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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Will the US dollar hyperinflate?

by James Turk - Goldmoney

The hyperinflation of a currency is typically described as an event, as if one day everything is normal and then the next day hyperinflation is manifest throughout the economy. This description explains, for example, how the hyperinflations that destroyed the currencies in Germany in the 1920s, Serbia in the 1990s and Zimbabwe more recently are generally viewed.

Hyperinflations, however, are not spontaneous. They do not appear “out of the blue”. It is therefore more accurate to describe hyperinflation as a process. There are many steps taken on the road to hyperinflation that ultimately and eventually leads to the destruction of a currency.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Jamie Dimon Has Issues (or Meet The Idiot Selling Gold)

by Across the Street

Update: On Friday April 26, JPM customers (US government??) added a whopping 558 contracts (55,800 troy oz.) to the totals reflected in this article.  The CME group daily report can be found here, but note, these daily reports go into Never-neverland when the new one comes out (so save it if you want it for future reference).
Somebody should explain to the blathering numbskulls at CNBS that when just one firm accounts for 99.3% of the physical gold sales at the COMEX in the last three months it’s not what most of us on this side of the rainbow would consider “broad-based” selling.  Of course discovering this kind of relevant information requires an internet connection, 2nd grade math and reading skills, and the desire to do a teeny-weeny bit of reporting.  Sadly they’ve wandered so far down the rabbit hole that the concept of “physical demand” (i.e. people actually wanting to take possession of the stuff) is puzzling to them because the vast majority of the world’s so-called “gold-trading” takes place in the realm of make believe (which is their natural habitat).  It’s all fun and games until somebody loses their metal and “somebody” has lost one hell of a lot of metal in the last 90 days.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

JPMorgan's Eligible Gold Plummets 65% In 24 Hours To All Time Low

by Tyler Durden

We are confident that in the aftermath of our article from last night "Just What Is Going On With The Gold In JPMorgan's Vault?" in which we showed the absolute devastation of "eligible" (aka commercial) gold warehoused in JPM's vault just over the Manhattan bedrock at 1 Chase Manhattan Place (and also in the entire Comex vault network in the past month), we were not the only ones checking every five minutes for the Comex gold depository update for April 25. Moments ago we finally got it, and it's a doozy. Because in just the past 24 hours, from April 24 to April 25, according to the Comex, JPM's eligible gold plunged from 402.4K ounces to just 141.6K ounces, a drop of 65% in 24 hours,and the lowest amount of eligible gold held at the vault on record, since its reopening in October 2010!

Everyone has seen what a run on the bank looks like. Below is perhaps the best chart of what a "run on the vault" is.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Eric Sprott: Silver to Outshine Gold as the Investment of this Decade!

by Capital Account

Today news headlines proclaimed "Gold rises" due to Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti's plans to resign, while CNBC cited expectations of future Federal Reserve easing. Regardless of the reason, Gold was barely up, trading just a little above 1,710 dollars an ounce, the lower end of its 30 day trading range. In the summer of 2011, during the US debt ceiling debate and credit downgrade, gold topped 1900 dollars an ounce. However, since then the price has dropped, despite the types of news events that usually drive investors to gold. Plus, according to the World Gold Council, central banks will buy more than 500 tons of gold this year, up from 465 tons in 2011, a new high.

Is It Time To Sell Your Gold?

by Bill Bonner

Dear readers ask about gold. Is it time to sell? To buy? To forget about it?
Gold fell $25 yesterday; it now stands at $1,575 per ounce. The gold price could break all the way down to $1,000. But we don't expect it. Gold is not in a bubble.
As you have seen, gold is neither overpriced nor underpriced. It buys about what it should buy. Maybe a little less. Maybe a little more.
How do we know what gold "should" buy?
We don't, really. But gold is a natural thing. It is pulled from the earth by people, using the technology and resources available to them. As their productivity in other areas goes up, so does – generally – their ability to extract gold from the ground.

Short Covering Squeeze In Precious Metals and Miners?

by Jeb Handwerger - Gold Stock Trades

A week ago I wrote about a potential rebound after capitulation and panic selling in precious metals and the miners. It now appears Goldman Sachs (GS) is covering its short on gold as it rebounds above $1400.
Meanwhile, many banks have helped confuse and misdirect the investment community out of gold (GLD) and silver (SLV). This was a classic shakeout and bear trap which may start a major short covering rally.
Be ready to see increased short covering combined with record physical demand. These are the two elements to spark a price spike and breakout higher in both gold and silver.
These markets are ready to start moving higher after basing for 2 years and having a major short attack by the big banks too big to fail and the media.

Right when gold and silver were about to gain some momentum after bouncing off key support for most of 2012, simultaneously Goldman Sachs came out with a bearish prognostication on precious metals, old Fed minutes are brought up and Cyprus says they will sell gold.
This resulted in a shakeout below $1535 and a massive bear trap for momentum traders who may have been stopped out. The markets will do whatever it must to confuse, misdirect and obfuscate the long term trend investor.

The US is moving to a gold standard

by Jan Skoyles

Following the news that last week Arizona lawmakers passed a bill that will see precious metals become legal tender we thought this would be the perfect time to bring you a fourth installment of The Real Asset Report. Here we look at the moves several US states are making to move to sound money. Look out for the great infographic below.
 ‘No State Shall make any Thing but Gold and Silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts’ 1787 US Constitution: Article I, Section 8.
When President Nixon closed the gold window in 1971, ending Bretton Woods, it signalled the final disregard for the Founding Fathers’ US Constitution.
Whilst many have long campaigned for a return to the gold standard, including Dr Ron Paul, a former Congressman and GOP presidential candidate, moves to use gold and silver as legal tender have hit the big time since the financial crisis.
There are now 20 US states that either have successfully passed bills to allow gold and silver to be used as legal tender, or have been exploring it as an option.

Ron Paul On Bitcoin: "If I Can't Put It In My Pocket, I Have Reservations"

"You will not see economic growth until you liquidate the debt and liquidate the malinvestment out there," is the hard truth that former Congressman Ron Paul lays on Bloomberg TV in this wide-ranging interview. Paul is concerned at "the erraticness of the dollar... and its devaluation," explaining that, "people think the gold price up and down is a reflection of something wrong with gold; no, I say it is something wrong with the dollar." The topic gravitates to inflation, which Paul explains is far from missing as, "Bond prices go up. Stocks are going up. Housing prices are starting to go back up again. Education costs are going up," adding that, "CPI is not reliable." Paul is buying gold, believes "we are in as much trouble as Greece," and while fascinated by the free market nature of Bitcoin, he notes that while he doesn't fully understand it, "if I can't put it in my pocket, I have some reservations about that."

Paul on whether he's concerned about the drop in gold:

"I am concerned about the erraticness of the dollar. The dollar is up, the dollar is down. We print a lot of dollars. The dollar gets devalued. That is really the concern. If people think the gold price up and down is a reflection of something wrong with gold, no, I say it is something wrong with the dollar. People have been expressing concerns over the past couple of months about gold, but compared to what?

Aureus, Argentum Atque Oleum

by Richard Daughty


***Paranoia Alert: Enemies Everywhere, With Precious Metals Our Only Friends***

Okay, I admit I was, you know, kind of "over the edge" a little bit the other morning, but my wife interrupted me just as my raging madness was peaking, almost out of control, I mean really cranking loud and long that "Anyone NOT buying gold, silver and oil, Right Freaking Now (RFN), especially at these bargain-basement prices when the evil Federal Reserve is creating So Freaking Much (SFM) currency and credit that inflation in prices will rage out of control, is a complete and utter butthole who ought to be dragged in here, kicking and screaming, so that I can yell in their faces that they are, as previously stipulated earlier in this very same sentence, buttholes!"
That – that! – was when she gently tapped me on the arm and asked "Dear, did you take your pills this morning?"
Well, that’s the pivotal moment when I really lost it. Suddenly, in a kind of weird, out-of-body experience, I could see myself saying "No, I didn’t take my damned pills this morning! Why else would I be acting like this, you moron?"
Now, there are a couple of things that my wife doesn’t like, and one of them is me calling her a moron. Although I liked it when the kids snickered and tried not to laugh, so it wasn’t ALL bad, because usually they laugh when my wife is reminding me, with overwhelming embarrassing evidence, how I have, personally, been a moron.

Why central planning fails

 by Bill Bonner 

The Dow is still rising. It rose another 125 points yesterday… hitting a new record high.
Gold is dawdling.
We’re still thinking about how so many smart people came to believe things that aren’t true. Krugman, Stiglitz, Friedman, Bernanke — all seem to have a simpleton’s view of how the world works. They believe they can manipulate the future and make it better. Not just for themselves, but for everyone. Where did such a silly idea come from?
Aristotelian logic came to dominate Western thought after the Renaissance. It was essentially a forerunner of positivism — which is supposedly based on objective conditions and scientific reasoning. “Give me the facts,” says the positivist, confidently. “Let me apply my rational brain to them. I will come up with a solution!”
This is fine, if you are building the Eiffel Tower or organizing the next church supper. But positivism falls apart when it is applied to schemes that go beyond the reach of the “herald’s cry.”
That’s what Aristotle said. He thought only a small community could work at all. Because only in a small community would all the people share more or less the same information and interests. In a large community, you can’t know things in the same direct, personal way. So it’s hard for people to work together in the same way.
In a large community, you have no idea who made your sausage or what they put in it. You have to rely on “facts” that are no longer verifiable by direct observation or personal acquaintance.
Instead, the central planners’ facts usually are nothing more than statistical mush, wishful thinking or theoretical claptrap — like Weapons of Mass Destruction, the unemployment rate and the Übermensch.
Large-scale planning fails because the facts upon which it is built are unreliable, frequently completely bogus.
And it fails because people don’t really want it.

Hidden Agenda

In a small community the planners and the people they are planning for are close enough to share the same goals. In a large community the planners are a small minority.

Forget Cyprus, Japan Is The Real Crisis

Forget Cyprus. A much bigger story in the coming weeks and months will be in Japan, where one of the greatest economic experiments in the modern era is about to begin. A country where government debt even dwarfs those of Europe’s crisis-ridden nations, Japan will attempt to inflate its way out of a 23-year deflationary spiral.
The overwhelming consensus among the world’s economists is that quantitative easing (QE) has saved the day in the U.S. and that Japan needs to follow suit, on a larger scale. I beg to differ and suggest this policy will almost certainly lead to a hyperinflationary disaster in Japan. If that’s right, it will have serious ramifications for other countries, dragged down by an acceleration of the so-called currency wars. More broadly though, it is likely to destroy the myth pushed by today’s economists that QE is a cure-all for downtrodden economies. It isn’t and Japan will become the template to prove it.
Monster stimulus on the way
The new Bank of Japan (BoJ) Governor, Haruhiko Kuroda, started work on Thursday and his first day on the job disappointed investors.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Retort to SocGen’s Latest Gold Report

Société Générale (“SocGen”) recently published a special report entitled “The end of the gold era” that garnered far more attention than we think it deserved. The majority of the report focused on SocGen’s “crash scenario” for gold wherein they suggest that gold could fall well below their 2013 target of US$1,375/oz. It also included a classic criticism that we’ve heard so many times before: that the gold price is in “bubble territory”. We have problems with both suggestions.

To begin, the report’s authors appear to view gold as a commodity, rather than as a currency. This is a common misconception that continues to plague most gold market analysis. Gold doesn’t really work as a commodity because it doesn’t get consumed like one. The vast majority of gold mined throughout history remains in existence today, and the total global gold stockpile grows in small increments every year through additional mine supply. 

Banking and the State


“It had come to be accepted that the pigs, who were manifestly cleverer than the other animals, should decide all questions of farm policy, though their decisions had to be ratified by a majority vote.”
Orwell, G. (1989 [1945]), Animal Farm, S. 34.

The Starting Point: Civilization Begins

The founder of the Medici banking dynasty, Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici (1360–1429), said to his children on his death bed: “Stay out of the public eye.”[1] His words raise the question, "How much do bankers know about the truth of modern money and banking?"
To develop a meaningful answer to this question in the tradition of the Austrian School of economics, one has to start right at the beginning, and that is with the process of civilization.
Civilization denotes the development through which man substitutes the state of the division of labor and specialization (that is, peaceful and productive cooperation) for the state of subsistence (that is, a violent hand-to-mouth existence).
In his magnum opus Human Action (1949), Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973) put forward a praxeological explanation of the process of civilization, which helps us understand the course of its evolution.[2]
To Mises, two factors are at the heart of the process of civilization: (1) There must be an inequality of wants and skills among people. This is a necessary condition for people to want to seek cooperation.

The Biggest Bubble in Human History?


Dow up 125 points yesterday, to a new all-time record.

Why? What's behind it? The economy is not so hot. Why the red-hot stock market?

China is back in the news. A new report from CBS's "60 Minutes" documents the extent of the ghost cities in China – miles and miles of empty highway, office towers, apartments and malls. Analysts are talking about the biggest real estate bubble in history!

Is China a bubble? We don't know.

Does it matter? Well... yes... maybe. If China melts down or blows up the demand for oil and other resources goes down. The Chinese have pumped vast sums of money into development projects. That money helped to keep people on the job... and also kept the ships full of stuff, going back and forth across the world's oceans.

The Money-ness of Bitcoins


Bitcoins have been much in the news lately. Against the background of renewed concerns about the integrity of the euro zone and the imposition of capital controls in Cyprus, the price of a bitcoin has tripled over the last month and reached more than $141 for 1 BTC. Are we witnessing the spontaneous emergence of an alternative virtual medium of exchange, as some would put it? This article offers an answer to this question by considering three aspects of the economy of bitcoins: their production process, their demand factors, and their capacity to compete with physical media of exchange.

The Production of Bitcoins

A bitcoin is a unit of a nonmaterial virtual currency, also called crypto-currency, by the same name. They are stored in anonymous “electronic wallets,” described by a series of about 33 letters and numbers.

Jim Rogers: The Yen will be the First to Collapse in the Currency Wars


Jim Rogers is an author, financial commentator and successful international investor. He has been frequently featured in Time, The New York Times, Barron’s, Forbes, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and is a regular guest on Bloomberg and CNBC.
Wall St for Main St interviewed legendary investor and the author of Street Smarts, Jim Rogers. In this podcast, we discussed the global currency wars and why the Yen will be the first to collapse. Jim will discuss why the situation in Cyprus is a big deal and why Americans should be concerned about it! Also, we discussed gold,silver,copper and the agriculture market. Plus much more!
Jim Rogers started trading the stock market with $600 in 1968.In 1973 he formed the Quantum Fund with the legendary investor George Soros before retiring, a multi millionaire at the age of 37. Rogers and Soros helped steer the fund to a miraculous 4,200% return over the 10 year span of the fund while the S&P 500 returned just 47%.

The Chess Game of Capital Controls


The best indicator of a chess player's form is his ability to sense the climax of the game.
–Boris Spassky, World Chess Champion, 1969-1972

You've likely heard that the German central bank announced it will begin withdrawing part of its massive gold holdings from the United States as well as all its holdings from France. By 2020, Bundesbank says it wants half its gold reserves stored in its own vault in Germany.
Why would it want to physically move the metal from New York? It's not as if US vaults are not secure, and since Germany already owns the gold, does it really matter where it sits?
You may recall that Hugo Chávez did the same thing in late 2011, repatriating much of his country's gold reserves from London. However, this isn't a third-world dictatorship; Germany is a major ally of the US. So what's going on?

Why Cyprus Matters (And The ECB Knows It)


When Zig turns to Zag and the Red Queen is after your head then extraordinary care is necessitated. To quote Holmes, "The game is afoot" on the Continent.

I have been asked, with some frequency, why the bondholders have not been tagged in the Cyprus fiasco. That answer is simple. Most of Cyprus's bonds are pledged as collateral at the ECB or in the Target2 financing program. Then one may also ask why the bonds of the two large Cypriot banks are not being hit. The answer is the same; most are held as collateral at the ECB or Target2. In both cases, remember uncounted liabilities, the government of Cyprus has guaranteed the debt. Consequently if the two Cyprus banks default it is of small matter as the sovereign has guaranteed the debt. However if the country defaults and leaves the European Union then it will matter and matter significantly as the tiny country of Cyprus would wipe out the entire equity capital of the European Central Bank. While it is not a matter of public record it is estimated that Cyprus has guaranteed about $11.6 billion of collateral at the ECB.

Preparing for Inflationary Times

by Jeff Clark

"All this money printing, massive debt, and reckless deficit spending – and we have 2% inflation? I'm beginning to believe that either the deflationists are right, or the Fed's interventions are working." – Anonymous Casey Research reader
The CPI, in our view, does not accurately measure inflation, which accounts for some of the discrepancy our reader is pointing out. However, the proper definition of inflation is "an increase in the quantity of money," which we've had in spades. We've not experienced the concomitant increase in prices, which is what we're addressing in this article.
It's logical to assume that when you create more of something, you dilute the value of what's already in existence. That's exactly what has happened to the US dollar since the 2008 financial crisis hit. Economics 101 says this should lead to higher inflation – yet official Consumer Price Index (CPI) levels remain benign.
It's this unexpected development that led a reader to pen the above quote. Is the inflation argument dead? If so, does that mean gold's big run is over? It's a timely question since the current selloff in gold is largely attributed to low inflation expectations.

‘BRICS Development Bank would shift the tectonic plates of geopolitics and geo-economics’


The BRICS Development Bank is the beginning of the end of the existing monetary management system, Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar told RT.

RT: There’s no doubt about it, these countries that form the BRICS, they haven’t got a lot in common have they? They’ve all got different styles of government indeed some of them are economic rivals. Are they really a group to be taken seriously?

Pepe Escobar: From now on yes, let’s say until this summit in Durban, there was a lot of political talk of course and the BRICS are basically an economic group in the making. Now it’s different, now they have clear sound, actual policies to be implemented.