It's been one of the worst years for gold in a generation. A flood of outflows from gold ETFs, endless tax increases on gold imports in India, and the mirage (albeit a convincing one in the eyes of many) of a supposedly improving economy in the US have all contributed to the constant hammering gold took in 2013. Perhaps worse has been the onslaught of negative press our favorite metal has suffered. It's felt overwhelming at times and has pushed even some die-hard goldbugs to question their beliefs... not a bad thing, by the way. To us, a lot of it felt like piling on, especially as the negative rhetoric ratcheted up. This is why it's important to balance the one-sided message typically heard in the mainstream media with other views. Here are some of those contrarian voices, all of which have put their money where their mouth is...
The standard wisdom on gold is that it does well in times of economic bad news such as in the 1970s, a period of stagflation and recessions, when the yellow metal rose from $35/oz to peak at $850/oz in 1980. But this time, Don Coxe, a portfolio adviser to BMO Asset Management, believes, things are different. In this interview with The Gold Report, Coxe explains why gold will rise when the economy improves.
You can see it clear as day in their hedging strategies... Natural gas producers are increasingly bearish on prices for their sector. With more firms hedging, investors looking for upside from rising gas prices need to be careful about where they put their money - especially today. With hedging activity rising the last few years, good deals in the hedge market are getting hard to find.
Miracles of cosmetic surgery.
China and India have always been crazy for gold, and the yellow metal remains the choice store of value in those two countries, says Don Coxe, a strategic advisor to the BMO Financial Group. In an exclusive interview with The Gold Report, Coxe explains how demographic shifts are affecting the price of gold and delves into the logic of investing in gold as a long-term strategy. Coxe also draws an important lesson in economics from his reading of Lenin.
In Don Coxe's latest and typically excellent letter, "All Clear?", he highlights the opportunity in precious metals mining companies: "If there were one over-arching theme at the BMO Global Metals & Mining Conference, it was that the gold miners are upset and even embarrassed that their shares have so dramatically underperformed bullion... "On the one hand, they were delighted in 2011 when it was reported that since Nixon closed the gold window, a bar of bullion had delivered higher investment returns than the S&P 500 for forty years-- with dividends reinvested. But some gold mining CEOs find it an insult that what they mine is more respected than their companies' shares... "In our view, we have entered the most favourable era for gold prices in our lifetime, and the share prices of the great mining companies will eventually outperform bullion prices." As Don Coxe makes clear, governments are running deficits "beyond the forecasts of all but the hardiest goldbugs five years ago; central banks are printing money and creating liquidity beyond the forecasts of all but the most paranoid goldbugs a year ago." The choice for the saver is essentially binary: hold money in ever-depreciating paper, or in a tangible vehicle that has the potential to rise dramatically as expressed in paper money terms.
Silver as ever outperformed gold yesterday and traders attributed the surge to “massive fund buying” and to “panic” short covering. Some of the bullion banks with large concentrated short positions covered short positions after the technical level of $35.50/oz was breached easily. Massive liquidity injections and ultra loose monetary policies make silver increasingly attractive for hedge funds, institutions and investors. This time last year (February 28th 2011) silver was at $36.67/oz. Two months later on April 28th it had risen to $48.44/oz for a gain of 32% in 2 months. There then came a very sharp correction and a period of consolidation in recent months. Silver’s fundamentals remain as bullish as ever and the technicals look increasingly bullish with strong gains seen in January and February.
With the world ever more lethargic daily, as if in silent expectation of something big about to happen (quite visible in daily trading volumes), it is easy to forget that just about a year ago the Mediterranean region was rife with violent revolutions in virtually every country along the North African coast. That these have passed their acute phase does not mean that anything has been resolved. And unfortunately, as BMO's Don Coxe reminds us, it is very likely that the Mediterranean region, flanked on one side by the broke European countries of Greece, Italy, Spain (and implicitly Portugal), and on the other by the unstable powder keg of post-revolutionary Libya and Egypt, will likely become quite active yet again. Only this time, in addition to social and economic upheavals, a religious flavor may also be added to the mix. As Coxe says: "Today, the Mediterranean is two civilizations in simultaneous, rapidly unfolding crises. To date, those crises have been largely unrelated. That may well be about to change." Coxe bases part of his argument on the same Thermidorian reaction which we have warned about since early 2011, namely the power, social and economic vacuum that is unleashed in the aftermath of great social change. But there is much more to his argument, which looks much more intently at the feedback loops formed by the divergent collapsing economies that once were the cradle of civilization, and this time could eventually serve as the opposite. To wit: "The eurocrisis has been front and center for nearly two years, during which time the economic and financial fundamentals have continued to deteriorate. “The Arab Spring” came suddenly, in a series of outbursts of optimism. It may have come at the worst possible time for the beleaguered nations of the North Shore. The Mediterranean has entered one of the stormiest periods in recorded history. It is the major contributor to risk in global equity markets. It is too soon to predict how these crises will end. The Cradle of Civilization is rocking amid an array of winds and storms. “The Arab Spring” ...may have come at the worst possible time for the beleaguered nations of the North Shore."
SocGen has released its much anticipated Multi Asset Portfolio Scenario/Strategy guide titled simply enough "Patience: bad news will become good news" where, as the insightful can guess, the French bank makes the simple case that the worse things get, the stronger the response by global central banks will be. Here is the key quote for those worried that : "A major liquidity crisis should not occur this time, as we think we are on the eve of major QE in the UK, US and (a bit) later on in the EZ." We don't disagree and if there is anything that can send BAC higher it will be the announcement of QE3. Of course, BAC will first drop to a $2-3 handle so question is who has the balance sheet to hold on to the falling knife. The next question is "How big will QE3 be"? Well, according to SocGen, the Fed will preannounce it in the January 2012 FOMC statement, the monetization will last from March 2012 until the end of the year, and will buy a total of $600 billion. We believe the actual LSAP total (not to be confused with the "sterilized" QE3 known as Operation Twist) will be well greater, probably in the $1.5 trillion range as the Fed will finally say "enough" to piecemeal solutions. As to what to do, besides going long some financial stock and hoping it is not the one that is allowed to fail, SocGen has some simple advice: "Buy gold ahead of QE3 as money creation has a strong impact on prices" - in other words just as we suggested yesterday courtesy of the Don Coxe correlation chart. Why gold and not BAC? Because, "Gold is highly sensitive to US QE, as every dollar of QE goes into M0, triggering the debasement of the USD. Gold = $ 8500/Oz: to catch up with the increase in the monetary base since 1920 (as it did in the early 80s). Gold = $1900/Oz: to close the gap with the monetary base increase since July 2007(QE1+QE2)." So go long a bank that may well go bankrupt and return nothing before it at best doubles, or go long a real asset, which will always have value and may quadruple in short notice? The answer seems simple to us...
Because if stocks like the prospect of imminent printing, or at least the latest daily rumor thereof, until Germany once again opens its mouth and refutes everything, gold should love it. Sure enough, the yellow metal has opened $20 higher and is back over $1700 again.
A few short weeks ago we described the transition of America from a government "on behalf of the people" to one "in control of the people" catalyzed, as Bill Buckler, put it simply, by one simple event: the confiscation of America's gold, and the ushering in of the welfare (or "promise") state, the same welfare state that now is supported by a system that no matter how hard one denies, is nothing but a ponzi scheme. Today, we follow up that article, with a very thought-provoking observations by BMO's Don Coxe, in which he describes that just like in the time of FDR, for whom the creation of a "mild" inflation was a prime prerogative to offset the depressionary deflation gripping the land, the moment for a brazen gold revaluation by none other than the US government has arrived. Unfortunately, it likely also means that any scheme in which the government opens a buy/sell gold window at a substantially higher price point, will mean that very soon, either by guile or by force, the US government will once again be the prime and sole owner of all the gold. As Coxe says, "The gold bugs have long proclaimed their own version of the Golden Rule: “He who has the gold makes the rules." By that standard, Barack Obama could become the leader of the world overnight." And while it is described in much more succinct detail below, in summary, Coxe's point is that the time for a government "LBO" of the gold market, one in which every last ounce is extracted from the skittish public, in exchange for pseudo-equivalent assets such as gold-backed bonds, has arrived. The only question is what the acquisition price of the risk-free alternative to fiat would be, and hence how much higher will investors push the price in anticipation of the inevitable 25% take out premium. Once the public realizes that this is the endgame, and that the buyer of only resort will be none other than Uncle Sam... then look out above.
The one characteristic that most investors fail to understand, by far, are the reasons behind the periodic volatility that afflicts gold and silver every year. Understand the deliberate banker price suppression schemes executed against mining stocks, and a completely different take on the asset class of mining stocks will emerge. You may just startlingly conclude that the “best in class” mining stocks are grossly undervalued and a great buy this summer season.
Don Coxe On Everything From The Markets Rolling Over, To Persistent Food Inflation, To The Coming US Sovereign Debt CrunchSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/05/2011 13:52 -0400
There is a plethora of original insight in Don Coxe (BMO Capital Makets) among them observations on sovereign risk moving from east to west, state finances (or lack thereof), the ongoing correction in financial stocks which portends nothing good for the equity investors, the ongoing violence in MENA, why this inflationary spike in food may last far longer than previous ones, and naturally, some very spot on thoughts on gold, which conclude with: "The only gold bubble likely to burst is the bubbling ridicule of gold."
Coxe Advisors is out with its latest must read piece, in which Don Coxe tells readers it is time to once again reduce stock exposure, explains why gold will continue to outperform, and thus why it is a better investment than a 10 Year in the mid-2%'s, why fiscal stimulus is now too small to be effective which leaves Bernanke as the only saviour of the economy, and asks what experiments the Chairman has in store next: "Already, economists are discussing which Fed innovations lie ahead if the economy etiolates further. Among the suggestions for neat new ways to debase the Monetary Base: buying up large parcels of credit card and automobile debt. (Who knows? Maybe the Fed will become the nation’s biggest used car dealer. “Buy from Big Ben, Who’s Got the Biggest Deals!”)." All presented in Don Coxe's usual inimitable style.
Coxe Advisors Discusses A Fizzling Recovery, And Explains Why The Market Is Essentially Unchanged For Over A YearSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/05/2010 14:04 -0400
The ever insightful Don Coxe of Coxe Advisors has released a transcript of his recent discussion on why the rally is fizzling. Aside from everything else, which as usual is spot on and must read, any paper that has the following statement: "In the New York Times today, Paul Krugman got into one of his splenetic rages but he is a terrific and articulate exemplar of the post-Keynesian (that claims to be Keynesian) school, which basically doesn’t believe that government deficits are bad, (they are good) and paying for things in the next generation or the generations after it is okay where it to get us out of what we are in now, so as far as he’s concerned, stimulus has to be done by increasing government deficits" is worth its weight on tungsten. Coxe also does the best summary of why the market has is barely changed both YTD and on a 1 Year basis: "We have a buildup in cash (in print money that is) and we have a buildup in gold, and beyond that there’s not much going on. That’s why the S&P is up about 1% year over year and it’s hardly of the kind of environment that’s going to get those investors who left the stock market after the Flash Crash, saying “We don’t believe the market is any realistic place for ordinary individuals anymore”— this is not going to get them running back in to buy stocks." But don't believe him- after all, there are thousands of paid for newsletters and momentum models, that promise they can time each and every up and downtick, and will certainly make you a trillionaire if not a billionaire (sic).