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January 19 2018

moneymetals

Chinese Physical Gold Investment Demand Surges While Americans Pile Into Stock & Crypto Bubbles

Chinese demand for physical gold investment surged in the first three-quarters of 2017 while Americans ditched the shiny yellow metal for increased bets in the crypto mania and stock market bubble market. Even though China’s Hang Seng Stock Market outperformed the Dow Jones Index last year, Chinese citizens purchased the most gold bar and coin products Q1-Q3 2017 since the same period in 2013, when they took advantage of huge gold market price selloff.

According to the World Gold Council, Chinese gold bar and coin demand increased to 233 metric tons (mt) in the first three-quarters of 2017 compared to 162 mt in the same period last year. Furthermore, if we include Indian gold bar and coin demand, China and India consumed nearly half of the world’s total:

Global gold bar & coin demand q1 - q3 2017

As we can see, China and India consumed 338 mt of gold bar and coin products which accounted for 47% of the total 715 mt Q1-Q3 2017. German gold bar and coin demand of 81 mt took the third highest spot followed by Thailand (49 mt), Turkey (47 mt), Switzerland (31 mt) and the United States (30 mt). Chinese gold bar and coin demand of 233 mt nearly equaled the total demand by German, Thailand, Turkey, Switzerland and the United States of 238 mt.


​Continue reading (source)​


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)

December 26 2017

moneymetals

Trump’s Tax Cuts: The Good, The Bad, and the Inflationary

At last, tax reform is happening! Last week, President Donald Trump celebrated the passage of the most important legislation so far of his presidency.

The final bill falls far short of the “file on a postcard” promise of Trump’s campaign. It even falls short of the bill trotted out by Congressional Republicans just a few weeks ago. It is, nevertheless, the most significant tax overhaul in more than a decade.

Corporations and most individual taxpayers will see lower overall rates. That’s the good news.

Unfortunately, there is also some not so good news investors need to be aware of.

Because no spending cuts will be attached to “pay” for the tax rate reductions, the legislation will grow the budget deficit by an estimated $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion over the next decade. The actual number could end up being smaller…or bigger, depending on how the economy performs. But more red ink will spill.

The GOP tax bill is effectively a debt-financed stimulus package. It will boost economic growth in the near term while saddling taxpayers with larger long-term debt burdens.

“Even if we get the kind of growth we hope to get,” admitted GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan, “You cannot grow your way out of the entitlement problem we have coming.”

He’s referring to tens of trillions of dollars in unfunded Social Security and Medicare obligations. They are all but politically impossible to tackle, except through the voodoo of new debt and currency creation that will keep benefits flowing with devalued dollars (i.e., inflation).

​Continue reading... (source)​


December 22 2017

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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 18 2017

moneymetals

A Bit of Tax Planning Can Turn Lemons Into Lemonade

Inline image 1

The IRS classifies bullion coins and bars which carry zero collectible value the same way it categorizes a collection of baseball cards. Because of the IRS’s dishonest interpretation of tax law, gold and silver bullion is currently subject to the higher 28% long-term capital gains rate for “collectibles.” By comparison, the rate for Wall Street and government approved assets – just about everything else – is 15-20%, depending upon the taxpayer’s income.

Investors might as well use this punitive long-term capital gains rate to their advantage. Metal purchased more than a year ago at a higher price can be sold to unlock losses and reduce taxes. Individuals can claim up to $3,000 in losses against ordinary income, and more if they have capital gains on another asset. (Check with your own tax advisor.)

Tax breaks

Now is certainly not a great time to exit the metals markets, in our opinion. Fortunately, realizing capital losses can be done without relinquishing a position in metals for more than a few seconds. Investors can immediately buy replacement metals without having the transaction classified as a wash sale (wash sale rules do NOT apply to precious metals – only to securities).

Read more: (source

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December 05 2017

moneymetals

November 30 2017

moneymetals

How to Choose a Firm to Set Up Your Precious Metals IRA

Self directed IRAs are increasingly popular as investors discover they can use them to escape the ring fence represented by traditional IRA accounts.

Banks and brokerages successfully cultivated the idea that IRAs should contain only conventional securities – stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. The truth is that they get paid handsomely for selling those paper assets, so that is all they put on the menu.

But word is getting out that it is perfectly legal and easy to own tangible assets, including real estate and precious metals, in an IRA. Investors just have to leave Wall Street and find a custodian which specializes in self-directed IRA plans. Today, there are a number of firms offering this sort of plan, so it is worth covering how an investor might go about choosing one.

Secure Your Retirement with a Precious Metals IRA | Learn More  />

You’ll want to start by evaluating the basics. Choose a firm with a reputation for providing great service at competitive fees. You might give extra points for a firm which is well established in the industry. There has been a fair bit of consolidation and changes in the space recently.

We would not recommend custodians charging more than $150 in annual fees or those charging more than $50 for each transaction. There are some very good firms with fees significantly below those levels.

The capability to enroll, view and manage transactions online should be a big consideration if you prefer the convenience of managing affairs electronically. Those people who prefer to deal in person should inquire by phone to see if you can reach a service rep easily and get good care.

Continue to the full article (source

November 27 2017

moneymetals

November 22 2017

moneymetals

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 30 2017

moneymetals

Bad News Banksters Double Cross Their Customers

Crooked bankers are all over the headlines again.

The world’s largest metals hedge fund, Red Kite Management, Ltd., is suing Barclays for rigging copper prices. Federal prosecutors launched an investigation of Wells Fargo bankers working on its foreign exchange desk Friday. And on October 23rd, a jury in New York convicted an HSBC trader of fraud.

Bank fraud

The HSBC trader, Mark Johnson, said he “thought we got away with it” to his coworkers after cheating their client in a massive foreign exchange transaction. But he was wrong. The jury found him guilty for his involvement in a 2011 exchange in which the Cairn Energy Plc converted $3.5 billion dollars to British pounds.

Johnson had taken Cairn’s order and promptly turned around to provide the details of the upcoming transaction to other HSBC traders. They front ran the client’s order by buying pounds which they then resold to the client for approximately $8 million in profit. When Cairn complained about the high price at which their trade was executed, Johnson blamed the “Russians.”

The investigation of Wells Fargo also involves foreign exchange. Federal agents got involved shortly after news that Wells Fargo had fired four traders and re-assigned a senior executive. Sources said the bank took this action after completion of an internal investigation. Details as to which client was involved and how they were cheated are not yet public.

Few will be shocked if it turns out that Wells Fargo was swindling another customer. Over the past year, the bank admitted employees had created as many as 3.5 million phony accounts and charged related fees. We also know the bank has been overcharging clients for auto insurance and mortgage related products.

The allegations at Barclays Bank on behalf of Red Kite are a variation on the same theme: abuse the customer’s trust. The complaint indicates that bankers used knowledge of the firm’s open copper trades to profit at their client’s expense.

Continue to the full article (source).

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October 24 2017

moneymetals
moneymetals

Trump May Reappoint Yellen as Fed Chair after All

Candidate Donald Trump was none too kind to current Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen during his 2016 campaign. However, the President’s tone with regards to Yellen and Fed policy has been softening since his election.

Trump met one on one with Yellen and other top contenders last week and now appears quite open to the idea of reappointing her to another four-year term.

Janet yellen

Trump may reappoint UC Berkeley
Janet Yellen

Trump told CNBC in September of last year that Yellen should be “ashamed” for acting partisan. He accused the Fed of maintaining extraordinarily low interest rates at the request of former President Barack Obama and Democrats who wanted stimulus and credit for economic growth. Given an opportunity, he suggested he would find someone new as Fed Chair.

Now that has been thrown into question. Following his recent interviews with the candidates, Trump told Fox Business, “Most people are saying it’s down to two: Mr. (John) Taylor, Mr. (Jerome) Powell. I also met with Janet Yellen, who I like a lot. I really like her a lot. So, I have three people that I’m looking at, and there are a couple of others.”

Trump now favors Yellen’s low interest rate policy. He said in July of Yellen, “I’d like to see rates stay low. She’s historically been a low-interest-rate person."

Continue to the full article (source

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