Art Cashin Exposes The Behind The Scenes Panic In Europe

Tyler Durden's picture

Think "all is fine" in Europe after today's largely irrelevant Italian bill auction (the auction was for 6 month debt - even Greece can raise that kind of money)? Think again. Here is the Fermentation Committee Chairman explaining why Europe is so hard pressed to create a fake sense of calm, allowing those who know the real story to take advantage of the situation while they still can, and sharing the behind the scenes truth you won't get anywhere else. Certainly not SWIFT. 

From UBS:

Europe Rumbles Continue Beneath More Upbeat Headlines - Ever since last week’s liquidity operation, most headlines out of Europe have leaned toward the reassuring side. Beneath those headlines, however, there are signs the strains remain and may, in fact, be growing.


European banks are making great use of the ECB’s overnight deposit facility. Last night they parked $590 billion at the ECB breaking the record they had set the night before. They are clearly unwilling to lend to other European banks, highlighting the distrust and fear in the interbank marketplace. While the ECB’s lending initiative calmed the markets somewhat, it apparently has done nothing to free up the logjam blocking interbank lending.


The distrust on the streets is said to be growing also. Barroom gossip says that safe-deposit boxes are in a demand that borders on frenzy. They allow you to take your Euros and covert them into something of value (gold, Swiss Francs, etc.) and sock it away in a safe place.


Others are said to be buying property in London and elsewhere lest you awake one day and discover that your Euros have reverted to drachmas or lira.


Savvy bankers are said to be setting up personal and communal trusts domiciled in places like the Bahamas, the Caymans or the Isle of Jersey. Some banks are offering depository accounts denominated (and repayable) in alternate currencies like the dollar or the yen.


We think a Lehman-like event would most likely be triggered by a run on a bank or a series of banks. The scramble for currency (value) protection among the public could turn into that bank run in the same way that a crowd can instantly turn into a mob. Watch the money flows out of Greece and Italy very carefully. The pot continues to bubble

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SheepDog-One's picture

Safe deposit boxes are a 'safe place' to buy some gold and sock it away? Think again, Europe.

Popo's picture

What isn't confiscated will be taxed on sales and tariffed on export.

You're going to have to think more creatively than just "Physical, bitchez".   The forces of monetary oppression are damn good at what they do.  It's not going to be as easy or as obvious as just holding physical.  Value can be (and will be) extracted from your physical with one stroke of tax legislation.

Then you're going to be in a position where the only way to realize the value of your physical is to become a smuggler.   And they'll put a penalty on tarriff evasion that makes you think twice...

Hansel's picture

Gold profits are already taxed at 28% in the U.S.  We are there.

beaker's picture

We're not there yet.  There is still room for the remaining 72% to go.   ...Or just announce that it is being considered.  Game, set, match.

RoadKill's picture

Huh? Why 28%?

Shouldn't it be taxed as either marginal income (35%) or capital gains (15%) is their really a special tax bracket for Gold?

I'd support taxing it as income. We have a lower tax on capital gains because savings and investing in companies supports economic growth. Buying and hoarding gold doesn't do anything to help the economy.

beaker's picture

I know this makes too much sense (so it will never happen) but why not do a 1031-like exchange into a qualified new company investment?

DeadFred's picture

Off topic for the thread but on topic for the article-

"Watch the money flows out of Greece and Italy very carefully"

Where does one find such a useful bit of info on a timely basis? It boggles my mind that 'they' would let such a number out in a non "seasonally adjusted" form. Do they think the sheep should be allowed to see real data???

JLee2027's picture


And who cares about taxes in a massive financial panic for survival?  A increase %Tax on Euros/Dollars for example is kind of silly when you are holding Gold and Silver, which is in fact, money.


sosoome's picture

We really have to stop thinking in terms of rearranging deck chairs. The feds have no business taxing the people period, as per original intent. Let the feds tax the states and re-instate State representation in congress.

Old Poor Richard's picture

You can't gain anything by sitting in gold because it has 0% appreciation, and you don't "profit" when you sell gold, you merely illustrate the depreciation of your currency.  To tax it is simply an "add insult to injury" exercise.  There shouldn't be any tax on gold at all because the variation in its fiat exchange rate isn't income. 


Fred Hayek's picture

But if the price has been artificially manipulated downward by the government and its handmaidens, the too big to jail banks, then when it goes to its true value you will gain all that appreciation which had been simply delayed in time by the gov't's manipulating.

If it should be, say, $8,000 an ounce now but is kept at a fraction of that, then when it rises to $8,000 (or more) in the future, the gov't will have given you that $1600 to $8000 increase by having artificially kept the price lower now.


dizzyfingers's picture

Isn't the government really the handmaiden to the banks? The one with the money has the power. "Government" is elected or apointed. They don't have the power of the banks.

VegasRage's picture

You need to seriously read up on PM's

pods's picture

He is correct.  Gold does not change. The only thing that changes is the value of the currency you are pricing it in.

And if you "tax" that difference, it is not income. Essentially it is a double tax, as you are paying the tax of inflation of the currency already.


Sockethead's picture

I agree that over the long term the "value" of gold remains constant.  But in the short term the value of gold changes even relative to fiat currency.  Over the past 10 years, the price of gold has risen more than the actual inflation of the dollar.

This is due to the fact there is now a lot of fear out there and a greater demand for a hedge against market risks and future inflation.  This makes an ounce of gold more "valuable" now than it was 10 years ago.

In any case, taxing a dollar gain when selling gold is just plain wrong.

Raymond_K_Hessel's picture

Huh? Why 28%?

Shouldn't it be taxed as either marginal income (35%) or capital gains (15%) is their really a special tax bracket for Gold?

Actually, there is a special tax bracket for precious metals. The IRS considers them collectibles. Thus, they never qualify for LTCG. They are either taxed as STCG or at the collectible rate, which I believe is 28%. You can purchase pm in an ira, which, from a tax perspective is the best choice. Nevada just eliminated state taxes for pm.

JLee2027's picture

And the Constitution calls precious metals money. Which is correct?


Article 1, Section 10

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts;

dizzyfingers's picture

Are only minted coins collectibles, or all forms (bars, blanks, etc.)?

S.N.A.F.U.'s picture

From the 1040 Schedule D instructions:

"Collectibles include works of art, rugs, antiques, metals (such as gold, silver, and platinum bullion), gems, stamps, coins, alcoholic beverages, and certain other tangible property."

Hueco Kid's picture

Got to love paying phantom capital gains on devalued dollars.  Buy gold - have the dollar lose half it's value then pay taxes on your "gains"


Hueco Kid

CuriousPasserby's picture

I heard that if you buy or sell at a coin show for cash the transaction is tax exempt. At least then never ask for my tax number as long as it is less than $10,000 cash.

Old Poor Richard's picture

It's exempt from reporting but not exempt from tax.  Meaning you're required by law to self-report and pay tax on your [non-existent] appreciation in gold, pay tax on the depreciation of fiat FRNs. 

Banks are only required to report transactions over $10,000 but they report everything anyway as a favor to the authorities so Big Brother can track your finances. 

This is a fortunate "loophole" in that sellers at shows can still operate strictly by law allowing you to keep private those sub-$10K transactions, just like the gun show "loophole" which allows you to buy a firearm without government tracking you.

I predict both these "loopholes" will be closed by Dictator Obama or Dictator Whoever(R) after the next election.


Toolshed's picture

Unfortunately, you are correct. The odds that the US government will repeat 1933 and confiscate your gold are about 100%. I think they WON'T confiscate other pm's for various reasons, but you can kiss your physical gold goodbye. But don't fret.......they will give you some very pretty paper in exchange for it. Guns and ammo, if you can get them, are almost certainly a better investment at this point. Very sad indeed.

Karlus's picture

If they take the gold, then having the others becomes meaningless:

1) Means the govt has standardized on gold then other PM are not worthwhile. I doubt we will have bi-metallic money standard

2) Means if they take gold because it has value then they can seize the other PM if they become too valueable, and people will flee them as a store of value

3) You can say that guna/bullets will become the new money, but I suspect that if they pass some sort of confiscation it will be wrapped in "anti-hoarding" verbiage that excludes having too much of any thing for the common good.

PS, I dont believe in confiscation as strong money policy hurts govt ability to print money. There simply is no advantage for them to have a gold standard

Fred Hayek's picture

The thing is, in 1933, average americans understood the value of gold.  They had skepticism about paper money.  Ownership of gold was pretty widespread.  Confiscating gold then meant taking it from a whole lot of the 99%. 

Now, outside of odd places like this, understanding of the value of gold and silver is far from widespread.  Skepticism about paper money involves a conceptual leap that is like Bob Beamon x 2 for most of the populace.  Ownership of gold outside of the 1% is not widespread.  So, confiscating gold now will mean mostly picking on the 1% who can influence the levers of power.

It's hard to picture them sitting there and allowing the stored value of their wealth to be taken away while leaving the sheeple unscathed.

greenEagles's picture

Another thing to keep in mind is that making gold illegal to own a la the "confiscation" of 1933 is not enough to get people to give it up.  The amount of pre-1933 gold eagles in existance is proof of this as the gov melted down the coins they were able to take from private hands.  The price they offer is everything.  The price they would have to offer today in paper to get gold holders to let go would be imensely higher than current market prices.  Also, if they are "confiscating" gold that would mean re-monitization, so the paper they are exchanging would likely have some type of gold backing.  All and all, I think gold remains a far better investment than guns and ammo.

Iam_Silverman's picture

"All and all, I think gold remains a far better investment than guns and ammo."

I agree totally.  Oh, can I come over and help you count your Eagles?  I PROMISE to come unarmed.  Really.


?Plata o Plomo?

toothpicker's picture

As opposed to paper stuff you mean?

Winston Smith 2009's picture

Confiscation isn't necessary in a credit collapse for gold to not be a safe haven.  Here's why:

Forum post by Karl Denninger at his blog:

The entirety of the commodity complex prices on the use of CREDIT, which you claim (correctly) is the problem. Yet your (gold) price is determined by a levered instrument running at 10:1 or more gearing. When that credit disappears pricing will contract, perhaps by as much as 90%. All "things" in the economy that price off a credit instrument will fall in nominal price.

In other words your thesis of advancement (or even simple holds) in commodity prices are dependent on ever-expanding credit.

This goes beyond logical inconsistency and well into the realm of willful blindness, and the continued insistence that physical metal will "decouple" from those levered instruments and skyrocket while the levered instrument will not move has been run since I became aware of the financial markets more than 30 years ago and has been wrong every single year since.

oddjob's picture

Willful blindness is not mentioning that roadkill he calls a toupee.

JLee2027's picture

I was going to say his teeth need some work as well.

Popo's picture

Denninger's biggest failing is that he believes in absolutes.   Denninger frequently talks in terms of 'mathematical certainty', 'absolute facts' and 'black-letter law'.   It makes for compelling reading for anyone easily convinced by sheer pundit confidence (and full disclosure: I am a regular reader, and enjoy his stuff -- but I take it with a boulder-sized grain of salt). The problem is that mathematics when it comes to the world of cooked-books, creative accounting, two-tier legal systems,  mutable laws, military intervention, installed governments, under-the-table deals  and comfortable lies is not an absolute.   The law, when it comes to sovereign states,  corporations and members of the banking elite -- is never 'black letter'.    And when that so-called mathematical 'certainty' of our collapse is always a year or two off -- it makes Denninger's 'certitude', somewhat less 'certain'.

Denninger's fans are typically those who are desperate for a 'clear vision' in a marketplace where (as any reader of ZH knows) clarity is not easy to come by.    His claims of absolutism make for a very successful blogging-strategy:  Paint a picture of the financial markets in which there are rigid laws of nature -- where things will and must happen due to immutable laws of the universe,  and those desperate for vision will come flocking.   (As an aside: One can't help but note that the man is also religious).   To defend his absolutes,  Denninger has a zero tolerance policy against any who challenge his prescribed group-think.   You'll be banned if you question the dogma.   The result is an echo chamber of forum members who repeat Denninger's prophecies as if there are no alternatives.  But of course -- there are.

The above example you give, Winston -- is just one example.   It's not a bad example.  In fact, it may well play out exactly as KD says it will.

But it also might not.       ( I rarely think KD is flat wrong.  He's a very sharp guy.   But his certainty is deeply misplaced.  And his track record shows it).

I can think of a dozen ways in which the ponzi of paper gold collapses well before the ponzi of overall credit collapses.   But don't dare say that on Ticker Forum.   The overlord does not tolerate individual thought.

I happen to agree with him that deflation is in the cards.  But the notion that something "Can't happen" is not only a sign of mental rigidity -- but it's also where KD frequently stumbles over empiricism. 

RockyRacoon's picture

Good stuff, Popo. I've made the same point in the past about KD.  He sees things too linearly and allows for no deviation from his strict dogma.   He gets all sweaty when the Washington crowd or the the Bankster Boys don't follow the script.  That's ok, as you say, as far as it goes, but allows for a vulnerable blindside that can't account for fluctuations in the energy field.  He's gonna get black-swaned into a state that will send him straight to the padded room.  His followers will be left standing naked in the midst of a swirling market meltdown with no mentor.   Lemmings of a different color.

ebear's picture

His anal fixation is a dead giveaway.  Eveything's a**-raped this, and butt-f**ked that, but he never spells it out.  It's all little stars so you have to fill in the bad letters yourself.  Infantile really.  About what you'd expect from a third grade catholic school boy.  

Harrison's picture

I'd say Denninger has an even bigger failing than that: his absolute inability to admit when he's been wrong. He's failed at just about every significant prediction since the end of 2008. The day Bernanke announced the first QE program, Denninger was posting right up until the announcement that "Bernanke won't QE because it will destroy the dollar." When Bernanke made the announcement, Denninger posted a single-word comment: "Fuck." Yet every time a new QE is about to come out, Denninger confidently predicts it won't happen again.

The first year or so of his forum, he repeatedly threatened to shut it down if people didn't stop discussing whether we were going to have stagflation or deflation, because he'd already explained that deflation was the only possibility, and that anyone posting about stagflation was simply wasting everyone's time. ROFL. How'd that trade work out for him?

Oddly, I can't find his petulant little "take my ball and go home" posts, just people replying to them. Here's one (he does say he's going to shut it down for two weeks, but not why).

Gold? Denninger's been talking about gold collapsing since at least whenever he started his forum. I'm sure he's gloating now that hedge funds are blowing up and gold has dropped from $1900, even though he's been banning people from his forum for daring to suggest buying gold since it was at $700. Oh no, a mere 120% gain since then!

His herd of followers rigidly enforces the group-think. Pika-Steph once told some new poster that if he wanted to talk about stagflation, he should go elsewhere, because (not an exact quote, since I can't find it via Google, but almost) "this is a deflationary bear forum."

Overall, TF was semi-useful in 2007, but he quickly drove out anyone with any brains. The last couple of times I've looked in, it's just tards whining about government policies in general, with a lot of complete fruitcakes screaming about conspiracy theories like "the medical establishment is preventing people from learning about this simple diet that cures all cancers!" and similar bullshit.

Thinkor's picture

First, Denninger's 30 years of market experience do not include the Great Depression, which is the most recent period comparable to our present situation. 

Second, total credit market debt of the US continues to expand, thanks to the Fed's printing operation.  Europe appears ready to follow in the Fed's footsteps, and the Fed seems likely to help them out.  The monetary base has retreated about 3% from its peak in July, but it is still up 32% YOY. 

Third, the gigantic deficits of the welfare states require ever more money creation to sustain.  It is hard to imagine currency rising much relative to gold in such an environment.  If there is a collapse of credit in this environement it will bring a collapse of demand, but also a collapse of supply as the whole economic system is disrupted.   It is in this context that we may see outright rejection of the currency.

Fourth, if gold falls in nominal price, that doesn't mean that it isn't rising in real value.   Because of its use as a store of value, it is likely to fall less than other commodities. 

Is the Fed really going to hit the breaks with the government running a deficit of 1 to 2 trillion dollars?  They will eventually, but it's hard to imagine right now, especially in an election year.


Excursionist's picture

Presumably "physical, bitchez" refers primarily to having something of tangible value that could be bartered for goods and services rather than used for speculation or wealth generation.

Holding something like Eagles and using them to procure $1,600 worth of goods at a time seems like an effective route.  Yes, the IRS has forms for barter trades, but I'd love to know what knuckleheads actually submit such data.  The problem of course is that in this scenario the intrepid "physical, bitchez" holder is subject to keeping his / her stock of coins safe.

pacu44's picture

You're going to have to think more creatively than just "Physical, bitchez". The forces of monetary oppression are damn good at what they do. It's not going to be as easy or as obvious as just holding physical. Value can be (and will be) extracted from your physical with one stroke of tax legislation.

You cant eat your gold and silver and fly out of the country, those TSA scanners will see it and they will rape you for it...

Timeline for holding must be longer than this era of tyranny...

Oh regional Indian's picture

SD1, all this points to something like the 30"s all over again. Instead of confiscation, they can make legal gold trading strictly .gov property. And set a .gov kind of price. All in the name of national interest. Gold "hoarders" will be branded un-patriotic. And a million more ways to track it all anyways.

Gold= Shaky



SheepDog-One's picture

Sure, people buying physical have to be prepared to be labeled all kinds of things, even a criminal.

krispkritter's picture

Throw in 'terrorist' and I'm in! Do I get a Secret Decoder Ring now?


Anecdotal but I've been waiting on my construction to end so I can get a decent gun safe but you can hardly find them around here now. There used to be a good dozen on Craigslist every month or so. Sales at a local store that promoted them on Black Friday were all gone when I showed up an hour after opening to look them over and they've not restocked. Prices seem to be going up too aside from those few on sale. Wondering if their secondary use as a storage spot for PM's is part of the driving force. 

Cast Iron Skillet's picture

Nope. Dick Tracy wristwatches are the thing now.

DCFusor's picture

We call those fancy DT watches "iPhones" - the iPhone just isn't as advanced yet - some innovation, eh?  Suing people for copying them copying a cartoon older than most living humans.  Yeah, that's a business model for ya.

chubbar's picture

Hell, by the time we are through this debacle it is likely that anyone insisting the gov follow the constitution will be branded a terrorist. The amazing thing to watch is how the general public thinks nothing of a declaration by the gov't to confiscate private property. As if it is the most natural event in the world because after all they are the gov't and they can do what they want! Those fuckers only exist because the states agreed to set up a federal gov't with defined powers. Help begin the end of this nonsense by joining the 10th amendment movement and let's put the issue of gov't confiscation and federal overreach to rest!


pods's picture

Not really worried about that since they have done such a bang up job with the drug war.


Oh regional Indian's picture

But of course pods, because the drug war is not one they want to win. They want to "lose" so they keep "winning".

With Gold, they'll be like pigs to truffle.


Bendromeda Strain's picture

They never "win" that game for long because it too is unsustainable. Do as you wish, but you aren't dissuading me one iota. Sometimes outwaiting your opponent is a generational thing. So be it. But none of the hand wringers here has proposed a credible scenario where the capital controls stay in place and the bankers win. Boogedy boogedy, Eye of Sauron, blah blah blah.