Eric Sprott: Is the West Dishoarding Its Sovereign Treasure?

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Submitted by Adam Taggart via Peak Prosperity,

We are well into the financial crisis. Everyone’s trying to keep it together, even though it would appear from the reading of the economy things are not going well at all here. And everyone's ignoring things.

 

But I think, in their hearts, the Central Bankers must know what they’re doing is totally irresponsible. And the tell of that irresponsibility which is the debasing of the currencies is the fact that real things will go up in value. This should be reflected in the price of gold and silver.

So expresses Eric Sprott, CEO and founder of Sprott Asset Management, and one of the most experienced and vocal advocates for owning precious metals.

The past decade has validated Eric's thesis, as gold has risen considerably against all world fiat currencies. But what vexes him is that in recent years, when currency debasement has accelerated to extreme levels, precious metals prices have been clearly suppressed, particularly versus the U.S. dollar.

As the topic of price manipulation is nothing new, Eric finds his focus increasingly drawn to where the precious metals are going at these bargain prices - who is accumulating and who is dishoarding:

I’ve done a lot of work on the flow of metals. I come up with a net change of 2,300 tons a year in new buying in gold when the supply of gold hasn’t even gone up in the last twelve years. And you keep wondering: Well, where’s all this gold coming from?

His findings support the growing meme that there is a massive bullion transfer from West to East. This should particularly concern those in the U.S., EU and Canada as his suspicion is that, increasingly, it's monetary gold that is being sold.

There are several key questions to ask here (not that the data publicly exists to answer them):

  • How much of our sovereign monetary bullion reserves have been sold to date?
  • How much will be sold in the future? (Are we willing to sell all of it? or is there a limit we refuse to let go of?)
  • What will happen to the price of gold & silver when central banks stop selling to another? (Answer: shoot the moon)
  • What will be the fate of those economies that dishorded their treasure? (Answer: lamentable)

When I see China buying 95 tons of gold in December and I read that India bought 100 tons in the month of January, when we all collectively know there’s only about 200 tons a month available –  you have to conclude that G6 Central Banks continue to sell their gold in a very non-transparent fashion.

 

One of the things we saw in December was that the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that U.S. exports of gold were $4 billion. We exported 2.5 million ounces of gold. And where it comes from, [only] God knows; the country only produces 8.8 million a nd most of that’s used internally. So I don’t know how you just come up with 2.5 million ounces that you’re able to export. So I believe that even though it’s described as non-monetary gold, my guess is that it is monetary gold.

 

There’s lots afoot here in central banking to try to keep it organized. And I think one of those things is to keep the price suppressed.

 

But the non-G6 nations have been huge buyers of gold, and I think the more anybody looks at the system from outside looking in, they realize they have to have gold and silver, notwithstanding the nonsense that goes on in COMEX and the LBMA (London Bullion Market Association).

 

When I got involved in the gold market, it was assumed that the central banks had something like 36,000 tons of gold. And there was a great study done by Frank Veneroso where he suggests 18,000 those tons didn’t even exist anymore.

 

The [global] central banks are sellers of 400 tons in an overt fashion. Now we see buying of over 500 tons. That, just in itself, is a 900-ton change in a 4000-ton market, if I’m including recyclables here. And yet there’s been no increase in supply.

 

So I have to assume that these central banks are running low, and the question in my mind is, do they just go down to zero and then give up?

 

Or do they look in the cupboards one day and say look, this is just not going to work because the intensity of buying by people, like China in particular, has just gone absolutely bonkers. And it looks like India, notwithstanding putting a surtax or excise tax on gold, the demand seems to be very firm. And as you mentioned, mint sales have been amazingly strong here.

 

So I think there’s enough element of the world who get it that the pressure’s going to continue to be on the price of gold going higher. And yes, there’s nothing we can do in terms of what’s going on in the COMEX and the LBMA, but we keep seeing more and more people asking for delivery, even in the COMEX. So I think that the day can’t be far off. We can’t predict when it’s going to be, but the natural stage should be that the price of gold is going up, and we’re in such a tremendous financial crisis that it hasn’t been allowed to manifest itself because they’re putting out fires all the time.

For precious metals holders licking their wounds from the carnage of the past several months [23], this podcast offers both new insights and sound reminders of the long-term reasons for owning gold and silver. Those on the sidellines considering entering into the precious metals, perhaps for the first time, should consider reading our guide to Buying Gold & Silver [24] after listening to this podcast. 

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Eric Sprott (34m:40s):

Click here to read the full transcript