It is good to see that things are back to normal. The now irrelevant, and very soon to be former reserve currency is getting pummeled as stocks go up on 410,000 initial jobless claims nearly 2 years after the end of the recession (and $3 trillion pumped into this hollow scam of an economy), and a guaranteed plunge in margins, but more importantly the Precious Metal complex is back to being a high beta alternative to stocks. Silver just passed $31.10 and is set to close at its post Hunt-Brother highs. In the meantime, the highest intraday price since the early 80's is $31.2375 from January 3: we are less than two dimes away.
European Sovereign Debt Crisis Deepening - Risk of Contagion And Bond Market Crash, And Why Rising Rates Mean Gold StrengthSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/16/2011 09:26 -0500
There is a real sense of the “calm before the storm” in markets globally. Complacency reigns, despite signs that the sovereign debt crisis in Europe is deepening and that Japanese and US bond markets also look very vulnerable due to rising inflation, very large deficits and massive public debt. US Treasuries have been sold by some of the largest investors (both private and sovereign) in the world recently (see news). These include large creditor nations Russia and China but also PIMCO, the largest bond fund in the world. A global sovereign debt crisis is now quite possible. At the very least, we are likely to have a long period of rising interest rates which will depress economic growth. Contrary to some misguided commentary, rising interest rates will benefit gold as was seen when interest rates rose sharply in the 1970s. It was only towards the end of the interest rate tightening cycle in 1980, when interest rates were higher than inflation, that gold prices began to fall.
This may be a highly distasteful proposition, but just for a moment, I want you to sit back, and imagine that you are a member of the corporate banking elite. You are a walking talking disease ridden power mad pustule who naively believes himself intellectually superior to the vast majority of humanity and above the inherent laws of conscience, honor, and general good taste. You are a villain in the purest sense, in that you not only do great harm to the world, you actually SEEK to do great harm to the world, if only to benefit yourself and your exclusive circle of “friends”; a clan of degenerate blood thirsty sociopaths with delusions of omnipotence that stalk the night like Armani wearing Chupacabra exsanguinating the joy from poor unsuspecting cultures. You are capable of anything, and sadly, you take “pride” in this fact…The issue is, how do you convince the general public that all is well until you are ready to unleash hyperinflation and fiscal Armageddon? How do you make them believe with all their hearts that they are not in the midst of a debt meltdown and the end of their financial sovereignty, but basking in a full-on economic recovery?! Here is a step by step guide to fabricating an economic recovery out of thin air….
Bernanke is kidding himself, the House Budget Committee and the entire 60 Minutes audience when he says that he can raise interest rates in 15 minutes. He can raise rates but it would be the INSTANT end of the economy. I’ve read the book: “Temple of Secrets: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country”, and a large portion of the book was dedicated to Paul Volcker’s 21.5% rate hike. The adverse effects on the economy were disastrous. Businesses stopped borrowing, or went broke borrowing, unemployment went through the roof, housing was crushed, large purchases of automobiles crumbled.
Fantasy or comedy? I couldn't decide which way to label the Obama budget, so I went with both. The bottom line is that the Obama administration has brought forth the most unbelievable revenue increase that I have ever seen proposed in a budget, a whopping 65% increase in revenues in just four years, which will - miracle of miracles - drop the deficit as a percent of GDP from nearly 11% to just 3.2% over those same four years. The only problem with this scenario is that it stands virtually no chance of actually happening. Revenue will be far lower than projected and the deficit correspondingly higher.
The gradual drain of COMEX silver inventories seen in recent months continues and COMEX silver inventories are at 4 year lows. Total dealer inventory is now 42.16 million ounces and total customer inventory is now at 60.68 million ounces, giving a combined total of 102.847 million ounces. The small size of the physical silver market is seen in the fact that at $30 per ounce, the COMEX silver inventories are only worth some $3 billion....Talk of a default on the COMEX is premature but the scale of current investment demand and industrial demand, especially from China, is such that it is important to monitor COMEX warehouse stocks. The possibility of an attempted cornering of the silver market through buying and taking delivery of physical bullion remains real and would likely lead to a massive short squeeze which could see silver surge as it did in the 1970s.
Zero Hedge had an opportunity recently to ask Eric Sprott a variety of questions touching on everything from investment recommendations, to policy guidelines, to a general outlook for the world economy. As Sprott has long been a rare voice of contrarian reason in a field of lemming-like uniformity, lately driven by nothing more than a pursuit of centrally planned momentum and Bernanke-induced "heatmapping", we believe the answers were vastly more interesting and illuminating than anything available for mass media consumption.
Tense and terrible times inevitably summon an odd coupling of two very different and difficult human conditions; honesty, and brutality. Certain painful truths are revealed, and often, a palpable fury erupts. Being that times today are particularly tense, and on the verge of being spectacularly terrible, perhaps we should embrace both conditions in a constructive manner, and become brutally honest with ourselves. This begins by admitting to that which most ails us. It begins by admitting how far we have fallen…
I am not an economist, but as a strategist I believe there is a case for a multi-year period of weak growth in the US, which could be magnified by an EM slowdown as the EM bloc diverges policy to deal with its own domestic positive output gaps, domestic inflation problems and domestic asset bubbles. The obvious problem is that the US has an excess debt problem and a central bank that seeks to solve asset bubbles that burst by creating new asset bubbles. This policy has been proved a failure. Remember that debt does not equal wealth, that asset bubbles do not equal wealth, that more liquidity does not equal money but instead equals more debt, and that liquidity does not equal capital.
Recently, BOE head Mervyn King came out with a very surprising warning to his compatriots, accompanied with an apology that our own Ben Bernanke will never offer, namely: "I sympathise completely with savers and those who behaved prudently
now find themselves among the biggest losers from this crisis." Of course, the US central bank believes it has completed its third mandate job now that the US stock market, not to mention commodities, are starting to be reminiscent of the parabolic phase of the Harare stock market. But back in Europe, even as the EURUSD is surging (killing the dollar, and the primary driver behind US stocks) now that it is accepted that the continent will proceed with its latest full on ponzi scheme and have the EFSF acquire insolvent bonds, even as the ECB proceeds to raise rates, things are getting worse. This is precisely what King warned about in a speech that not surprisingly got absolutely no coverage in the US. Luckily, here is Simon Black's take on the very surprising speech by King which confirmed that the only beneficiaries of Bernanke's policies continue to be the top 1% that make up the financial oligarchy.... as always.
The two oil shocks of the 1970s saw gold prices rise by more than 24 fold (2,300%) in just 9 years - from $35/oz to $850/oz see chart above). To put that in perspective, today gold's rise has been far more gradual and it has risen some 5 fold (430%) in 11 years - from $250/oz to $1,330/oz. In this regard it resembles gold’s rise from $35/oz in 1971 to nearly $200/oz in late 1974 – a six fold increase. Given the significant macroeconomic, systemic, monetary and geopolitical risks of today gold is likely to perform again as it did in the 1970s. A 20 fold increase from trough in 1999 to peak sometime in the coming years would see gold rising to over $5000/oz. This may seem outlandish to those unaware of gold's fundamentals but the very small supply of gold internationally, increasing demand (particularly from investors and central banks), the sovereign debt crisis in the EU (soon to spread to the U.S.) and the debasement of the dollar, the euro and other currencies internationally makes this increasingly possible.
Markets mostly positive again this AM following yesterday’s bullish performance. Economic data were supportive of expansion yesterday, though we note that the trend belief seems to be a strong December and a weaker January. Today’s ISM numbers will reinforce or negate that belief. Geopolitical risk has overtaken the Euro periphery story as the belief that the EFSF will be expanded has bolstered the Euro versus the USD – not good for global inflation worries. We believe it is important for investors to remember that USD is not the world’s reserve currency because of the power of the dollar or strength of the US economy. It is the world’s reserve currency because most every commodity in the world is priced in dollars.
The geopolitical ramifications of the revolution in Egypt and the likelihood that it will spread throughout the Middle East, North Africa and possibly further afield is leading to volatility in markets. Equity indices in the Middle East and Far East were mostly down (except for China) overnight. European bourses were under pressure this morning but have recovered somewhat. Gold and silver are marginally lower after their strong showing Friday which resulted in silver closing the week 1.7% higher and gold being tentatively lower (-0.14%). Remarks by a People’s Bank of China advisor that the Chinese should diversify into gold and silver are very important (see below).
Tracking The Gold "Conspiracy" - GATA's Must Read Presentation To The Cheviot Asset Management Sound Money ConferenceSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/29/2011 13:45 -0500
GATA has compiled what is probably one of the best and most comprehensive reports on the history of the gold market, the "special" place gold holds in the central bankers' world, the interaction between the physical and gold paper markets, and the documented historic evidence and definitive proof that the gold price has long been the most manipulated concept in the history of modern capital markets. Must read for all interested in the dynamics behind the price of gold.
Today, history is being made in the Middle East. The Arabian streets woke up to the sound of sniper fire as a regime is defending itself, against the people of its own nation. The flames of anger have been fanned by decades of corrupt authoritative rule.