Instead of frightening people away from gold and silver, the takedown of paper gold seems to have had just the opposite effect. People just can't seem to get enough. The crash of the price of paper gold on Monday has unleashed an unprecedented global frenzy to buy physical gold and silver. All over the planet, people are recognizing that this is a unique opportunity to be able to acquire large amounts of gold and silver at a bargain price. Will this massive run on physical gold and silver soon lead to widespread shortages of those metals? Premiums over spot prices are rising everywhere already. And once reports of physical shortages of gold and silver become widespread, it is going to absolutely rock the financial world. But this is what happens when you manipulate free markets - it often has unintended consequences far beyond anything that you ever imagined. The following are 10 signs that the takedown of paper gold has unleashed an unprecedented global run on physical gold and silver...
Hong Kong’s Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society has been in operations for over a century, and it’s President Haywood Cheung was interviewed by Bloomberg news earlier today. Whoever orchestrated the attack on gold and silver in the last week or so has gravely miscalculated, since the response to the drop has been surging demand for physical gold and silver. While I tend to be skeptical when I hear about silver shortages since these reports have been so exaggerated in the past, the lack of silver coin availability and premiums are the most extreme I have seen since the financial and economic meltdown of 2008. Now we discover that the Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society has essentially sold out of gold bullion, and must wait until Wednesday for shipments to arrive from Switzerland and London.
Government mints, bullion refineries and dealers around the world report a dramatic increase in demand for coins and bars.
Bullion refiner, MKS said that “physical demand is extraordinary.”
In terms of transactions, gold buyers outnumbered sellers by a ratio of nearly five to one yesterday. In terms of volume, gold buyers outnumbered sellers by a ratio of nearly nine to one yesterday. Meaning that there were more buyers than sellers and buyers were placing larger orders than those selling and this trend has continued today.
U.S. gold coins sales have been at record levels this week. Lower prices and the tragic events in Boston may have contributed to increased buying due to concerns about the risk of terrorist attacks.
Premiums are rising in Europe and the U.S. and there are delays of a few weeks on some smaller coins and bars showing the growing tightness in the market.
Thanks to the scapegoating of the Cahuzac affair, Europe can now move from its war against finance (Hollande declaring that finance was his enemy, the financial transaction tax, capping of bonuses, etc) to an outright war against tax havens (letting Cyprus sink, arm-twisting Luxembourg into abandoning its banking-secret policy, etc). Leaving aside the EU’s increasing penchant for forcing members to adopt policies that blatantly go against national interests (like the Tobin tax in the UK), yesterday’s announcement by Luxembourg of an “open-book” policy raises the question of whether the EU is cutting off its nose to spite its face. If tax havens have existed and thrived for so long, they must have some sort of economic justification. The reality for most tax havens is that their economies are far too small to absorb the excess savings that pour into their countries. Their banks thus end up being large buyers of assets outside of the country. In this position of weakness, going out all guns blazing after rich people and their wealth strikes us as sheer madness...
Switzerland is the place that has traditionally stood above all the rest in its reputation for financial stability. Why? Because the currency was well-managed, the banking system was sound, and the country had a long tradition of treating capital well. Over the last few years, however, these advantages have collapsed. Just a small handful of countries inspire confidence in the marketplace. And the most popular seems to be Australia. Now, there’s really no such thing as a “good” fiat currency. But given such fundamentals, it’s easy to see why Australia is replacing Switzerland as a global safe haven.
Did you know that the greatest period of economic growth in American history was during a time when there was absolutely no federal income tax? Between the end of the Civil War and 1913, there was an explosion of economic activity in the United States unlike anything ever seen before or since. Unfortunately, a federal income tax was instituted in 1913, and this year it turned 100 years old. But there was no fanfare, was there? There was no celebration because the federal income tax is universally hated. This year, the American people will shell out approximately $4.22 trillion in state and federal income taxes. That amount is equivalent to approximately 29.4 percent of all income that Americans will bring in this year, and that does not even take into account the dozens of other taxes that Americans pay each year. At this point, the U.S. tax code is about 13 miles long, and those that are honest and pay their taxes every year are being absolutely shredded by this system.
A high level overview of the drivers of the capital markets.
Getting a second passport is just part of a larger "permanent traveler" strategy. The ideal is to live in one place, have your citizenship in another, your banks and brokers in other jurisdictions, and your business dealings in yet others. That makes it very inconvenient for any one government to control you. You don't want all your eggs in one basket – that just makes it easier for them to grab them all. I understand it may not be easy for most people to structure their affairs that way. That's exactly why most serfs stayed serfs; it was hard and scary to think of anything other than what they were told they should do.
The Treasury Department planted a "dirty bomb" at the Bank of Japan, and tossed a grenade at the Swiss National Bank.
As Cyprus has shown us, when push comes to shove, rule of law goes out the window. I fully expect that when things get really bad in the financial system the money grabs will come fast and furious. Foreign accounts, including possibly even Gold held aboard, will come under attack. Heck, the US got Switzerland to throw its 300-year-old banking secrecy out the window…
In a wide-ranging interview with Casey Research editor Louis James, Doug Casey discusses why it's imperative to start diversifying one's assets today, and provides some guidance in considering countries to diversify into... "I'm sure they'll get 'round to closing all the loopholes. So, the time to act is now. We'll keep monitoring the situation, but when this happens, the Powers that Be won't want anyone to see it coming, so it will zing in from left field. Your only chance to protect your wealth is to start diversifying its exposure to any one particular predatory state as soon as possible."
As of later this month, we’ll receive the final picture on China’s U.S. bond sales over late 2011 and early 2012, and the reaction isn’t likely to be much different than it was last year. But, we argue that there’s actually quite a lot to see. Namely, there’s a brand new reason to be concerned about America’s access to foreign capital. In a nutshell, America needs foreigners to be both willing and able to buy its bonds. China is able but much less willing than it used to be. (Treasury data that isn’t shown here suggests its interest in U.S. securities recovered somewhat in late 2012, but remains far short of the levels of two years ago.) Other countries are willing but not nearly as able as China, notwithstanding the sharp increase in purchases in the recent period. And overall, the message in the preliminary TIC data is more worrisome than it may appear on the surface. Should the final report on April 30th confirm the message, consider it a warning of a potentially disastrous future decline in foreign purchases of U.S. debt.
April 5th, 1933, FDR confiscated every gold coin, bar, or certificate and people had to turn in their gold to the Federal Government or else they would face a fine of $10,000 or 10 years in jail. That is about $179,000 in today’s money. You were able to keep a small amount or some rare coins and those that did give up their gold received about $20/oz. “Why would the government do that?” asks Ms. Steel. They did this for the following reasons:
- To prevent hoarding.
- To devalue the dollar during the Great Depression.
- The government set the gold price at $35/oz and pegged it to the dollar.
“But this could never happen again, right?” asks Ms. Steel. “Well tell that to Texas.”
So much for the "transformational" CEO, poached from AAPL and credited with creating the AAPL retail mystique. As per CNBC, he now effectively "out":
J.C. PENNEY TO OUST RON JOHNSON AS CEO: CNBC
J.C. PENNEY'S CEO JOHNSON `IS OUT': CNBC
At least he lasted just a bit longer than the former JCP president Mike Francis, who came, saw, collected $10 million, and quit nine months later.
Despite the ever-levitating nominal levels of Japanese stocks, and relative stability of European peripheral bonds, it appears the demand for 'safe-havens' is very high. Swiss 2Y interest rates just plunged to their lowest in almost 3 months at -4.7bps. It seems that even with the possibility of depositor haircuts, savers are more comfortable stashing their hard-earned cash in Switzerland than in high-beta US equities. This is the biggest 2-day drop in rates since Cyprus.