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."
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.
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 12:52 -0500
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."
Don Coxe of Coxe Advisors is out with his latest monthly newsletter, a must read report on why the Loonie may be a better investment than both the CNY and the USD combined, why investors should beware of Greeks baring facts, the BP disaster, and, most importantly, quotes Browning, in an extensive analysis of gold: "Leave the fire ashes. What survives is gold."
Even though we presented Don Coxe's report in full earlier, we wanted to recapitulate his thoughts on gold, as we believe they deserve a post of their own. With gold having become, as we expected more than half a year ago, the most discussed and volatile asset class to accompany the latest Fed inflated bubble, Coxe's view is a welcome addition to other such notable perspectives from the likes of Jim Grant, David Rosenberg, Dylan Grice, Goldman Sachs and many others.
"In a world in which nearly all paper money has problems, and in which the sheer supply of paper money is expanding far faster than global GDP, gold has its best claim as a constituent of foreign exchange reserves since Bretton Woods booted it out sixty-five years ago." - Don Coxe
"A year ago, we thought that recovery for the financial system and the
economy would be characterized by massive, sustained deleveraging. The
Crash had starkly shown the devastation that runaway deleveraging at a time
of shrinking liquidity could inflict on financial assets and the economy.
The fragility of the financial system in 2007–8 came, in large measure, from
the migration of a model of financing from the so-called shadow banking
system into the daylight version. The new stars of the Street were overlevered
hedge funds and private equity firms. They drove the bull markets in complex
new mortgage products, flawed-model derivatives—and in compensation
for the brashest bettors. So profitable were they, that they were able to hire
elite investment bankers and traders from the Big Banks—and to supply the
justification that the big bonuses paid by the big banks were necessary to
keep their biggest producers.
In retrospect, Wall Street should have tried to follow the advice of the Tenth
Commandment, rather than of Long-Term Capital Management and Enron." - Don Coxe