Dealers must charge small premiums above spot prices to reflect product minting costs and the costs of doing business. (One notable exception: 90% silver U.S. coins minted prior to 1965 (aka “junk” silver) which exhibit significant wear occasionally become available at melt value or even slightly lower.)


Check out the other commandments.. (https://goo.gl/Zb8zg4)

July 16 2018

moneymetals

Bitcoin Holders Are Today Learning Something Goldbugs Already Know

Precious metals investors have learned a difficult truth in recent years. The best way to control a market is to put Wall Street in charge of it.

Gold and silver futures were created in the 1970s with the admitted purpose of “increasing volatility” in the markets and discouraging the ownership of physical bullion. It is a lesson that participants in other markets would do well to learn – specifically the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets.

Officials were terrified that free markets built around the supply and demand for tangible (not paper) gold and silver would wind up destroying confidence in the fiat dollar.

President Richard Nixon defaulted on the Bretton Woods agreement with other nations to redeem dollars for gold in 1971.

The confidence in the dollar would evaporate if the dollar price of gold spiraled higher.

The COMEX launched trading in gold and silver futures in the early 1970s. The gambit nearly failed by the end of that decade as the gold and silver priced in dollars began rising exponentially. But the Wall Street insiders behind the COMEX, with the support of federal regulators, managed to regain control.

They were able to pin the blame for price increases on the Hunt Brothers’ attempt to “corner the market” rather than on failing confidence in the dollar and the rapid price inflation going on at the time.

Through their control of the exchange, COMEX officials used a one-sided tool and stopped accepting buy orders in silver futures, only allowing orders to sell. What happened to the price in a “market” which allowed zero buyers was predictable.

The central planners at the Fed also stepped in. Chairman Paul Volcker raised interest rates dramatically, helping stem the tide of people dumping dollars and taking the shine off of gold. 

Continue reading...

July 10 2018

moneymetals

How NOT to Become a Casualty in the War on Cash

Lots of bullion investors wonder if the metal they hold might one day be needed for barter and trade. They bought gold and silver, at least in part, as a form of insurance. It just might come in handy in an extreme circumstance such as a currency crisis of the sort Venezuelans are grappling with right now.

However, a hyper-inflationary collapse in the dollar isn’t the only dire scenario to insure against.

War on cash

It is now clear that the dollar, and the financial network it runs on, is a mechanism for controlling people who don’t toe the government line.

That fact may be a greater reason for alarm than the prospect of a dollar collapse. But it gets far less consideration.

Wall Street banks and government regulators have teamed up against your liberty and your privacy.

Officials would like to track 100% of what you do with your money, and the banks would like to charge a fee on 100% of those transactions. Those motivations are at the root of the today’s war on cash – the push to eliminate paper cash and replace it with electronic transactions.

The Bank Secrecy Act will soon turn 20 years old. Banks have filed millions of secret Suspicious Activity Reports on transactions involving cash. And Americans performing a transaction involving more than $10,000 in cash may have an IRS Form 8300 documenting their transaction filed with the federal government.

Americans trying to transact privately with cash are being watched, and they have no idea how closely.

​Continue reading: ​
https://www.moneymetals.com/news/2018/07/09/not-become-a-casualty-in-war-on-cash-001571

July 05 2018

moneymetals

Trump’s Trade Wars Could Spark Global Flight to Gold

President Donald Trump’s “America First” trade policies are upending decades of global arrangements and entanglements. Globalists are aghast that the leader of the free world is openly confrontational toward NAFTA, NATO, the European Union, United Nations, and World Trade Organization.

In rebuffing the global community by pursuing unilateral tariffs and vowing to win trade wars against both rivals and putative allies alike, Trump is playing a high stakes game. Trump’s trade wars could test the U.S. dollar’s status as world reserve currency.

According to economist Brad Schiller, “Nations are willing to accept U.S. dollars in exchange for their goods because they trust that the dollar will retain its value… The long history of U.S. dollar stability gives the U.S. this unique trade advantage — a key reason we can import more goods than we export year after year.”

Schiller, like many conventionally trained economists, seems to believe that our ever-growing trade deficit benefits us. In the near term, we do get to consume more things. But countries that are sending us stuff in exchange for our dollars are effectively accumulating claims on our future.

China holds title to an enormous hoard of U.S. dollar IOUs. U.S. taxpayers now owe China more than $1.2 trillion. China ran a $366 billion trade surplus in 2017 alone.

President Trump has moved to impose tens of billions of dollars in tariffs on China and other trading partners including Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. They have responded with retaliatory tariffs affecting everything from wheat crops to Harley-Davidsons.

United states tariffs

Winning trade wars may not be as easy as Trump had thought.

Dying U.S. Senator John McCain, a longtime Trump detractor and globalist, is among those who are actively rooting against the U.S. administration and consoling foreign countries.

“To our allies: bipartisan majorities of Americans remain pro-free trade, pro-globalization & supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values. Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t,” McCain ranted on Twitter.

It's not clear the failed former presidential candidate speaks for “bipartisan majorities of Americans” as he boasts. Nor is it clear that these foreign alliances reflect our “shared values.”





June 29 2018

moneymetals

Frank Holmes: Tariff War Akin to Raising Taxes, Recession Looms

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in Frank Holmes, CEO and Chief Investment Officer at U.S. Global Investors. Mr. Holmes has received various honors over the years, including being named America's Best Fund Manager for 2016 by the Mining Journal. He is also the co-author of the book, The Goldwatcher: Demystifying Gold Investing and is a regular guest on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business, as well as right here on the Money Metals podcast.

Frank, welcome back and thanks for joining us again. How are you today?

Frank Holmes: I'm great, and it's great to be chatting with you about this languishing gold market.

Mike Gleason: Yeah, we certainly have a lot to talk about. Never a dull moment here in these markets. To start out here, Frank, when we had you on back in March, we talked about the steel and aluminum tariffs Trump imposed. Things have escalated since then. The president is talking about tariffs on European automobiles and another $2 billion on imports from China. We're very curious about what impact this trade policy might have on the dollar and, by extension, precious metal. So far, at least, the dollar has been strengthening, but we aren't sure how seriously the markets are taking the possibility of a trade war becoming a currency war. If that happens, the U.S. certainly seems vulnerable. We have by far the most to lose given the dollar's status as a global reserve currency. What do you make of the recent strength in the dollar, and where do you think things may be headed if we wind up in a full-blown trade war?

Frank Holmes: Well, first, what I'd like to say is I wrote a piece said, "President Trump, you can't suck and blow a balloon at the same time." It was a just amazing feat to get corporate taxes down, and that was really the catalyst that launched the stock market, that fulfilled and provided visibility for the next several years of robust economic growth. When I talk to all the macroeconomists, all the macro analysts who are pointing out that immediately Walmart increased salaries as a consumer company, and a manufacturing company started spending more money on factory upgrades. 10 years since they've really spent a lot of money on durable goods. And that was really important for the metals as a whole.

But with this whole tariff war, well, that's basically raising taxes. Tariffs are always an indirect tax on an industry or sector of the economy, and it's defeating. And this week, the Fed chair was saying that, Powell, that he's getting feedback that exports are starting to be canceled because of the tariff battle right now. So I think the combination of the stronger dollar along with the tariff battle is only going to set us up for a recession faster than we thought, unless he can tune back what he's been talking about.

But I think to understand capital markets, the flows of funds, that historically when the two-year government bond, which is the bond that relates to all the short-term currency fluctuations, they compare 90 days and two-year government yields to the inflationary rate of their country, and then they look at all the countries and compare them to net positive return. And right now, the U.S. dollar is strong because the two-year government bond is above the dividend yield of the S&P 500. Well, as soon as that happened, immediately, pension fund institutions stopped buying stocks because they can turn around and get a guaranteed yield for the next two years with no risk on a dividend yield that's higher than what the S&P's forecasted to deliver in the future of two years and giving now.

So that creates this VIX explosion. And then we have this sort of fear that rates are going to continue to rise with the CPI number because inflation is rising, and that's put a dent in the price of gold and made the dollar strong. But a strong dollar at this stage, along with tariffs, is the worst thing for economic growth and prosperity. And Trump's ego is big enough and rational that he wants growth and he wants economic growth, so I think we're going to see in the second half, we've had a peak in rates, and we'll see rates come off. And I think then you'll see this move in the price of gold.

Mike Gleason: Setting aside any ramifications for the dollar, do you think the U.S. can win a trade war? I mean, the president certainly seems confident. On the one hand, we agree with an observation you made when we spoke last, China has stolen a lot of intellectual property, and it would be nice if we could do something about that. But on the other hand, tariffs are bound to raise prices for Americans. It's a tax, like you said, and there are plenty of examples of trade restrictions and that sort of central planning leading to all sorts of unintended consequences. So how do you rate the president's chances for success here, Frank?

​Read/Listen to the entire article here. ​


June 26 2018

moneymetals

U.S. Gold Exports to London Surge

As U.S. gold exports to Hong Kong and China fell 25% in the first four months of the year, London picked up the slack. According to the USGS, U.S. gold exports to London surged more than doubled from January to April, compared to the same period last year. Interestingly, the amount of gold exported to London during this period nearly equaled the total U.S. domestic gold mine supply.

From the data reported in the USGS Gold Mineral Industry Survey’s, U.S. gold exports to the U.K. (London) jumped to 64.3 metric tons (mt) Jan-Apr, versus 25.5 mt during the first four months last year:

Total u.s. gold exports to the u.k.

Here is the breakdown of U.S. gold exports to London for each month:

Jan = 12.2 mt

Feb = 12.1 mt

Mar = 21.2 mt

Apr = 18.8 mt

Total 64.3 mt

As I have mentioned, a lot London’s gold is exported to China and Switzerland. And then, the majority of Switzerland’s gold is exported to Hong Kong and China. For example, according to the statistics on GoldChartsrus, in March, the U.K. exported 16 mt of gold to China and 32 mt of gold to Switzerland. In the very same month, Switzerland exported 80 mt of gold to Hong Kong and China. So, most of the west’s gold still ends up in Hong Kong and China.




Continue reading the article 

June 25 2018

moneymetals

A Bargain Hunter’s Delight

Falling prices and low premiums did prompt strong retail buying in the markets for physical bullion in the past week.

The market is presenting the best opportunity to buy popular products in a very long time. Spot prices are the lowest they have been since December, but premiums are the lowest they have EVER been in more than a decade.

Consider pre-1965 90% silver coins, for example.

Silver bottomed under $14/oz in 2015, but premiums on silver dimesquarters, and half dollars were north of $5/oz at the time. Investors had to spend close to $19/oz to buy those coins. Today they can be purchased for well under $17/oz – only a few cents over spot for larger orders.

Silver Eagle premiums are at generational lows as well. Random year Silver Eagles are selling for as low as $2.05 over spot, for example​.


Article source: ​
https://goo.gl/tVsnUZ

moneymetals

Sound Money Needed Now More Than Ever

The sound money movement reemerged on the national political scene a decade ago. In 2008, the financial crisis brought in a fresh wave of U.S. gold and silver investors.

Ron Paul and the Tea Party advocated for limiting government and ending the Federal Reserve system. Sound money advocates made real inroads in recruiting Americans to their cause based on evidence that the nation is headed for bankruptcy.

The implications of the most recent financial crisis went way beyond budget and finance.

Many Americans grasped the more significant lesson. The perpetual expansion of government spending lay behind the corresponding decline in personal liberty for them, their children, and their children’s children.

National debt 1940 - 2008

Dishonest money is a dream for politicians and bankers, but it is a nightmare for citizens. Charts showing the final abandonment of the remnants of the gold standard in 1971 and the exponential rise in government debt helped people make the connection between dishonest, unlimited fiat money and unlimited government.

Here is one example from the Daily Caller...

The trend shown on this chart has not changed or improved. The red bar on the right hand side of the current chart now stands more than twice as high with total government debt north of $21 trillion.

There is no credible effort in Washington to limit spending. It is safe to say U.S. deficits and the corresponding borrowing will continue to rise exponentially. It will continue until confidence finally collapses; either in the nation’s ability to repay, or in the dollar, or both.

The nation needs sound money more desperately now than ever.

Unfortunately, the debt chart above isn’t the only chart that tells a damning story. Below is a chart from TF Metals Report which shows the regular beatings given to silver in recent months. The picture for gold looks similar.

​Continue​ 
reading here: ​https://goo.gl/oG82o6

June 22 2018

moneymetals

Gerald Celente:Why You Still Need Guns, Gold, and a Getaway

Well now, without further delay, let’s get right to this week’s exclusive interview.

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in Gerald Celente, publisher of the renowned Trends Journal. Mr. Celente is perhaps the most well-known trends forecaster in the world, and it's always great to have him on with us. Gerald, thanks for taking the time again today, and welcome back.

Gerald Celente: Thanks for having me on.

Mike Gleason: Well, Gerald, the potential for a trade war is the hot topic in the financial press these days. Around here, the question is what escalating concerns over trade might mean for the precious metals markets, and we would like to get your thoughts on that. But first, please give us your take on the President's trade policy in general. Some people think the U.S. has been a major beneficiary of trade. We've been able to import real goods and services in exchange for increasingly worthless dollars. Others hate what so-called globalization has done to U.S. manufacturing and think Trump is delivering a long overdue warning shot to nations who have taken advantage of the U.S. So, where do you stand on all this?

Gerald Celente: Well, we've been in the business since 1980. When NAFTA began, actually under Reagan began it trying to push through and Bush Sr., and they couldn't push through much, but Bill Clinton was the one that really brought us into NAFTA and China into the World Trade Organization. So, you just look at the numbers, and the numbers speak for themselves. Before we were in NAFTA, we had basically a neutral exchange in terms of merchandise trade deficit between Mexico and the United States. And now we have a $71 billion deficit. Who would do business like that? Would you do business with someone where you lose $71 billion a year? Then when you look at China ... and we lost by the way about 975,000 manufacturing jobs, and Clinton promised that we would gain 200,000. But I didn't have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky, and I smoked but I didn't inhale, so you know the guy's full of it from the beginning and to the end, and he's still a hero.

Then you look at China, what he did bringing them into the World Trade Organization. We lost about 3.5 million jobs, and we have a merchandise trade deficit with them of $375 billion a year. You can't blame Mexico or China or other countries on this. You have to, as we look at it, put the blame on the companies that went overseas to get their products made by cheap labor and then bring them back to the United States and sell them so they could gain greater profits. If you can't have an agreement with workers in your country to pay them a living wage, go to a slave labor country and get them made over there is basically what happened.

For example, 97% of the shoes and clothing that we wear are made overseas. When you go back to the 1990s, that wasn't true. It was being made over here. And then you look at the standard of living and the declines. The facts are all there. A matter of fact, we're right now, our standard of living of real personal income is below 1999 levels. Again, we don't blame anybody other than the ones that did it. China and all these other countries, Vietnam, they didn't have the technology. The Europeans and the Americans gave them the technology to do it. So, they sold us out.

So what Trump is doing with this, as we see it, this is typical Trump's Art of the Deal negotiation strategy that we point out in our Trend Alerts. You take North Korea, for example. He calls the guy Rocket Man, a moron, a maniac, and then after he meets with him, he's an honorable, great guy. The deal is done. He goes to the extremes. And that's what we believe he's doing with the tariff situation, because again, China's only buying about $130 billion worth of our goods. And they're selling us $375 billion. Are they going to kill the deal? Of course not. So, there's going to be a negotiation of this. Bottom line is, Mike, at this level, we don't see a trade war coming yet. It's not in the cards right now.

Mike Gleason: Now, when it comes to the gold and silver markets, the impact of trade policy will, we think, largely depend upon how that policy impacts the U.S. dollar. So far, the foreign exchange markets are reacting as if a potential trade war might be good for the dollar. It has been strengthening relative to other world currencies. Now, we're not so sure the markets have it right. The U.S. may run massive trade deficits on lots of products, but the one product that we export a ton of is the U.S. dollar. Anything that reduces this demand for the greenback overseas is liable to cause some problems, and the dollar is already under attack as the global reserve currency. What do you think? Will these escalating trade conflicts be good or bad for the dollar, and good or bad news for gold?


Read/Listen to the entire podcast here: 

June 13 2018

moneymetals

Some Probing Questions from Customers Like You...

Client communications are a priority for us. If someone calls, we have live people answering the phone and ready to provide service. If you need support by email or by live chat, we respond promptly. This is, of course, good business as it makes for happy customers!

Q & a

However, it is great for another reason. A big part of what we do is provide timely and useful articles and podcasts you can use to stay current on developments which impact the metals markets and your investments. It helps us immensely to know what our clients are thinking about and what questions they have.

Here are a few good questions we’ve seen recently, along with our responses…

Question: What is the best buy currently – bars or sovereign coins?

Answer: Whether it is sovereign coins or bars that represent the “best buy” will depend on what is important to you. In terms of silver, bars (and 1-ounce silver rounds) offer the lowest overall cost per ounce. If “best buy” means “lowest price,” these are the way to go. You can’t go wrong buying the maximum number of ounces for the least amount of money, provided you are getting a quality product made by reputable mints and refiners.

2017 american silver eagle

Premiums on Silver Eagles
are very low by historical standards.
Shop here.

On the other hand, coin premiums are at cycle lows and there is a floor of sorts beneath them. Sovereign mints, unlike private mints and refiners, are not responding to weaker sales by reducing minting charges. Based on our experience, we do not expect them to change course. That likely means coin premiums aren’t headed much lower than they are right now.

People who prefer buying official, legal-tender coins for their recognizability and popularity should consider grabbing some now.

Customers who want to speculate on coin premiums, might also want to exploit today’s conditions.

In recent years, we’ve seen premiums on the silver American Eagle at more than twice the current level. Chances are that will happen again the next time demand spikes, giving returns on those items an extra boost.

Source: (
https://www.moneymetals.com/news/2018/06/13/gold-bars-or-sovereign-coins-001551
​)​

moneymetals

WHY HARRY DENT’S $400 FORECAST FOR GOLD IS WRONG…. Price Is Heading Up Much Higher

Harry Dent has been making the rounds suggesting that for gold to get back to its pre-bubble price, it would need to fall to $400 or $450. If we were to believe Mr. Dent, then it would be bad news for gold investors. However, Harry Dent’s gold price forecast is quite faulty because he fails to consider the most critical factor.

Harry Dent has become well-known on the internet for his $750 gold price forecast. He bases a low gold price upon what he calls “The end of the Commodity Super-Cycle.” Dent sees nothing but massive deflation ahead. Thus this will cause the gold price to fall along with all commodities.

Unfortunately for Dent, his gold price forecast is incorrect because he fails to incorporate the Falling EROI (Energy Returned On Investment) and energy into his analysis. Dent, like many in the financial industry, believes in the “Energy Tooth Fairy” (a term coined by Louis Arnoux). What I mean by the Energy Tooth Fairy is the notion that economy will continue to grow forever because plenty of cheap energy will always be available. Thus, economic and business cycles, forecasted by Dent, will also continue forever.

Before I explain in detail why Dent is totally wrong on his $400 gold price forecast, here he is in a recent interview on Kitco:

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62jrl_irLzs)


Dent makes several forecasts in the interview, but his price target for gold is the most startling for precious metals investors. He says gold is heading for $650-$750, but that is just the first target. Dent then says, “Ultimately for gold to erase its bubble and get back to its bubble origin, it would be $400-$450. Once gold hits $400 or $450, then Dent would be a buyer.

I gather Dent is suggesting that gold became a bubble in 2004 when it went above $400 an ounce:

Gold price 20 year chart june 11 2018

As we can see in the chart above, the gold price never fell below $1,050 since the 2008 Financial Meltdown. Is Harry Dent suggesting that the gold price will drop another $600 from its low of $1,050 in 2015??




June 12 2018

moneymetals

The Dangers of Investing Based on Phony Government Statistics

President Donald Trump recently took to Twitter to boast, “The U.S. has an increased economic value of more than 7 Trillion Dollars since the Election. May be the best economy in the history of our country. Record Jobs numbers. Nice!”

“We ran out of words to describe how good the jobs numbers are,” reported Neil Irwin of the New York Times, amplified in a Trump retweet.

Increase

If you believe the headline numbers, joblessness is at a generational low with the economy booming.

Trillions in nominal value added to the stock market since Trump’s election. GDP up over 3% in the second quarter. 223,000 jobs added in May. Unemployment at an 18-year low of 3.8%.

On the surface, this all paints a beautiful picture for the economy and stock market. But dig a little deeper, and the numbers aren’t quite as bright they appear. All that glitters is not gold.

Headline Unemployment Number Is Fake News

Donald Trump himself put his finger on one of the main flaws with the unemployment number back when he was a private citizen.

“Unemployment rate only dropped because more people are out of labor force & have stopped looking for work. Not a real recovery, phony numbers,” he posted on September 7th, 2012.

The headline unemployment number isn’t any less phony in 2018. Though it has improved under Trump’s presidency – in large part because of his pro-growth tax cuts and deregulation – the statistic is still derived from a dubious formula.

Back in 2012, Trump rightly pointed to the large numbers of workers who had dropped out of the labor force but weren’t counted among the ranks of the unemployed.

You can find the article here:(https://www.moneymetals.com/news/2018/06/11/the-dangers-of-investing-based-on-phony-governments-statistics-001550)

June 11 2018

moneymetals

Why are Gold/Silver Premiums SO Darn Low Right Now?

The bullion markets have undergone a shift in recent months. Prices may be range-bound, but there has been a transition from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. Our goal, as always, is to keep our readers and clients apprised of developments and answer your questions.

Question: Why don’t spot prices for gold and silver respond to bullish news events or fundamentals in the physical market?

Answer: Physical supply and demand don’t necessarily impact the “spot” prices for gold and silver set in the futures markets on a day-to-day basis.

Take a hypothetical situation where some geopolitical event has investors running for safety. Lots of people decide to buy gold. Unfortunately, many of these investors will foolishly turn to gold futures.

As demand spikes in the futures markets, the bullion banks stand ready to meet the new demand with freshly printed digital contracts. This new supply of gold derivatives is scooped up by eager buyers even though not a single physical bar is added to any inventory. Their digital receipt which purports to represent gold is, in fact, almost completely unbacked.

The geopolitical event may drive plenty of demand, but the impact on price will be muted, and perhaps eliminated entirely.

Question: I noticed that premiums have fallen significantly compared to two years ago. Why has this occurred?

Extremely low prices

Answer: When demand for coins, rounds, and bars outstrips the physical inventory held by dealers, premiums will start rising as dealers bid aggressively for inventory.

This dynamic drove premiums sharply higher a number of times between 2008 and 2016. This part is telling; the futures markets can, and often do, signal the exact opposite of what is happening in the bullion markets where supply and demand are actually balanced through price. Between 2011 and 2015, spot prices were in decline, but that was a period of unprecedented demand for physical coins, rounds, and bars.

Today, this dynamic is working in reverse. Retail bullion investors in the U.S. (but not worldwide) have been more inclined to sell.

They seem optimistic that President Donald Trump and his policies will solve many problems. Some are frustrated by the returns in the metals markets and seek better performance elsewhere. Dealers are buying lots more inventory from the retail public than they did a couple years back, and this glut in supply has caused premiums to fall as a result.

We view this period of relatively low spot prices AND extraordinarily low premiums on physical gold and silver items as the best sort of environment to buy, not sell. But for those wishing to sell, Money Metals also offers the best prices.

Article Source: 
(https://www.moneymetals.com/news/2018/06/11/why-are-gold-silver-premiums-so-low-001549)

June 08 2018

moneymetals

Pento: Inflation to Skyrocket When Fed Reverts to New QE & Interest Rate Cuts


Michael pento

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome back Michael Pento, president and founder of Pento Portfolio Strategies and author of the book, The Coming Bond Market Collapse: How to Survive the Demise of the U.S. Debt Market. Michael is a well-known money manager and a fantastic market commentator, and over the past few years, has been a wonderful guest and one of our favorites here on the Money Metals Podcast. We always love getting his highly-studied Austrian economist viewpoint.

Michael, welcome back, and thanks for joining us again.

Michael Pento: Thanks for having me back on, Mike.

Mike Gleason: Well, Michael, we were struck by one statistic in particular in the latest edition of your always great Pentonomics commentary and we urge people to sign up for your email list, so they can start getting those themselves, if they're not doing that already. But in that piece, you referenced Chapter 11 bankruptcy spiking 63% in March versus the same month a year ago. This is a dramatic move, and it tells a very different story than the one people are hearing all day long on CNBC these days. You also mentioned the carnage in the retail sector, rising delinquencies in the subprime auto loans and other indicators, which are back to levels we last saw just before the 2008 financial crisis.

Meanwhile, the talking heads are going on about how strong the U.S. economy is, and to be fair, they can point at statistics such as unemployment, strong performance in the equities, at least until recently, consumer sentiments, and other positive signs. At this point, most Americans think the U.S. economy is in better shape and likely to get stronger, but we know at key turning points in the markets, most people wind up being wrong. Now, you are certainly sounding the alarm here, Michael, so give us your thoughts on the real state of the U.S. economy, and what are a couple of the key indicators, and what are those indicators telling you about what we should expect in the months ahead?

Michael Pento: Well, Mike, first of all, this kind of reminds me a little bit of maybe late 2007, early 2008. And I want to remind all your listeners that the economy entered a recession officially, for NBER rates recessions, in December of 2007. We were already in a recession at the end of 2007, but nobody really knew it. The stock market was still doing okay. And if you look at the metrics, some of the metrics that you quoted in that question still looked very well and fine and dandy, but underneath that ersatz construct, the economy was eroding very quickly. The yield curve had already inverted. Bank lending was drying up. And home prices were already in the process of rolling over. You fast-forward to today, and you can point to many things that will make you think the economy is doing well. You look at the JOLTS, Job Opening Labor Turnover construct. If you look at ISM Manufacturing surveys, we still have some time to go before this recession becomes absolutely, positively manifest.

But here's what's going on underneath. Let me just show you how, and let me try to prove to your listeners and your audience why this particular edifice is built of cards, this economic edifice is going to wash away. Let's just take a couple of things that I want to point out to your audience. In the wake of the Great Recession, it became clear to me that the level of asset prices along with the amount of debt outstanding in the world absolutely mandates that interest rates remain near 0% and never normalize. Otherwise, the entire artificial financial construct falls apart. This is the only thing keeping everything together. So, this is the rubber bands and tape and glue that's keeping Japan solvent, that's keeping the eurozone solvent, that's keeping China any semblance of solvency, and even in the United States.

Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about. If you look at the total value of equities as a percent of GDP, it's now at a record high, very close to 150%. If interest rates move too far off the zero bound, that ratio would close by the denominator, which is GDP, falling, but the numerator, which is asset prices, crashing much, much faster. Let me give you one more example. You touched on it a little bit when you mentioned business debt. Corporate debt as a percentage of GDP is also at a record high. These are nominal records and as a percentage of the economy. And also, the credit quality of that debt is at a record low. As this ratio contracts, what you'll see is GDP contracting again, but corporate debt defaulting in spades, which will manifest into a global recession/depression, which will be marked by rapid deflation. That is the condition of the global economy today. It's held together by artificially low rates, which are now in the process of being removed.

Don't forget, in the United States, QE ended in, I believe, 2014. QE ended. We have raised rates six times. There'll be a seventh rate increase next week. The ECB went from €80 billion per month to €30 billion. They'll probably end that program. We'll find out more next week. They'll probably end that program by the end of this year. And what you have is a condition when you have global debt as 330% of GDP, $230 trillion, up $70 trillion since the Great Recession. Interest rates are going to start to rise, because central banks have the hubris to believe that they solved all of the world's problems. And it is that rising debt, which is going to pop asset prices and pop corporate debt and personal debt and student loans and credit cards and leveraged loans, CLOs, these are all of the things that are going to pop simultaneously. It's going to happen very quickly. And unfortunately, I believe it is going to be much worse, the fallout is going to be much worse, than that of 2009.

Mike Gleason: People listening to this would say, "Well, why do they have to raise rates? Maybe they'll just stand where they are or go with the lower," but obviously there's a credibility factor here that's going to probably prevent them from reversing course, at least talking about the Fed. They've talked about raising interest rates. They're probably going to do it because their credibility is at stake. Isn't that fair to say?


You can find the entire podcast here​

June 07 2018

moneymetals

Precious Metals Represent Something True

You began investing in precious metals because they represent something honest.

Gold and silver are tangible, scarce, and beautiful. People have always recognized them as such. Societies naturally gravitated toward using them as a trusted medium of exchange – money – almost as soon as societies were formed.

Over time civilizations have come and gone. The world has seen constant social upheaval and change.

People from ancient Sumeria would not recognize modern society. But they would recognize a gold coin. In fact, some of the coins used in their time have survived to this day. Physical gold and silver have retained the trust and value placed in them thousands of years ago.

Gold and silver do not rely upon the stewardship of any government, thank goodness. They do not require legal tender laws to be deemed valuable in trade. The metals you hold inside your safe are worth something regardless of what happens outside.

Bullion coins, rounds, and bars are also completely off the grid and portable. This potent combination of attributes makes metals unique in the investment world.

Perhaps most importantly, gold and silver shine the light upon what politicians and bankers are doing to the fiat dollar. Relative to an ounce of gold, the dollar has lost some 97% of its value since 1913.

US federal reserve system

The Federal Reserve System was formed 105 years ago with a mandate to maintain stable prices when measured in dollars.

Instead, officials have worked tirelessly to devalue the currency, booted gold and silver out of the formal monetary system, and enabled massive growth in government along with perpetual deficits.

One only needs to look at the gold price to measure just how poorly the central planners have managed their beloved Federal Reserve Note.


June 06 2018

moneymetals

Total U.S. Public Debt & Interest Expense Hit A New Record High

The total U.S. public debt hit a new record high of $21.145 trillion on the last day in May. AS the U.S. debt increased, so did the interest expense which jumped by more than $26 billion in the first seven months of the fiscal year. That's correct; the United States government forked out an additional $26 billion to service its debt (Oct-Apr) versus the same period last year.

While the U.S. debt reached a new high on May 31st, it took nearly two months to do it. Let me explain. During tax season, the total U.S. public debt actually declined from a peak of $21.135 trillion on April 10th to a low of $21.033 trillion on May 3rd. Since then, the U.S. debt has been steadily moving higher (including some daily fluctuations):

If you spend some time on the TreasuryDirect - Home site, you will see that the total public debt doesn’t go up in a straight line. There are days or weeks where the total debt declines. However, the overall trend is higher.


Continue reading here

​:​
(https://www.moneymetals.com/news/2018/06/05/us-debt-new-record-001510​)​

June 05 2018

moneymetals

How Savvy Investors Do (and Don’t) Hedge against Inflation

Inflation is a corrosive force that gradually – and sometimes rapidly – eats away at the nominal value of savings and investments.

It is perhaps the biggest threat looming on the horizon for millions of retirees who have been steered into assets marketed as “conservative” – such as dollar-denominated money market accounts, bonds, and annuities.

Inflation silently robbing you of purchasing power since 1913

According to the Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2018, an alarmingly large proportion of the population doesn’t understand basic financial concepts such as inflation.

Consider this question from the survey: “Imagine that the interest rate on your savings account was 1 percent per year and inflation was 2 percent per year. After 1 year, how much would you be able to buy with the money in this account?”

The question is actually even easier to answer than it first appears. To get it right you only have to select among a list of possible choices that includes “less than today,” “more than today,” and “the same as today.”

Obviously, if inflation is running at 2% a year, then a 1% yield on your savings is neither growing nor preserving your purchasing power. The correct answer is “less than today.”

That may be obvious to you. But it’s not to everyone.

Among U.S. respondents, only 55% answered the inflation question correctly!

A score of “55” is equivalent to an “F” – as a nation, we are outright failing to grasp the basic concept of how inflation negatively affects savings.

Widespread public ignorance about inflation works, perversely, to the advantage of governments, central banks, commercial banks, and peddlers of fee-laden, inflation-lagging financial products such as fixed annuities.

Investors who are savvy about the inflation threat know that conventional annuities, bonds, and savings accounts are all vulnerable to losing value in real terms.

But those seeking protection from inflation can still run into trouble by venturing into flawed "inflation hedges."

Think twice before sinking money into the following assets…



June 04 2018

moneymetals

Money Metals Is the Best Place to Sell Your Metal (Even If We Don’t Think You Should)

We don’t talk about it much, but Money Metals Exchange is literally the best in the nation when it comes to buying precious metals from clients who need to sell. We’ll explain why that is in just a moment. First, however, it’s important to explain why we don’t promote it, despite having several competitive advantages.

We just don’t think most people should be selling metals, at least not now.

Buy, hold, sell

In fact, holding a position in physical bullion is, we believe, more important than ever. Our position on that hasn’t changed, even though the sideways action in the metals markets in recent years has sometimes been frustrating and difficult to watch.

The dollar’s future is more bleak than ever. The U.S. borrows too much, spends too much, and promises too much.

A national bankruptcy is coming and it will destroy confidence, the ephemeral foundation underpinning the Federal Reserve Note dollar.

We believe this is a truth which cannot be avoided, and no amount of price rigging or central economic planning can change it.

That said, it has always been a priority for us to make an honest and fair two-way market for our clients. We’re committed to supporting them whether they need to buy OR sell.

And there are, of course, plenty of good reasons to sell metal. Sometimes folks simply need cash for some other purpose – and gold and silver are highly liquid assets. Or maybe they simply disagree with our take on where the precious metals markets are headed.

So Money Metals has been steadily building tools to make it even easier for sellers as well.

​Continue reading the article on MMX

June 01 2018

moneymetals

Axel Merk Exclusive: Inflation & Precious Metals to Rise, Fed to Act Late

Well, now without further delay, let’s get right to this week’s exclusive interview.

Axel merk

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome back Axel Merk, President and Chief Investment Officer of Merk Investments and author of the book Sustainable Wealth. Axel is a highly sought after guest at financial conferences and on news outlets throughout the world and it's great to have him back on with us.

Axel, it's a pleasure to have you join us again today and thanks very much for coming on.

Axel Merk: Great to be with you. What a week.

Mike Gleason: Exactly. Well, Axel when we spoke to you in February the equity markets were in the midst of a sell off and some significant volatility, which had been extraordinarily low, came roaring back to life. Since then, the stocks have recovered some. The S&P regained about half of what it lost by the end of February and has been trading in a range since then.

Our thoughts are that precious metals are trading inversely correlated to equities markets, at least for now. Unless we get a pullback in stocks or more appetite for safe-haven assets it will be hard for metals to get much going to the upside. But what are your thoughts on the relationship between gold prices and stock markets, Axel? And what factors do you expect to be driving stocks between now and say the end of the year?

Axel Merk: Sure, and for context I think we should just mention we are talking before the Non-Farm Payroll Reports (are out), so who knows what's happened to markets since we have talked? One of the things I don't recall if I mentioned in February is, ever since last December, and I still believe in that, the markets have been a bit like a washing machine. That correlations have been breaking down. And, if you go back to, kind of, all the way to the financial crisis, that's the 2008 one, not the one from a week ago, that means that whenever there was a crisis the Fed bought treasuries. And so whenever “risk” falls off, when equities are plunging, bonds were rising. And that kind of ingrained this perception about certain types of correlations and so, similarly, the price of gold was actually reasonably highly correlated to that of treasuries. And so we got this thing that gold and the stocks are sometimes moving in tandem, sometimes they move in opposite directions.

Since January 1970, if you look at monthly correlations, the correlations between stocks and bonds is 0.00. So, there is no correlation. Yet, we get caught up in this thing that, for months at a time, sometimes there’s a correlation that is significant. I think the most noteworthy thing of late is that yields have been, until a good week ago, have been matching higher and the price of gold was falling up. And then, conversely, when bond yields were falling, gold didn't rise.

And so, gold has kind of marched on its own in some ways and I happen to believe that a lot of the buyers of gold these days are doing it because they are concerned about the equity markets because of volatility spiking. And the reason why volatility and the price of gold are related is because gold doesn't have cashflow. And that means the future cashflows don't get discounted more, whereas, if you have a quote unquote risk asset, like equities, and volatility increases, those future cashflows get discounted more and the prices of equities, all else equal, tends to fall. So, that's why in “normal” circumstances the price of gold should rise when equities tumble. Obviously, that doesn't always happen.

Mike Gleason: You pay more attention than most people to events in Europe and the European markets. Lately, troubles in the PIGS nations have crept back into the news. Populace in Italy and Spain are making hay by opposing EU imposed austerity and it's a reminder that deep fundamental issues remain and the union may not survive. Let's start by getting your take, if we can, on the overall status of the EU. Will there be any high-profile exits, perhaps by Italy or Spain? Is Great Britain going to complete its exit? Or are you expecting the EU to weather the storm here, Axel​? 


Continue reading (source) ​

May 31 2018

moneymetals

ALERT! Copper May Be the Metal for the Era of Trump – Up 50% since January 2016


  • The Metal for the Era of Trump – You Can’t Build Infrastructure Without Copper!
  • You Can Still Buy Copper at Near Absolute Melt Value – Almost ZERO Over Spot
  • PLUS Gleaming 1 oz. Copper Rounds – Any Design, a Buck Apiece
2018 - copper prices chart

(MoneyMetals.com) Did you know that copper is up 50 percent since January 2016?

Copper is essential in the modern economy. Electronics, automobiles, and utilities among other things can’t function without it. Optimism surrounding the President’s $1 trillion dollar infrastructure spending proposal and his efforts to support U.S. manufacturing is driving copper prices higher.

Donald Trump’s pro-business plans are very bullish for copper. This rally may just be getting started and savvy investors are taking notice.

  • The spot price of copper is up 50% since January 2016.
  • The copper contained $1,000 face value of pre-1983 U.S. Lincoln pennies is now worth about $2,200.
  • Yet you can still buy these appreciating 95% pure copper U.S. legal tender coins at – or very near – absolute melt value.

Bag of pennies

Pre-1983 pennies at just
2.85% over Copper Spot Price

Precious metals investors – and dealers – tend to overlook copper. We think that’s a mistake; Money Metals is actually stocking up on copper pennies and rounds to meet the demands of our savvy customers.

Copper in the form of 95% pure pre-1983 pennies is one of the few legal tender metals where the price you pay is nearly identical to the spot market price...

  • 34 pounds of pre-1983 pennies: today’s price from Money Metals, $101.66
  • Melt value: 34 pounds x .95 purity x $3.06 per pound spot price = $98.84
  • Percent over melt: 2.85% … virtually untouchable for legal tender metal!

It’s been 35 years since the federal government dealt the third and final blow to precious metals content in US coinage – an essential part of its long-term strategy to devalue the nation’s currency –

A stash of 95 percent copper pennies can come in handy in the event you need metals to barter and trade. Copper fills an important gap, being suitable for smaller transactions where gold and even silver may not be practical options.

Copper is the only metal that’s actually cheapest in coin form. The minting costs of pennies were paid off decades ago; unlike with gold and silver, there’s no premium to get official, trusted and legal tender coins. The coins are actually available at a huge discount relative to other forms of copper bullion!

Money Metals has pre-1983 95% copper pennies sold by weight in 34 pound bags (approx 4,925 pennies per bag). Stock up on these legal tender coins while we still have them at less than two percent above melt value. Order securely at MoneyMetals.com


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