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Greek Scramble For Physical Brings Gold Price To $1,700 Per Ounce

Tyler Durden's picture


And there are those who wonder how Sprott's PHYS could have traded at "ludicrous" NAV premium of over 20%. reports that prices at which the Greek Central Bank is selling one ounce gold equivalents are as high as $1,700 (40% over spot), and prices on the black markets are even higher. The punchline, as Athens slowly returns to a forced gold standard: " A popular spot for street vendors to sell their coins is near the Athens Stock Exchange.  There the traders wait for citizens to bring payments received from unloading their paper assets like stocks and bonds." That's good - downtown Manhattan close to the NYSE has some free space for gold vendors to set up shop as well, they just need to push some of the frontrunning/collocation boxes off to the side. And in other rhetorical ruminations, is it safe to say that the last days of the fiat experiment are among us now that people themselves are bypassing the government and enforcing their own gold standard?

More from Coin Update:

The fear running through the Greek populace is that the nation’s government may default on some of its debts.

Since 1965, the Greek government has imposed restrictions on trading British Sovereign gold coins (gold content .2354 oz).  Despite those restrictions, the Bank of Greece reports that it is selling an average of more than 700 coins per day to worried Greeks.

In the first four months of 2010, the Greek central bank sold more than 50,000 sovereigns at its main downtown Athens office.  Bank officials estimate that at least 100,000 other coins changed hands on the black market.  The Bank of Greece has received as much as $409 per coin, which works out to a price of more than $1,700 per ounce of gold!  Prices paid on the black market are reckoned to be even higher.  A popular spot for street vendors to sell their coins is near the Athens Stock Exchange.  There the traders wait for citizens to bring payments received from unloading their paper assets like stocks and bonds.

The US government and some state governments such as California are in financial straits as bad as or even worse than Greece.  How long will it take before American buyers will have to wait in lines to pay outrageous premiums for what are now bullion-priced gold and silver coins?  More than one analyst thinks those days will come within a few months or sooner.

The article then goes on to discuss the well-known gold price supression schemes developed over the past 30 years by JPM, Goldman and the LBMA, which should by now not be news to any readers.

What should, is that if one could found a way to legally transfer 10 or so ounces to Athens, anyone could make $5 grand on the spot. With some patience the same return will be achievable in our very own US of A.

h/t Aaron


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Wed, 05/26/2010 - 18:59 | 375747 Turd Ferguson
Turd Ferguson's picture

Wait a second, does this mean the Comex is a manipulated, criminal market?




Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:54 | 375846 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

These are not rich people. 700 coins is almost certainly close to 700 middle-class households.

A day.

A good sized town. Daily. Nothing like that happening around where I live, absolutely not.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:17 | 375980 bbbilly1326
bbbilly1326's picture

Wow, looks like Master Bates is back...........using both hands  :-)

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:20 | 375987 jaybaybaker
jaybaybaker's picture

Thanks for proving that paranoia is not what drives you to buy gold.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:25 | 376183 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Why is Connan O'Brian your avatar?

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:53 | 376225 Gold...Bitches
Gold...Bitches's picture

because jaybay is as much of a hack as Conan.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:55 | 376228 akak
akak's picture

JayGayBanger is as integrity-challenged as Conan is pigmentally-challenged.

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 05:48 | 1144503 george22
george22's picture

Excellent stuff from you, man I’ve read your things before and you are just too awesome. I adore what you have got right here. You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it smart. This is truly a great blog thanks for sharing…


Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:40 | 376023 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

lol, that made my day.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 09:47 | 376642 bbbilly1326
bbbilly1326's picture

ok, the JayBay posts I was responding to above have been removed....I was not commenting on cougar's post........

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:27 | 375995 Cheeky Bastard
Cheeky Bastard's picture

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:40 | 376025 velobabe
velobabe's picture

you need to give it up, babe.

shouldn't you be sleepin†

i have to stop laughing,

i am rippin my chest apart with your humor, you have to just stop†

plus. am i pimpin myself with this avatar? WW asked me this question.

i think clear, white reflective, radiant and light, NO!

nate, over at economic edge blog, me thinks wants me back, without my nasty.... nuff†





Wed, 05/26/2010 - 22:02 | 376053 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

your avatar is too distracting...I'm telling Larry Summers.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:06 | 376149 trav7777
trav7777's picture

avatar's fine...just too small

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:10 | 376160 velobabe
velobabe's picture


finger in the left side of your,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:21 | 376175 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

wow thats hot!...say it again

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 10:22 | 376735 trav7777
trav7777's picture


The avatar picture is too small

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 10:40 | 376786 velobabe
velobabe's picture

perhaps, your too small†


  £   £



Thu, 05/27/2010 - 11:00 | 376846 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

And he thinks he saw footage of the first plane hitting WTC. But that's a disjointed subject; from another thread. And I think Trav means he wishes he could either zoom in or see you in full size. As I am sure many would!

VB, how can I put this...ahhhhh, the female form. The thing I enjoy most on this sphere. It was a half-joke. But whew! what a form you have.

I know that a lot of Christian/otherwise devout readers follow these forums (some people think, **** 'em; we do what we want on ZH), and I hate censorship, and I feel that many seeking enlightenment might be turned off and not return for the gulps of truth and fresh air that is freely available. God save the [Tyler et al]!

But you will not hear complaints from me! ;-)

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:59 | 376049 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

That is the most awesome poster....there is no equal.

Mon, 01/31/2011 - 18:24 | 921993 web dizajn
web dizajn's picture

i'm not really into lolpics but that one just cracked me up :D web dizajn

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:29 | 376001 Internet Tough Guy
Internet Tough Guy's picture

I shouldn't answer a troll isn't about global production amounts. If it was, the greeks wouldn't be paying such a high premium. They are paying it because when you can't trust the currency you just want out, at any price. It could be 1700 today or 2700 tomorrow; the price depends on the availability and if I will only sell to you at 2800, then the price is 2800, unless you can find someone else.

Carry on, troll.


Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:30 | 376004 Cheeky Bastard
Cheeky Bastard's picture

Finally; we agree.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:34 | 376012 Internet Tough Guy
Internet Tough Guy's picture

Don't worry, I won't tell anyone. LOL.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:39 | 376022 Cheeky Bastard
Cheeky Bastard's picture

It is ZH after all; everyone agrees and disagrees with everyone else at least once. Probability distribution makes foes out of friends, and friends out of foes.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 22:02 | 376052 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

that should be quoted on the header....

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 22:49 | 376118 saulysw
saulysw's picture

I disagree with your hypothesis! (And you are now my enemy)


Reminds me of this scene :

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:29 | 376189 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Ah, probability distributions.  When I was younger and my brain could handle it better, I used to love probability...

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:33 | 376011 Rick64
Rick64's picture

If this panic keeps up, do you think the pace will stay the same?and only be confined to Greece and Europe?

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:49 | 376034 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

How dumb are you ? If there is enough money so far to fund US bond auctions then there is indeed enough money around to buy the gold.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 22:29 | 376087 jomama
jomama's picture

what i don't understand is why do gold bugs bother you so much?  or maybe you just feel like you've got to be mr. righteous and tell everyone how things really are to save them from their own stupidity?

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 22:41 | 376098 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Gold bulls, jomama, Gold bulls.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:57 | 376232 Gold...Bitches
Gold...Bitches's picture

what i don't understand is why do gold bugs bother you so much?

because they've been right for ten years running.  And he hasnt been in it at all over that time.  Waaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 00:33 | 376265 akak
akak's picture

"What i don't understand is why do gold bugs bother you so much?"

"Because gold is honest money, it is disliked by dishonest men."

(Ron Paul, The Case for Gold)

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 01:54 | 376329 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

I'm a gold bug for the entertainment value alone. I mean look at how many servants we got working for us already. We got Master Bates working overtime trying to convince us how stupid we are. We got JW trying to promise us ASS pain and heartbreak if we don't sell our gold at the top. We got the oh the government will confiscate it crowd.

I guess that Katherine Fitts Austin lady is right. Just a few gold bugs completely cashing out of the system is enough to cause huge massive responses. Maybe we aren't so powerless after all.

Well gotta go practice removing nuts with a claw hammer in case that gold confiscation thing really happens. Talk to you all later.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 09:33 | 376612 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Just a few gold bugs completely cashing out of the system is enough to cause huge massive responses. Maybe we aren't so powerless after all.

I am also fascinated by the deep, broad and coordinated response.  It's another "tell".  Keep it coming, boys!  Lapping it up here.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 00:22 | 376255 omi
omi's picture

Don't worry man, plenty of paranoid idiots ready to burry comments. Too bad there's no up/down vote, only down-vote, but this is ZH

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 01:13 | 376296 dorksgetlaid2
dorksgetlaid2's picture

Based on the 165,000 tons that wikipedia says have been mined up to 2009...

This equals 5,913,000,000 ounces. 

There are 6,823,400,000 people in the world.  I'm getting at the actual demand (based on 1 oz/per person).  All you pirates out there, don't laugh. 

How many fiats are in circulation!?!  M3 has gone up 10X since 1970, even though the population in 1970 was around 4 billion.  The world has added 2 billion people since 1970, which would be a 50% increase.

And what is the gold production per year?  Wikipedia says 2415 tonnes a year, around 86 million ounces. 

How many people does the world add?  134 million a year.  Still, even if you wanted to give every newborn on earth an ounce of gold, we're reproducing faster than gold is being mined. 

I would be willing to bet that the 134 million people born each year is nowhere near enough to hold demand for fiats....especially once devaluation/inflation comes into play.  Inflation aside, humans aren't reproducing enough to keep pace with the printing presses.  1 fiat printed/per person...LOL.     

This is the battleground, the hearts and minds.  The masses don't believe that paper is worthless.  Imagine that.  Until something happens to wake them up, starvation, revolution, etc.  Fiats will remain the means of exchange.  

How many dollars do you think are printed into existence a year?  More than that 86 million ounces of gold mined per year? 

Shit, 86 million ounces of gold at $1200...103 billion...

How much was the Euro Bailout Again? 



The question is if the sheeple can learn.



Thu, 05/27/2010 - 01:26 | 376314 Jack H Barnes
Jack H Barnes's picture

I think the Sheeple are speaking with their savings...

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 03:43 | 376353 akak
akak's picture

"Chart 1: EUR against USD; Annus horribilis!

Once the Congress passes all their upcoming "financial reforms" and the inevitable onerous new taxes that they are already just itching to impose, the rest of us are going to be suffering from anus horribilis!

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 06:11 | 376394 Joe Sixpack
Joe Sixpack's picture

The amount of gold or silver produced per year per capita in the world is slightly higher now than it was in 1903. This means that if gold/silver money were possible in 1903 (which it was) than it is possible now. See this article:

What Do Silver and Gold Buy?

By John Q. Public

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 07:05 | 376421 johan404
johan404's picture

What you mean to say is that we're now producing more gold than we've ever produced before?

You forgot to mention one thing though, according to Barrick Gold, gold production is in terminal decline as ore becomes harder to find. Peak Gold anyone?

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 07:24 | 376434 Joe Sixpack
Joe Sixpack's picture

The facts don't bear that out. At least as of 2008, the gold production per capita in the world was higher than in 1903. Same with silver. If there is demand, they will find it at a cost. Long term, I cannot say.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 06:57 | 376417 johan404
johan404's picture

Someone else is buying it, that's why they're producing it. Why would gold mining corporations have 94% surplus production? Your post makes absolutely no sense when taking into account reality. Have you been sniffing glue again?

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 08:05 | 376449 AUD
AUD's picture

Interestingly enough, forward spreads on COMEX gold have widened rapidly in the last couple of months.

I'm not convinced paper gold is finished yet. Maybe the last of the US Treasury treasure is being 'loaned'?

Tue, 05/17/2011 - 02:01 | 1282113 Karston1234
Karston1234's picture

I Will Be Coming Back Soon, Thanks for posting Some Great ideas
online doctorate degrees
work experience degree
phd degree online

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 20:47 | 375914 DeeDeeTwo
DeeDeeTwo's picture

Small gold coins sell at a huge premiums all the time, baby. People overpay for all manner of things all the time. A 20% premium for small coins *** on the street *** at Ground Zero of the EU Meltdown in panicking, corrupt-to-core Greece is hardly news... or translatable to the USA... but tasty red meat to get the Gold Zombies thru another day of Faux Apocalypse.

How much is the premium for firearms on the street in Greece? Perhaps a new Greek index tracking the street price of AK47s in gold... would be helpful in making major life decisions here in America, my friends.


Wed, 05/26/2010 - 20:56 | 375939 AllSingingAllDa...
AllSingingAllDancingCrapof theworld's picture

Go fuck yourself. No coin, even that numismatic shit, sells 40% over spot.

Sorry your boys in Washington and Wall Street can't put your Humpty-Dumpty statist dream back together.

Hey, just enjoy Avy Scott's comeback and leave the rest of us non-wankers alone.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 22:42 | 376100 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

I agree 100% with the fact that all the Washington horses and all the Wall Street ass can't put the rigged-market crony capitalistic egg shell back together again.  Quite frankly I look forward to its demise.  Our saviors in Washington and Wall Street are the ones that are creating the restrictions of this abundant little marble of abundance.  While the transition of wealth between the current, the ones that have created these restrictions, and the ones that are providing the wealth, at the end of a loaded legislative pen, way well indeed be a horrific sight of violence and death to behold, what is coming out of that realignment will be phenomenal. 

I just have one point of contention and please take it for what it is worth.  Numismatic shit coins are currently selling in Amerika for 70% over spot -

I am not saying these are the most educated buyers on the market, but the market is yielding this sort of mark-up RIGHT NOW.  Now we are just talking about the Fox News/Glenn Beck/I Would Rather Trust the TV and Do What IT Tells Me Group.  Just imagine when the reality sets into the rest of the 401K/IRA crowd sees what happens when the Fed needs to double the money supply again in order to compensate for this derivative induced debt coma of deflation.  Spot price is already irrelevant to some people as evident from the YouTube link above.

Hell, I screwed myself when I bought from one dealer at 5% over spot and then sold it back to the same dealer at 2% under spot.  I know, I’m an idiot and they arbitraged my ass while I pulled together a 59% profit in just over a year (including my shipping for the transactions.  We all need to learn somewhere, but the point is Amerikans are already spending 70% over spot, ignorantly, but still showing a price point in the market. 

This are getting curiouser and curiouser indeed. 


Wed, 05/26/2010 - 22:48 | 376115 aaronvelasquez
aaronvelasquez's picture

I think we are seeing a decoupling of the paper and physical gold markets now.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 22:55 | 376131 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

That looks to be the case.  What happens when Americans start to realize that over half of the states in Amerika are insolvent and voters stop approving every fucking muni-bond "extend and pretend" initiative on the ballot?  What happens when Americans see that tax returns from the state are being delayed more and more?  What happens when Benny and his team have to double the money supply again in a minsky moment?  The writing is already on the fucking wall, but there is still a bit of confidence in the 401K long term market investors that just want to "ride it back to even".  When those fucks wake up and companies stop offering matching 401K as they realize that they are pissing away profits, those will be the straws that breaks the golden back. 

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 00:02 | 376240 Tapeworm
Tapeworm's picture

There are truly honest pawn/coin folks out there that used to provide coin at very reasonable markups. There is no excuse for dealing with the Glen Beck operators that are going to jam for hideous spreads. Have a look at to see what spreads should be. I have never dealt with them as I prefer to keep spreads lower, but it is there as an example.
The asshole ripoff operations that advertise to newbies do not publish their sell prices on their websites, only giving a phone number to the boiler room for a "consultant". I should call to find what they are up to, but I don't give a crap.
I will call one to report on a future thread as I hate it when newbies get ripped off.
Don't junk me for trying to keep the newbies from getting screwed by coins or ETFs.
A contributor here, Jesse,
often posts on the premium of ETF's to the spot prices of glod/slAg. Everyone knew that Sprott's fund had a silly high premium to spot. I should have shorted it as a leveraged bet on what the usual suspects would do to the PMs prior to option expiry. I will not miss that in the future if that is doable.
CEF has had a premium to spot of up to 12% in the past. They then did what they always do, and that is to buy more metal. Then the premium drops.
Forget the ETFs if you want the metal. If you buy to hold you can get the metal in hand at FAR LESS than 5% premium, let alone the 10+% that we have seen recently by using a reputable dealer. Why mess with any fund whose share price is five per-cent over spot? Be your own fund.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 00:44 | 376274 bobm2626
bobm2626's picture

I walked onto a used car lot yrs back and saw a 1990 Bronco for $16k, I asked the salesman how come this used car is selling for $16k when it was selling for $14k brand new, his response was "If a sucker walks on this lot we don't want to miss him/her"...

Doesn't surprise me to see Goldline or many other main stream media retailors ripping off newbies.

I buy in bulk from Tulving and recently "Monex" had an amazing special on .99999 purity (5 9's) Canadian Maple leafs 1 oz and I think I paid less than $50 over spot (cannot remember exactly) but is was a good deal.

Shop around and Yes get Physical...

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 06:15 | 376397 Joe Sixpack
Joe Sixpack's picture

I wrote this little ditty last year when the decoupling first started showing up:

Welcome to the Gold-Dollar Bifurcation

Joe Sixpack


Welcome to the Gold-Dollar Bifurcation.
Just in time for the Obama administration.
Competition for the dollar.
This ought to cause the Fed to holler!

Welcome to the Gold-Dollar Bifurcation.
A new trend is in formation.
Shiny beats empty, and the financial systems goin' down.
If you got gold or silver, you're goin to town!

Welcome to the Gold-Dollar Bifurcation.
Derivatives implosion lead to dollar's deprecation.
Markets down, and bonds collapse.
The world's current financial system will lapse and pass.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 07:51 | 376439 Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

As an example, the morons who buy a gold plated slug from some advertiser on Glenn Beck and the like will pay $29.95 for a slug with 30 milligrams of gold on it.  So with a gold 'price' of $1213/oz, 1213 dollars divided by 28.3 grams/oz = $42/gram times 0.030 (30 milligrams) = $1.28 worth of gold. 

So the rocket scientists buying 'gold coins' from Beck's advertisers are paying $29.95/$1.28 or 23.9X the price of gold or 2,339% over spot right now.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 01:01 | 376287 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

No coin, even that numismatic shit, sells 40% over spot.

Not to be nit-picky but you are a little out of your specialty on that one.   I am a coin dealer and I can tell you that spot doesn't have diddly to do with collector coins, gold or silver.  Rarity and condition are where we start -- not spot.  I'll admit that the lower grade numismatic coins do swing with spot to a degree, but the choice coins do not.

Example: $3.00 gold coins.
In the case of Mint State, an available date like the 1854 or 1878 is likely to be around $3,000 in MS-60 while an MS-65 is likely to cost $16,000 for the cheapest one. There is also a small number of proofs, which in the case of the more available dates, start around $21,000, but in the case of the better proof dates like the 1854 and 1855 are $125,000 and $120,000, respectively.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 01:46 | 376325 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

I bet you could get 40 percent over spot for this coin.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 06:17 | 376399 Joe Sixpack
Joe Sixpack's picture

What the Greek banks are selling are not numismatic coins. They are basic bullion coins.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 09:14 | 376549 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I know.  The reply got really separated from the comment by AllSingingAllDa... above -- way above.  See my quote of his statement at the top of my reply.  Sometimes the threads get so long that the replies get disjointed.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 10:50 | 376811 Joe Sixpack
Joe Sixpack's picture

gotcha. I was too fast on the keyboard.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 22:43 | 376103 drtor
drtor's picture

Interesting that you should bring up the AK47 analogy; AK47s trade at a huge premium precisely because the government is trying to prevent their circulation.

Which I guess is what the gold bugs are claiming is happening to gold.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:08 | 376155 trav7777
trav7777's picture

WTF use are AK47s?  This is Greece, not pakistan

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:31 | 376194 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I LOVE my AK-47.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 01:40 | 376321 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

+1000 rounds of 7.62x39 

How much will a six gal. pail of oatmeal be worth when the grocery store shelves are empty?  One oz. of gold will currently buy you 1,200. lbs. of oatmeal packed in 48 six gal. pails delivered.

One oz. of gold will buy you two AK47s and 2000 rounds of ammo.

Wonder how much olive oil you could buy in Greece with an oz. of gold?

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 10:18 | 376723 trav7777
trav7777's picture

I didn't ask about irrational emotional attachments to the things...I asked about utility

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 11:06 | 376867 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

For protecting your gold and womenses. What else?

Irrational? How else do you cull the herd; psychopath removal? I'd say that's pretty rational.

Extremism in the defense of Liberty is no vice. - Barry AuH2

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 10:45 | 376789 OldTrooper
OldTrooper's picture

"WTF use are AK47s?  This is Greece, not pakistan"  trav7777

True, AK47s (though I prefer the AR-15 or M-14) and Gold (in hand) have very little everyday utility.

But, like Gold, when you really need an AK47 you need it bad and nothing else will do - and there's no time then to go get one, even if it is available.

Tell you what, lets test it out - I'll bring my AR-15 and you bring your PS3, IPad or whatever and we'll see who wins.  Come on, it'll be fun.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 00:22 | 376254 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

" at Ground Zero of the EU Meltdown in panicking, corrupt-to-core Greece is hardly news... or translatable to the USA... but tasty red meat to get the Gold Zombies thru another day of Faux Apocalypse."

If the disaster taking place in Greece and the European economy in general were not translateable to the US economy the Fed would not have opened and expanded swap lines. Get real! Wall St has direct loan exposure to European banks of at minimum $200 Billion and probably much more...We cannot know exact amounts because of lack of transparency both there and here...I am talking real $ loans, not deriviative exposure.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 20:44 | 375918 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Things slow at the Huffington today? 

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 22:03 | 376054 papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

All they are showing is drilling mud and oil....where are the semi naked lohan pictures?

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 22:18 | 376071 Raymond K Hassel
Raymond K Hassel's picture

700 because that would appear to be the lock limit imposed by Greece.  If the IMF was serious about a bailout they'd front Greece more of their gold to sell at those prices - but you can ask Mr. Sprott - the IMF does let its gold escape its system in quantity.  Keynes called it the 'Barbaric Relic' for a very good reason - the Barbarian is at the gates - study up JayBay

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 00:39 | 376271 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

" Keynes called it the 'Barbaric Relic' for a very good reason - the Barbarian is at the gates"


Alaric's long siege of Rome began. The Senate now offered to buy off the Visigoths with gold, silver, and food!...and the Romans kept paying till they ran out of gold, silver and food! Then Alaric sacked Rome but he found that the city dwellers were useless as slaves.


Fiat? What Fiat? We don't want no stinkin fiat!



Wed, 05/26/2010 - 22:35 | 376091 drtor
drtor's picture

Agreed about the 700 that is noise.

But a 40% premium for the bullion? In the US you can get it a few % over spot from reputable dealers. Maybe it is nothing more than a dysfunctional supply chain...

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 01:10 | 376295 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

It's a question of 1. Bank mark-ups, and 2. Currency used being in question.

When the fiat dollar unravels you'll see some wild price swings here as well.

Non-commercial (black market) gold probably sells for normal premiums if transaction is done in dollars.  And that can change quickly!  Just guessing based on past history.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 06:13 | 376395 GoldBricker
GoldBricker's picture

Jaybay, I want to thank you for providing a foil for ZH readers. Your posts always attract a lot of comments.

I just wish you'd make better arguments. I'm sure that there are some good arguments against buying gold, but you're not making them.

Maybe you could start with what you do think is a good thing to be holding now. Some here on ZH say other precious metals, while others espouse canned tuna, matches, or boxes of .38 special.

Share some wisdom with us, Jayster!

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 02:39 | 376345 MrTrader
MrTrader's picture

Yeah, better you make your trade with street traders than with Comex "criminals"....

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:06 | 375755 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Interesting blog..........

Pretty much what's been here, but, for the curious........


Also, if Greece, and others are driving the price to $1700.00, WFH do you think we may wake up to?.

They will HIT US on a Friggin weekend.............guaranteed.

For those w/ NO Phys position, I would not tarry............this bitch could go stratospheric, just on contagion fears........

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:38 | 375816 Tarheel
Tarheel's picture

Greece Gold prices at $1700 will not reflect our Gold prices overnight. Remember all the apocolyptic TEOTWAWKI scenarios regarding the US and needing gold, canned food, ammo etc instead of cash? THAT is what is going on in Greece right now. This is your crystal ball if you choose to believe we are headed in the same direction with our credit situation.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 20:59 | 375944 AllSingingAllDa...
AllSingingAllDancingCrapof theworld's picture

I don't have a crystal ball. I have all the other stuff.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:27 | 375996 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Real balls are much better neighbor. I think ya got those.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:10 | 376159 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Nobody is starving in Greece.

In a currency crisis, you need HARD currency.  That has always been dollars.  Here it may have to be something else.  Perth Mint certificates, who the fuck knows, but the dollar backs all else, nothing backs the dollar.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 06:22 | 376401 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Dollars are to hard currency what Windows XP is to hardened security.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 00:22 | 376253 Tapeworm
Tapeworm's picture

You must adjust for the convenience of selling the paper for metal. Aside from the convenience of dumping small quantities of securities for metal, the seller avoids the taxman intermediary. I have no clue how that is done in Greece or anywhere else, I am just saying that all costs must be considered. I understand that Greece has a well developed underground economy that is large enough to temper the doomsters' death opinions of what is in store for the hapless folks. If some part of the unofficial economy is OK with trading their paper for a silly high premium on gold, you need to examine your assumptions on both sides of the deal. Goomint approved folks wouldn't do that deal.
FWIW, the 1912 Drachma was officially revalued to one part in fifty thousand million in 1948. A 20 Drachma gold coin of that era (.1867 troy ounce) in the Latin Monetary Union became one trillion of the new Drachma of 1948. Good leverage that even CDS cannot beat.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:04 | 375756 Mitchman
Mitchman's picture

The fear running through the Greek populace is that the nation’s government may default on some of its debts.

May default?

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 20:33 | 375902 LeBalance
LeBalance's picture

Not waiting for June then?

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:19 | 375985 bbbilly1326
bbbilly1326's picture


on SOME of its debts ?

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 07:57 | 376443 Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

Its not fear, its anger with some fear...just like everwhere else around the world.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:05 | 375759 DCon
DCon's picture

Should I cancel my weekend trip to London and hit Athens ,with my bullion, instead?


Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:07 | 375764 DosZap
DosZap's picture

D Con,

Should you want to be relieved of it for FREE, sure.............)))):

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:55 | 375847 breezer1
breezer1's picture

read a news item a month or so ago about a guy got stopped at a mexican airport with about 100 ozs. it was confiscated and he was detained.                                

reminds me of the time i was stopped in guatemala during a change in planes and they found some womens underwear in my carry on.          

they didn't find my gold.   

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 20:57 | 375941 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

OK, I'll take the bait.

What was the Gold for? :>)

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:31 | 376005 dumpster
dumpster's picture

gold not good  gold good

butthead johnny bravo .. the assortment of gold not understand people . dennenger at al

or sinclair ,, Russell .

easy choice for the dumpster .

Whatever OTC derivatives do not do to the investment banks, litigation will. Litigation is both civil and criminal. No civil suit based on derivatives can ever go to judgment by jury because it will be a stone cold loser. Even a bench trial would present significant risk to the defendant.
OTC derivatives are the basic problem about which nothing has been done and nothing will be done. That secures the final end which is gold as the only standard, measure and storehouse of value functioning as a medium exchange. By definition that is what money is.
Gold is the only money that can be trusted as debt is being added to debt in a ridiculous plan to cure a problem.
The fiat system is cooked, and there is simply no good paper currency.
The face of this world is about to change. Sir Richard Russell is correct.
Please protect yourselves because you must. I can point you in the right direction. It is you must take action

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:00 | 375948 AllSingingAllDa...
AllSingingAllDancingCrapof theworld's picture

Put it in an unwrapped condom with some mayonnaise. No one will search further.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:04 | 375960 The Rock
The Rock's picture

You're sick. I like that.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:58 | 376233 Double down
Double down's picture

That was just... beautiful

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:01 | 375952 The Rock
The Rock's picture

LOL. Women's underwear: I will have to remember that next time. They probably didn't want to go any further once they saw that.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:29 | 376002 Apostate
Apostate's picture

Don't take gold or anything else important through the airlines.

Use FedEx or UPS. If it's in quantity, send many packages.

No problem, fully legal, it's the responsible thing to do, and saves you trouble with the airlines.

Do it for clothing, too. It's not even that much more expensive anymore with the surcharges.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:16 | 376169 Jack H Barnes
Jack H Barnes's picture

Complete agreement, its what they are specialist at.  When I handled orders for clients, we shipped everything, everywhere.  One client was having 100 oz bars delivered 1 at a time, spaced to arrive almost every day for a couple of weeks using different services to space their own arrival pattern.  His wife has no idea what is sitting under the crap in the computer trading room closet. 

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 00:49 | 376279 The Rock
The Rock's picture

even better!  thx.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 22:44 | 376108 Hulk
Hulk's picture

You should give velobabe her underwear back. looks like she needs it!

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:35 | 376200 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

LOL Hulk!

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:06 | 375760 Popo
Popo's picture

"... now that people themselves are bypassing the government and enforcing their own gold standard"


Historically, governments get the last laugh on that one. 

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:29 | 375794 Debtless
Debtless's picture

yada, yada, my cold dead hands....

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:30 | 375795 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

"Historically, governments get the last laugh on that one. "


Not always. This time really is different. Even Niall Ferguson has changed his tune on gold and commodities in general. He went so far as to say that perhaps he should be thinking of his personal assets in ounces and barrels instead of fiat currencies...(paraphrased).


Check out his comments at the end of the Q&A session here. BTW, among the audience is a member of the Rothschild family.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:34 | 375803 GoldSilverDoc
GoldSilverDoc's picture

Well, isn't that interesting.  Amazing how the sheep of the world go right to the brink of the precipice, and would go over, too, even though some of the sheep keep bleating about its existence.... but when the loudest-mouthed sheep starts talking, all of a sudden the existing conditions which have been present for DECADES become...."apparent".

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:56 | 375848 Apostate
Apostate's picture

I'm kinda pissed off at fuckin' Ferguson.

It's not like currency crises are unknown among intellectuals. It's not like Paul O'Neil didn't come out in public and say "HEY. GEORGE W. BUSH IS GOING TO DESTROY THE DOLLAR WITH HIS INSANE POLICIES" following his resignation.

The MSM is full of criminal retards. Several prominent intellectuals could have just continued to carp on this issue year after year, and lent some credibility to the notion that the fiatpacalypse was around the corner.

It's also not like this shit is completely unknown in investment banking. I guess some people are really deluded that much by having ready access to billions of Bernanke bux.

If anyone's familiar with his earlier work, he's got a fine nose for when governments are about to collapse. He made his early career writing about the end of the USSR.

I guess we should be glad that he's not being such a lazy Harvard queen anymore, but still... the opportunism annoys me.  

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:05 | 376144 drwells
drwells's picture

My favorite part:

"Got that, maggot? If you resent the trashing of your Constitution and the hijacking of your government by powerful factions who run it for themselves; if you detest being forced to fund ‘performance bonuses’ paid to unindicted white collar criminals whose greed and incompetence have brought you to the edge of ruin and your country to the brink of collapse; well, then, you’re just like all the other human chattels throughout history, and you’re probably an anti-Semite to boot. Furthermore, we’ll have you know, notwithstanding your tawdry prejudices, money makes the world go round."

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 08:16 | 376459 Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

I got pissed reading his "The Ascent of Money".  Though there were the logical points of view of economists who shill for the money power written very nicely and clearly, he totally skipped over explanations of how the sheep were totally sheared by the money power as money people skipped out of town with their profits hidden somewhere, in some form, that was left totally unexplained as if that wasn't the case.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 08:55 | 376515 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

"he totally skipped over explanations..."  the question one should ask when reading Fergie is whether that convenient oversight was unintentional or intentional.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:13 | 376164 Kurtieboy
Kurtieboy's picture

I enjoyed that. Thanks for the link.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 00:26 | 376258 nuinut
nuinut's picture

Excellent link. Thanks.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 00:56 | 376285 The Rock
The Rock's picture

when the collapse happens, the meek (canadians) shall inherit the earth?

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:40 | 375823 silvertrain
silvertrain's picture

  "historically, governments get the last laugh on that one"  huh?  They have been GIVING there Gold and Silver away for years supressing these prices..Imagine the money the governments could have had , had they let the market float to where it is destined to go anyway? Reminds me Of Brown selling his countries gold for $300 an oz ..I forget how much it was, somebody here knows im sure, but it was a hella lot, and the people are still mad at them for that..So, no, the governments fuck themselves..

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 20:39 | 375909 Bringin It
Bringin It's picture

Even more than with America, I am amazed at how passive the UK electorate is. 


Thu, 05/27/2010 - 08:18 | 376461 Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

400 tons.  Hey UK people, don't you have lampposts anymore or are they all covered with cameras?

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 20:57 | 375943 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Historically, governments get the last laugh on that one."

I've always found it a fascinatingly illogical argument that governments would confiscate something that is "worthless" to themselves.

So the logic to waste their efforts and manpower on confiscation would be...???

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:17 | 375957 johan404
johan404's picture

Gold? What gold? I have no gold, I lost it all in an unfortunate boating accident. Sorry.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:39 | 376020 fasTTcar
fasTTcar's picture

Must be a reader.

Keep sailing ;-)

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 10:58 | 376845 Joe Sixpack
Joe Sixpack's picture

GIM is gone. Come home to www.Gold-Silver.US/forum

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 01:15 | 376299 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

All my guns and ammo went down as well...

It was horrible, just horrible!

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:15 | 375766 knukles
knukles's picture

Exactly the conditions which themselves represent the hallmarks for which such assets are purchased, whether structures relating to paper holdings (Sprott premium) or physical material (Premium in localized conditions).

quod erat demonstrandum

By the way, Greece has 112 Tonnes of gold reserves which represent 73.2% of its reserves.  Why have they not used it to pay down maturing debt as opposed to taking handouts?  So tell me gentle readers, is gold still undervalued?

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:30 | 375797 Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now's picture

This crowd isn't so gentle.  Greece may have already "loaned" some of that gold to the IMF, ECB, or World Bank - it wouldn't be publicized. 

People need to watch Gold Finger again, the trick is to take all the real assets out of the countries.  If they could get posession of Greek gold at these cheap prices, it would be a real coup.  Once there is significant success of taking gold off weak hands - countries and individual investors - there will be a phenomenal revaluation of gold to cover all the paper  money / debt.  This is one possibility, the other is RFID micro-chipping and carbon credit backed money supply.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:40 | 375825 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Once there is significant success of taking gold off weak hands - countries and individual investors - there will be a phenomenal revaluation of gold to cover all the paper  money / debt.

I think that is the plan, and I am still expecting a grand slump / forced liquidation of some kind to accomplish it.  I could be wrong of course.  OTOH, Bernanke is clearly managing inflation expectations with repetitive deflation scares.  While Americans keep falling for it, the trouble is the Europeans don't fall for it.  Crack open a jar of currency ink and the Germans smell it immediately.  Looks like the Greeks can, too.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 20:00 | 375855 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

>>>Crack open a jar of currency ink and the Germans smell it immediately<<<


Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:07 | 376152 drwells
drwells's picture


Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:38 | 376206 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ $1210.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 00:34 | 376267 nuinut
nuinut's picture


Thu, 05/27/2010 - 04:47 | 376371 johan404
johan404's picture

Can I flag this as "awesome" ?

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 20:02 | 375857 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Crack open a jar of currency ink and the Germans smell it immediately.

True wit. Made me smile.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 21:15 | 375977 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"I think that is the plan, and I am still expecting a grand slump / forced liquidation of some kind to accomplish it."

Agreed...and I hope so...but I'm not sure I can rely on "full faith & credit" to accomplish it's appointed I bought some more Maples yesterday as the COMEX went through their play list of tunes.

A tune I can sing along with...LOL;



Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:33 | 376198 berated
berated's picture

Borat/  "Very nice...."


Wed, 05/26/2010 - 20:57 | 375940 silvertrain
silvertrain's picture

"the other is micro-chipping and carbon-backed money supply"  tptb can get by with it and do both of those things with no problem at all as LONG AS THEY DONT DEVALUE the current money or have some sort of default,bankrupt,dollar colapse etc. etc. etc.. If the ship goes down, then so do all those plans, people will then wake up when you take there shit from them, even those in a deep sleep..Once bitten,twice shy..Anything like that tptb want to implement then they better prop these markets for all there worth to not expose this scam..Folks will not allow to be had a 2nd time with some non sense like carbon credit bs..Especialy when they find out fannie may is behind it, ugh,,,,,no...

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:31 | 375800 GoldSilverDoc
GoldSilverDoc's picture

Uh, yes.  It is.  Asking why Greece has not used its gold to pay down maturing debt is akin to asking why they spent themselves into oblivion.  The obvious answers would be stupidity, short-sightedness, etc.  The fact that "they" (who is this particular "they", anyway?) have not sold it proves exactly..... nothing.   

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:37 | 375810 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Didn't matter, would not have DENTED their balance sheets.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 20:05 | 375862 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

And that being true, using gold to whittle at it a bit is a waste of metal.

If you are going to default, you rack up the bill and hide your hard assets.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 20:34 | 375905 Mesquite
Mesquite's picture

Yup...Holdin the aces close....

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 01:18 | 376303 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Avatar too small...  Full split bands?

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 22:53 | 376125 knukles
knukles's picture

My point, exactly.   Nobody sells the gold first. 

Sun, 06/26/2011 - 14:12 | 375769 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

Prepare for liftoff....

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:14 | 375773 bob resurrected
bob resurrected's picture


Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:28 | 375793 GoldSilverDoc
GoldSilverDoc's picture

common reaction when people find out that the parasites who are their "government" have been stealing them blind for decades...

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 20:15 | 375871 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

As will go Spain, as will go the UK, and as will go the US.

Except US citizens are ignorant and don't know enough to just horde gold, buy on black markets and not pay taxes. More likely to do something dumb but symbolic. Like blow up a Federal building. Or something. Just say'n.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 20:43 | 375916 LeBalance
LeBalance's picture

See like dig this: The CIA playing their usual Al-Queda roles, impersonate 4 corners dudes and engage in Continental US shenanigans.  So the first layer looks like Tim McVeigh, but theirs a fake-like Arab undergarment sewn in Mena, AR, and hokey black glasses that just don't fit the profile.  Really messes with the CONspiracy theorists minds for decades.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 23:28 | 376186 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

funny and scary

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:21 | 375780 zero intelligence
zero intelligence's picture

Unfortunately, I think a lot of first-time gold buyers don't really understand the premiums they are paying. So, this info is maybe not as important as it appears. Most of them are probably just getting ripped off.


Nevertheless, Gold B!--es and all that.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:27 | 375790 DosZap
DosZap's picture


At $1,700.00?? I think not.

Compared to what WE pay, yeah, but, when it goes where it's supposed to, it will be like Peter Schiff/Faber & Gang say, If Gld is $2k/$5k, etc, an oz., its still a bargain................

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:57 | 375849 Rumpelstiltskin
Rumpelstiltskin's picture

How stupid. They know exactly what they are doing--in a panic mode, of course.

Thu, 05/27/2010 - 07:08 | 376424 GoldBricker
GoldBricker's picture

Probably not. The financial pages of many European newspapers carry bid-ask quotes for the 10 or so most common bullion coins, which includes sovereigns. Even if Greek papers don't have these quotes, foreign newspapers are for sale all over Europe, plus there's the internet.

Besides the 'panic' and 'rip-off' interpretations, it may be that coin supply is thin in Greece (the article refers to "restrictions" in gold sales), so maybe there are few normal dealers with shops or offices. It's also possible that the quoted figure represented a few isolated sales, and that the average is much lower.

Wed, 05/26/2010 - 19:23 | 375785 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture


Wed, 05/26/2010 - 22:04 | 376056 spekulatn
spekulatn's picture

Thanks. Now I have a hankering for some clams.

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