For gold investors, the major thorn in our side continues to be the USDJPY so we need to discuss it again.
Over the past weekend at TFMR, we had a discussion about how so many well-intentioned people could have been so wrong about "the metals" over the past five years. It included this sentence: "What we failed to predict was the successful, collective manipulation of nearly all "markets" by the CBs, their primary dealers and their willing/sycophant media through HFT."
That one sentence could be the subject of a full post or podcast but, for now, let's just focus upon the market manipulation through HFT. As you know by now, the USDJPY is just about the single most important general input for HFT buy/sell decisions. Whether it's S&P futures, bond futures or Comex Gold, the direction of the USDJPY generally impacts all of these "markets" more than anything else. The chart below plots the inverse of USDJPY (JPYUSD) with gold futures. Note clear correlation that began in 2008.
In observing the central bank market manipulation...when we see the same pattern again and again...and this pattern is followed by the desired equity or bond market reaction...then you know something is up. How many times have we captured screenshots of the BoJ, Fed, SNB or whomever buying the USDJPY in size at just the right moment to create and paint a double bottom on the chart? From there, how many times have we watched a near perfect and uninterrupted, 45-degree angle recovery ensue?
Here are just a couple of egregious examples that I just chose at random from my desktop folder that holds about 40 charts. (I've only been keeping them since late summer.)
Well, since we just used the term "egregious", let's apply it again to the charts below. Recall that things were sailing along surprisingly well last Monday. Over the previous week, the USDJPY had failed to hold support near 113 and again near 112 and it had fallen to near and just below the very-important 111 level. Then, as we chronicled that day, a sudden spike occurred on NO NEWS and not even any rumors. Just a spike from out of the blue that drove the pair immediately back above 111.
And what followed over the next five days? Well, outside of the sudden plunge on the now disproven stories from Brian Ross at ABC News, the USDJPY has followed the same glide path all the way back to 113. Also, IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE where USDJPY reopened Sunday afternoon...RIGHT ON the glidepath. Remove the reaction to Friday's unexpected headlines and it's a near-perfect, 45-degree angle for nearly FIVE FULL DAYS.
(And in case you're wondering which tail wags which dog, note the turn in USDJPY last Monday clearly preceded the turn in the S&P.)
How is this even possible? It's not...well, at least not in the traditional and "free market" sense...the pre-2008 and pre-2012 sense. All of these things used to move somewhat independently as human, carbon-based traders made rational investment decisions based upon a number of inputs. However, in 2017, where 90% of all trading is now done through HFT....well, the results are pretty clear. The Central Banks and their Primary Dealer trading desks manipulate the key inputs and HFT does the rest. This is why yours truly and so many other "experts and mavens" have been confounded for the past five years. It's not nefarious intent and it's not because gold bugs are cruel, heartless charlatans who are intent upon stealing as many dollars as possible from the easily-duped. Instead, it is a failure to anticipate the levels to which The Central Banks would successfully go to keep their system alive.
Understanding this is why you consistently hear me cite the refrain of PHYSICAL DEMAND. It is only through a renewed crisis of confidence that this system can be broken...at least as it pertains to the precious metals. Physical demand will bust The Bullion Banks by breaking their just-in-time and unallocated delivery system. Physical demand will force price to be discovered through the exchange of physical metal, not the alchemized digital garbage that permeates the system today.
We'll leave you today with stories from each end of The Bank monster. The first, and one that we've been following closely since last March, is the continued run-up to renewed war on The Korean Peninsula. WHILE NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND IS CHEERING THIS ON, it is important to be prepared for all of the unknown unknowns that would come with such a catastrophe, one of them being financial calamity that could again shatter confidence in the current system.
And the other story deals with gold alchemy and the continued shunting of physical demand into sham/scam paper investments. It seems the World Gold Council is hungry to increase their fees. They are apparently planning to offer a whole new "gold" ETF, perhaps designed to compete with the IAU. Ask yourself, from where will this fund get the 200-300 metric tonnes of gold needed to fund its "inventory"? Once again, The Banks will simply perform the alchemy of leveraging current unallocated stockpiles into more and more digital "gold".
Again, true physical demand is the only antidote to the poison created by the Central Bankers and the Bullion Banks. Sadly, 2018 promises another surge in war, debt, negative interest rates and de-dollarization. Will these events finally prompt enough physical demand to break The Banks? Only time will tell.
Check out these other articles by our contributors:
Craig Hemke - Another Tradable Low Coming