Guest Post: Misunderstanding Gold Demand

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Authored by Robert Blumen, originally posted at The Cobden Center,

Most gold market research is based on the premise that the supply side of the market can be characterized by the quantity supplied and demand side by the quantity demanded.  The specific cause and effect relationship between these two variables and price is often unstated; and perhaps rightfully so: is it not obvious that a greater quantity demanded is the cause of a higher price, and that a greater quantity supplied is responsible for a lower price?

No.

This article will show that market forecasts based on quantities of gold are meaningless.  Widespread statements like “Gold demand was up by 15% in 2012” are true but only if they are understood in a misleading sense.  The supply and demand sides of the market consist of supply and demand schedules, not quantities.  A price forecast based on quantities is a non sequitur because there is no causal connection from the quantities to the price.  This error has side-tracked the majority of analysts into an obsessive focus on quantities while ignoring the actual drivers of the price.

The first part of this article will examine the definitions of supply and demand and discuss their relationship to price.  Most analysts define supply and demand as quantities.  There are several ways to do this.  If used consistently, any of these definitions are valid but none of them are useful for the purpose of price estimation.

After establishing the definitions, I will show that the quantities supplied and demanded must conform to an arithmetic relationship that is logically true but has no causal connection with the gold price.  Supply and demand totals can be any numbers that satisfy the arithmetic relationship, while at the same time the price can rise, fall, or stay flat.

The next section will explain the true drivers of the gold price: the supply and demand schedules.  These schedules are not scalar quantities and cannot be measured; they can only be observed indirectly through the gold price itself.  I will show that the cause and effect relationship between quantity and price runs in the opposite direction from what is widely assumed.  The quantities are driven by a temporary disequilibrium between the market price and the supply and demand schedules of investors.  This disequilibrium induces market participants to supply, and to demand gold to bring their portfolio in line with their preferences.

An appendix delves into materials from the CPM Group, a prominent and respected gold market research consultancy, showing how their research relies on the same error.

This article does not entirely stand alone; it builds upon other articles that I have written about the gold market, and on the marginal price theory of the Austrian School.  Some parts of this article will not make sense unless you are familiar with some of these concepts.  I chose to do this partly to avoid repeating ideas that I have already published, and partly to control the length.  I have linked to background material that I believe is relevant.

The Usual Explanation

First, let’s look at the examples. Most published analysis of the gold market is concerned with supply and demand numbers.

From the Telegraph, under the headline, Gold demand increases 15pc:

As the gold price increases, demand for gold and other precious metals has continued to grow. Demand for gold has continued to grow in 2012 and is predicted to increase further next year.  Research by Source, a provider of exchange traded products, shows that inflows into European gold ETPs have reached $6.8bn this year to date, constituting a staggering 15.4pc growth

Almost every page of the World Gold Council’s Third Quarter 2012 Gold Demand Trends deals with either the quantity supplied or demanded by a sector of the market.  The following sentences are selected at random for illustrative purposes:

Third quarter gold demand was up 10% on the previous quarter but 11% lower than record year-earlier levels (p1)

 

Investment demand was 16% below the exceptional levels witnessed in Q3 2011. (p2)

 

Total demand (including OTC investment and stock flows) was 2% weaker year-on-year … (p2)

 

The most significant contribution to the fall in gold demand came from a drop in bar and coin investment.

The World Gold Council’s web site contains the following:

Since 2003, investment has represented the strongest source of growth in demand. The last five years to the end of 2011 saw an increase in value terms of around 534%. In 2011 alone, investment attracted net inflows of approximately US$82.9bn.

My third example cites CPM Group’s 2012 Gold Yearbook Press Release:

Investment demand, the key driver for gold prices, remained at historically high levels last year. Net additions to private investor gold holdings declined to 34.3 million ounces in 2011, down 5.8% from 2010 levels. Even though net additions to private investor holdings slipped lower in 2011, a year in which prices touched a record high, the decline had followed two years of double-digit growth from already high levels of net additions to investor holdings. (p2)

 

Gold fabrication demand rose 0.6% to 72.9 million ounces in 2011, slower than the 2.3% growth in 2010 due to higher gold prices. Despite higher prices, many consumers sought to purchase more gold jewelry, specifically in developing countries, as a hedge against inflation and form of savings. Developing countries’ demand for gold in the form of jewelry rose to 50.2 million ounces, up from 49.6 million ounces. (p3)

The bearish financial planner Arthur Stein also believes that gold demand is declining (based on the World Gold Council’s figures) which will result in a lower price:

Demand for Gold Declines, Will Prices Follow?

 

...Demand for gold has been declining worldwide, but prices haven’t. What does this mean for someone investing in gold?

 

Gold demand declined 11 percent in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the third quarter of 2011, according to the World Gold Council (www.gold.org). Demand fell in every sector except for purchases by central banks.

Market Sectors and Flows

Most gold analysts divide the market into sectors.  This section will discuss how this is done and what the quantities mean in relation to the sectors.  A typical sector breakdown is: mines, industry, jewelry, investors, and the official sector (central banks).  Some writers break the investment sector down into bars, coins, and ETFs.  The choice of sectors is not critical to the points that follow; none of the conclusions would change if, instead of these sectors, flows between countries were used instead.  Some reports combine the two approaches, dividing the developed world market into sectors and treating the rest of the world on a country or regional basis.  Any of these breakdowns would serve equally well.

Below is a list of the sectors, their buying, and their selling:


 
Inter-sector Flows and Quantity Balance

The quantity balance between sectors is at the core of most market analysis.  The quantity balance is an equation relating all of the flows in the market to each other.  (A flow is the quantity bought and sold, while a stock is a quantity held by someone over time).  Quantity balance is the requirement that every movement of gold must be accounted for on the buy side and the sell side.  It is similar to the way that double-entry bookkeeping works.  This section will derive the quantity balance equation.  The following section will discuss its significance.

Over a one-year period, every trade that takes place between a buyer and a seller is counted in the following way: the quantity of gold bought (and sold) is added to the buying sector’s gross quantity bought and to the selling sector’s gross quantity sold.

At the end of the year, net flows for each sector are calculated.  The definition of the net flow for a single sector is:

sector net flow = sector total buying – sector total selling

Sector net flow can be a positive number, meaning that the members of the sector bought more than it sold; or a negative number, indicating that the members of that sector sold, in aggregate, a greater quantity of gold than they bought.

Assuming that mines sell all of their production, which is nearly always true, mine sector net flow is always a negative number.

mine net flow = mine buying – mine selling = 0 – mine selling = – quantity mined

For every trade, the quantity bought is equal to the quantity sold.  This means that the sum of all sector net flows is zero.  By the rules of algebra, this arithmetic identity can be rearranged in several ways:

(1)  quantity mined + net industry + net jewelry + net investor + net official = 0

(2)  net industry + net jewelry + net investor + net official = quantity mined

The CPM Group uses a different sector breakdown than I have used here, so their quantity balance is a little bit different.  They use the following market sectors: total supply (mine plus scrap), fabrication demand (industry plus jewelry), official sector and investment.  Their quantity balance in their partitioning is summarized in equation (3), below.

(3) quantity mined + industry sold + jewelry sold = industry bought + jewelry bought + net official + net investor

In this breakdown, official and investor sectors have a net flow on the right side of the equation but the jewelry and industry sectors have gross purchases on the left of the equation and gross sales on the right.

The preceding equations are all saying the same thing: all the gold that comes out of mines ends up as net inflow into one or more market sectors.  These identities all follow directly from the laws of arithmetic.  They contain no new information.  They are only a restatement of the original assumptions, namely, that miners sell all of their production, and that no gold is destroyed during a trade.  The mine sector net flow is always negative but the other sector net flows could be positive, negative or zero.

Gold can be destroyed not in the physical sense, but in the economic sense.  This means that the industrial process renders some of the metal into a form where it would be too costly to recover.  The boundary where recovering gold from industrial use is cost effective depends on many factors, especially the price of gold, which can change over time.  Gold destruction occurs only in the industry market sector.  The rate of gold production always exceeds gold destruction.  Consequently the total of gold held above ground grows over time.

The False Logic of Quantities

I believe that the error of attributing gold price moves to quantities is based on the following invalid thought process on the demand side (with similar thoughts on the supply side not shown here):

  1. The gold price is driven by supply and demand
  2. Supply and demand are quantities
  3. Looking at the demand side, more demand implies a higher price, less demand a lower price.
  4. More supply means a lower price, less supply a higher price.
  5. The key to forecasting the gold price is therefore measurement of gold supply and demand.

Arthur Stein is representative of this type of reasoning.  Quoting at length from his bearish forecast,

Gold is unlike other commodities in many respects. For investors, one of the significant differences is that the supply of gold (called “above-ground gold”) never decreases; it only increases. So declining demand should cause a decline in the price of gold, not an increase.

 

The sources of total demand are another concern. Jewelry demand has been declining since at least 1997. Jewelry demand in 2011 was 40 percent lower than 1997 and demand in the first three quarters of 2012 was 9 percent lower than the same period in 2011. …  Industrial and dental demand declined in 2011 and is on track to decline another 6 percent this year. …  Investment demand (bars, coins, Exchange Traded Funds, etc.) declined 3% in the first three quarters of 2012 compared to 2011.

 

The bright spot for gold demand was official sector (central bank) purchases. Central bank activity went from net sales to net purchase in 2010, and net purchases continued to be positive in 2011 and the first three quarters of 2012.

The main problem with this view, as I will show in the next section, is that there is no cause and effect relationship between the quantities and price.

Flows not the Cause of Price

The financial media commonly reports that buying is the cause of the price going up.  Stories in the financial media usually report only one side or the other side of the market.  For example, an increasing number of small investors buying coins is often cited as the cause of gold price strength.  However, the same story could equally well have been written as a bearish report about the increasing number of investors willing to sell their coins.  Either story would be true, at least from a quantitative standpoint and both would be wrong in attributing the movement in the gold price to one side of the market only.

If the reporter accurately described a large volume of coin buying and an equal volume of coin selling, then what conclusion about the price should the reporter draw?  Exactly none.  Buying as such is not the cause of the higher gold price, nor is selling the cause of price declines.  If buying could take place without selling or selling without buying, then one or the other could be an independent cause of price moves.  But neither can occur without the other.  Buying and selling occur always in equal quantities, and, at the same time.  For every purchase of gold by a buyer, an equal quantity is sold by the seller.  The quantity of buying, which is always the same as the quantity of selling, is not the cause of the gold price.

While everyone agrees that the gold price is driven by supply and demand, not everyone who voices agreement means the same thing.  The correct version is: the gold price is driven by supply schedules and demand schedules.  Most analysis of the gold market is based on an incorrect interpretation of the statement, namely, the gold price is driven by the quantity supplied and the quantity demanded.  An increase in gold demand is the cause of a higher price if an increase in demand, means a change in the preference rankings of coin buyers for more gold/less cash.  In that case, all other things equal, transactions would occur at a higher price.

The quantity balance equations are logically valid at all times, but they are accounting identities, not statements of cause and effect.  The quantity bought and sold is not an explanation of why the price moved.  All inter-sector flows must balance, but flow is not the cause of the price; it is a summary quantity of gold traded, at whatever price.  Any combination of positive, negative, or net inflows or outflows into any one or more sectors could occur during a year where the gold price was higher, lower, or unchanged.

Suppose during the last year that net investor inflow is a positive number and net official inflow is negative.  This indicates that over one year, investors purchased gold from central banks.  But this fact is an arithmetic identity, not a cause of the gold price movements during this year.  If, the following year, central banks on net purchased gold from investors, we are still no closer to knowing at what price the gold was purchased, and whether that price is higher or lower than the current price.

 

The True Cause of the Gold Price: Marginal Preferences

The theory of equilibrium price formation is necessary to understand the remainder of this article.  I will not attempt a detailed explanation of the theory here, but the interested reader may find it in one of the following references:  Rothbard shows in detail how supply and demand schedules are derived from individual preference rankings in Man Economy and State, starting with his discussion in Chapter 2 sections 4-5, and Chapter 2, section 8: Stock and the Total Demand to Hold, and then later as applied to money in Chapter 11 (Money and its Purchasing Power) sections 2-5.

Each investor strives to maintain their desired holdings of all potential assets, including cash (i.e. one or more national currencies such as the US dollar or euro).  As their preferences change, and as market prices change, investors adjust their portfolio holdings, at the margin, to bring them in line with their preferences.  The price of an asset emerges as investors balance, bid for assets they wish to hold more of and offer assets they prefer to hold less of.

Supply and demand as they contribute to the price must be understood not as quantities but as schedules.  Market prices balance the aggregated supply and demand schedules of the entire market.  These aggregated schedules are also known as the more widely used supply and demand curves.  In the standard micro-economic presentation, the supply and demand curves intersect at a point, marking the price and the quantity.

I have written about the application of supply and demand schedules to the gold market in Does Gold Mining Matter?  There I explain that the supply schedule for gold (in dollar terms) is dominated by the owners of the world’s existing stockpile of gold, and that mined gold during any one year period has a relatively small impact on the supply schedule.  The price is set primarily by the reservation demand schedules of the owners of the existing gold.  In the same piece, I show that the quantity mined, which many analysts incorrectly believe is “the supply”, has little influence on the gold price.

The quantity balance constraint cannot be a cause of the gold price because balance equations contain only quantities.  The gold price is the quantity of money exchanged for the quantity of gold.  Any explanation of the gold price must contain some reference to the quantity of money involved.  Equilibrium price theory provides a complete theory of the cause of the gold price, taking into account the gold and money sides of the market.

If the gold price is higher now than it was at some point in the past, that can only be due to a shift in preference schedules.  One of the following must be true: 1) either buyers valued the gold more highly and thus were willing to pay higher price, or 2) sellers valued their gold more highly and were only willing to part with it at a higher price.  Historical net flows provide a summary of where in the market were the buyers who valued gold the most highly, and the sellers who valued it the least.

Up to this point I have argued that the quantities supplied and demanded are not the cause of the gold price.  The true causal relationship between price and quantity is nearly in the opposite direction.  Transactions occur in the market because there are some investors whose mix of cash and gold holdings is not consistent with their preferences.  Trading will occur until everyone has adjusted their portfolios, at the margin, to their preferred holdings.  If no one changed their preferences after this moment, and no new gold were mined, then no more trading would occur.

Trading continues because people are always changing their minds about what they want to own.  Individuals who did not previously consider themselves gold investors enter the market; others no longer consider gold a good investment sell out.  The more individual investors that have changed their preference rankings since the last market price, the greater the disequilibrium in the market, and the more change in the ownership of gold and cash is necessary in order for investors to reach their desired holdings.  The volume of trading reflects the extent that holdings of some individuals no longer reflect their preferences.

Attributing a higher gold price to an increase in coin buying alone ignores the equal quantity of coin selling that is necessary for more coin buying to occur.  More coin buying means more coin selling.  The media story about coin buyers driving the gold price higher could be correct, if the buyers are the only ones whose preferences have changed.  In that case they are willing to pay up, higher into the supply side of the market.  But action in the coin shops could also result from sellers liquidating at lower prices, or a simultaneous set of changes by some buyers and some sellers that cancelled each other out in price action, leaving the price unchanged after a large volume of trading.

Demand Schedules Not Measurable

So far I have argued that the gold price is an outcome of the preference schedules of investors.  A preference schedule is not a number.  It is a spiky curve representing a range of quantities and prices.  Schedules are not directly measurable in the way that quantities are, because they include hypothetical quantities that would be supplied and demanded at prices above and below the market.  In order to have the complete supply and demand schedules, the analyst would have to know how much gold would be sold and purchased at every price.  When gold trades, we know only the quantity supplied and demanded at one price.

Laura Davidson explains this point in her excellent piece The Causes of Price Inflation and Deflation.  In reading the quoted passage, it may help to understand that reservation demand for money is another term that means the same thing as the term that I have been using, cash holding preference, except measured against all goods in general.

When the social reservation demand for money changes, it can neither be measured nor observed directly. Whether market participants hoard money, or dishoard it, the amount of money in their wallets and their bank balances in the aggregate remains exactly the same ceteris paribus. There is no special place from which money flows, or to which it flows, when the demand for cash balances changes.

The same point can be made for any good that is demanded in order to be held in stockpiles.  Examples include not only gold but most financial assets such as stocks and bonds.  Reservation demand can be inferred, indirectly, by observing the price.  Davidson continues,

Nevertheless, it is possible to observe the effects of the change [in reservation demand]. Suppose, for example, prices-in-general are falling, and yet the supply of goods in the market has not changed. From this it can be deduced that the exchange demand for goods must have fallen. But let us also suppose the money stock has not changed. This leaves only the reservation demand for money as the causative factor for the reduction in the demand for goods and the ultimate cause of the price deflation.

While I have spent most of this article discussing demand, the supply side of the market works the same way.  Supply schedules and demand schedules together drive the gold price. Supply schedules are immeasurable as are demand schedules.

Conclusion

The main point that I have tried to show is that the demand numbers used in most gold market reports do not measure the demand side of the price formation process.  The same could be said about the supply number.  These two numbers are connected through the quantity balance constraint but they are not the cause of the gold price.

Gold market analysts have a tougher job than other financial analysts.  In Value Investors Hate Gold, I argue that it is more difficult to analyze the yellow metal than equities because quantitative measures such as yield, cash flows, balance sheet leverage, and growth rates provide a fundamental basis for analysis. Gold has none of those things.

The fundamentals of gold are the current purchasing power of money; expectations about the future purchasing power of money; the growth rates of various national money supplies; the volume of bad debts in the system; expected growth rates of bad debts; the attractiveness of other available investments; and the investor’s preference for consumption rather than investment.   These factors do not act directly on the gold price.  Instead, they are focused through the prism of investor preferences, which are not measurable.  The price is the ultimate measurement of how investors view these factors.   Gold presents a paradox: that which drives the price cannot be measured, that which can be measured does not drive the price.

Robert wishes to thank Mr. James Hickling of GoldMoney.com for assistance in copy editing the final draft.

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Sat, 02/02/2013 - 20:13 | 3209917 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

   Mis- Understood?

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 20:44 | 3209983 UnpatrioticHoarder
UnpatrioticHoarder's picture

There is no mention above of central bank gold leasing, swaps or loans... As long-term efforts at manipulation, the loans are not unwound in the short term, hence the above analysis is only useful so far as it demolishes other flawed analyses.

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 22:45 | 3210225 fourchan
fourchan's picture

its easy actually, just count the ounces.

the "dervividated" stuff is worse, there you have to devide by zero.

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 00:48 | 3210404 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture

 

An interesting article however it completely avoids the central issues around gold price determination.

Demand is distorted and under-estimated now because of central banks having off-balance-sheet leasing arrangements for more than a decade, the LBMA having 100:1 leverage on their "gold" contracts, and banks seizing allocated gold and fradulently "rehypothecating" the bullion into a gold ponzi mess with multiple claims per bar.  Many gold "owners" have no idea that they are gold owners in their minds only.

The market "price" data is determined by exchange contracts many of which cannot be enforced to settle in physical form making gold price discovery on the markets a digitial swirl and nothing else.

These are the critical (and most important) issues and this article side steps these matters.

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 01:41 | 3210451 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

I think you can simplify it even further.

Answer the question "what is money?" and you drill to the truth rather rapidly.  Money, as we were all taught in Econ 101 serves two primary purposes:

1.  A medium of exchange, for which gold is rather a pain in the ass.

2.  A store of value, for which gold has a stellar track record.

If you're trying to "store value" gold has significant advantages over fiat currently, because you don't know what fiat is going to be worth (in real value terms) down the road, or if it will simply be washed away by government confiscation or hyperinflation.  Certainly it doesn't look promising at this point.

Fiat works well when there are positive REAL returns possible, whether due to deflation or real productivity and wealth enhancement possiblities.  Doesn't sound very much like current circumstances, does it?

The forces that act on either side of that equation determine your market.  Like all markets, it can get pushed around by short term factors and government meddling, but it's a market nonetheless.

My personal theory:  In the current environment the "store of value" component of money has been taken over by gold (and other hard assets, to greater or lesser degree) for anything viewed on a medium to long term horizon.  Fiat still retains the "medium of exchange" component, at least for now.  If we go hyperinflationary or the government appears poised to do something very very stupid, fiat will lose the medium of exchange component as well.

 

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 08:22 | 3210662 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

I'll simplify it further. Germany asked for some of it's gold back. Why don't they now have it?

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 09:14 | 3210698 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Because it's all leased out currently and they need to run off some of the leases before they can get their hands back on it, of course!

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 09:30 | 3210712 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

It takes time to organize a deep water salvage operation I suppose.

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 12:06 | 3210881 new game
new game's picture

...while(over 7 years)they purchase the gold to replenish and ship to germany, so as to not create volitility and an upword spiral in cost.

yes they can unwind the leases, whichever costs less.

that is where printing secretly to purchse will be the best secret amoung many other secret moves by the fed.

and that is the fed of ny is honorable.

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 13:41 | 3211111 trav777
trav777's picture

the leases will be unwound over time and with cash...until/unless someone stands for delivery in size, the game plays on.

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 15:02 | 3211314 OutLookingIn
OutLookingIn's picture

Long winded gobbledegook!

Gold is a measuement of wealth.

Period.

Always has been - always will be.

Period.

Strickly up to the "seller" and the "buyer" to agree on what that measuement is.

Be it paper, cattle, water, grain, ammunition or guns.

Either you have some? Or you do not!

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 00:40 | 3212553 Enslavethechild...
EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

The price is what Kitco says it is.

There, one fucking sentance.

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 10:04 | 3213024 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture

 

Kitco employed Nadler for a decade.

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 22:49 | 3210230 RuiNsPro
RuiNsPro's picture

Gold price is simply controlled by the surplus nations AKA BRICS. They are milking it slowly b/c they don't want to turn their Dollar foreign reserve into trash overnight so they let LBMA SOBs send price down to meet their buy orders patiently. They won't defend a particular floor.  The lower the better. They have the deepest pocket so they are the patient market-makers.

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 14:36 | 3211247 Thorlyx
Thorlyx's picture

Correct

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 18:56 | 3211802 TwoShortPlanks
TwoShortPlanks's picture

If we entrust the following to be even reasonably accurate:

1. That there are about 2 Billon people globally who can afford some Gold ($1k - $10k) as wealth storage.
2. That less than 1/10th of 1% of the global population (1 in 1,000) owns ANY investment Gold whatsoever (beyond 10-15gms in their jewellery).
3. That the largest Gold holders in the world will never sell.
4. That there are overstated line entries throughout Central Banks, claiming Gold which has been on-sold via lease and not to return for over 10 years, if ever. Let's assume that 30% of all CB Gold has exited the system.
5. That the paper to physical leverage is 100:1.
6. That an eventual run into the Gold space of 5% globally managed funds and 2 Billion people buying an av. of $5,000 each, as well as CB and Gov. purchases.
7. That all mined Gold at a specific point will be allocated to pre-existing orders/clientele, or Gov. body.
8. That BRICS and peripheral countries unite to form a common commodity-backed SDR with Gold taking a primary role.
9. That the global slowdown (be that hyper or deflationary) continues.
10. That wages and jobs continue to migrate toward lower paying and lower hours.
11. That most Gold mines will become nationalised, leaving only open market/investor Gold to be purchased (good luck finding a seller).
12. The biggest of them all; that even if it were possible to increase mining output to 2%pa of above ground Gold, then it will take up to 50 years to double the physical Gold space. This means that if it takes a person 10-20 years to save enough money to buy his/her global share of just 1oz, then it is logical that-that 1oz be priced the same as a property which takes 10-20 years to pay-off. What few people realise is the real power of physical Gold isn't during the initial explosive uplift of a Gold run, it is actually the inflatory period (just like the Big Bang; inflate, then coast) where it takes 30-50 years for each and every person to be able to buy just one more ounce of Gold (LOL)...take a minute to think about that fact!

Now, for-the-life-of-me, given all that I've written above, I cannot bring myself to believe that every ounce of physical Gold which somebody holds today isn't going to be worth at least 10 years of savings tomorrow (after the eventual run). Even if I've overstated it by a factor of 10, that's still $20k-$30k/oz Gold.

If any of this is true, is it any wonder as to why China is charging head-long into the physical Gold space? I reckon they have around 5,000-6,000 tons by now. What are the chances that the US still holds 8,500 tons, and that other central banks still have their holdings...in their own vaults?

Wealth Transfer 101.

PS. If you think that China has been building cities and infrastructure at a massive rate so as to float their economy, while at the same time swallowing Gold, better think again; suggest you start training your thoughts toward building new cities for a post wealth transfer world, one where the average Chinese person CAN afford to buy real estate...get it?!

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 20:18 | 3209925 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Well, maybe.  I'll want to read the article again.  The ONE thing that jumps out to me was a comment not long ago by FOFOA: that when the Sellers decide NOT TO SELL (especially if demand picks up), then the fun begins...

Based on the above above article and FOFOA's remark, it looks to me that when Blumen's Sectors "Investor" and "Central Banks" decide not to sell, well then, it's off to the races.

Here's my marker: I ain't sellin'!

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 20:45 | 3209994 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I read the same article and I agree.
Nobody is selling the real stuff untill here are hughe profits.
So do I.
I won't sell untill every western country has zero deficits and banks give a 10% dividend.
And that's not going to happen anytime soon.

Now the once who are still selling on Ebay are people who have old coins from their family, found in a drawer. and they sell them for a few hundred bucks to pay down debt or buy a new iPhone/Pad.
once they sold them, they don't own anymore gold and silver.

The will always be sellers, as there will always be fools at this moment.
And yep, people sell when they need money.
I buy a lot of silver from spain right now. Awsome coins! for pretty low prices.
I just bought 27 silver 960 reis 19th century coins. freaking awsome! for about 60 euro a piece. Believe me, they are all worth 3 times as much.
Also from spain, 2 rolls peace dollars XF with 9 keydates, for 27$ a piece. Awesome!

The only place where I donT find anymore silver is Greece. You won't find any seller there or only very low amounts not worth the purchase because of shipping costs.

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 20:54 | 3210028 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

You and RockyRacoon would have a lot of fun chatting together about silver coins!

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 15:58 | 3211454 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Sho nuff.  I loves me some silver.  Purty!

If I recall a Kyle Bass comment correctly, he was asked about gold once and he said just to think of it as another currency.  All questions can be answered from that perspective.   I'll agree with Kyle.

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 16:14 | 3211494 DosZap
DosZap's picture

If I recall a Kyle Bass comment correctly, he was asked about gold once and he said just to think of it as another currency. All questions can be answered from that perspective. I'll agree with Kyle.

Gold is not currency, it is money.

Currencies are in this day and age fiat paper.

Currencies(fiat) are just a debt note, or a promise to pay(yeah, right).

Wed, 02/06/2013 - 17:08 | 3221270 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

No need to obfuscate the point.  His point was to look at it as a currency in order to understand its movement in "price".   Gold is not currency in the strict sense, we all know that.

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 09:19 | 3210704 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

The key points are that people don't always sell because they want to do so and if "her big fat sister will", the leverage of your own chastity is powerless.

Congrats on your numismatic windfall...at least you appreciate them!

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 20:17 | 3209929 sitenine
sitenine's picture

It still comes down to the fact that GLD is real gold for as long as some greater fool wants to buy it and think of it as such. I still find myself asking the question, how much longer will people continue to believe they have gold?

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 20:35 | 3209969 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

I know a lot of people trading gld and so do I.
I know gld will never give me gold and I don't expect it to do so. So do they.

It's like buying turbo's and speeders on the vix, e weather, Indicators...

It's a gambling tool that can deliver big profits. And I use these profits to fund me silver stacking.
I play with 4K. whatever is gained goes to my silver bullion purchases and what's lost, I put more money in it.
So far, for over 2 years, it's been pretty profitable for me to do so.

Is it bad? yes.
Is it gambling? yes.
Will it explode? Yes.

But for now it makes me money.
Do you know what a 2% increase delivers you on gld options? A LOT!
And for me, it's constantly getting in and out, And I even count on smashes on the price.

Look, I wait for 1700$, than I'm out and I hope they push it back down to 1660, than I'm back in and so on and so on.

whatever makes me money.

It's not because it's bad that you can't use it.

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 21:16 | 3210076 mark mchugh
mark mchugh's picture

I love your attitude, SD.

You'll never complain, "BUT IT'S NOT FAIR!" You know it's not real. You know it's not fair, but you play because it's something to do.

It's like betting on pro wrestling. If you can make money at it, more power to you.

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 08:27 | 3210666 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

IF you make 10 million worth of money and that money suddenly becomes worthless.......how much money did you actually make?

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 10:41 | 3210781 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Well, if you sold nine of that ten million for actual phyzz before it 'suddenly beomes worthless', you made 9 million.

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 12:16 | 3210908 new game
new game's picture

sd - cool beans

after 25 years of chasing returns i got tired of it all.

semi-retired and takes to much TIME away from real life and real life is non-monetary events in a chosen envirnment...

TIME is the key ingreedient.

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 17:08 | 3211630 mark mchugh
mark mchugh's picture

Point taken, but SD funds his stack by paper trading PMs.  It's not like buying GLD is his idea of a hedge against dollar collapse.  

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 13:48 | 3211133 lunaticfringe
lunaticfringe's picture

Love that nic. +1

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 20:58 | 3210038 Karlus
Karlus's picture

Most people do not have gold either phyzz or paper. Fund managers wont recommend it.

 

The big concern is when bond vigilantes show up and force the Fed's hand.

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 21:09 | 3210057 sitenine
sitenine's picture

My big 'concern' is large scale failed deliveries. Fuck the bond vigilantes - does anyone still believe the Fed wont outspend them into insolvency? The point is that paper is dying, and that's what people are going to start seeing in the longer run.

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 20:20 | 3209937 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 I'll re-read the Article.

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 21:30 | 3210095 knowless
knowless's picture

Main point is just a round about way of saying simple supply/demand models are flawed because they don't account for changing sentiments of actors across different regions that are experiencing different phenomena. As in, changing sentiment up in one, down in another cancels out, and that the real fundamentals for gold are immeasurable, as they have to do with the faith in and of an individuals chosen or mandated currency . It's a gold bug primer.

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 09:32 | 3210713 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Perhaps you and the rest of the world should agree on a definition of "demand"; theirs includes yours.

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 01:08 | 3210426 jumbo maverick
jumbo maverick's picture

No need to re read it. It's pretty lengthy so I'll shed some light, mainly about the gold demand.
Toss a one oz. coin on a busy sidewalk. Anyone from 9 to 90 will want that coin and they will make a determined effort to get the coin.

The 9 year old will try to scoop it up even if they don't know what it is or what it's value is. They will scoop it up on instinct. They have no idea it's supposed to be a barbaric relic, even their 9 year old brain understands its worth something even if they can't yet put their finger on it.

The 90 year old will move faster than he has in the past 20 years to scoop it up. Because he knows through a lifetime of living what it is. And for the record it is not a barbaric relic.

The people "in the know" right now are scooping up all the precious metals they can get. Don't listen to what they say watch what they do. If you haven't got any PMs now is the time. The window of opportunity is closing.

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 09:34 | 3210715 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Did you ever notice that people assume everyone in the world will react in the same way they do?

Some people would look around to see who may have recently dropped their coin.

 

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 09:49 | 3210726 Tango in the Blight
Tango in the Blight's picture

A lot of people actually don't know what gold is worth:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAaVK5AkZzI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndshbH3qZ6Y

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 20:27 | 3209952 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

yep, demand goes up so the price goes down.

Obameconomics 101

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 20:31 | 3209962 rehypothecator
rehypothecator's picture

One of equations (1) and (2) is missing a minus sign.  One of them should have a ( - quantity mined) in order to be algebraically equivalent to the other.  

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 20:34 | 3209964 AUD
AUD's picture

The price of gold, in $, is given by its bid, in $.

In one line, not a 10000 word essay.

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 22:42 | 3210220 tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

The price of $, in gold, is given by its bid in gold.  How many $ thought they were bidding for gold but were unknowningly bidding for a paper ETF? 

www.tradewithdave.com

 

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 00:09 | 3210358 AUD
AUD's picture

And whose fault is that Dave?

Sun, 02/03/2013 - 07:59 | 3210653 tradewithdave
tradewithdave's picture

Anyone who would allow themselves to be convinced that the GLD price is the GOLD price.  They may share a price at times, but the moment when they no longer share a price does not come with a warning. 

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 00:54 | 3212570 Enslavethechild...
EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

You are correct Dave.

GLD will be Corzined.

Gold, on the other hand, will not be for sale for any amount of white paper (tinted green)

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 20:40 | 3209988 AllWorkedUp
AllWorkedUp's picture

How can one value the price of gold when there is a completely manipulated paper market that sets the price?

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 00:58 | 3212575 Enslavethechild...
EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

Divide the know quanity of physical Gold by the known quantity of physical paper.

 Works out to about ten thousand dollars per ounce.

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 20:50 | 3210008 Muppet Pimp
Muppet Pimp's picture

Something tells me if the gold price were to decline substantially (creating pressure on production), that those very producers would become very sought after.  Particularly if the market at large saw them as damaged goods.  Hell we might see sovereigns engage territories that look like easy marks.

Sat, 02/02/2013 - 20:59 | 3210036 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

1)  The "India Put", price goes below $1040 or so, they buy big!

2)  Physical gold will ALWAYS be worth a lot of money! 

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