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January 16 2018

moneymetals

Swamp Lives On: Crooked Banks and Captured Regulators

If officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are bothered by allegations of incompetence and capture by Wall Street’s bankers, it is hard to tell. The Commission recently hired Brett Redfearn to serve as Director of the Division of Trading and Markets. Redfearn left a 13 year stint at JP Morgan to assume a key role in regulating banks, investors and traders.

The SEC, and other regulators such as the CFTC and the Federal Reserve, aren’t worried about appearances. Redfearn looks like yet another fox being sent to guard the henhouse. His appointment undermines confidence even if he intends to serve with integrity.

Instilling confidence ought to be a priority at the SEC. The past decade has been a disaster when it comes to the agency’s credibility.

U.S. securities and exchange commission seal

To date, not one high level bank executive, has been prosecuted for misdeeds related to the 2008 Financial Crisis. This despite plenty of the shareholders SEC officials are supposed to be protecting having lost their shirts. SEC bureaucrats either bungled or turned a blind eye to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

To cap it off, a high-profile story which broke in 2010 uncovered agency staff and contractors spending an inordinate amount of time watching pornography on the job.

Continue reading (source)

January 15 2018

moneymetals

The 2018 Stock Market Bubble vs. Gold & Silver

The U.S. Stock Market is reaching its biggest bubble in history. When the price of the Dow Jones Index only moves in one direction… UP, it is setting up for one heck of a crash. While market corrections aren’t fun for investors’ portfolios, they are NECESSARY. However, it seems that corrections are no longer allowed to take place because if they did, then the tremendous leverage in the market might turn a normal correction into panic selling and a meltdown on the exchanges.

So, we continue to see the Dow Jones Index hit new record highs, as it moved up 765 points since the beginning of the year. Now, if we go back to 1981 when the Dow was trading about 800 points, it took five years to double itself by another 800 points. However, the Dow Jones Index just added 765 points in less than two weeks. It doesn’t matter if the (1) point increase in the Dow Jones today is insignificant compared to a (1) point increase in 1981, investors feel rich when the numbers are increasing in a BIG WAY.

This is the same phenomenon taking place in the Bitcoin-Crypto Market. Crypto investors who are used to 10-20 baggers (10-20 times increase) no longer have the patience to invest in a real company that might grow on a 10-25% basis annually. Why the hell put money in a real business that employees a lot of people when you can turn $1,000 into $50 million in a few weeks?

Unfortunately, the Bitcoin-Crypto Market has destroyed the new Millennials ability even to consider making old fashion sound investments in real capital-intensive companies. Today, the Entrepreneurs rather make money trading Cryptos on their I-Phone, sporting a few thumbs-up Selfies, compared to the previous generation of business people doing deals out of their briefcases.

Continue reading (source)

January 12 2018

moneymetals

World Debt Is Rising Nearly Three Times As Fast As Total Global Wealth

Some nasty dark clouds are forming on the financial horizon as total world debt is increasing nearly three times as fast as total global wealth. But, that’s okay because no one cares about the debt, only the assets matter nowadays. You see, as long as debts are someone else’s problem, we can add as much debt as we like… or so the market believes.

Now, you don’t have to take my word for it that the market only focuses on the assets, this comes straight from the top echelons of the financial world. According to Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2017, total global wealth increased to a new record of $280 trillion in 2017. Here is Credit Suisse’s summary of the Global Wealth 2017: The Year In Review:

According to the eighth edition of the Global Wealth Report, in the year to mid-2017, total global wealth rose at a rate of 6.4%, the fastest pace since 2012 and reached USD 280 trillion, a gain of USD 16.7 trillion. This reflected widespread gains in equity markets matched by similar rises in non-financial assets, which moved above the pre-crisis year 2007’s level for the first time this year. Wealth growth also outpaced population growth, so that global mean wealth per adult grew by 4.9% and reached a new record high of USD 56,540 per adult.

Total global wealth 2000-2017, current exchange rates (chart 1) | total global wealth 2000-2017, constant exchange rates (chart 2)

This year’s report focuses in on Millennials and their wealth accumulation prospects. Overall the data point to a “Millennial disadvantage”, comprising among others tighter mortgage rules, growing house prices, increased income inequality and lower income mobility, which holds back wealth accumulation by young workers and savers in many countries. However, bright spots remain, with a recent upsurge in the number of Forbes billionaires below the age of 30 and a more positive picture in China and other emerging markets.

There are a few items in the Credit Suisse’s summary above that I would like to discuss. First, how did the world increase its global wealth at a rate of 6.4% in 2017 when world oil demand only increased 1.6%??

​Continue reading (source) ​

January 05 2018

moneymetals

Gordon Chang: Blowup w/ China or North Korea Could Change Almost Everything Overnight

Without further delay, let's get right to this week's exclusive interview. 

Gordon chang

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in Gordon Chang, author, television pundit, and columnist at the Daily Beast. Gordon is a frequent guest on Fox News, CNBC, and CNN, among others, and is one of the foremost experts on Asian economics and geopolitics, having written books on the subject and it's great to have him back on with us.

Gordon, it's a real honor to have you on again, and thanks so much for your time today. I know it's been a busy week for you given all of your media appearances, and we're grateful that you could join us today. How are you?

Gordon Chang: I'm fine, thank you, and thank you so much, Mike. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Mike Gleason: Well, there are many things to cover here given all that's going on right now. We certainly appreciate your expertise, particularly when it comes to the developments in Asia. There's a lot going on in that part of the world with big implications for investors. Let's start with North Korea. That's obviously been at the forefront of the news this week with tensions getting ratcheted up again.

Kim Jong-Un and President Trump are both bragging about their nuclear arsenals. The over the top posturing on both sides makes it hard to gauge just how seriously the threat of nuclear exchange should be taken. The market seems to have stopped paying attention for the most part. Please give us your thoughts on the matter. Is there any likelihood the disagreement over North Korea's nuclear weapons program will escalate beyond words, Gordon, or is this war only going to be fought on Twitter?

Gordon Chang: If you look at Twitter, this certainly is a matter of concern, but I think the reality is much different. Right now, Kim Jong-Un, the ruler of North Korea, is feeling sanctions. We saw a hint of that in his New Year's address where he referenced it, at least indirectly, and at one point he actually called the sanctions an existential threat.

What he's trying to do right now with his overture to South Korea is to get the South Koreans to shovel money into his regime. What he would like in return for sending two figure skates to the winter Olympics in South Korea next month would be for South Korea to lift sanctions to resume inter-Korean projects, like the Kaesong Industrial Complex, and also for more North and South Korean aid.

I don't think that those expectations are realistic. Some of what he wants would be a violation of UN sanctions, and President Trump's policy has been to cut off the flow of money to Pyongyang so it can't launch missiles or detonate nukes. This is going into, I think, a very crucial period, because if you look back in history, and I'm talking seven decades, we have seen North Korea engage in military provocations shortly after making peace overtures. And this whole concept of the Olympics and his opening of dialog with South Korea, that's a peace overture.

Mike Gleason: We've got two huge wild cards at the forefront of all this with President Trump and Kim Jong-Un being rather unpredictable, to say the least. Is Trump's tit-for-tat responses to his adversary here going to make diplomacy harder to achieve as our allies might have a hard time joining in full force to combat the North Korean threat?

Listen/Read the entire podcast here: (source)

January 03 2018

moneymetals

How the Investor Fundamentally Changed the Silver Market

While silver investors continue to be discouraged about the low price, the market has experienced a fundamental change that needs to be understood. Ever since governments removed silver from official coinage, over 50 years ago, the market has been supplemented by several billion ounces of silver. The majority of that supply has been depleted.

The reason the United States and other countries stopped producing official silver coinage wasn’t due to any monetary conspiracy; rather it was based on a straightforward problem; supply versus demand. Because industrial silver consumption had skyrocketed after World War 2, the silver market would have suffered deficits if the U.S. Treasury didn’t sell silver into the market.

It was quite simple; there just wasn’t enough silver to go around. So, governments started to reduce, then eliminate silver from their coinage in the 1960’s. A lot of this silver, known as “junk silver,” was either purchased by investors or remelted and sold back as supply into the market. While there is no way of knowing how much of the older official junk silver remains in the market, the majority of it was recycled for much-needed supply.

We can see the dwindling down of government stocks and older official silver coinage in the following chart:

Global silver scrap supply & net govt. sales (chart)

The BLUE bars represent silver scrap supply, and the OLIVE colored bars show the amount of net government silver sales. From 2000 to 2013, governments sold 636 million oz (Moz) of silver into the market. Net government sales were from stockpiled silver and older official coins. However, in 2014, this supply totally dried up. For the past four years, there haven’t been any government silver sales.

Another interesting aspect of this chart is the declining amount of silver scrap supply. Even though the price of silver during the 2015-2017 period was much higher than from 2000-2007, scrap supply is considerably less. For example, the price of silver in 2000 was $4.95 while global scrap supply was 181 Moz. However, the silver price has been three times higher (2015-2017), but the average scrap supply has been 140 Moz.

Continue to the full article (source)

December 22 2017

moneymetals

David Smith: Cryptos Bringing Broad Attention to All Dollar Alternatives

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, Merry Christmas, and thanks for joining us again. How are you?

David Smith: Very good Mike, and thank you and the very same to you and yours.

Mike Gleason: Well, as we start out here, David, let's talk first about the setup as we finish up 2017 and move into the new year. There are a lot of similarities to last year, maybe the year before. We've had the Fed just announce a rate hike. The move was well telegraphed and all the selling in the metals happened prior to last week's FOMC meeting. Open interest in the futures got pretty extended about a month ago, and as often happens in that scenario, the speculative long buyers were taken out to the wood shed and punished as the bullion banks cashed in on their shorts. Now we're seeing a bit of a rally in the metals, so the situation in these regards is very similar to a year ago. What are you expecting from the metals markets in the weeks and months ahead? Are you looking for a rally to match last year's?

David Smith: I really think that we could be looking at a very similar set up to 2016 where the metals actually bottomed in December, and the mining stocks tried to put a lower low in in mid-January. And I'll never forget it, January 19th, and on an inter-day basis, they turned around, and then it was up and away for the metals and the miners for the next six months.

Then between then and now they gave back about 50% of it, which is what you'd expect on a retracement, and nobody can predict the future exactly, but I really feel pretty strongly that we're going to see a very strong, right out of the box, in January, on the metals and miners, and it may even turn before the new year, but there's so many technical indicators themselves, that when you add them all up, they become something larger, and so I think if a person is waiting to purchase their metal, they shouldn't be waiting too much longer if they had the same view I do.

And not only that, as you know, when the demand starts ramping up pretty quickly, the premiums go up too, so you would have a double whammy against you, buying at a higher price and paying a higher premium if you wait until a lot of other people kind of get the same idea.

Mike Gleason: Yeah, certainly a buyers’ market right now, both in terms of low spot prices, and also the premiums, as you mentioned. And the last couple years, we have had pretty strong, right of the gate, moves there in the metals and the miners, and maybe 2018 is going to have the same thing.

Now in your most recent article that we published this week in MoneyMetals.com, you make the case for physical metals and cryptocurrencies to coexist. Now we think that is a vitally important idea right now as people are working through questions about what the advent of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will mean for gold and silver. It would be pretty easy for people to look at price charts and leap to the conclusion that metals are quickly becoming irrelevant. The reality is that the times we live in are desperately calling for honest money and that both cryptocurrency and metals both have important roles to play. They have very different strengths and weaknesses, however, so talk for a minute, David, about how these two asset classes are likely to coexist.

Read/Listen to the entire podcast here: (source)

December 20 2017

moneymetals

Be a Precious Metals' Winner with a Mind Like Water

We're in the midst of a massive, transformational change that will redefine where we are, what we think is true, and where we believe the future is headed.

With sensory input from across the political and economic spectrum of the Internet bombarding us 24/7, it's understandably difficult to follow through on a decision once made, even if you've researched carefully and thought things through beforehand.

Nowhere is this more difficult right now than the decision of whether or not to invest in – or add to – one's position in the physical gold and silver space.

Not only that, but when you add all the noisy arguments from competing investments which seem to be doing much better while the precious metals slumber, it's understandable why some long-term information-overloaded investors have decided to sell their metal.

I'd like to suggest that those who hesitate to buy, or worse, decide to sell what they already have are going to experience considerable remorse – and soon.

A potent way to avoid such a struggle and stick with your original decision is to practice developing mizu no kokoro – Japanese for a "mind like water."

In this state, thinking is minimized, listening/watching emphasized. To get an idea of the clarity that can be achieved, look at the picture below.

I took this photo during a rare moment when all the elements necessary to build such a scene were present. The water is dead calm; the sky is so full of more-or-less stationary cloud formations that it's difficult to see where one begins and the other ends. At the same time, nothing is distorted. The glassy water "mirrors" the clouds exactly as they look in the sky.

Mind like water

Being in the moment mostly involves paying attention.

There's a lot to be said for "planning your work"; then "working your plan." At some point you've taken your position and set aside money to buy more metal, either at certain intervals or into declining prices.

Then just let things be. Try not to be swayed by counter opinions, even if they seem to make sense. If this is difficult, don't feel so bad about it. Even the investing greats have to remind themselves from time to time.

​Continue reading here: (source)

December 05 2017

moneymetals

December 04 2017

moneymetals

Gerald Celente: Middle East Wild Cards Could Bring Down Markets, Drive Up Gold

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

Gerald celente

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome 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 and welcome back.

Gerald Celente: Thanks for having me on.

Mike Gleason: Well, Gerald, to start off here, we still have the equities markets ripping and roaring and there is seemingly no news that can derail the train. So, as we head into the end of the year, what does your forecast show for the crowd on Wall Street? Is the party going to end anytime soon?

Gerald Celente: Well, as they go through with this tax deal, it's just going to bring more money to the bigger corporations and you saw what the corporations have done with the profits from the past, what do they do with them? They reinvested them into the stock market rather than building their companies and investing in capital improvements.

So, giving them more money will give them more stock buybacks. The more stock buybacks, the higher the market goes. I mean that's the reality of it. So, if the tax breaks go through the way they're being planned, we're going to see more stock buybacks, more cheap money to reinvest back into the markets.

Again, we're looking at a very small segment of the population that's really playing the markets. For example, only 10% of Americans are in the markets at the range that makes any difference, so that 10%, for example, that's playing, they have about in equity about $350,000 (on average). The rest of society that has money into it, the so called middle class, of those that have any money in it, and again the 10% own over 90%. For the rest of the society, they only have about $15,000 in equity.

So, the markets are just going to keep going up if the cheap money keeps existing. Again, that's going to also see what happens when they raise interest rates, which are about a 99% sure shot now, later in December. And if the cheap money flows stop, then the markets stop. It's as simple as that, but we don't think a 25 basis point increase is going to have much of an impact.

Mike Gleason: Clearly the world has a problem with crooked bankers and corrupt politicians. We talked about this a bit when we had you on back in August. The two aren't unrelated, of course. Bankers and politicians have a very long and dark history of collusion.

On one hand, if history is a guide, there isn't much reason to expect anyone will be held to account for their crimes. "They are too big to jail," as former Attorney General Eric Holder might say. On the other hand, we can't help but be a little bit hopeful. It looks to us like some of these crimes, such as the Uranium One deal, are getting harder to ignore.

What do you make of the recent news? Are you feeling any more optimistic about some of these crooks actually going to prison?

Gerald Celente: No, quite the opposite. Look at the new Fed chair that's coming in. He's already saying that the banking regulations in place now are too tough and tough enough. So, if under the current regulations nobody went to jail and they soften them, they could steal more, and get fined, and also accused of less crimes.

So, no, it's going in the opposite direction. Under the new administration, they're not draining the swamp, they’re just filling the swamp with different swamp creatures. I mean look at the Trump White House. Who's running it? Mnuchin and Cohn on the financial end and those are both Goldman Sachs guys. It's just more of the same.

Mike Gleason: The rise of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin in particular, is making waves in the precious metals markets. Some of the demand for gold and silver has been diverted to Bitcoin. People see it as another form of honest money and there is plenty of excitement over the huge price gains. Lots of people are wondering what the rise of Bitcoin might mean for precious metals over the longer term.

Now, our take is that Bitcoin offer hope as honest money and we are certainly fans of anything that can circumvent central bankers. Gold and silver, on the other hand, are proven stores of value with a track record extending back thousands of years and they are totally off the grid. Physical metals work with or without electricity or an internet connection and they can be used without leaving digital tracks behind.

What are your thoughts on the relationship between Bitcoin and bullion?

Read/Listen to the full podcast here: (source

November 30 2017

moneymetals

November 22 2017

moneymetals

Retail Silver Investment Demand Is Down, But Still Double Pre-2008 Crash Levels

While retail physical silver investment demand experienced a pronounced decline this year, the volume is still much larger than the level prior to the 2008 U.S. Housing and Banking Crash. Investors frustrated by a silver market plagued with lousy sentiment and weak demand, may not realize that silver bar and coin demand is projected to be double what it was in 2007.

Thus, long-term precious metals investors continue to acquire silver on price dips while others may be selling out and placing their bets into the bubble stock market or cryptocurrencies. It’s not the larger precious metals investor who is worried about the short-term price, rather its the smaller investor.

Regardless, according to the Silver Institute’s 2017 Interim Report, global silver bar and coin demand are projected to fall to 130 million oz (Moz) in 2017 compared to 206 Moz last year. Even though physical silver investment demand will drop by 37% this year, it will still be more than double the 62 Moz in 2007:

Global silver bar & coin demand (2007-2017f)

Furthermore, silver bar and coin demand in 2012 was only 29 Moz higher than the estimate for this year, but the price was nearly double at $30 an ounce. As we can see, precious metals investors continued to purchase record amounts of silver bar and coins in 2013, 2014 and 2015 with the hope that prices would eventually start to head higher. However, the majority of the market’s funds since 2012 flowed into STOCKS, BONDS, and REAL ESTATE.

Continue reading (source

moneymetals

November 21 2017

moneymetals

Will the Tax Reform Debate Impact Precious Metals?

November 20, 2017 -- Precious metals got a boost last week as investors were reminded that stock prices move in two directions -- up and down. The S&P 500 and the Dow both finished the worst two weeks they have seen since August.

The selling certainly wasn’t dramatic (both indexes remain within about 1% of their all time highs), but it does represent the recent negative correlation between stocks and metals. Absent the return of an inflation trade, any sustained rally in metals will likely have to be fueled by investors fleeing the stock markets. We’ll see how the equity indexes fare this week. 

Taxes

Wall Street is focused on the debate over tax reform. Whether Congressional Republicans will muster the majority needed to pass a tax bill remains too close to call. We remain skeptical given the combined animosity of the Republican leadership and Democrats towards the president.

At least metals investors who would like some tax relief may get higher gold and silver prices as a bit of a silver lining. Should tax reform fail, it will likely hurt the stock markets and prompt some flight to safety. Trading figures to be lighter this week given the Thanksgiving holiday, but there is some significant economic data due out. We’ll see reports on existing home sales, durable goods, and the FOMC minutes from the Nov. 1st committee meeting. 

Source

November 13 2017

moneymetals

The Dangers of Zero

Inline image 1

Zero is an important number in the psychology driving demand for bullion. There are periods when investors find the argument that gold or silver prices “will never go to zero” compelling.

The 2008 financial crisis and the years immediately following it are the most recent example. The fear of conventional securities and even the fiat dollar becoming worthless was palpable for many in the metals markets. Bullion demand hit record levels.

Left behind

Investors have chased bull markets
for fear of being left behind.

While demand for gold ETFs and futures contracts has been strong in 2016 and 2017, some investors in the physical market for coins, bars, and rounds seem to have overlooked the modest gains of the past two years and are anxious instead to participate in bull markets elsewhere. If they are worried about anything, it is the possibility of missing out.

Gold and silver’s appeal as a safe haven is in temporary eclipse.

The metals markets are awaiting the moment when investors lose their conviction about ever higher stock prices and once again grapple with the idea that prices do fall.

Indeed, the value of some securities can, and does, fall all the way to zero. Companies miss expectations or fail outright. Bond issuers occasionally default and fiat currencies eventually die. Investors discount risk in the euphoria of a bull market.

Continue reading: (source)

moneymetals

November 07 2017

moneymetals

THE U.S. STOCK MARKET: Highly Inflated Bubble To Super-Charged Tulip Mania

Investors need to be concerned that the U.S. Stock Market is well beyond bubble territory as it has now entered into the final stage of a Super-Charged Tulip Mania. Not only are stock prices inflated well above anything we have ever seen before, but valuations are also reaching heights that are totally unsustainable. Unfortunately, these highly inflated share prices and insane valuations seem normal to investors who are suffering from brain damage as years of mainstream propaganda have turned the soft tissue in their skulls to mush.

Also, we are way beyond “Boiling Frogs” now. Yes, we passed that stage a while back. Today, the typical U.S. investor has been fried to death. Investors now resemble a super-crisp chicken-wing with very little meat on it but at least will offer, one hell of a crunch. Please realize I don’t mean to be harsh about my fellow investor. However, when I look around and see what 99% of the market is doing, it reminds me of a famous line from the movie Aliens. The star of the movie, after being found lost in deep space for many years, said the following in a meeting, “Did IQ’s drop sharply while I was away?”

We find out in the rest of the movie that the so-called Mainstream experts were totally wrong about their assessment of the situation. However, billions of dollars were still spent and many lives lost because high-level individuals infected with stupidity (in the Aliens Movie) still controlled the shots. No different than today.

Continue to the full article (source)

November 06 2017

moneymetals

November 03 2017

moneymetals

Bitcoin or Gold: Which One's a Bubble and How Much Energy Do They Really Consume

Inline image 1

If you are investing in either Bitcoin or Gold, it’s important to understand which asset is behaving more like a bubble than the other. While it’s impossible to understand how the market will value these two very different assets in the future, we can provide some logical analysis that might remove some of the mystery associated with the market price of Bitcoin vs Gold.

I’ve read some analysis on Bitcoin profitability and energy consumption that seemed unreliable, so I thought I would put my two cents in on the subject.

For example, many sites are using the Digiconomist’s work on Bitcoin energy consumption. However, I believe this analysis has overstated Bitcoin’s energy consumption by a large degree. According to the Digiconomist, Bitcoin’s annual electric use is approximately 24 TerraWatts per year (TWh/yr):

Digiconomist bitcoin energy consumption

In a recent article that was forwarded to me by one of my readers, How Many Barrels Of Oil Are Needed To Mine One Bitcoin, the author used the information in the chart above to calculate the energy cost to produce each Bitcoin. He stated that the average energy cost for each Bitcoin equals 20 barrels of oil equivalent. Unfortunately, that data is grossly overstated.

Read the full article: (source)

October 31 2017

moneymetals

BREAKING: China – World’s Largest Gold Producer Mine Supply Plummets 10%

Inline image 1

The world’s top gold producer saw its mine supply plummet by 10% in the first half of 2017. According to the GFMS World Gold Survey newest update, China’s gold production in 1H 2017 fell the most in over a decade. The fall in Chinese gold production is quite significant as the country will have to increase its imports to make up the shortfall in its mine supply.

The data in the GFMS 2017 Q3 Gold Survey Update & Outlook reported that Chinese gold mine supply declined 23 metric tons to 207 metric tons in the 1H 2017 versus the 230 metric tons during the same period last year:

China gold mine production (1h 2016 vs 1h 2017)

The report stated the reason for the decline in Chinese gold production was due to the government’s increased efforts to curb pollution as well as heightened awareness of environmental protection. Furthermore, GFMS analysts forecast that Chinese gold production will continue to deteriorate for the remainder of the year as production is scaled down.

Read full article: (source)

October 27 2017

moneymetals
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