Friday, January 20, 2017

Two Precious Metal Titans - Jim Sinclair interviewed by James Turk


James Turk, Director of The GoldMoney Foundation, talks to Jim Sinclair, about his successful gold price predictions, US debt problems, how to ride the trend and the second phase of the gold bull. It's a gear change from arithmetic to exponential growth as public perceptions about the safety of the US dollar changes. The debt ceiling debate is a wake up call for people all over the world.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Silver Will Ultimately Take Out $50 High, That’s When the Real Bull Market Begins!


In Week’s Crucial Metals & Markets, London Analyst James Turk Warns:
1. In the Final Blow-Off Top, You Won’t Sell Your Gold and Silver For Dollars…
2. We’re Very Close to Breaking Out Here in Silver. Is it Time to Pile In?
3. Deutsche Bank Trading at 25% of Book Value- What is the Market Pricing In?
4. THIS is Why You Want to Maximize Your Exposure to Gold and Silver
5. James Turk Explains Why He Is “So Bullish On Gold and Silver Here, Particularly Silver”
6. Silver Will Ultimately Take Out $50 High, That’s When the REAL Silver Bull Market Begins!


Friday, December 30, 2016

Gold And The On Coming Price Inflation

If interest rates must rise a tad, who cares? More important for equity-driven investors is the improved outlook for corporate profits from a combination of fiscal stimulation and a business-friendly administration.

If the recent performance of equity and bond markets is any guide, this view dominates investor thinking. Since the financial crisis eight years ago, the rise in equity markets had been driven by ZIRP and the expansion of credit aimed at financial assets. Now equities are on firmer ground, but this is a view that completely ignores the monetary flows upon which asset values depend. The reason asset values are at current levels is because there has been an excess of monetary inflation over that absorbed by the non-financial economy. Furthermore, demand from non-financials has been constrained by the continuing wealth-transfer effect of monetary inflation from ordinary people, benefitting the banks and the earlier recipients of the new credit created. This devaluation of earnings and savings is under-recorded by government inflation statistics, but the large majority of people in ordinary occupations outside financial centres have been progressively impoverished, relative to the minority benefiting from the inflation of financial assets prices. No wonder the economy stagnates.

The emphasis is now due to swing from monetary towards fiscal stimulation. Instead of money being bottled up in financial assets, it will begin to flow out of them into spending and employment in non-financial sectors, as well as into government, whose budget deficit will rise. The consequences of these monetary flows cannot be emphasised enough, leading to selling of financial assets in favour of financing non-financial activities. I covered this important point in a recent article, which yielded surprisingly little comment from regular readers. That analysis postulates that despite the improved outlook for the economy, equities and residential property prices are at or close to their peak, based on monetary flows. I urge all investors to read it if they have not already.

The price inflation killjoy

The effect of redirecting monetary resources previously inflating financial assets into non-financial sectors will be to increase consumer prices. Price inflation shifts, deflating assets and inflating consumer prices, developing a momentum of its own. We have already seen significant increases in dollar prices for industrial materials and energy in 2016. To this we must add the marginal price effect of increased demand for goods and services in a capacity-constrained economy. As products become relatively scarce compared with freely available money, the underlying price dynamics will become dramatically apparent.

The effect of price inflation is not, as commonly supposed, to drive up prices. Instead, it drives down the purchasing power of expanding government-issued currency. And in addition to these supply and demand considerations, there is the added dynamic of changes in consumers’ overall desire to retain money balances, relative to owning goods. Deteriorating public confidence in money is ultimately the greatest destructive force any fiat currency faces, and is the reason unsound money eventually collapses into uselessness.

Fortunately for all governments bent on monetary debasement, the public’s understanding of money is limited to it being the objective element in any transaction, and in consequence all populations are reluctant to even consider the possibility that government-issued currency might not be worth today what it was yesterday. Awareness that money is losing purchasing power only dawns on the public late in the price-inflation process.

The dollar’s accelerating loss of purchasing power could become a significant danger in future, because the Fed is predisposed to maintain interest rates on the low side, and raising the Fed Funds Rate to only 2.5% or so could be enough to trigger a debt crisis. The Fed is tasked with preventing financial and banking crises, and protecting the dollar’s purchasing power is a secondary consideration.

And that’s the problem. Mindful of the debt overhang, unless it is prepared to collapse the economy, the Fed cannot raise rates by much, perhaps 2% from current levels at most. If inflation measured by the CPI goes to over 4%, the general level of prices will almost certainly be rising by well over 10%, because the CPI statistic is designed to under-record price inflation by a considerable margin. While the rate of price increases is stable, it has not been an issue, but if it begins to rise, markets are likely to begin discounting higher rates of price inflation and become increasingly aware that the Fed is powerless to act.

In addition to the monetary flow problem discussed above, rising interest rates will therefore become an additional negative factor bearing down on asset values. We can expect the yield curve to steepen as well, and for the long bond to head towards 5% yields and more. Equities and property prices cannot rise in this environment, and must fall.

Gold

This year, bulls of precious metals have ridden a roller-coaster of hope followed by disillusionment. Much of the frustration has been due to the bullion banks seizing the opportunity presented by a strong dollar to force closure of their short positions on Comex. Meanwhile, for hedge funds, short-term positioning in gold has been an easy way to play the strong dollar, which is why money-managers morphed from earlier bulls to a mixture of bears and don’t-knows. Next year is shaping up to be an entirely different matter.

As discussed above, the defining economic feature of 2017 is almost certain to be increasing rates of price inflation and interest rates that are unlikely to rise by enough to stop it, without triggering a debt crisis. These are precisely the conditions that will disfavour government currencies, measured in gold, and have actually been in place to a greater or lesser extent for a considerable time. The chart below shows how the four major currencies have lost purchasing power since December 1969, indexed to 100.



Since December 1969, even a strong yen has lost over 90% of its value measured in the one form of money which is no one’s liability. The worst performers have been sterling at -98.45% and the euro – including its components prior to 2002 – at -98%. What is shocking about currency debasement is so few people realise the extent to which it has happened.

Bear in mind that in a sound-money environment the general price level will tend to fall, reflecting the rising living standards resulting from economic progress. Putting short-term volatility to one side, gold is therefore a far better measure of currencies’ loss of purchasing power than government inflation measures, even if they could be truly accurate.

The 1970s was the worst decade for currency debasement, and the conditions that prevailed at that time look like being repeated now. The principal difference is there was less debt in the private sector, and it needed a large hike in interest rates to swing consumer preferences back into holding government-issued money. The next chart shows Volcker’s inflation-killing interest rate hike at the end of that decade, followed by the subsequent interest rate peaks that were required to stop credit cycles from degenerating into escalating price inflation.



The dotted line, which marks the Fed Funds Rate at the declining peaks of US credit cycles, is currently at an FFR of 2.5%, which has fallen from 5.3% in the first half of 2007, when the last financial crisis began. By the end of 2017 it will be at 2.25%. The reason the line is declining is that total debt outstanding is continuing to escalate, with a growing proportion of it unaffordable at not much above current rates. The dotted line is telling us that at anything over 2%, the FFR is likely to tip the US economy into another financial crisis.

These strains are also acute in Europe, where the banks are less adequately capitalised and face regional crises, such as the current one in Italy. Bond yields have risen in Euroland as well as in the US, and it is quite likely the Eurozone banking system will succumb before the FFR reaches 2%, because the banks face catastrophic bond losses on their under-capitalised balance sheets.

The central banker’s response to the inevitable forthcoming crisis, wherever it arises first, is certain: throw yet more money at the problem. After all, it worked following Lehman, there is no alternative solution, and the central banks’ overriding priority is to keep the show on the road.

In 2008/09, the financial crisis was initially confined to identifiable banks and institutions in the US housing market. Next time, when a financial crisis occurs, the problems will be more widespread, encompassing bond markets, property, equities and governments themselves. It will be ebola compared with a flesh wound. There will be no option other than to rapidly expand the quantity of money on a global basis, with central banks buying up government debt, ultimately fuelling price inflation even further. Therefore, physical gold will not only afford protection against the escalating price inflation that few investors are expecting, but also against the risks and consequences of global systemic failure. Such a crisis may not occur in 2017, but we can see the direction of drift.

These are not forecasts, but an expectation of how events will unfold. Anyone who makes financial and investment forecasts fails to understand the nature of money, money flows and prices. But I can come up with my current expectations for 2017, on the understanding that my expectations today will evolve as events unfold. With that caveat, the following table summarises how I currently see things developing in 2017.



It could turn out worse. The conditions faced by America today have many parallels with those faced by the UK in 1972, too many for comfort. At that time, equities peaked and subsequently fell over 70%. From equity peak to financial crisis took nineteen months and the bear market in equities lasted 31 months. The Bank of England was forced to raise its base rate from 5% to 13% by late-1973, which triggered the commercial property crisis. The effect on sterling is recorded in the first chart in this article.

Happy Christmas to one and all, and may we all survive 2017 without too much financial distress.


Friday, December 9, 2016

The Money Bubble Will Pop, Gold is Real Money


One of the biggest names in the precious metals industry is here with us to discuss many gold related topics including the sound money history, ETF Scam and today's silver shortage. Of course we drill him down to get the most important aspects of how gold & silver will affect us today.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Bullion and Beyond: A World of Choices for Gold Investors


FLASHBACK:

The AIER lecture, Bullion and Beyond: A World of Choices for Gold Investors, was given at the E.C. Harwood Library. The event included: Gregory van Kipnis, Chairman, American Investment Services, Inc.: Introductory Seminar Remarks - What about Gold During Deflation?


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Chris Martenson and James Turk talk about Europe and the global economy


FLASHBACK: 

In this video Chris Martenson - economic analyst and author of The Crash Course and James Turk, Director of the GoldMoney Foundation talk about the problems facing the eurozone as well as the global economy. Chris Martenson points out that the whole world simply has too much debt. This is why he believes that there won't be a real solution to the euro crisis. The big question will rather be who will take losses on the debt, which can't possibly be repaid. 

The lack of political leadership and unwillingness to accept reality is contributing to this crisis. Additionally, the monetary tools central banks have traditionally used to revive economies are starting to show less and less effect. 

In Martenson's view, the financial sector has become way to large and interlinked across borders, so that a default by one country could bring down the whole financial systems, because credit default swaps would get triggered and could bring down the writers of those derivatives.


Friday, November 4, 2016

The Super Rich Get It - Moving out of Cash & Into Physical Assets


James starts out by saying that there is so much money being printed by central banks, and its got to end up somewhere, and a lot of this money is ending up in what are perceived as safe-havens. For example, London and Singaporean real-estate, artworks, collectibles, and antique automobiles.

It's what you see in the early stages of what the Austrian economists call a 'crack-up' boom, the demand for the currency declines, and people move into things and out of the currency. I think the super rich get it, they're moving out of currencies because they aren't earning enough interest income, and safe-havens of all sorts are benefitting.

Speaking on the gold price, James' guess would be that the gold price will rebound quickly. Simply for the reason that gold has had so much downwards pressure, and that gold has been so undervalued. The recent downturn could be a short-squeeze, and if it is, then we could see a 'rubber band' effect in the price.

Next, James talks about the money bubble. People have generally lost sight of what money is, and the paper that's circulating as national currencies is not really money since it doesn't settle an obligation. If a shop receives a tangible asset (gold/silver) for the good of service that he's is giving in return, he has no lingering obligation or risk afterwards.

A currency presents payment risk, inflation risk, and bank risks. People are accepting those risks without realizing how severe those risks are. The risks of holding money in a bank today is quite large, the risks of inflation are large, and the risks of various promises being broken by governments are also quite large.

When asked on the future of currencies, and a possible gold back Russian/Chinese currency, James states that we can't predict the future, but he hopes that private currencies become dominant. What we're seeing with Bitcoin and other crypto currencies represent an important technological breakthrough, but at the end of the day, he sees gold emerging as the form of money, which it has always been throughout history.


Friday, October 28, 2016

Could Gold Reach $12,000 Per Ounce?

The numerous complexities of the gold market often make it difficult for investors to see a clear trend in prices and market activity. However, it is important to not miss the forest for the trees when grappling with those many indicators.

When it comes to commodities, there are a few basics that will always dominate the direction of prices. The balance between supply and demand is the most fundamental of those factors, and it is essential to understand that relationship, especially for long-term buyers of gold and other precious metals.

A Finite Supply and Increasing Demand

It is one of nature’s more astonishing facts that all the gold ever mined and produced would easily fit into a cube of just 67 square feet (20 square meters)—slightly bigger than an Olympic pool. 1 Even more interesting is that more than 80 percent of the above-surface gold has been mined since the 1850s, in spite of its historical role as one of our most prized resources.

In other words, if not for dramatically greater production of the valued yellow metal over the past 15 or 16 decades, the demand for gold would greatly exceed the supply. This is especially the case since there are so many new and vital uses of gold. Gold is valued as unequalled material for jewelry and storing wealth, but is beginning to be used for so much more.

Demand for Gold in Medicine and Technology



Today, one of the rarest metals on earth (composing roughly only 0.003 parts per million of the crust of the earth), gold is being utilized in a broad number ofmedical, industrial, and technological applications. From providing microscopic connections in tiny electronics to nanoparticles in medical testing devices, science continues to find new ways to put gold to use. Moreover, the unique characteristics of this metal make it irreplaceable in many of these applications.2

Political and Economic Factors Increase Demand



These new uses are, in fact, only a part of the reason gold consumption is hitting record highs. Other pressure points on the demand side of the gold equation include:
Increased buying and decreased selling of gold by central banks around the globe, especially in China and Russia.
Steadily growing culturally driven purchases in countries like China and India from a growing and newly prosperous middle and upper class.

Significantly increasing interest in physical gold for investment from buyers and investors, ranging from hedge funds to individuals.

The combined effect of these and other areas of demand drove the investment demand for gold to 1064 tons in H1 2016, the highest level since 917 tons in the same period in 2009. 3 The net effect of this global consumption of gold is underpinning a steady increase in the price of gold.

While demand is being driven by an increasingly dark global economic scenario, many analysts and serious investors in gold are taking note of the growing role of supply as a factor.

The Limits to Mining?

Heavy investment and technology has provided the world a century of increased production of gold, with new production and new demand roughly matching over the period. However, many are concerned that the ability to affordably produce new supplies of gold may be severely limited.

One of the more pessimistic analysts resides at no less an authority than Goldman Sachs. Eugene King, an analyst at the firm, recently stated, “we have only 20 years of known mineable reserves of gold.” 4 Additionally, even if new reserves were found, the costs of production would undoubtedly exceed the current market prices of the commodity.

Outrageous or Not? Gold Could Reach $12,000 Per Ounce

Understanding and extrapolating the impact of these supply and demand realities on the market price of gold, some analysts are predicting gold prices per ounce as high as $10,000 (Jim Rickards) to $12,000 (James Turk). 5 Of course, this predication takes a long view and accounts for many different factors, but considering the long-term trends of gold demand and the finite supply of the yellow metal available in total, it’s not outside the realm of imagination for the price of gold to hit never-before-seen highs in decades to come. Whether or not these forecasts prove true or not, the natural and immutable impact of supply versus demand continues to exert very bullish long-term pressure on the market for gold.

- Source, Steve Hunt via Smarter Analyst

Like this post? Subscribe to our free gold and silver newsletter