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March 27 2019

moneymetals

The Staggering Amount Of Gold & Silver Investment Since The 2008 Financial Crisis

silver-gold-investment-since-2008-social.jpg

While the demand for precious metals is certainly off its highs from prior years, investors would be quite surprised by the astonishing amount of physical gold and silver investment since the 2008 financial crisis. Only by comparing the gold and silver investment demand to the prior decade, can we truly understand how the precious metals market has changed, and probably forever.

Now, before I get into the information, I wanted to say a few things about precious metals sentiment and the disillusionment, and at times, the outright disgust, by a percentage of former gold and silver investors. I am not going to name any names, but rather focus on the inability of these individuals to CONNECT THE DOTS in regards to the disintegrating Global Financial Ponzi Scheme.

And… for those few who still believe in the “Crypto Miracle,” to overtake 2,000+ years of gold and silver as money, you have my sympathies. I am not going to get into any details, but just to say… don’t count on High-Tech to solve our problems in the future. High-tech only creates more problems. So, if you believe high-tech is going to solve problems, then you don’t understand the historical record on the “Collapse of Complex Societies.”

Regardless, I believe part of the reason the “once” precious metals bugs, have now become quite frustrated, is that they have been taken in by the Mainstream Financial Koolaide. And why shouldn’t they? Stocks and real estate prices have been going up and up, until recently, for the past seven years while the metals peaked, declined, and have been virtually flat.

Yes, it’s frustrating to see the value of precious metals underperform the market while everything else seems to be heading toward the moon. But, that in itself should give anyone with a decent amount of intellectual know-how the ability to sniff out that… SOMETHING JUST AIN’T RIGHT. For some odd reason, all the negative aspects of the economy, the massive debt, derivatives, and leverage are all but forgotten when all we do is focus on the highly inflated stock, bond, and real estate asset values.

Unfortunately, the inability to see how the debt, derivatives, and leverage have created the biggest Global Ponzi Scheme in history will create the largest financial collapse ever witnessed, causing most investors to go bankrupt. It’s only a matter of time, and time is running out.

So, when I write about gold and silver, I am not doing so because I want to see a 1,000+% gains in the metals (that wouldn’t bother me either), but because there really isn’t much else worth owning as “Liquid Investments” when the Phat Financial Lady finally sings. Thus, I don’t focus on price targets or timelines, because that’s a fool’s game (one I was guilty of doing several years ago… no longer).

Frustration occurs when something doesn’t happen when or how we expect. Which means, it’s best to focus on the critical information, make one’s investment decisions, and let the system unfold in its due time.

The 2008 Financial Crisis Was A Game-Changer For Gold & Silver Investment

Because we focus on day-to-day news, we tend to overlook longer-term trends. While short-term information is important, it doesn’t override longer-term fundamental trends. Well, yes… maybe in some cases, but if we take the collapse of the Ancient Roman as an example, it cannot be attributed to just the events that occurred over the last few years of the empire, but instead, the centuries it took for its Falling EROI – Energy Returned On Investment, to destroy it from within.

Today, we are in the same predicament as the Ancient Roman Empire. However, the overwhelming majority of people don’t see it because they are only focused on short-term results and information. Thus, to truly understand the future, we have to look back in the past. And, if we do this with gold and silver investment, we will see a very interesting trend.

According to some of the best industry sources, the World Gold Council and World Silver Surveys, investors purchased 16,200 metric tons (mt) of gold and 57,800 mt of silver from 2009-2018:

Total physical gold & silver investment (2009-2018)

That turns out to be 520 million oz of gold and a nearly 2 billion oz of silver. Now, these figures only represent the physical bar and coin demand, including central bank net purchases. I did not include ETF’s or similar products. First, there is no way of knowing if the gold or silver is over-subscribed in these precious metals ETF’s or secondly, if all the metal that is listed, is contained in the vaults. So, the figures are likely much higher, especially for silver.

Continue reading: https://goo.gl/mpmhTe

March 26 2019

moneymetals

Fed Gives Up on "Normalization"

Chairman Jerome Powell confirmed what many expected. The Fed is ending the effort to "normalize" – long before interest rates and the central bank’s balance sheet size gets close to normal.

Financial markets are hopelessly addicted to stimulus. The central bank fostered the addiction and has no intention of forcing markets into withdrawal.

In fact, if stock prices deteriorate and growth continues to slow, investors can expect the Fed to quickly ramp up the stimulus, once again.

The FOMC announcement was a complete about face. Until December, Fed bankers acted confident their extraordinary policy measures had promoted sustainable economic growth. Now, after only modest monetary tightening, that growth appears to be in jeopardy.

It is good to see the mainstream financial press and more institutional voices on Wall Street beginning to question the Fed’s credibility.

Article Source: https://goo.gl/pvWXwG

March 25 2019

moneymetals

What Do Airline Crashes and the Precious Metals Markets Have in Common?

Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration worked closely together to hustle a new passenger jet through the safety certification process. The combined efforts to save time and cost, coupled with little sense of accountability, resulted in a tragic safety flaw.

Boeing airplanes

Now hundreds of passengers are dead, albeit in other countries. The public is finding the enormous trust placed in the manufacturer and the agency tasked with monitoring safety was badly misplaced.

The regulator tasked with safety appeared more interested in protecting Boeing’s monopoly and bottom line.

Here is an excerpt from an article last week in the Seattle Times:

Federal Aviation Administration managers pushed its engineers to delegate wide responsibility for assessing the safety of the 737 MAX to Boeing itself. But safety engineers familiar with the documents shared details that show the analysis included crucial flaws.

The FBI announced it will join a criminal investigation into the process for certifying the 737 MAX.

Precious metals investors will find many elements of the Boeing story familiar.

Gold and silver bugs have already learned just how dangerous it is to trust corrupt and captured federal regulators. Now that lesson is being taught to Americans at large.

By the time all the details of this sordid tale have been published, more Americans will wonder who federal regulators really work for.

Gold and silver investors who have been similarly betrayed by the regulators. Regulatory malfeasance and corruption is a theme the precious metals markets and airline industry have in common.

Concerns over regulatory capture and a track record of failure were largely ignored. Editors at Bloomberg outlined some of the history of the FAA in a March 21st editorial. Suffice it to say the recent crashes aren’t the only examples of the agency putting the needs of airlines and plane manufacturers ahead of public safety.

Continue reading: https://goo.gl/8LMy2W

March 22 2019

moneymetals

Federal Reserve Cries Uncle as Rates Fall, Commodities Strengthen

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

David smith

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome back David Smith, Senior Analyst at The Morgan Report and regular contributor to MoneyMetals.com. David, it's been too long. How are you my friend?

David Smith: It's been a while and I'm happy to be back, Mike.

Mike Gleason: Well, David, for metals investors who got started after the 2008 financial crisis, it has not been an easy ride, as we both know. Prices rose sharply between 2008 and 2011, driven by the crisis and the Fed's response to it, 0% interest rates and massive amounts of money creation. Then the metals markets began to flounder. Some of the safe haven demand for metals dried up as the equity markets recovered and fear dissipated. Price rigging and suppression in the futures markets has progressed from conspiracy theory to conspiracy fact. Metals prices are not being set in free or fair markets, so it is not easy for some investors to hang in there. But the reasons to own metal are still there, bigger than ever.

So, now might be a good time to review some of them. You talk a lot about precious metals role as insurance. Would you mind going over how metals act as a form of insurance for our listeners, David, as we start out today?

David Smith: Well, there's several iterations of the insurance piece. As David Morgan of The Morgan Report always talks about, you buy the physical first and you buy that for insurance first and profits second. But if you look back, and a lot of people would not even believe this until they saw the chart. But gold held since 2000, has doubled the appreciation of the stock market, the overall stock market.

So, in spite of the big plans that we've seen, that we saw from $1,900 down to about $1,050 and then the move in 2016, we had, which gave most of it back and gold ended up for the whole process from that point, down about 45%. Silver down about 70% from 2011. In spite of that, the metals are still using their role as insurance of helping you diversify, of helping contradict other price changes in investments you may have and then, providing liquidity for you. So they, historically, have done that very well, that role of insurance and they continue to do so.

Mike Gleason: You talk about metals as a source of liquidity. What do you mean by that?

David Smith: It means that if you need money, if you have some kind of an expense you need to deal with right away, you can sell the gold right now at any gold operation, any salesmanship. Whether it's a jewelry store or an operation like Money Metals and you can get your money for that to pay that expense.

You can't do that with property. You can't do it with real estate, in general and collectibles and things like that. So, it gives you a real good opportunity. I always like to tell people from time to time, when you buy gold and silver, you don't think of it as buying something like a car or a fishing rod or a camera or something like this. You're exchanging one form, of which I would argue is inferior money, fiat money that's not backed by anything… you're exchanging that for a form of historic sound, honest money. You're not making a purchase per se. You're making an acquisition of a greater ability to have a financial element that can do really well for you and offer diversity.

Check out the full podcast/article here: https://goo.gl/p7Srnw

moneymetals

What Soaring Palladium Prices Mean for Silver

A once-rare property crime is now trending higher around the world. Thieves are stealing precious metals from automobiles.

These opportunistic criminals don’t bother rummaging through glove compartments in the hope of finding stashed jewelry or gold coins. Instead, they go for the certain score of exposed catalytic converters.

A car’s catalytic converter is attached to its exhaust system and converts toxic emissions into less harmful byproducts. It contains corrosion-resistant noble metals – typically platinum, palladium, and/ or rhodium – in relatively small quantities.

Those relatively small quantities are valuable, especially in the case of palladium. “Soaring palladium prices are inspiring an unusual band of criminals: catalytic converter thieves,” reported the Wall Street Journal.

In March, palladium prices spiked to a record $1,600/oz. They appear poised to set more records this spring.

Fears of a chronic supply deficit are prompting not only thefts, but also panic buying of palladium by industrial users and abnormalities in futures and leasing markets, including backwardation and double digit lease rates.

Since early 2016, the palladium spot price has more than tripled – from just under $500/oz. to over $1,500/oz. Despite the huge move, demand for palladium continues to outstrip supply. The move may be far from finished.

However, long-term investors who are focused on finding value – who aim to buy low when markets are depressed and out of favor – likely won’t find palladium attractive at these lofty levels.

But they may find palladium’s recent tripling encouraging for the prospects of other metals that have been beaten down and overlooked by most investors.


Continue reading: https://goo.gl/VKMn4C


March 21 2019

moneymetals
moneymetals

As The Markets Sell-off The Precious Metals Rebound


To the surprise of many investors, the precious metals have rallied while the broader markets continue to sell-off. Currently, both gold and silver are solidly in the green while the major indexes were all the red following a huge sell-off yesterday. The Dow Jones Index has lost nearly 1,000 points in the past two days while the gold price is up nearly $25.

However, even though we could see a late-day rally in the markets, and even higher stock indexes over the next few months, the bear market for stocks is still coming. The Dow Jones Index has now suffered two large sell-offs in the past ten months:

Dow jones - oct. 10, 2018

In January, the Dow Jones Index fell by more 3,000 points, and the current correction is only one-half of that amount. So, I expect to see a continued correction over the next month. Because October is the worst month for market Crashes, this could be one hell of a blow for not only the economy but also, for investor confidence.

For example, according to the Zerohedge article, Used-Car Prices Plunge Most In 15 Years:

CPI - used cars & trucks mom

Looking deeper at the core inflation print, it reflected a 3% monthly drop in prices for used cars and trucks following increases in each of the last 3 months, and the biggest drop in 15 years…




Continue reading: ​https://goo.gl/r8VZYJ

March 11 2019

moneymetals

Palladium Blowup Could Expose Scam of Gold & Silver Futures

Craig hemkeCraig weighs in again and offers a concise and clear explanation on what’s been happening in the broken and rigged silver futures markets. And also tells us why he sees 2019 being a similar setup to what we saw in gold and silver back in 2010 and 2011 when the metals went on an historic run. Don’t miss a fantastic interview with Craig Hemke, coming up after this week’s market update.

Markets got roiled this week on some downbeat economic reports and a surge in the U.S. dollar.

The Dollar Index broke out to a 21-month high on Thursday after the European Central Bank came out swinging with more stimulus measures. The ECB indicated it intends to leave ultra-low interest rates in place at least through early 2020. That coupled with bleak new forecasts for European economic growth helped drag down the euro and give life to the dollar on foreign exchange markets.

Dollar strength is usually negative for precious metals, and this week was no exception, at least until today. With a bit of a bump here on Friday gold now shows a slight weekly gain of 0.3% to bring spot prices to $1,298 per ounce. Similar story in silver, which seems to have found a temporary bottom perhaps and is now moving off of it. The white metal currently comes in at $15.40 an ounce, up 0.8% now on the week. Platinum is lower since last Friday by 5.2% to trade at $818. And white-hot palladium is succumbing to selling pressure – down 2.2% this week to trade at $1,515 per ounce as of this Friday morning recording.

For the near term, metals markets appear vulnerable to further selling if the dollar breakout holds. So the question is: How high can the Dollar Index go?

The dollar closed Thursday at 97.63 on the Index. If it continues to rally, then the key level to watch would be 100. The dollar rally of 2015 stalled twice right at 100.

Check out the full podcast here: https://goo.gl/uBmjM2

March 08 2019

moneymetals

Practical Prepping for Financial SHTF Scenarios

practical-prepping-for-financial-shtf-social.jpg

Preppers – the sort of people who build bunkers, stockpile supplies, and bear arms – aim to survive “SHTF” scenarios.

When war breaks out, when the power grid goes down, when the banks fail, when the U.S. dollar collapses, when social unrest spreads, when the stuff hits the fan… will you be prepared?

DoomsDay clock

Risks are rising.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists maintains a “Doomsday Clock.” For 2019, it “sets the Doomsday Clock at two minutes to midnight—the closest it has ever been to apocalypse.”

The Atomic Scientists are issuing “a stark warning to leaders and citizens around the world. The current international security situation—what we call the ‘new abnormal’—has extended over two years now.

It’s a state as worrisome as the most dangerous times of the Cold War…”

If you don’t have an underground fallout shelter in your backyard… don’t worry. The likelihood of your neighborhood being the target of a nuclear attack is slim.

However, other SHTF scenarios are far more likely impact you or your finances at some point in the future. It could be something specific like an identity thief draining your investment accounts. Or it could be something systemic like a currency crisis.

Full article: https://goo.gl/yTzojx

March 07 2019

moneymetals

Insane Stock Market Rally Due To Massive Global Monetary Liquidity

If you’re puzzled by the magnitude of the stock market correction since late December, you can thank the central banks for the rally. Yes, that’s correct… after the Dow Jones suffered the worst Christmas Eve trading day ever, the massive central bank monetary liquidity helped push the index up 20% from its low over the next two months.

Dow jones (daily chart) - february 28th, 2019

Of course, the markets were due for a reversal as nothing goes down in a straight line, but to see the sort of buying in the face of negative economic news and lack-luster earnings means that the inevitable CRASH will be even bigger when it finally arrives.

Now, according to the article, Back To Fundamentals, Daniel Lacalle stated the following in regards to the markets:

In 2018 we saw the first drop in global liquidity in more than a decade, and that generated significant losses in financial markets. Since the end of December stock markets have rebounded strongly because the data, although poor, is not as bad as feared, and mainly because the Federal Reserve changed its tone on the number of rate hikes, the ECB announced that it would be much more accommodative and the Central Bank of China introduced the largest injection of liquidity in five years.

In fact, between December 26 and February 15 we have seen the largest injection of liquidity in the markets of the last two years, bringing the global money supply to record levels.

The two key points stated above were that a drop in global liquidity in 2018 generated significant losses in the financial markets and the largest injection of global liquidity from December 26 to February 15th brought the money supply to a record level and pushed global stock markets back higher. 

Continue reading: https://goo.gl/oApVJ9

March 06 2019

moneymetals

The OTHER Debt Bubbles: How Private Sector Debt Could Trigger the Next Financial Crisis

The $22 trillion official national debt is a much discussed problem, even as politicians exhibit zero motivation to do anything about it. But as big an economic overhang as it is, government debt isn’t likely to trigger the next financial crisis.

Yes, servicing the growing federal debt bubble will depress GDP growth, cause the value of the dollar to drop, and raise inflation risks. But the bubble itself won’t necessarily burst – not anytime soon.

Debt

As long as politicians face no political consequences for deficit spending, and as long as the Federal Reserve keeps the Treasury bond market propped up… then many more trillions can be added to the national debt.

Meanwhile, more fragile debt bubbles exist in the private sector. Unlike government debt – which carries the implicit backing of the Fed’s unlimited printing press – debts incurred by corporations, investors, consumers, and students can default.

Globally, there exists $250 trillion in debt against economic assets of around $100 trillion. The notional value of all derivatives now approaches a quadrillion dollars.

It’s been called the “everything bubble”… and it could soon lead to the “everything bust.”

U.S. household debt rose to a record $13.5 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2018. Mortgages, student loans, car loans, and credit cards represent enormous burdens even during a good economy. These burdens will prove unbearable for millions of Americans in the years ahead.

Check out the full article here: https://goo.gl/y1cDk

March 05 2019

moneymetals

Warren Buffett’s Confusion & Disorientation about Gold

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Warren Buffett’s famed annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders landed in the mail last week. Buffett has built a vast fortune investing in the shares of publicly traded companies. He has long been critical of gold. His most recent letter takes another swipe at the precious metal and implores readers to buy stocks instead.

Before his fans start dumping gold and calling their stock brokers, we thought it would be worth examining Buffett’s argument.

Buffett got started investing in 1942. He bought $114.75 worth of shares and says had that amount been invested in a no-fee S&P 500 Index Fund, the current value would be $606,811.

He compares that to making a different choice and buying gold:

To “protect” yourself, you might have eschewed stocks and opted instead to buy 3 1⁄4 ounces of gold with your $114.75.

And what would that supposed protection have delivered? You would now have an asset worth about $4,200, less than 1% of what would have been realized from a simple unmanaged investment in American business.

It sure looks like a no-brainer. Only suckers would buy gold when they can buy stocks instead, right?

Hold on a second...

The comparison leaves out some critical facts. For starters, there was no such thing as an S&P 500 index fund in 1942. The notion of investors buying a “no-fee” variety of an asset type that didn’t exist is even more unfair.

The S&P 500 index as we know it began in 1957 and the first index fund representing a basket of those shares launched in 1976. Prior to that, investors would have been forced to pick stocks and take even more risk.

Gold price has crushed the market so far this century

Most would not have had the fortitude and discipline to manage a portfolio of stocks and get the sort of returns Buffett is implying. Of the 500 companies initially included in the 1957 index, only 60 remain. Plenty of those firms failed, and their share prices went to $0.

Shares of any stock can become worthless while physical gold cannot. Buffett neatly sidesteps the concept of risk with his comparison.

Buffett also fails to mention the gold price was tightly controlled for the first 30 years of his comparison period. While shares of public companies were free to appreciate as America clawed its way out of Depression and war in what was perhaps the greatest economic boom of all time, gold was officially suppressed. The U.S. government fixed the price at $35/oz and then $42/oz from 1934 to 1971.

In truth, Buffet could not have bought gold in 1942 had he wanted to do so. Franklin Roosevelt had long since outlawed private ownership of gold via Executive Order 6102.


Continue reading: https://goo.gl/SiF9F6

March 04 2019

moneymetals

Central Banks Now Buying Gold Like Crazy

Well now, for more on how the mainstream media is seldom giving you the full story, plus much more, let’s get right to this week’s exclusive interview.

Gerald celente

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in Gerald Celente, publisher of the renowned Trends Journal. Mr. Celente is perhaps most well-known trends forecaster in the world and it's always a joy to speak with him.

Mr. Celente, thanks for the time again today and welcome back.

Gerald Celente: Oh, thanks for having me on, Mike.

Mike Gleason: Well, Gerald, the Trends Journal is forecasting Economic 9/11 as one of the big trends for 2019. There are plenty of indicators which just support your thesis for a major slowdown. Debt levels – both public and private – have exploded, China is slowing down and all the stimulus in Europe has failed to generate results there. Higher interest rates are hurting, everything from real estate to auto sales, et cetera. But none of this is reflected in the stock markets, which are roaring higher. Once again, it looks like the Fed is up to its old tricks, promising to stop the rate hikes they had planned and end the program for selling bonds. The constant intervention of the Fed has always been one of the major wildcards when trying to predict where things are headed in recent years. What do you think? Can the central bankers kick the can one more time to avoid a recession, or are they finally going to lose control in the months ahead?

Gerald Celente: Well, I think you've summed everything up pretty well in analyzing it, and the general situation. When we made that forecast of an Economic 9/11, remember how trends for the new year go out in December. In December, we just saw the Dow have its worst month since the Great Depression, and all of a sudden on January 4th, 2019 it all turned around. What happened was the Federal Reserve Chairman bent over to Trump, and he backtracked on his aggressive stance of 2018, where they raised interest rates four times and they were scheduled to raise them three to four more times in 2019. He said he would be patient. In late January, they said it again that they would be patient. They were in no hurry raising interest rates. That changed our forecast, because what they've done is they've injected more monetary methadone into the bull to keep it running. You can see what was happening when they were going to pull the needle out.

The bull was dying, it was OD’ing already, and now they just got it going once again. And you mentioned wildcard, and that's exactly why nobody could predict the future. There are too many wildcards, whether they're man made, or made by Mother Nature. Well, of course now I have to be proper and politically correct, whether women-made or made by father nature. What happened was they played the wildcard, and the fact is whether it was fear of a fed audit, or just pressure from Trump, we listed all the times he called the Fed loco and crazy, and how disgusted he was with them throughout 2018, beginning in July, until they did a backtrack. So, now what we're looking at, Mike, it's the presidential reality show’s already heating up and Trump is going to do everything he can to keep the economy pumping along, or I should say Trumping along.

Remember, the cat’s in the real estate business. To his son in law, the family, the Cushners. It's real estate. You mentioned about real estate prices going down. I mean what happened in December, we saw southern California home sales plunge 20% in December to the lowest pace in 11 years. So, when those interest rates got around 5% for a 30-year mortgage, you could see the big reversal. Not only do we see the Fed not raising interest rates in 2019, we could see them aggressively bringing them down, if the economy starts to slow down. They raised them nine times since 2015, they could lower them nine times.

Full podcast: https://goo.gl/6usfQV

March 01 2019

moneymetals

SILVER EAGLE SALES DOUBLED IN FEBRUARY: U.S. Mint Temporarily Suspends Authorized Purchases

silver-eagle-sales-doubled-in-feb-social.jpg

Sales of Silver Eagles continue to be strong as demand for the official coins surged in February. Moreover, as the Authorized purchases of Silver Eagles jumped by 775,000 oz this past Thursday, the U.S. Mint issued a temporary suspension of sales until inventories can be restocked. This is a very positive sign as total Silver Eagle sales last year fell to low of 15.7 million, down more than 50%, compared to the 37.7 million set in 2016.

According to the U.S. Mint’s most recent update, Silver Eagle sales as of February 21st were 2,057,500 versus the 942,500 during the same month in 2018. Not only are Silver Eagle sales this month more than double last year, but they also surpassed Feb 2017’s figure by 842,000 oz:

U.S. mint silver eagle sales february 2018 vs 2019

Furthermore, Silver Eagle sales JAN-FEB 2019 are 6,075,000 compared to 4,177,500 sold during the same period last year. Thus, sales of Silver Eagles are up 45% versus the first two months in 2018:

U.S. mint silver eagle sales january and february 2018 vs 2019

I believe demand for Silver Eagles will remain strong this year, but it will take another financial and economic crisis to push the annual purchases back up to the 35-40+ million range. And, I believe we may likely see that type of demand in the next few years as the global financial system starts to unwind due to the massive amount of unsustainable debt.

Interestingly, the Silver to Gold Eagle sales ratio this year is nearly 80/1 compared to the 70/1 during the same period in 2018.

Continue to the full article: https://goo.gl/Lhy88m

February 27 2019

moneymetals

Fed Must Face Reality: No Return to Normalcy for Monetary Policy

More than a decade after the 2008 financial crisis, U.S. monetary policy continues to operate in crisis management mode.

Despite a long, drawn out rate-hiking campaign – now paused – the Federal Reserve has yet to bring its benchmark interest rate up to normal levels historically.

It has yet to unwind the vast majority of the nearly $4 trillion in emergency asset purchases added to its balance sheet.

The Fed outlined its “normalization” policies back in September 2014.

The two main components of normalization are gradual increases in the federal funds rate toward neutral and gradual reductions in securities held on the central bank’s balance sheet.

Even with the benefit of an unusually prolonged period of favorable economic conditions, progress toward normalization has been slow and fleeting.

Expect Continually Low Interest Rates, Ongoing Stimulus

Full normalization – a return to pre-2008 monetary conditions as is the Fed’s stated goal, may never come.

It may not be possible to withdraw much more stimulus from mortgage and equity markets without collapsing them. It may not be possible to unload U.S. Treasury securities without causing a funding crisis for the government.

The governmental, corporate, and consumer sectors of the economy are ALL addicted to debt growth fostered by artificially low interest rates.

Falling interest rates

The Fed wants to wean everyone off easy money. The problem is, everyone is behaving as if easy money will never end.

Central bankers can’t act normally when private and public debt levels are abnormally high and projected to go much higher. The Fed wants to keep hiking rates to discourage, in former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan’s words, “irrational exuberance.”

But going one hike too far or too fast risks triggering a deleveraging event that brings about another financial crisis.

At its most recent policy meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) vowed to be “patient.” Minutes released last Wednesday show the Fed citing “a variety of considerations that supported a patient approach to monetary policy at this juncture as an appropriate step in managing various risks and uncertainties in the outlook.”

Cutting through the dense Fedspeak, policymakers essentially said they put their rate hiking campaign on hold due to risks in the economy.

Left unstated were possible policy concessions made to Wall Street and Washington.

Perhaps Fed officials got spooked by the sharp stock market correction in late December. Perhaps they succumbed to political pressure from the Trump administration’s “Plunge Protection Team.”

Continue reading: https://goo.gl/7JaqAY

February 26 2019

moneymetals

Supply Problems Worsen in Minted Silver


supply-problems-minted-silver-social.jpg

Sales of the Silver American Eagles are off to stronger start this year, and the U.S. Mint has once again been caught flat-footed. Dealers received the following statement from the Mint last Thursday:

This is to inform you that we have temporarily sold out of our inventories of 2019-dated American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins. In addition, all remaining 2018-dated inventories have been sold too.

The West Point Mint is busy producing additional 2019-dated American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins. We hope to be able to re-launch the 2019-dated coins in a few weeks.

Premiums for the coins moved higher immediately following the announcement, and they could move higher still if demand remains strong.

Scarce us mint silver supply

Total 2018 sales of silver Eagles slowed to the lowest level since 2007. The Mint wound up with some excess of 2018 dated coins and actually required dealers to take a chunk of ‘18s with each new order placed for 2019 coins.

More than six million 2019 coins have been sold so far, two million more than in the same period last year. This is in addition to excess 2018 coins having been cleaned out since January 1st.

The demand was not fully anticipated, and sales are now suspended for a few weeks while the poorly managed U.S. Mint plays catch up. When sales resume, dealers are expected to be on “allocation” – or limited as to the quantity of coins they may purchase.

This leaves the silver bullion market a bit vulnerable to a supply shock right now. The U.S. Mint suspension is not the only bottleneck currently.

Check out the full article here: https://goo.gl/2NxrYp

February 25 2019

moneymetals

No Gold and Silver? So Far, So Good...

Screen shot 2019-02-25 at 9.56.16 am.png

In the original (1960) classic movie The Magnificent Seven, a Western adaptation of Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai, Vin (Steve McQueen), tells the wry tale of a man who fell off a ten-story building. Passing each floor people heard him say, "So far, so good!"

This strange little tale is an excellent metaphor for many of today's citizens around the globe.

Through the multiple lens of news reporting, political commentary and social media, they see what's going on yet remain transfixed in the moment, because things are well, so far, so good.

Venezuelans have done so even as adults there have lost an average 20 pounds, while their "leader" may have gained even more!

So far, so good... until it isn't.

On November 20, 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi banned 500 and 1,000-rupee notes (worth respectively about $7 and $15). His edict – supposedly to crack down on untaxed, criminal used "black money" – instantly nullified as legal tender, 85% of all cash in circulation. People literally died standing in massive bank access lines.

Price of gold in india vs u.s.

Courtesy Manward Press

And what happened to gold because of this? Overnight, the domestic Indian price almost doubled!

These things (like FDR's surprise gold ban and Nixon's defaulting on the final link to a gold standard), tend to be preceded by an official government denial.

And it's usually over the weekend, when markets, banks, and local coin dealers are closed.

In an ad for the advisory letter, Manward, Andy Snyder makes the case for something similar happening in the U.S., saying:

... if you prepare well for the inevitable death of cash in America, you can set yourself up to avoid the pain and collect a hefty sum of money. Very soon, I expect the Federal Reserve will make the historic move away from cash and toward electronic money. It will accelerate the shift to a cashless America at light speed. Some investors will get killed; some will get very rich.

He then discusses electronic gold, but the key takeaway for us is that holding physical gold has always been – and will continue to be – a way to backstop the value of your other "assets," even if they are ground away because of government negligence or societal unrest.

Full article here: https://goo.gl/ZMhveB

February 19 2019

moneymetals

Gold & Silver Prices Firm Despite Dollar, Stock Market Strength

Silver has fallen about $.45/oz from the early January highs, and gold has lost around $9/oz. Frankly, price action could be a lot worse.

During that time, the Federal Reserve Note dollar rallied and the equity markets roared higher. That combination should be bad news for gold and silver markets, but the premier precious metals have held onto most of their recent gains.

Perhaps the metals markets are seeing past the rally in the dollar. There isn’t much to support that move higher, after all. The Fed recently signaled a dramatic about face on monetary policy.

Inflation of the dollar

Two months ago, tighter monetary policy was a near certainty. Now, central bank officials are publicly putting the brakes on rate hikes and “Quantitative Tightening” – the program of steady selling from the massive hoard of bonds accumulated during the years of Quantitative Easing.

Recent inflation data (flawed as it may be) shows consumer and producer prices below the central bank’s target. The equity markets clearly can’t tolerate much more tightening given the stock market carnage last Fall.

The Trump Administration was none too happy about rising interest rates and the stronger dollar before stocks began selling off. More recently, Trump officials ramped up pressure on the Fed to change course. The Fed is now cooperating.

Why currency traders are currently bidding up the U.S. dollar is a mystery. It doesn’t look like a sustainable move to us, given the people who manage its value are aiming lower.

Full Article: https://goo.gl/fXYLEa

February 15 2019

moneymetals

February 14 2019

moneymetals

The Battle for Venezuela’s Gold Serves as a Lesson in Counterparty Risk

venezuela-gold-counterparty-risk-social.jpg

He who controls the gold makes the rules. That old adage applies aptly to the present crisis in Venezuela.

An international battle for control of Venezuela’s gold is currently underway. At stake is the country’s political future – and with it, the global market for its immense oil reserves.

In a desperate effort to cling to power, Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro has been depleting his country’s gold reserves.

The oil-rich nation once had gold reserves of over 160 tons. But in recent months, Venezuela has sold off dozens of tons of gold to allies such as Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Russia in exchange for euros and other globally recognized currencies.

Nobody in their right mind wants to conduct international business in the Venezuelan national currency, the bolivar. Even ordinary Venezuelans have largely ditched the bolivar for cryptos and other alternatives as inflation rates in the troubled country top 1,000,000%.

Even as the Venezuelan government was busily hyperinflating its currency and ripping off its people, it still held gold in reserve in order to retain the confidence of foreign creditors including Russia and China. Ordinary Venezuelans couldn’t redeem their rapidly depreciating bolivars for gold, of course. But foreign creditors could effectively demand payment in gold through the conversion of Venezuela’s gold into their preferred currencies.

For several months, President Maduro has been trying to retrieve some $1.2 billion worth of official gold being held in Bank of England vaults.

Fearing reprisals from the United States, which has imposed far-reaching economic sanctions on Venezuela, the Bank of England stalled, gave excuses, and ultimately refused to return Venezuela’s gold.

Venezuelan flag

The Maduro government charges that its gold has been illegally confiscated, in contravention of internationally recognized norms.

Maduro’s U.S.-backed rival, Juan Guaido, is demanding that the Bank of England hand over the gold to him instead!

Guaido is an inexperienced and until very recently obscure political figure in Venezuelan politics. Nevertheless, he has been recognized by the United States as the interim President of Venezuela – even though he hasn’t actually formed a government or removed Maduro from power.

If Guaido gets control over the country’s gold, it could be game over for Maduro. His international creditors would likely begin abandoning him.

Continue reading: https://goo.gl/AW5Xpo

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