Gold Enters Major Bull Market
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|I'm told and I've read that one
country, India has stepped its
purchases of gold for jewelry
and other uses.
|Gold $742.90 off $9.10
Silver $10.50 off $ 0.12
The real reason commodities are tumbling
Article Comments JOHN HEINZL
Globe and Mail Update
E-mail John Heinzl | Read Bio | Latest Columns
September 10, 2008 at 6:00 AM EDT
To hear Donald Coxe tell it, the commodity selloff ripping through Canada's stock market is no accident. It is the result of a deliberate, brilliantly executed plan hatched at the highest levels of the U.S. Federal Reserve and Treasury.
Mr. Coxe is no paranoid conspiracy theorist. As the chairman and chief strategist of Harris Investment Management in Chicago, he is one of the most respected investment authorities in North America. He also happens to have lost about 10 per cent of his personal wealth in the commodity rout, which came at the worst possible time for his Coxe Commodity Strategy Fund that started trading in June.
“This has done more damage to my personal wealth than anything in the last 20 years,” he said in an interview yesterday. But he has too much respect for how the U.S. authorities engineered the collapse in commodities – a move he said was necessary to shore up the global financial system – to be bitter.
“My attitude is, goddamn it, they're good … it was brilliant.”
To understand why commodities are plunging now – the S&P/TSX plummeted another 488 points yesterday – you have to go back to mid-July, when the U.S. Federal Reserve and Treasury first announced steps to support mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The move, which ultimately led to the Treasury taking control of Fannie and Freddie this week, touched off a chain-reaction of market events that culminated with the wrenching decline in commodities.
According to Mr. Coxe, the Fed's ultimate goal was to trigger a rally in financial stocks, which would, in theory, help banks hammered by the credit crisis raise fresh capital and repair their balance sheets. To accomplish this, the decision to support Fannie and Freddie was deliberately announced on a Sunday, which had the effect of maximizing the reaction from thinly traded financial stocks on overseas markets.
Because many hedge funds were using massive leverage to short financials and go long on commodities, when North American markets opened and banks initially rallied, the funds were forced to cover their short positions.
At the same time, the U.S. dollar was rallying because the risk of holding Fannie and Freddie paper had diminished. The rising dollar, in turn, made commodities less attractive, giving funds that were already scrambling to cover their financial shorts another reason to dump oil, grains and other commodities.
The losses were swift and dramatic. On the Friday before the July 11 announcement, crude oil closed at $145.18 a barrel. Over the following five days, it plunged 11 per cent. “Leverage was being unwound dramatically,” Mr. Coxe said on a conference call last week. “We had a true panic.”
As oil and other commodities were tumbling, fears about the slowing global economy were mounting, giving resources another push downhill. This was also in keeping with the Fed's wishes, because lower commodity prices would help quell fears about inflation.
Mr. Coxe has no proof that the Fed and Treasury acted in concert to boost financials and sink commodities. He is basing his assertions on conversations with hedge fund managers and on years of watching financial markets. “There's no doubt whatever in my mind” about what happened, he says.
The future is less certain, however. Now that Freddie and Fannie have been nationalized, the credit crisis is still very much alive and financial stocks are looking as shaky as ever. As for commodities, once the current storm passes, Mr. Coxe is confident they will recover.
Coins dealers are continuing to report that their bullion silver coin supplies continue to be exhausted due to unprecedented demand.
The price of silver is down 50% over the period of a few short months. I suspect that officials are clogging supply channels to stymie CD withdrawals. Isn't it interesting that with an annual production level of newly mined silver at 600,000,000 ounces that there is a physical shortage?
The current ratio of 80,000,000 ounces of world gold production to silver's is 7.5. Also, there is less available supplies of silver compared to gold supplies as silver is mostly consumed by industry and gold is mostly retained in jewelry production and bars and collector bullion coins. In the market today, supposedly, you can buy silver at the rate of 70.80 ounces compared to each ounce of gold. Does this make any sense?
No wonder there is an apparent silver shortage just with this high spread between the two, aside from the other consideration. Believe it or not, there are spread traders currently buying silver futures contracts and shorting gold contracts at the moment.
When the spread closes gold futures are bought back and silver contracts sold out for a profit.
Gold Continues to be stressed lower today by hedge funds and the local miscreants. We are witnessing just another historic shakeout.
Jim Sinclair has stated that no one could have foreseen this rapid collapse in the gold price as it, basically, was an engineered event by the government. Jim also said that something very big is coming but can't pinpoint yet.
|Gold $760.50 off $15.50
Silver $10.92 off $ 0.32
Gold is like a retreating army being chased by the Plunge Protection Team, the hedge funds and the participating banks. Great efforts are being made to take gold lower as fast as possible to break confidence in it and keep funds in the banking system.
Millions and millions of dollars have been permanently lost in the banks by deposits who thought their money was safe. The financial institutions that lost a portion of their depositors wealth are now getting bailed out with our money. Does that make any sense?
And with some folks who had bought gold and silver for protection, they now see the same people that have and continue bailing out their buddies beating down those metals with a heavy club. Does that make any sense?
The brave ones are hanging on to their metals and the related companies not being intimidated by this historical farce. The really brave ones are buying gold and silver.
When do we reach peak gold and silver production? What will happen to the metal prices then? In the future, the wealthiest people in the world will be the citizens of India.
We are already in a transitional shift in the world's wealth where U.S. citizens are destined to slide lower in their comparable per capita standings. India's populace continues to buy more and more gold as prices sink lower and lower. Who do you think will be the ultimate winner: The people of India or the people of the U.S.? India will have piles and piles of gold while all we'll have is piles and piles of fiat paper bills.
The great orchestrators of this shame in creating mountains and mountains of newly issued money(more and more inflation) in bailouts for the rich and in the process attempting to destroy gold's value are dealing from the bottom of the deck.
Some recent comments from Mr. Jim Rogers:
US Is "More Communist than China": Jim Rogers
08 Sep 2008 | 05:28 AM ET
The nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shows that the U.S. is "more communist than China right now" but its brand of socialism is meant only for the rich, investor Jim Rogers, CEO of Rogers Holdings, told CNBC Europe on Monday.
"America is more communist than China is right now. You can see that this is welfare of the rich, it is socialism for the rich… it's just bailing out financial institutions," Rogers said.
"This is madness, this is insanity, they have more than doubled the American national debt in one weekend for a bunch of crooks and incompetents. I'm not quite sure why I or anybody else should be paying for this," Rogers told "Squawk Box Europe."
"You certainly gonna see a huge jump in any financial institutions which owned a lot of Fannie [FNM 1.04 0.05 (+5.05%) ] or Freddie [FRE 0.87 -0.01 (-1.14%) ] … because they don't have to worry about going bankrupt all of a sudden," Rogers said.
"Bank stocks around the world are going through the roof, that's 'cause they've all been bailed out. You don't see the homeowners in Kansas going through the roof 'cause they're not being bailed out," he added.
"A Huge Mess"
However, despite the rally in Asian and European markets, the decision to take over Fannie and Freddie is likely to cause more volatility and needs careful consideration by investors, according to Rogers.
It's rarely good to jump in a moving bus and right now you got a lot of buses moving. I might short some more investment banks in the US, depending on how they rally over the next week, but other than that, I'll just sit and watch," he said.
Rogers, who is short on U.S. bonds, said these are likely to fall while commodities may rally. The two government-sponsored enterprises don't have good loans on their books, because "everybody else took the good stuff and dumped the bad stuff onto Fannie and Freddie," he said.
From 2010, Fannie and Freddie will have to shrink their portfolios by 10 percent a year until they reach $250 billion, to reduce the risk to the taxpayer, according to the Treasury plan. But this may put additional pressure on the housing market, Rogers said.
"That's going to also ensure that house prices continue to go down. It's going to be harder and harder to get a mortgage."
Investors should not pin their hopes on this year's presidential election for a solution to the problems, as none of the candidates is likely to find one, Rogers said.
"This is a big huge mess and neither one of them has a clue what to do next year. It's going to be a mess."
© 2008 CNBC.com
|Gold $783.90 off $17.60
Silver $11.68 off $ 0.38
Gold/XAU Ratio 6.67
Gold/Silver Ratio 67.11
Kill The Messenger
The continuing OTC derivatives disaster is dragging down more and more financials as the Plunge Protection Team(PPT) sweats it out day and night creating unprecedented amounts of fiat money for the bailouts along with daily calls to their bullion banks to sell, sell and sell more gold.
Selling gold to cloak failures of a central bank has never been successful over the long term. Our Fed's failure was Alan Greenspan's position while he was chairman that, the derivatives market didn't need regulation. James Dines some time ago referred to Alan Greenspan as a twit. Alan Greenspan, you are a twit for your stupidity.
Remember England's Gordon Brown? He was instrumental in selling a great portion of his country's gold under $300 an ounce even as the populace there protested. Brown stated that investing in currencies was better than holding gold. Yea, sure, great move Gordon.
Remember all the gold that our country gave away or indirectly sold when the Fed in this country was being questioneds by foreign holders of their dollar holdings up until the time Nixon closed the gold/dollar exchange window in 1971?
Throughout history central banks have mostly sold and attacked gold, that's what they do when their currency expansion experiments start to fail. Or, when something starts sapping the system which leads to failures like the out-of-control OTC derivatives.
This is what we can expect over the short term from the PPT concerning gold:
When a major institution or institutions(Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac) fail gold will be weak preceding the event and following for an undetermined short time period.
When a medium to large sized bank fails on Friday, most likely, gold will be weak for over a shorter time frame.
In between failure notices gold will bounce back until the next failure or failures when prices are expected to be manipulated lower.
Somewhere along in time the PPT will run out of ammunition to control gold prices and we will have liftoff. Jim Sinclair is still looking for a minimum of $1,650 on gold.
There could be a problem along the way for holders of the gold bullion. If the financial meltdown continues to greatly expand, the Treasury may make it illegal for Americans to hold gold, call it all in, just to stop the dollar from collapsing. This is a possibility, although some say it won't happen.
Following the 20% plus drop in gold over the last two months, if the Treasury gets desperate enough, who knows what's coming?
Jim Sinclair stated yesterday that very large amounts of reserves (and other assets or more IOU's) were committed in contolling markets to make it appear that the problem was solved with the government's takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The 21st century belongs to China and maybe, India. Their treasuries will be built up with significant increases in gold reserves. As mentioned a while back, China will soon be the number one world producer of gold and don't expect them to export much as they build up their reserves. Where will the gold come from to meet world demand as South Africa and Australia's output continues to decline?
I just hope that the gold in my safety deposit box doesn't end up in the coffers of the Chinese as payment to cancel out some of our international debt. Don't forget, in England some months back private and secure safety deposit boxes were opened by government representatives. Could it happen here?
Following the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailouts each U.S. citizen will ultimately be responsible for $360,000 of federal debt.
I wonder how much of that went into the pockets of bankers and OTC derivative sales people that have since left the game taking with them their big bonuses and leaving us holding the bag?
Write or e-mail your representatives in government, I did.
|Last on gold is $798.20.
Last on silver is $12.80.
Where has all the silver gone?
Delivery channels for the metal worldwide have clogged up over past weeks for investors. I have been reading postings on many blogs that testify to this growing problem.
The only reliable cash market for silver seems to be only on e-Bay. In Germany recently an e-Bay transaction took place for 100 silver maple leafs at a 40% premium to the last COMEX silver price.
Many dealers are out of the silver bullion coins. The cash and carry market for these coins has mysteriously disappeared. Dealers say if you pay in advance they will supply you when they come in. Is that good enough? I don't think so. You should never have a middle man between you and your bullion coins.
The world is run by fiat currencies and for the people who want to cash out of some of it and into silver bullion coins it appears they are just out of luck as the once liquid cash and carry market is now restricted.
Can the worldwide demand for silver be that much? It appears with the 600 million ounces of silver being mined each year that there is not enough to go around. This at first glance appears odd today with silver prices at the COMEX Exchange significantly under their recent highs of $21.50.
It looks like silver is being diverted somewhere. Could there be a problem at COMEX? Is someone demanding delivery on their maturing silver future contracts in excess of what COMEX physically holds in their depository?
The following is an article by Jason Hommel who asks many questions:
($500 million silver default?!)
Silver Stock Report
by Jason Hommel, September 3, 2008
In an interesting twist, Jon Nadler posted a report by a blogger two days ago that I could mostly agree with.
The blog post is by an "industry insider," who tries to explain the "normality" of the shortages of silver and gold.
I also think it's normal for there to be shortages of silver and gold when inflation is raging out of control, and when the markets are manipulated, but I suppose we don't agree on reasons like that.
I left several comments on that blog, here:
My key question: If there is no shortage of actual silver, as opposed to only shortage of "investment silver", where can I go to buy that real actual silver? As of last night, there was no answer.
Today, a reply came, but no answer.
The blogger works at Perth Mint, and writes:
"When I say that wholesale bars are available, it means in wholesale quantities. I cannot speak for Kitco, but I went upstairs and spoke to the Treasurer and he will do deals for a minimum of 20 tonnes of silver and 1 tonne of gold. Call Nigel Moffatt on (08) 9421 7403. Price will be on a deal-by-deal basis."
That's insane. Right downstairs, they often run out of 100 oz. bars, and reportedly have no 1000 oz. bars for sale.
Besides, that's a lie. Wholesale quantities in silver are 1 silver futures contract of 5000 ounces, which is about 1/6th of a tonne, not 20 tonnes!
Further, I note that Nigel did NOT say he would SELL 20 tonnes of silver. He only wants to "deal" in that, minimum. He probably needs to buy that much to pull his fat out of the fire, as I will explain below.
But first, people keep asking me "What's up with Jon Nadler, that guy who bashes metal, yet works for Kitco, who sells metal? I don't get it?"
Kitco runs a "pool" account where they hold the metal for investors, or in other words, they OWE precious metal to their clients.
Kitco also sells Perth Mint certificates, which also represents precious metal owed to clients.
Maybe that explains it?
Usually that's all I need to say to those who ask me, and the person replies, "Oh, of course. Thank you."
Perhaps that's one reason why Nadler posted the article by a Perth guy; they are connected, they both owe metal, and Perth uses Kitco, or Nadler specifically, as a mouthpiece.
If you click on Nadler's bio link at the top of any of his articles, it says that he may have helped government mints, like Perth, in the past:
"He has long-standing ties in the precious global metals community and has consulted on marketing and product development issues to government mints, precious metals retailers, as well as to trade and membership organizations, such as the World Gold Council."
Interestingly, Nadler boasts about his background in banking, and not just for a small banking outfit, but Bank of America, America's second largest bank!
"Jon established and managed several precious metals operations at major USA-based financial institutions (Deak-Perera, Republic National Bank, and Bank of America)."
Bank of America has the second largest derivatives position of all the Banks in America, right behind JP Morgan, at $28 trillion, yes, Trillion, with a T.
And, Bank of America was a member of the Silver User's Association, a group devoted to the conflicting goals of keeping silver prices low and keeping silver available for users. Low prices create shortages, of course. And you can't buy silver at Bank of America, of course.
I don't think Jon Nadler is ignorant on purpose. I don't believe anyone can actually be that stupid on a regular basis, so the people who have repeatedly nominated him for the "Moron of the Year" award don't see the big picture. Instead, I give Nadler more credit than that. I think he's a human of somewhat higher intelligence than normal, but his wisdom score is extremely low. Either that, or he has a very high wisdom score, but he just works with black chaotic magic, instead of embracing the light of truth, or something like that. I think he has a clear agenda, he is actively making a war on gold and silver with his words, on a daily basis, and he is paid to do that.
There are more key connections I must reveal, based on reports from out of Australia about two weeks ago.
The Perth Mint owns 40% of AGR Matthey, in Australia.
AGR Matthey supposedly was using some of Perth's silver and gold that backs the Perth Mint silver certificate program, that is sold by Kitco.
Proof: The Perth Mint's annual report discloses the precious metal loan to AGR Matthey, as I reported previously.
"The $880 million of precious metals deposited by Perth Mint Depository clients (note 17) was used in operations by Gold Corporation as inventory ($381 million - Note 8b) with the balance in the refining operations of AGR Matthey (Note 8a).
p. 81, bottom
I never took a class in deciphering "Ogre-speak", and certified accountants can't decipher Perth's annual report either, but did Perth Mint mean to say or imply that AGR Matthey has "the balance" between $880 million and $381 million, which would be about $500 million worth of gold and silver backing the certificate program?
Wait, that's not the shocking part, I'm getting to it.
Here's the bombshell shocker:
AGR Matthey closed their silver operations! There is no news of this item, it's only available at the Kitco chat boards directly!
Two of my readers reported the same thing. AGR Matthey offices closed. What?? Why?!
AGR Matthey supposedly has all this gold and silver on loan from Perth Mint's certificate program with which to operate and conduct operations, to enable them to have metal for use in refining operations, so that they can take those abundant 1000 oz. bars, and make them into 100 oz. bars, and sell metal to the public, and now, during a time of record demand from the public, when little old me can sell 25 bars at a $4.01 premium to the spot price, when AGR Matthey should be well funded, with plenty of metal, and capable of making a killing on manufacturing bars with their own top industry and famous and desired trademark, they decide to close up shop?
Their story makes no sense. It make more sense that they have been operating at a loss for years, and used up the loan of precious metal in operations years ago (a loan that would have been fantastic to have during a bear market in metals, which, if you used accounting gimmicks right, you could say that the loan was brining in "profits", but not in a bull market). So, most likely, the managers recognize that they cannot buy more metal today, and cannot get the metal back to pay back the growing metal loan. It makes more sense that as the silver market is manipulated down, when inflation is raging, and when investors are all buying, and not selling, that they cannot source metal from the public anymore, and so they have closed up shop for that reason.
So, look, AGR Matthey's closure of silver operations might have been a $500 million precious metals default to Perth Mint in the last two weeks. No wonder the Perth Mint wants to deal in 20 tonnes of silver minimum, which would still only be about $10 million worth. (20 tonnes x 32,151oz/tonne = 643,020 oz. x $13? = $8.3 million!)
But hey, I'm sure someone like Nadler can be hired to say things like "move along", "nothing to see here", the business was "just not profitable". Really! Ya think?
If silver is abundant, why can't AGR Matthey use their ($500 million?) pool of abundant and borrowed metal to make 100 oz. bars to sell to the public at a premium, and just buy more abundant 1000 oz. bars with the profits and make a killing?!
I believe that this is the first major "hidden" default, or emerging default, that has the potential to cause the bankruptcy of the Perth Mint, and/or bankruptcy and/or silver default at the COMEX, if they are not all bankrupt already.
The closing of AGR Matthey calls into question the validity of the entire Perth Mint certificate program, and Kitco, and Nadler.
I think Perth Mint certificate holders should either be investigating, or redeeming their certificates for real physical metal, while they still can.
It appears as if the Perth Mint took my advice a few months ago, and bought at least some silver at higher prices to make available to people, to calm down the constant stream of reports of delays of 2 months. But now, it appears as if things are much, much, much worse than a mere 2 month delivery delay.
It seems as if Perth's 2 month delay has turned into Johnson Matthey's 2 month delay!
The other connection and warning that must be made now, is about Johnson Matthey, because AGR Matthey is one of their divisions.
Johnson Matthey, of course, is the largest silver refiner in the U.S., and was 8-10 weeks behind on orders for 100 ounce silver bars, and in the last week or so, stopped taking orders for silver. Matthey has a capacity of manufacturing 300-400 bars per week. 7th Grade Math warning: 400 bars x 100 oz.. each x 10 weeks = 400,000 ounces of silver = 12 tonnes, that JM is behind, backordered.
Interesting that that amount is just under the "minimum deal size" of 20 tonnes as Nigel said at Perth.
COMEX contracts are for 5000 ounces, or about 1/6th of a tonne. Why not just take delivery of 120 contracts Nigel?
But wait, if 20 tonnes is the minimum deal size, does that mean that Perth does not buy any silver when investors buy certificates for less than that, after all, that's their minimum deal size!?
So, it's not we silver investors who need to take delivery of the COMEX contracts. We silver investors already placed the orders. It's them, the companies who owe silver to the investors, who need to take delivery, and apparently cannot.
Johnson Matthey's primary distributor is AMARK. Amark is the largest bullion trader in the U.S. Amark is out of all silver products, so they are essentially "out of business" with a "shut down" silver division too, until they get silver.
Most other major dealers deal direct with Johnson Matthey, or Amark.
Here is another major shocker that I just heard today. CNI Numismatics, at golddealer.com, who is one of the most trusted silver dealers of which I know, verifies and confirms this overall story with a shocker admission from Johnson Matthey.
JM told CNI that JM is "ramping down" production of 100 ounce bars!!!
What? JM is backlogged 8-10 weeks, and refusing orders to try to catch up, yet is "RAMPING DOWN production"? That confirms the AGR Matthey shut down. And that can only mean one thing. There is a shortage of 1000 oz. bars or any other form of silver to make into 100 ounce bars.
This is why there is a shortage, world wide. The largest silver providers can't find enough silver to provide it. And this is why the shortage is denied by those in that camp. Their businesses may well be at risk right now, and the worst lot of them are in desperate need of you to send them money now to wait for silver that has an indefinite wait time attached.
KITCO NOTICE ADMITS THEY WANT TO DEFRAUD YOU BY HOLDING YOUR MONEY POTENTIALLY FOREVER, AND IF YOU ASK FOR A REFUND, THEY WILL CHARGE YOU EXTRA.
IMPORTANT NEW NOTICE: Demand for bullion products has increased significantly in recent days. As a result, we may experience delays in supply and possibly delays in processing and shipping by our vaults. We apologize for this inconvenience and will do everything in our power to service your orders as quickly as possible. While cancellation fees still apply, prices are guaranteed regardless of the length of the delay. We remain committed to providing you the best service no matter what market conditions prevail.
Don't fall for it. Not now.
Be careful out there. Defaults are either ongoing, or imminent.
If you want to help break these guys, there's one key way to do it. Make sure you buy and sell your silver at an ever increasing premium over their "spot" price or paper price. As that starts to happen, the paper hedging contracts cannot be used to purchase silver from the public, because the public's silver will cost too much. And if the paper system cannot provide enough silver either, then their game is over.
We are closer than ever to a major explosion in the silver price. In fact, it's already begun in the premiums for "walking silver" as opposed to "paper silver". What's "walking silver"? The stuff you can walk out of the store with!
|Last on gold is $803.60
When gold sold down to $774 some days back Jim Sinclair reported that two hedge funds were in trouble with their long positions in gold. In commodities this frequently happens due to their highly leveraged nature. Mr. Sinclair stated in late Asian trading one night when the event took place that China relieved the two of their positions.
I don't know if the funds were holding physical gold or the futures contracts or even what exchange was involed had they been the contracts.
The Chinese are as secretive as they can be. They are long term planners and prefer operating under the radar with their large transactions.
It may be that some Chinese gold is held in the basement vaults of the New York Federal Reserve. I doubt that the Chinese would deal with the COMEX as a first choice. If I were their purchasing agent I would steer clear of the COMEX. Personally, I don't trust them or their overseeing regulatory body, the CFTC.
There are other places to buy gold bullion like: Dubai, Shanghai Gold Exchange, Istanbul Gold Exchange, Tokyo Commodity Exchange and the London Bullion market.
It was reported last year that the Bank of China(BOC") held 600 tons of gold in their official reserves At that time this was about 1.3% of their total reserve holdings. Chinese economists have suggested to the BOC that they increase the holdings to 2500 tons.
Currently, the approximate average for world gold production is 2500 tons. China may soon be the number one gold producer in the world as world mining production remains stagnant to lower. China forbids the exportation of gold but some dribbles out in the form of gold panda investment coins.
As western central banks try to control world gold prices with all types of fabrications India, Russia and China will be gladly buying physical gold during periods of weakness such as current times.
India buys between 600 and 700 tons each year of the 2500 ton world production. Russia in past years to present are building up their central bank gold holdings. Along with the two, is supposed buying of gold by China, especially recently.
As the propaganda machine works overtime in hiding gold's truth from 305 million people either listening or not in the US, there are nearly 2.5 billion people in India and China that are pro gold.
The big problem for US citizens is there is no long term plan in effect but increasing debt. We're are being slowly sold down the river as the wealth in other nations increases, especially in gold.
Don't forget the old saying, "those who own gold in the end will make the rules." It looks like our grandchildren will either be working for the Indians or the Chinese someday.
Your only hope is to cash in everything you can for gold and sit tight no matter how insecure all the circus leaders of miscreance make you feel.
Gold, Long and Strong.
|Hey Bluejay, you have a good understanding of the Internet as a resource, much better than I. When it is reported that Chinese or anyone is buying gold, what are they actually buying? Are they putting up dollars (full price) for 100 or 1000 ounces? Is it just a debit/credit entry in the books? Is physical gold exchanging hands? Can a buyer of a commodity contract take the gold? If so, in what form?
I realize these are not easily answered, but if you can find the time to research, many would like to know the answers. On August 28 (in this topic) I related about the calls I was getting from men wanting to buy gold dust. They were intermediaries but said the purchasers had big money to buy. Well, I got a return call this morning and decided to continue the dialog to see what happens. I'll keep you posted as the "buy" plays out.
If I were president of a cash rich corporation right now, I would convert my cash into gold at these prices.
|Last on gold is $805 as it is attempting to get back on its feet after slipping to $790 earlier.
Just an opinion, but it looks to me that the Chinese were actively buying gold today under $800.
Below are some words of wisdom from Jim Sinclair:
Posted On: Monday, September 01, 2008, 11:24:00 PM EST
In The News Today
Author: Jim Sinclair
Gold is honest money as the currency of last resort.
"All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
~Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
|Last on gold is $817.70 as the manipulation continues taking it down $12.70 on the US holiday.
Expect the paper COMEX exchange tomorrow, September 2, 2008, to party on with continued price bashing. Do the Fed's and banks have this meltdown under control or are they just running scared and don't know what else to do but kill the messenger?
A great time to be buying gold coins.
Gold/XAU Ratio 5.56
Gold/Silver Ratio 61.07
Another Bank Failure
Friday, August 29, 2008, Integrity Bank of Alpharetta, Georgie closed its doors. This is the 10th bank failure so far this year and the second in eight days. On August 23, 2008 Columbua Bank and Trust of Topeka, Kansas went belly-up.
The FDIC has chosen Friday's to release bank failures. I wonder why?
IndyMac, Bear Stearn along with another seven banks this year, ALL BANKRUPT. There must be a growing list of other banks that are insolvent with the FDIC staggering failure notices now every Friday. The FDIC is almost broke from bailing out these banks and is asking for more money from the government.
With this growing list of insolvencies it is suspected that the Plunge Protection Team is now having meetings every weekend. Before Paulson was secretary of the Treasury these meetings took place quarterly.
So with another financial institution biting the dust it may be the concensus of the "big four"( Fed, Treasury, SEC and the CFTC) to pressure gold and silver lower again this coming week.
Six weeks ago Gold was $980 and in about four weeks time it had fallen to $774 where strong Chinese buying was reported. In the past two weeks gold rebounded from that low to trade at $840 then lower to $805 and then back again to $840 plus, closing at $829.90 with a day of weakness on Friday.
It would be nice for the precious metal to push higher above $840 area but there are too many gold bashers in the market these days. The illusionists never seem to tire in their quest to tarnish gold's shine when the financial system that they ruined with their greed is threatened.
So, with another attack on gold expected this week it might be time to consider some initial or continuing purchases of the coins. I checked the premiums today and noticed that the cheapest way to buy gold in the form of the coins as of Friday at about $830 gold from golddealer.com(a competitive dealer or if you know of a better one please post it) is to purchase the Mexican 1.2 ounce gold 50 Peso piece. The coin sells for $1026 or buying the once ounce equivalent for $855 which is a 3.02% premium over the metal price.
Other one ounce gold bullion coins:
Chinese Panda $863 +3.99%
U.S. Eagle $868 +4.59%
Can. Maple Leaf $900 +8.44%
An emerging sigificant fact:
China wants to replace its dollars with gold at a somewhat lower price. In addition, as they proceed to become the world's number one producer of the metal the question arises: How much of that domestic production will they be willing to export? It is common knowledge that South Africa's glory days of production are now behind them. Where is the physical gold going to come from if not from the world's number one producer when current world mine production can not keep up with demand?
Let the paper party selling days of gold between the Plunge Protection Team and now three U.S. banks in New York continue while smart and courageous buyers take advantage of these artifically lower prices by buying the real stuff.
Gold is your financial insurance policy for tomorrow.
|Last on Gold is $829.90
Where are the insider admissions about gold? Right here
Submitted by cpowell on 09:50AM ET Saturday, August 30, 2008. Section: Daily Dispatches
12:40p ET Saturday, August 30, 2008
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
People like Mike Shedlock of Sitka Pacific Capital Management in Edmonds, Washington, who writes Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis letter, will never debate a GATA representative about manipulation of the gold market even as they aggressively misrepresent GATA's work, as Shedlock did again this week in his essay, "Conspiracy Theory Psychology":
Shedlock wrote, as if it is GATA's position: "Theory 1: The U.S. government, foreign governments, central banks, various broker-dealers, and a consortium of 10 large U.S. banks are all acting together in some massive conspiracy to suppress the price of precious metals for 15 years running, and not a single insider has stepped up to expose the fraud even though housing fraud stories from insiders are being disclosed at a rapid pace, and government, CIA, and other intelligence leaks have been running rampant throughout that entire timeframe."
Actually, of course, GATA's position is that quite a few insiders have testified to the gold price suppression scheme. Though Shedlock purports not to notice it, GATA has been publicizing their admissions for years. It would be decent of Shedlock and those who share his views to familiarize themselves with and respond to these admissions, particularly:
January 1995: The Federal Reserve's general counsel, J. Virgil Mattingly, told the Federal Open Market Committee, according to the committee's minutes, that the U.S. Treasury Department's Exchange Stabilization Fund had undertaken "gold swaps." Central banks have only one purpose for "gold swaps": market intervention. The January 1995 FOMC minutes with Mattingly's statement are posted at the Fed's Internet site here:
July 1998: Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress, "Central banks stand ready to lease gold in increasing quantities should the price rise." That is, Greenspan himself contradicted the usual central bank explanation for leasing gold -- supposedly to earn a little interest on a dead asset -- and admitted that gold leasing was all about suppressing the price. Greenspan's admission about the gold price suppression scheme is posted at the Fed's Internet site here:
September 1999: The Washington Agreement on Gold, made by the European central banks in 1999, was a proclamation that Western central banks were working together to control the gold price. The central banks in the Washington Agreement claimed that, by restricting their gold sales and leasing, they meant to prevent the gold price from falling too hard. But even if you believed that explanation, it was still collusive intervention in the gold market. The Washington Agreement can be found at the World Gold Council's Internet site here:
February 2003: Barrick Gold confessed to the gold price suppression scheme in U.S. District Court in New Orleans when it filed a motion to dismiss Blanchard & Co.'s anti-trust lawsuit against Barrick and its bullion banker, JPMorganChase, for rigging the gold market. Barrick's motion said that in borrowing gold from central banks and selling it, the company had become the agent of the central banks in the gold market, and, as the agent of the central banks, Barrick should share their sovereign immunity and be exempt from suit. Barrick's confession can be found here:
September 2003: The Reserve Bank of Australia confessed to the gold price suppression scheme in its annual report for 2003. "Foreign currency reserve assets and gold," the RBA's report said, "are held primarily to support intervention in the foreign exchange market." The RBA's report is posted at the central bank's site here:
June 2005: Maybe the most brazen admission of the Western central bank scheme to suppress the gold price was made by the head of the monetary and economic department of the Bank for International Settlements, William S. White, in a speech to a BIS conference in Basel, Switzerland. There are five main purposes of central bank cooperation, White announced, and one of them is "the provision of international credits and joint efforts to influence asset prices (especially gold and foreign exchange) in circumstances where this might be thought useful." White's speech is posted at GATA's Internet site here:
Further, government manipulation of the gold price is only the unanimously accepted history of the world prior to the period about which GATA is complaining. That's what the gold standard was about, fixing the price of gold to certain amounts of government currencies. That's what the London Gold Pool was about, the effort of the U.S. and British governments, abandoned in 1968 amid extraordinary demand for the metal, to hold the gold price at $35 per ounce.
Shedlock does acknowledge government's propensity for market manipulation. He writes:
"Of course there are conspiracies and manipulations. I have listed many of them.
"-- Term Auction Facility.
"-- Primary Dealer Credit Facility.
"-- Term Securities Lending Facility.
"-- SEC rule changes options expiration week.
"-- Selective enforcement of naked shorting rules.
"-- Discount window changes in options expiration week.
"-- Shotgun marriages arranged by the Fed.
"-- The bailout of JPMorgan/Bear Stearns."
So Shedlock's position seems to be that government is trying to rig almost every market except the one government used to rig openly. What strange and sublime faith he must have!
Despite the misrepresentation of GATA's work by Shedlock and others, we're actually in fairly respectable company in maintaining that the gold market is manipulated. Some big investment houses have said the same thing.
Sprott Asset Management:
The Cheuvreux brokerage house of the French bank Credit Agricole:
There's a lot of admission and documentation above, which, it seems, is why Shedlock, Kitco's Jon Nadler, the World Gold Council, and others who disparage complaints of manipulation of the gold market refuse to debate the issue, where they might be compelled to address the evidence specifically. But GATA remains ready, any time these folks or others on their side work up the honesty and courage.
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
|Last on gold is $830.10
Gold is the safety of last resort. The fiat currency governement around the world fear gold more so then anyone will ever know. These governemnts hate it with a passion. Gold is the alternative currency to all the tricks these governements use that fail and continue to burden us financially.
The Fed's latest experiment is to hand out money to bankrupt concerns that never thought past their creed for more and more money or that had some other unreported devious agenda.
Consumers are paying dearly for the bailouts of financial institutions and now General Motors($50 billion just for starters). Who's next? One thing is for sure: we're not next, we're on our own.
How will all this end? The people aren't sure but they are learning one thing: gold is the safety of last resort.
A peculiar event happened recently: As government cohorts swung the pendulum lower with the recent collaspse in gold and silver prices a strange unexpected thing took place, there was unprecedented demand for one ounce bullion coins.
This development is extremely significant and deserves some attention.
How could this happen, say the fiat western nations? Well boys, there is a simmering and growing lack of confidence in what you guys are doing to our money, you are destroying it as a store of value and people are wising up.
The fact is that there is not enough gold or silver to go around for the hundreds that want it now and the thousands that may want it in the time period ahead.
What fiat nations fear the most is that people won't accept their fiat money anymore. Before the gold window closed in 1971 our dollar was backed by 25% gold. Foreign nations were free to exchange their dollors held at the rate of $35 for each ounce of gold wanted.
How things have changed, now the public wants gold when it sells off. Some people with wealth are scared and rightly so. The US is in the midst of a major meltdown all because of the failing OTC derivatives that we rarely read about or is on the news.
Expect governments to restrict access to the one ounce bullion coins and others that the public now wants. Call it rationing, shortage of blanks or whatever you wish. The games are on.
If the public is so interested in gold now, what do you think they'll do when gold takes off again and there aren't any gold coins available except from private sellers if they wish to offer any?
What will they turn to? Yes, gold stocks and possibly, the 16 to 1. Don't forget the Chinese. These guys want out of dollars and into resource companies.
But above all and don't ever forget this, the anti-gold people can make your life miserable. The true test for your future will be, will you be able to withstand their propagnada attacks?
Gold, long and strong.
|I find all this very strange. But here ‘s what’s happening here at the mine. Four different men have called wanting to buy “gold dust”. The first two I quickly dispatched… they either were ready buyers of the Brooklyn Bridge or they were ready to see it. Yesterday the one from Sacramento I engaged in conversation. I was okay with my time and thought it would be interesting. His buyer is an American born Korean who has lots of cash and wants gold dust. The man today called from Downieville but lived in Southern California. He seemed like a genuine 60-year-old man who sensed that 2% reward was in the works for him finding gold dust. I told him I could get all he wanted; that there were maybe 200 actual gold producers in the world and they are not dummies. So, why would all these middlemen be necessary to find gold and get it from the real gold producers?
I bet him a beer that his “friend”, which turns out he has known about one month, would soon be asking him for money to get the assay on thousands of ounces of gold dust, blah, blah, blah. He didn’t take my bet…even for a beer! What confidence! Get this. His ultimate buyer is an officer of the New York Mercantile Exchange. What a story someone is telling.
Is there a shortage of gold? Probably yet why would those of us who have it sell it when we are confident that the dip from $1000 to $790 was unrelated to the real demand.
So what is this all about? Business.
|Last on gold is $833.00
It appears from the following article that demand for physical gold in the form of one ounce bullion coins is picking up worldwide along with silver products.
World's Largest Gold Refiner Runs Out of Krugerrands (Update1)
By Claudia Carpenter
Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Rand Refinery Ltd., the world's largest gold refinery, ran out of South African Krugerrands after an ``unusually large'' order from a buyer in Switzerland.
The order was for 5,000 ounces and it will take until Sept. 3 for inventories to be replenished, said Johan Botha, a spokesman for Rand Refinery in Germiston, east of Johannesburg. He declined to identify the buyer.
Coins and bars of precious metals are attracting investors as a haven against a sliding dollar and conflict between Russia and its neighbor Georgia. The U.S. Mint suspended sales of one- ounce ``American Eagle'' gold coins, Johnson Matthey Plc stopped taking orders for 100-ounce silver bars at its Salt Lake City refinery and Heraeus Holding GmbH has a delivery waiting list of as long as two weeks for orders of gold bars in Europe.
``A lot of people are worried about the dollar, they're worried about inflation and now we have geopolitical risk with what's happening in Russia,'' said Mark O'Byrne, managing director of brokerage Gold and Silver Investments Ltd. in Dublin. O'Byrne said his company's sales are up fourfold this year, heading for a record since its founding in 2003.
Gold rose to a record in March and is 25 percent higher than this time last year, while the dollar dropped 7.4 percent against the euro. Silver is up 15 percent in the period.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said European Union leaders meeting in Brussels Sept. 1 will discuss sanctions against Russia after it recognized the independence of two regions of Georgia. U.K. Foreign Secretary David Miliband said yesterday Russia was trying to ``redraw the map'' of Europe.
Johnson Matthey's Salt Lake City refinery doesn't have the capacity to meet investor demand for 100-ounce silver bars, said spokesman Ian Godwin in London. He wouldn't comment on whether the company may expand capacity or end production.
The refinery usually gets orders for 1,000 ounce bars from banks and silver grains from jewelers, Godwin said.
Rand Refinery has manufactured, marketed and delivered more than 46 million ounces of Krugerrands since the gold coin was introduced in 1967, according to the company's Web site. Krugerrands are minted at the South African Mint from gold coin blanks supplied by Rand Refinery.
Gold for immediate delivery rose $2.29 to $829.19 an ounce by 5:24 p.m. in London. Silver gained 10.5 cents to $13.60.
To contact the reporter on this story: Claudia Carpenter in London at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: August 28, 2008 12:44 EDT
|Last on gold is $822.00
The following is lengthly but important in supplementing our knowledge in understanding how the world is run and why we must own physical gold and silver to protect ourselves.
Don't Cry for Me Argentina
Save Your Tears For Yourself
Darryl Robert Schoon
Aug 25, 2008
While bankers do control the issuance of credit, they cannot control themselves. Bankers are the fatal flaw in their deviously opaque system that has substituted credit for money and debt for savings. The bankers have spread their credit-based system across the world by catering to basic human needs and ambition and greed; and while human needs can be satisfied, ambition and greed cannot - and the bankers' least of all.
I have a bad feeling about what's about to happen. The Great Depression is the closest that comes to mind. I, like most, was not alive during the 1930s when it happened. Nonetheless, what once was feared in private is now being discussed in public. It's going to be bad. It's going to make high school seem like fun.
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
THE NEXT ARGENTINA
This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises by University of Maryland's Carmen Reinhart and Harvard's Kenneth Rogoff makes for perfect reading when flying between the US and Argentina.
There is perhaps no better analysis than Reinhart and Rogoff's on the history of sovereign defaults; and, as such, Reinhart and Rogoff's paper was ideal reading material when traveling between the US and Argentina, for the sovereign defaults that happened in the past to Argentina will soon be happening to the US.
But a US default will make Argentina's debt defaults pale both by comparison and consequence. The US, unlike Argentina, is the world's largest economy, the issuer of the world's reserve currency and the world's largest debtor - and a default by the US on its debt will shake the very foundations of our increasingly fragile global economy.
The power of ambition is extraordinary. The power of ambition transformed the US from the world's only creditor after WWII into the world's largest debtor in less than fifty years. Wanting to emulate England's 19th century empire in the 20th, the US instead has mirrored England decline in the 20th century here in the 21st.
Credit and borrowing fueled America's ambitions in the 20th century as it had England's in the 18th and 19th. During the 1980s, to pay for President Reagan expansion of the military, the US quadrupled its national debt in less than a decade by borrowing three trillion dollars during a presidency pledged to balance the budget.
When Reagan took office, US debt totaled one trillion dollars. When Reagan left office, US debt totaled four trillion dollars. Reagan's vaunted slogan of fiscal conservatism was just that - a slogan; and while talk is cheap, the debts now have to be repaid.
Just as the costs of WWI forced England to abandon the gold standard in the early 1900s, post WWII military spending forced the US to suspend the convertibility of the US dollar to gold in 1971; and the consequences, e.g. burgeoning trade deficits and global currency instability, are now putting unsustainable strains on a financial system already in extremis.
Ambition has its price and the bill is now due and owing. The question is: how will the US pay what it owes? In Hyman Minsky's Financial Instability Model, the US is close to "Ponzi status" if not already there since the US is having to roll its debt forward and borrow from others to pay the interest as it can no longer pay down the principle.
In 2006, in an article published by the St Louis Federal Reserve Bank, Professor Laurence Kotlikoff stated the US was "technically bankrupt" as there was no way the US could pay the $65.9 trillion it owed.
Evidently, Professor Kotlikoff was conservative in his estimate or we're going downhill faster than he knew. Just three months ago, on May 28, 2008 Richard W. Fisher, President and CEO of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank estimated the obligations of the US to be actually $99.2 trillion, 50 % higher than Kotlikoff's figures.
"In the distance, I see a frightful storm brewing in the form of untethered government debt. I choose the words - "frightful storm" - deliberately to avoid hyperbole. Unless we take steps to deal with it, the long-term fiscal situation of the federal government will be unimaginably more devastating to our economic prosperity than the subprime debacle and the recent debauching of credit markets that we are now working so hard to correct."
Fisher should know what the US owes and the danger that sum represents. As President and CEO of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, Fisher is a part of the Federal Reserve System - the very system that has indebted America into perpetuity when its credit-based money forced out gold and silver based money in 1913.
But in his speech Fisher said nothing about the role the Federal Reserve has played in America's fatal dance with debt, warning instead about the increasing costs of entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare.
Fisher is part of a larger effort to now blame America's entitlements as the primary cause of our problems, assiduously avoiding the role his own Federal Reserve Bank has played in sinking our once wealthy nation into perpetual indebtedness.
In truth, the entitlement program that poses the greatest threat to America is - and always has been - the Federal Reserve System. Without the Federal Reserve's credit-based money whose compounding interest (paid to the bankers) is obliged to be paid for by a possibly unconstitutional US income tax [note: the Federal Reserve Act and Federal Income Tax were both instituted the same year in 1913], the US would not be indebted and bankrupt as it is now.
If Ben Bernanke and Richard Fisher et. al. at the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank resigned and stopped plundering the US for their own benefit at the expense of the public in order to line the pockets of their banker friends with public funds, the US might have a chance of successfully getting out of this mess.
But, of course, they won't and the now privately controlled US government will continue to indebt the American public so insiders can continue to profit immensely at the public trough. But the question still remains, how will the US pay its unpayable debt? The answer is as clear as it is obvious. It won't because it can't.
DEBT & DESTRUCTION SOUTH OF THE BORDER
In their well-researched paper, Serial Defaults and Its Remedies, Reinhart and Rogoff write "Cycles in capital flows to emerging markets have now been with us for two hundred years". If we are to understand the dynamics of serial default, it would do us well to look at these cycles and their relevance to what is happening today.
Serial Defaults and Its Remedies, Section 2. Capital Flow Cycles and the Syndrome of "This Time Is Different":
...a pattern of borrowing followed by crisis is evident in the string of defaults during 1826-28 in Latin America that come on the heels of the first wave of massive capital flows from Britain into Latin America in 1822-25A second wave of capital flows from Britain came during the 1850s and 1860s. The cycle ended with the crisis of 1873. The next wave of capital flows into emerging markets coincided with the shift of the financial epicenter of the world from London to New York. Among Latin American countries, the borrowing binge of 1925-28 was [financed] with "cheap" money from New York. Capital flows peaked in 1928, the year before the U.S. Stock market crash ushered in financial and currency crises around the world and eventually an international debt crisis during 1929-33.
Argentina is at the very epicenter of Latin America borrowings and defaults and a cursory judgment may well lay the blame for such on Argentina. But understanding the past is akin to sedimentary sampling and a deeper reading of events reveals far more than the too familiar story of a spendthrift deadbeat nation borrowing more than prudence would otherwise dictate.
The capital flows from England and the US in the last two hundred years to Latin America were flows of credit, not money. The distinction is critical in understanding what has happened during the last two centuries. It explains the basis of the British Empire and current American power. It also explains the exploitation of Argentina.
The British Empire was founded on the central bank invention of credit-based money and the subsequent ability to substitute this new "money" for costly gold and silver; and the issuance of paper money allegedly backed by gold and silver is a critical component in the confidence game of central bankers to pass off their printed coupons as the real thing.
What the private bankers accomplished with the creation of the Bank of England was the government's "legitimization" of the bankers' new credit based coupons, sic paper money - coupons upon which the private bankers could now charge interest just as they had when loaning actual gold (what a wonderful scam). The new coupons were a lot easier to come by, especially when the king gave them a monopoly over its issuance.
The advantage to the king was that the king now had an unlimited supply of "money" that could be used to finance his wars - wars which led to the establishment of the British Empire; the cost of which was transferred directly as a burden to the people as the new counterfeit debt-based money was now an obligation of the state, not of the king.
This was the genesis (genius to the bankers and government) of the modern income tax where the people are forced to pay interest on the credit-based money issued by their own government. This was also the beginning of credit-based markets, deceptively called capitalism in order to closely identify the newly counterfeit credit based economy with the real money it had replaced.
THE SPREAD OF DEBT IN DISGUISE
The flow of credit from England and then from its surrogate successor, the US, to developing nations such as Argentina was but the flow of printed coupons designed to harness and indebt the wealth and productivity of new lands.
The "capital" was really only credit, thinly disguised debt in the form of paper money originally issued by central banks, the Bank of England in Britain and the Federal Reserve Bank in the US, the twin towers of monetary Mordor.
The wonderfully sounding idea of unfettered capitalism is but a smokescreen for bankers to leverage their coupons in the form of credit and thereby indebt and control the productivity and wealth of others. As such, it has accomplished its goal admirably but its success will now cost the bankers dearly.
Three centuries of indebting nations, businesses, and the citizenry with constantly compounding debt is no longer sustainable. This is why central bankers in London, New York, Paris, and Tokyo are in such distress. Debtors can no longer pay their debts, defaults are on the rise and bankers may actually have to find real jobs if their confidence game continues to disintegrate.
Lawrence Summers' credentials as a banker are impeccable. Educated at MIT and Harvard in economics, Summers has served as Chief Economist for the World Bank, US Secretary of the Treasury and President of Harvard University.
Recently, in March 2008, Summers stated:
...we are facing the most serious combination of macroeconomic and financial stresses that the U.S. has faced in a generation--and possibly, much longer than thatIt's a grave mistake to believe in the self-equilibrating properties of economies in the face of large shocks. Markets balance fear and greed. And when fear takes over, the capacity for self-stabilization is not one that can be relied upon.
On June 29, 2008 the Financial Times quoted Summers:
...we are in an economic environment where we have more to fear than fear itself
Lawrence Summer's fears are not to be taken lightly. They are the banker's equivalent of Jim Cramer's televised fit of fear when interviewed on CNBC last year, see youtube.
While Summers is rightfully fearful of the current economic environment, the rest of us have far more to fear from bankers like Lawrence Summers and others like him. Summer's role in the manipulation of the price of gold is found in his 1988 paper Gibson's Paradox and the Gold Standard co-authored with Robert Barsky, published in the Journal of Political Economy (vol. 96, June 1988, pp. 528-550).
The hubris of bankers such as Summers is stunning. Fixing the price of gold hoping to control interest rates and prices is like fixing the temperature of thermometers hoping to control global warming. Such is the short reach of Summers' considerable intellect.
FACT OR FICTION?
But the real danger of bankers like Lawrence Summers lies not in their untethered intellect but in their cold ambition and selfish greed that sees nations and people as but living fodder to be milked, used and discarded as they and others profit.
In 1991, Summers issued the following memo while serving as Chief Economist at the World Bank:
...developed countries ought to export more pollution to developing countries because these countries would incur the lowest cost from the pollution in terms of lost wages of people made ill or killed by the pollution due to the fact that wages are so low in developing countries... the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.
As the World Bank's Chief Economist, Summer's memo is a chilling reflection of the heartlessness that lies at the core of bankers and banking establishments. The World Bank itself seems to be a favorite watering hole for those of questionable intent.
Robert McNamara, the architect of the Vietnam War was President of the World Bank as was Paul Wolfowitz, the architect of the Iraq War. The current President of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, is also an ardent supporter of the Iraq War (also on Zoellick's considerable list of "credits" is his service as advisor to Enron, his membership on the Council on Foreign Relations and Trilateral Commission and his attendance at the secretive Bilderberg meetings from 1991 to the present and his role as Senior International Advisor to investment bank Goldman Sachs).
It is no coincidence that those heading the World Bank are closely associated with America's vast war machine. Bankers have profited from fueling the military ambitions of both England and the US for the past two centuries and continue to do so today.
But perhaps the most damning indictment yet of the World Bank and today's bankers is John Perkins's Confessions of an Economic Hitman (Barrett Koehler, 2004) in which Perkins reveals the hidden intent of the World Bank and US bankers to cold-bloodedly indebt third world countries such as Argentina and profit by their misery.
In their review of Confessions of an Economic Hitman, Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman write:
Remember Smedley Butler?
He was perhaps the most decorated Major General in Marine Corps history. In the early part of this century, he fought and killed for the United States around the world. Butler was awarded two Congressional Medals of Honor.
Then, when he returned to the United States he wrote a book titled "War Is A Racket" which opens with the memorable lines: "War is a racket. It always has been."
"I was a high class muscleman for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers," Butler said. "In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism."
In a speech in 1933, Butler said the following:
"I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested."
Smedley Butler, meet John Perkins.
Perkins has just written a book, "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" (Barrett Koehler, 2004). It is the War is A Racket for our times. Some of it is hard to believe. You be the judge.
In 1968, after graduating from Boston University, Perkins joined the Peace Corps and was sent to Ecuador. There, he was recruited by the National Security Agency (NSA) and hired by an international consulting firm, Chas. T. Main in Boston.
Soon after beginning his job in Boston, "I was contacted by a woman named Claudine who became my trainer as an economic hit man." Perkins assumed the woman worked for the NSA.
"She said she was sent to help me and to train me," Perkins said. "She is extremely beautiful, sensual, seductive, intelligent. Her job was to convince me to become an economic hit man, holding out these three drugs -- sex, drugs and money. And then she wanted to let me know that I was getting into a dirty business. And I shouldn't go off on my first assignment, which was going to be Indonesia, and start doing this unless I knew that I was going to continue doing it, and once I was in I was in for life."
Perkins worked for Main from 1970 to 1980. His job was to convince the governments of the third world countries and the banks to make deals where huge loans were given to these countries to develop infrastructure projects. And a condition of the loan was that a large share of the money went back to the big construction companies in the USA - the Bechtels and Halliburtons.
The loans would plunge the countries into debts that would be impossible to pay off.
"The system is set up such that the countries are so deep in debt that they can't repay their debt," Perkins said. "When the U.S. government wants favors from them, like votes in the United Nations or troops in Iraq, or in many, many cases, their resources - their oil, their canal, in the case of Panama, we go to them and say - look, you can't pay off your debts, therefore sell your oil at a very low price to our oil companies. Today, tremendous pressure is being put on Ecuador, for example, to sell off its Amazonian rainforest -- very precious, very fragile places, inhabited by indigenous people whose cultures are being destroyed by the oil companies."
When a leader of a country refuses to cooperate with economic hit men like Perkins, the jackals from the CIA are called in. Perkins said that both Omar Torrijos of Panama and Jaime Boldos of Ecuador -- both men he worked with - refused to play the game with the U.S. and both were cut down by the CIA -- Torrijos when his airplane blew up, and Roldos when his helicopter exploded, within three months of each other in 1981.
If the CIA jackals don't do the job, then the U.S. Marines are sent in -- Butler's "racketeers for capitalism."
Perkins also gives lurid details of how he pimped for a Saudi prince in the 1970s, in an effort to get the Saudi royal family to enter an elaborate deal in which the U.S. would protect the House of Saud. In exchange, the Saudis agreed to stabilize oil prices and use their oil money to purchase Treasury bonds, the interest on which would be used to pay U.S. construction firms like Bechtel to build Saudi cities.
For years, Perkins wanted to stop being an economic hit man and write a tell-all book. He quit Main in 1980, only to be lured back with megabucks as a consultant. He testified in favor of the Seabrook Nuclear power plant ("my most infamous assignment") in the 1980s, but the experience pushed him out of the business, and he started an alternative energy firm.
When word got out in the 1990s that he was starting to write a tell-all book, he was approached by the president of Stone & Webster, a big engineering firm.
Over seven years, Stone & Webster paid Perkins $500,000 to do nothing.
"At that first meeting, the president of the company mentioned some of the books that I had written about indigenous people and said -- that's nice, that's fine, keep doing your non-profit work," Perkins told us. "We approve of that, but you certainly would never write about this industry, would you? And I assured him that I wouldn't."
Perkins assumes the money was a bribe to get him not to write the book.
But he has written the book.
You be the judge.
Evil bankers? Fact or Fiction? You be the judge.
DEFAULT OR JUST DEADBEATS
While Reinhart's and Rogoff's work on sovereign default is worthwhile and important, their glaring avoidance of the geopolitical aspect of credit flows from England and the US to Latin America and other developing regions is indicative of the blind eye scholars turn to the activities of those who pay them.
Lawrence Summers was President of Harvard University where Kenneth Rogoff is now employed. It is not likely those who hired the likes of Summers would look kindly upon Rogoff should he begin asking questions whose answers would lead to truths Harvard's trustees would rather not see the light of day.
So instead of dealing with the critical issues raised by John Perkins, Reinhart and Rogoff consider the phenomena of sovereign defaults as an innocent rite of passage much like high school through which developing economies must pass. Perhaps it is so, perhaps not.
But their "trained" eye wanders a bit, even to an untrained eye such as mine. According to Reinhart and Rogoff, the US is a "default virgin", sic the US has never missed a debt repayment or rescheduled on at least one occasion. While this is strictly so, the US is nonetheless at the center of the largest default in monetary history.
In the 1970s, the US defaulted on its gold obligations under the Bretton-Woods Agreement. After overspending the greatest hoard of gold in history, 21,775 tons, between 1949 and 1971, the US had 7,000-8,000 tons of gold left and still owed perhaps over 31,000 tons to others.
In 1973, when the US officially refused to convert US dollars held by other countries to gold, it was the biggest monetary default ever. In that one act, as a consequence the entire global monetary system shifted from a gold-based system to a fiat-paper system.
Of the US default on its gold obligations, Professor Antal Fekete wrote in June 2008:
Thirty-five years ago gold, symbol of permanence, was chased out from the Monetary Garden of Eden, replaced by the floating irredeemable dollar as the pillar of the international monetary system. That's right: a floating pillar. The gold demonetization exercise was a farce. It was designed as a fig leaf to cover up the ugly default of the U.S. government on its gold-redeemable sight obligations to foreigners. The word 'default' itself was put under taboo even though it punctured big holes in the balance sheet of every central bank of the world, as its dollar-denominated assets sank in value in terms of anything but the dollar itself. These banks were not even allowed to say 'ouch' as they were looking at the damage to their balance sheets caused by the default. They just had to swallow the loss, obediently and dutifully join the singing of the Hallelujah Chorus of sycophants in Washington praising the irredeemable dollar and the Nirvana of synthetic credit.
Debt virgin? Hardly, and whether the US defaulted or not is not just a question of semantics, it is a matter of truth - which, like credit, is now surprisingly hard to come by.
THIS TIME IT'S DIFFERENT
Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff's paper, This Time It's Different, refers to the idea that sovereign defaults are a thing of the past. That we have somehow fixed what was wrong and it won't happen again. Reinhart and Rogoff think otherwise.
But this time, in a different way it really is different. This time default will come to both banker and debtor alike. The bankers' system itself is now collapsing under the weight of debt that the bankers' debt-based money has produced.
Banks are finding themselves increasingly bankrupt as are the governments the bankers used to debase the world's currencies. This time, not only will Argentina possibly suffer another sovereign default, so too will its creditor, the US, as will many of the US banks that issued that debt.
The default of the US will remain, however, outside the limited definition of default used by Reinhart and Rogoff. The US will not miss a payment or reschedule its debt. Unlike Argentina, the US prints the currency in which the Argentine and US debt is denominated. The US will print its way out of its debts. Argentina cannot.
Because of the enormity of the US debt, the amount of dollars necessary to print to pay down the debt will lead to the hyperinflation in the US and the destruction of the US dollar. Those who live by the sword sometimes die by the sword - though not often.
In that same article where Professor Kotlikoff estimated US liabilities to be $65.9 trillion, Kotlikoff also wrote:
The United States...appears to be running the same type of fiscal policies that engendered hyperinflations in 20 countries over the past century.
Maybe this time it isn't different.
DON'T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA
SAVE YOUR TEARS FOR YOURSELF
In 1976, the Argentine military overthrew the democratically elected Argentine government. The first to recognize the dictatorship was the US. The second was the International Monetary Fund, and within 24 hours of recognizing the soon-to-be most brutal regime in recent history, the IMF arranged a loan to the military junta.
At the time, Argentina's external debt totaled $7 billion. When the bloody dictatorship ended with the return of democracy six years later, Argentina's debt totaled $43 billion, a debt owed mainly to US banks.
The common law concept of caveat emptor has particular relevance here, caveat emptor - Latin, "let the buyer beware", is a legal precept that buyers must take responsibility for the conditions under which the sale was made.
If you loan to a dictatorship, don't expect to be repaid if a democracy emerges.
Richard Perle, former US Assistant Secretary of Defense and neoconservative lobbyist
Richard Perle who supported the Iraq War said those words shortly after the US invaded Iraq. While it is doubtful Perle believes the same applies for debts incurred by the US supported dictatorship in Argentina, the truth of Perle's words extend beyond Perle's situational principles or a lack thereof. In a court of law, an illegal contract cannot be enforced - unless, of course, the court has been bought off.
A critical distinction between the debt "owed" by Argentina and the debts owed by the US is that Argentina's debt was illegally imposed upon Argentina by the IMF, the US and international bankers without the consent of the Argentine citizenry, The US debt, however, was incurred with the consent of the American people - or was it?
That, my fellow Americans, is a $99.2 trillion question.
BANKRUPT BE THE BONDS THAT BIND
Americans with their outstanding obligations now measured in trillions of dollars of outstanding US bonds have much in common with the Argentine people. We have both been enslaved and bankrupted by the same financial system.
While it is impossible for the debt burdened Argentines to do something about US banks, it is not impossible for Americans to do so. The US Federal Reserve Bank - the largest emitter of debt-based money in the world - while not an official US government agency is nonetheless still subject to the rules and laws of our land.
STIRRINGS IN THE ELECTORATE
Dissatisfaction, the beginning of change, is now occurring. The two political polarities are finally awakening to the fact that both have been callously used by those in power. The US has lurched right then left then right again, but it continues to go in the same disturbing direction, a direction now equally distasteful to those on the left and on the right.
In modern democracies, successful politicians must possess two qualities: They must say what the people want to hear and they must do what those in power want done.
It has been easy to manipulate those on the right as well as those on the left. The Republicans and Democrats have done so for years. But where's the beef? The nation's finances have been even more badly managed by the Republicans than the Democrats - and Iraq? Sure, vote for the Democrats and stay mired in a conflict they promised they would end.
Both parties are controlled by the same money, the same money that now controls global governments and institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF, the same money that buys politicians, scholars, the military, lawyers, TV anchors, radio talk show hosts and anyone else whose influence they can use for their own ends.
There is a reason why we are indebted as we are and there is a reason why we are mired in a war that one wants except the few that do, the few that now control our nation and many others. In the midst of this most unreasonable world, there are reasons - whether you want to know them or not.
Humanity now finds itself at the beginning of a profound shift, a shift that will force us - if we are to survive, if we are to triumph - to put aside our differences to accomplish together what we obviously cannot accomplish apart.
The two political polarities must find common ground or they will soon find there is no ground at all. What is happening is bigger than money and power although it involves both. It involves humanity, it involves all of us and unless we find each other we will soon find there will be nothing left to find at all.
We are closer to the end than to the beginning. Keep your own counsel. Buy gold and silver. Keep the faith.
In Argentina, I read in a recent issue of Scientific American that physicists now believe that in the beginning of time the Universe was only one centimeter across. That knowledge heartened me. We have come a long way.
Note: I will be speaking at Professor Fekete's last session of Gold Standard University Live to be held in Canberra, Australia from November 11th to the 14th. The focus of the session will be trading the gold and silver basis for profit. For further details, contact email@example.com.
Darryl Robert Schoon
|Last on gold is $820.60
It was reported that the U.S. Mint was no longer selling platinum coins, this was erroneous.
The Mint continues to still offer these coins in all denominations: tenth of an ounce, quarter of an ounce, half ounce and the full ounce.
The Mint stated today that they are beginning to take orders again for gold coins(the one ounce Eagles) on a limited basis.
|Last on gold is $822.40
Bankers Caused Collapse In Gold And Silver Markets
It all has to do with pulling maturing CD's out of the banking system for the safety of gold and silver.
The banker's answer: Destroy the creditability of gold and silver. It's all there in Ted Butler's report that follows.
Will America ever wake up to all this manipulation? Will the Mint produce Gold Eagles again? They have already completely stopped minting platinum bullion coins.
The following post was made at Agoracom.com by a brilliant contributor who presented some thoughts along with Ted Butler's commentary today:
It is rare indeed for Ted Butler to issue a statement at the end of a week so it must be something extraordinary...
Nothing but manipulation today - VHF
The Smoking Gun
By: Theodore Butler
Posted 22 August, 2008
For years, the data contained in the weekly Commitment of Traders Report (COT), issued by the CFTC, have indicated that several large COMEX traders have manipulated the price of silver and gold. For an equal number of years, the CFTC has reluctantly responded to public pressure over this issue with blanket denials of any wrongdoing. Many analysts have agreed with the CFTC’s position, conjuring up various ways to explain why a massive short position held by a handful of traders is not manipulative.
The recent widespread shortage of silver for retail purchase coupled with a price collapse appears to have shaken these analysts’ confidence that the COMEX silver market is operating ‘fair and square.’ Well it should, since there is no rational explanation for a significant price decline going hand in hand with product shortages other than collusive manipulation.
For any remaining doubters that COMEX silver and gold pricing is manipulated, the following CFTC data should be considered. This data is taken from a monthly report issued by the CFTC, called the Bank Participation Report. Here’s the link for the report -
http://www.cftc.gov/marketreports/ba... The relevant data is found in the July and August futures sections. I will condense it.
These facts speak for themselves. Here are the facts. As of July 1, 2008, two U.S. banks were short 6,199 contracts of COMEX silver (30,995,000 ounces). As of August 5, 2008, two U.S. banks were short 33,805 contracts of COMEX silver (169,025,000 ounces), an increase of more than five-fold. This is the largest such position by U.S. banks I can find in the data, ever. Between July 14 and August 15th, the price of COMEX silver declined from a peak high of $19.55 (basis September) to a low of $12.22 for a decline of 38%.
For gold, 3 U.S. banks held a short position of 7,787 contracts (778,700 ounces) in July, and 3 U.S. banks held a short position of 86,398 contracts (8,639,800 ounces) in August, an eleven-fold increase and coinciding with a gold price decline of more than $150 per ounce. As was the case with silver, this is the largest short position ever by US banks in the data listed on the CFTC’s site. This was put on as one massive position just before the market collapsed in price.
This data suggests other questions should be answered by banking regulators, the CFTC, or by those analysts who still doubt this market is rigged. Is there a connection between 2 U.S. banks selling an additional 27,606 silver futures contracts (138 million ounces) in a month, followed shortly thereafter by a severe decline in the price of silver? That’s equal to 20% of annual world mine production or the entire COMEX warehouse stockpile, the second largest inventory in the world. How could the concentrated sale of such quantities in such a short time not influence the price?
Is there a connection between 3 U.S. banks selling an additional 78,611 gold futures contracts (7,861,100 ounces) in a month, followed shortly by a severe price decline in gold? That’s equal to 10% of annual world production and amounts to more than $7 billion worth of gold futures being sold by 3 U.S. banks in a month. How can this extraordinary concentrated trading size not be manipulative?
Because prices fell so sharply after the short sales were taken (with the appropriate dirty tricks as I have previously explained) holders of known physical silver in the world suffered a decline in value of more than $2.5 billion and long COMEX silver futures holders suffered a similar $2.5 billion decline in the value of their contracts. In gold, because the dollar value held is much greater than silver, investor losses were much greater, on the order of hundreds of billions of dollars on their physical holdings. Declines in the value of mining shares adds many billions more. Was this loss of value caused by the concentrated short selling of 2 or 3 U.S. banks?
What real legitimate business do 2 or 3 U.S. banks suddenly have for selling short such quantities of speculative instruments over a brief time period? Do we want banks to be engaging in this type of activity? If the manipulation was not successful, would U.S. taxpayers be called on to bail out yet another bank speculation gone bad?
Do the traders who lost money in the recent price collapse of silver have a reason to believe that their money is now in the pockets of these two or three U.S. banks? If so, do they have recourse?
The data in the Bank Participation report is clear and compelling. that it is hard to conclude anything but manipulation. It is beyond credulity to conclude other than two or three banks caused one of the most severe price collapses in precious metals history. The CFTC has a lot to answer for as the regulatory agency responsible for preventing this type of blatant manipulation.
|Last sale on gold is $829.60.
More on gold coin shortage from the mint as was reported August 21, 2008:
Blanchard and Co., one of the largest U.S. retail dealers of rare coins and precious metals, said the American Eagle and American Buffalo one-ounce gold coins are sold out.
"Nobody has the Eagles or the Buffaloes right now. We bought 2,000 ounces late last week, and those were the last 2,000 ounces that we can find in the marketplace," said David Beahm, vice president of New Orleans-based Blanchard.
"If we don't have them, nobody has them," Beahm said. He added that he has been recommending customers to buy the one-ounce Canadian Gold Maple Leaf gold coin instead.
|Gold $823.00 off $12.60
Silver $13.39 off $ 0.44
Gold/XAU Ratio 5.48
Gold/Silver Ratio 61.46
In the previous article by Mr. Richard Smith it appears on the surface that the writer exhibits lack of respect for Mr. Powell who in the past has been very supportive of the gold community and who has assisted with Mr. Jim Puplava at financialsense.com in drawing attention to the illegal naked short selling of gold and silver related companies resulting in sizable investor losses.
Although Mr. Smith has supplied with his commentary some good data on mint production levels and informative production procedures he comes across as being naive.
Do we believe him that markets aren't manipulated? Do we believe him that there is only a temporary shortage from ther mint? Mr. Jim Sinclair reports that he is hearing from all parts of the world that there is a physical shortage of bullion coins. Do we really believe free markets exist anymore with all the government interference? Well, Mr. Smith does.
The following is Mr. Powell's polite response in regards to Mr. Smith's attacks:
Home » Daily Dispatches
Is gold demand soaring or plunging?
Submitted by cpowell on Tue, 2008-08-19 19:39. Section: Daily Dispatches
3:30p ET Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
Richard Smith, proprietor of Coin and Stamp Gallery Inc. in Phoenix and its Internet site, Only Gold, has written an essay purporting to dispute GATA's interpretation of the U.S. Mint's suspension of sales of gold eagle coins. GATA construed this as more evidence that the futures price of gold on the commodities exchanges does not represent the price of the real metal. (See http://www.gata.org/node/6489.) Smith's response is headlined "Remember GATA? Another Gold Conspiracy Unveiled," and you can find it here:
But even Smith observes that the Mint cannot keep up with demand for gold eagles, even as the futures price of gold has been plunging, which ordinarily would indicate a collapse in demand. In any case, GATA's complaint, to which Smith objects, was aimed not at the Mint but at the futures markets and the financial institutions and governments that manipulate them.
While Smith writes that an official statement from the Mint about its suspension of gold eagle sales is expected shortly, your secretary/treasurer telephoned the Mint's public information office on Friday and again on Monday in search of such a statement and was promised calls back, but no calls back have been made. Your secretary/treasurer now has his congressman's office trying to get an official explanation from the Mint.
Any government agency operating on the level should be able to do far better than this. What the Mint announces to coin dealers privately it should be able to announce to the public simultaneously. After all, the Mint has a very nice Internet site with a section for press releases:
But as of this hour the Mint has posted nothing about the suspension of gold eagle sales and refuses to return telephone calls from the public seeking information on the subject.
Once again, where gold is concerned, government does not seem to be operating on the level, and nobody on gold's side should be making excuses for it.
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
|Last on gold is $823.70
The following is an article written by Mr. Richard Smith a Phoenix gold dealer in addressing the bullion coin shortage and certain remarks made by Mr. Chris Powell, secretay/treasurer Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee(GATA):
A dig at GATA from a U.S. gold coin dealer over assumptions it has made, and publicised, regarding the U.S. Mint’s recent suspension of 1 ounce Gold Eagle sales. All credit to GATA though in that it has linked to this article on its own website too(Mineweb).
Author: Richard Smith*
Posted: Wednesday , 20 Aug 2008
Last Thursday, the US Mint notified its bullion distributors that the 1-ounce size gold Eagles were out of stock and temporarily not on offer for a while, with more details to follow early this week. Then the fun began...
From time to time, the bullion division of the US Mint suspends sales of one product or another, usually due to some production glitch or shortage of blanks. This week word came out that one-ounce gold Eagles would temporarily be unavailable. (As gold coin dealers, at this time, we have plenty of Eagles in stock, with more coming to us through distribution channels.)
Somehow, the coin publication "Numismatic News" picked up this story and sent it out to their email subscribers. No US Mint sources were cited for the story, but instead they quoted an ‘explanation' provided by Chris Powell, still holding forth under the banner of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee. Remember GATA?
Under the headline, "U.S. Mint suspends gold coin sales: futures price is a fiction," Chris Powell of GATA wrote Friday:
"The U.S. Mint has suspended sales of American eagle gold coins and is refusing orders from dealers, two coin and bullion dealers confirmed Thursday."
Mr. Powell goes on to say that:
"The suspension is overwhelming evidence that the futures contract price of gold on the commodities exchanges is substantially below the physical market price and that, indeed, the commodities exchanges are being used as GATA long has maintained -- as part of a massive scheme of manipulation of the precious metals, currency, and bond markets."
In order to separate fiction from truth, let's start with the fact that the US Mint did not suspend all gold coin sales, or even all bullion gold coin sales, but is only temporarily suspending sales of one size (1-ounce) of one product (the gold Eagle).
Word is that the Mint is temporarily out of planchets (round gold blanks of proper coinage weight and .917 fineness), and that more information will be provided as to when sales of the 1-ounce gold Eagle will re-start.
In the meantime, gold bullion is available in many forms of coins and bars from all over the world, at prices based on, yes, commodities futures trading. Even the US Mint is offering some, including the .9999 pure gold 1-ounce "Buffalo" bullion coin (a product the Mint first launched in 2006), and the .917 fine gold Eagles in half-, quarter-, and tenth-ounce sizes.
So what really happened? How does an institution such as the US Mint run out of the gold raw materials from which it strikes the most popular size of its most successful bullion coin product?
In this instance, the Mint is the victim of its own success. Demand for gold Eagles has skyrocketed lately, and some 287,500 1-ounce gold Eagles have been sold by the US Mint since January. This year the Mint's average monthly sales of 1-ounce gold Eagles is some 36,000, compared with a little over 12,000 coins a month in 2007. When the Mint temporarily suspended sales of gold Eagles on 8/14/08, some 60,000 coins had already been delivered in the first two weeks of August alone.
This latest glitch by the US Mint is hardly evidence that "the commodities exchanges are being used as... part of a massive scheme of manipulation of the precious metals, currency, and bond markets." In fact, the US Mint is turning out Eagles at a pace not seen since 1999. See U.S. Mint Sales
It's no wonder that the Mint would run out at that rate. Gold blank production is outsourced by the Mint, and the Mint orders them ahead of time according to expected demand. But when sales triple in a few weeks time, some delays can be expected.
When the Mint places an order, gold strips are prepared, blanks are punched out, then weighed, finished, packaged, and shipped via secure carrier to the Mint's facility at West Point, New York, where they are struck into gold Eagles, then inspected, tubed, counted, and boxed.
This process can take a few days. It's not like running out of chocolate chip cookies at lunchtime, and going to the store for more chocolate, butter, and flour, so you can have another batch ready in time for dinner.
It cannot be unknown to Chris Powell and GATA that billions of dollars worth of physical gold are bought, sold, and exchanged every week, all over the world, in the form of finished bullion, coins, jewelry, mine bars, and recycled gold scrap, based on the very futures prices which Mr. Powell calls a "fiction."
Not to be too hard on GATA - they stood up for gold in the days when no one cared much about the shiny yellow metal one way or the other. Around the turn of the last century, when gold was $255 per ounce and The Powers That Be were putting on that gold was just an obsolete metal, an anachronism from days gone by, GATA uncovered and published a lot of factual evidence that gold prices were being held down intentionally by the US Treasury and the Fed, in cahoots with central bankers the world over
Back then, no organization was more loved and respected by the then-tiny US gold- bug community than the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee. The organization's self-aware ‘tilting at windmills' image had a sort of charm to it, and their noble protests of gold price manipulation had a certain resonance and underdog appeal.
Today, Mr. Powell's pique is understandable, coming during one of the worst weeks for precious metals in modern memory. During the week just past, gold lost 8.39%, silver tumbled 22.9%, platinum was down 10.8%, and palladium shed some 16.7%, all in five days time. These sorts of number suggest a washout in the current downdraft in precious metals prices.
Why? There is fairly universal agreement that the credit crunch that celebrated its first birthday this month is a slow-moving train wreck that will take at least a couple of years to come to its ugly end. This has helped tip the US into a recession, Europe is heading there fast, and oil and most commodities are down sharply over the past few months. All these factors have helped to relieve inflationary pressures on prices. In a nutshell, the prospect of potential deflation is the current ‘story' behind the past few months' swoon in the precious metals.
The loss in value this week of All the Gold in the World (AGIW) came to some US$300 billion. Total losses to AGIW since March 17th's London fix of $1011.25 now exceed US$1.049 trillion dollars ($1,049,000,000,000.00). That's probably nowhere near the aggregate world-wide loss in real estate value over that same time period, but a big chunk of change nonetheless.
This is how free markets work, and no one, including Mr. Powell, is obligated to sell his gold when prices don't suit him. In fact, the beauty part of these ‘manipulative' commodities exchanges is that they make it possible for he, or anyone else in a free country, to buy gold for some 28% less than it would have cost on March 17th. To label that reality a ‘fiction' is either disingenuous nonsense or a sign of deep denial about how the world works.
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