Swiss Central Bank Plunges Into NIRP, Sends Deposit Rates Negative, Scrambles Against Safe-Haven Capital FlightSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/18/2014 10:43 -0400
Everyone thought that any major monetary policy surprises and/or capital controls today would come from Putin during his annual press conference. Boy were they wrong: just after 2 am Eastern, none other than the Swiss National Bank joined the ranks of the ECB in scrambling to stem the wave of capital flight, not to mention the cost of money, when it announced it too would start charging customers for the privilege of holding cash in its banks, when it revealed a negative, -0.25% interest rate on sight deposits: a step which according to the SNB was critical in maintaining the 1.20 EURCHF floor.
Switzerland’s ‘Save our Swiss Gold’ referendum was convincingly rejected yesterday by the Swiss electorate following an aggressive anti-gold campaign in recent weeks that had been closely watched both in Switzerland and abroad.
Unusually, it involved the Swiss National Bank (SNB) very actively, and ultimately successfully, trying to convince the electorate along with the main political parties to return a ‘no’ vote.
Whether as a result of an unprecedented scare campaign by the Swiss National Bank (most recently reinforced by Citigroup), or due to confidence that Swiss gold is as safe abroad as it is at home, or simply due to good old-fashioned "hanging chads", today's most awaited event has come and gone and the result - according to early projections by Swiss television SRF - is that the Swiss population overwhelmingly rejected a referendum to force the Swiss National Bank to hold some 20% of its reserves in gold in a landslide vote, with about 78% voting against what AP politely termed "protecting the country's wealth by investing in gold."
In the case of a "yes" vote, gold prices are likely to surge. Analysts do not believe a yes vote is possible. However, analysts have got the mood of the people wrong in many referendums both in Switzerland and throughout Europe in recent years.
A week after we reported that the head of the Ukraine central bank admitted in an unofficial, informal interview that Ukraine's gold is gone, all gone, moments ago the Central Bank revealed that, sure enough, the gold holdings in the civil war-torn country have tumbled, as a result of a decision in September to "increase the share of US dollars in a reserve basket", or in other words, to sell the gold. Just don't call it that: in fact, as of today we have a brand new buzzword for gold liquidations: "optimization of international reserves."
As the debate regarding whether or not Switzerland should keep the bulk of its gold reserves at home on Swiss soil reaches it's climax - the referendum takes place on Sunday - it is telling that the Dutch announced on Friday that they have just secretly repatriated 122 tonnes of their sovereign gold reserves from New York back to Amsterdam.
I believe aggressive empires with bloated bureaucracies, unsustainable debt loads, and chronic military overreach cannot compete against the now capitalist, relatively free-market Asia. The truth is Asia is rising and the debt-ridden Western democracies are failing. The world is an interesting place, and the American Dream still lives - just not so much in the United States any longer. But countries can change for the better; tyrannies are overthrown, and the Internet reformation is a big advantage for people desiring freedom and honest information around the world.
Don’t fence yourself in.
Gold dropped to new lows of $1,130 per ounce last week. This is surprising because it doesn’t square with the fundamentals. China and India continue to exert strong demand on gold, and interest in bullion coins remains high. In other words, it doesn’t add up.
As reported previously, and as had been suspected for years, the gold manipulation cartel is slowly breaking apart, and courtesy of the FT, we now know at least one individual directly implicated in Swiss gold-rigging: the former head of UBS's gold desk in Zurich, André Flotron. So as part of our diligence, because apparently no other media will touch the topic of gold rigging until and unless it is shoved in their face on a, ahem, silver platter, because after all the subject matter is just too "conspiratorial", we decided to ask Mr. Flotron some on the record questions, and sent him an email. This is the response we got...
Another "Conspiracy Theory" Bites The Dust: UBS Settles Over Gold Rigging, Many More Banks To FollowSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/09/2014 12:56 -0400
And then there was the precious metals market: a market which all the Keynesian fanatic paper bugs said was immune from manipulation, be it of the central or commercial bank kind, even with every other market clearly exposed for perpetual rigging either by hedge funds, by prop desks, by HFTs, or central banks themselves. Sadly this too conspiracy theory just was crushed into the reality of conspiracy fact, when moments ago the FT reported that alongside admissions of rigging every other market, UBS - always the proverbial first rat in the coalmine, to mix and match metaphors- is about to "settle" allegations of gold and silver rigging. In other words: it admits it had rigged the gold and silver markets, without of course "admitting or denying" it did so.
Dr. Faber prudently advises clients not only to diversify among asset classes but to also to diversify within asset classes. We share this view. We advise our clients to hold gold and silver in various locations and in various forms but always in secure vaults and safe jurisdictions such as Singapore or Switzerland.
When we think of electric cars, probably the first thing that comes to mind is the Chevrolet Volt. But if you think electric cars still deserve consideration, take a look at the “Grimsel,” which can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 1.785 seconds, using less than 30 meters of track. That’s nearly twice as fast as Tesla’s fleet Model S P85D. And it’s record-breaking.
Unbeknownst to many, America is gripped in a saline shortage that is "Potentially related to the flu season." A shortage, which according to the ISM is now in its 10th month. That must have been some flu season. Then again, counting back from October, the first month when there was a saline shortage was in January of this year, when incidentally there wasn't much if any major flu outbreak as most people were staying home and away from the infamous Polar Vortex. Yet one key event did take place just around January of 2014. The WHO reminds us what: "On 26 December 2013, a 2-year-old boy in the remote Guinean village of Meliandou fell ill with a mysterious illness characterized by fever, black stools, and vomiting."
In recent days, there has been a global scramble to acquire silver bullion coins and bars after the price falls according to Reuters. Maple Leaf silver coins are difficult to acquire according to bullion dealers, with the Royal Canadian Mint on allocation from September. There is a concern that supply times will increase and premiums are likely to jump according to Reuters. “A tumble in silver prices to four-year lows has triggered a global scramble by consumers to purchase silver coins and bars, as the spread between the price of the metal and gold reaches its widest in five years. Retailers and distributors in Asia and the United States said they were struggling to get supplies of items such as Canadian Maple Leaf silver coins. While demand for silver has been strong over the last few months, retailers say buying interest soared in recent days as the metal fell towards its lowest since 2010, along with gold.
The Swiss establishment has been reliant upon the public’s ignorance, but now they are up against a formidable opponent in Egon von Greyerz. Not only that, but they can clearly see that, as elsewhere around the world, the public is fast becoming disenchanted with the status quo; and that is potentially very dangerous for these people. What is important to understand here is that if the initiative passes it will be part of the Swiss constitution IMMEDIATELY - as some are suggesting. This means that the government and parliament cannot touch it. Only another referendum can change it. This is proper democracy for you. The closer we get to the vote on November 30, the bigger this story is going to become, and the bigger it becomes, the higher the chance that the yes vote wins. Should that happen, it will undoubtedly set off alarm bells throughout the gold market, as yet more physical gold will need to be repatriated and another sizeable, price-insensitive buyer will enter the marketplace.