precious metals

Golden Showers

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on December 11, 2014

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Snippet:

 

my_precious…One of the more interesting and somewhat comical manifestations of the ongoing banking collapse, manifested mostly in the crashing currency value of the Yen and Euro but visible elsewhere in skyrocketing Stock prices is the attempt by various countries like Germany, Switzerland and Belgium to “Repatriate” Gold they have stored overseas in the Basement Safe of Da NY Fed and the BoE primarily. Well, it is supposed to be there anyhow…

Why do they want to repatriate said stacks of Gold? Obviously, because nobody TRUSTS anybody anymore, so everybody wants their own hands on their Precious, Gollum style.

Of course, very little of this stuff is actually moving around from one safe to another, various excuses are made for this, but of course the main reason is that there are multiple claims to every Gold Bar in existence, many times over here. It is “leased” out, which is the most preposterous idea you can imagine, HTF does Renting a Gold Bar improve your financial situation? Besides that, there is an enormous amount of “Paper Gold” traded every day, which has no corresponding Gold bar attached to it, it is just a bet on what the current and future price of Gold might be.

To demonstrate how ridiculous this whole deal is though, let us do a Thought Experiment and imagine what occurs even IF all this Gold actually still is in the Basement Safes of Da Fed and the BoE, AND all the countries requesting return of their Precious actually get it back!…

http://www.quickmeme.com/img/de/de7b0d100f2bbdfcb3686fb5c4e35ddb3a1657a43f8c190eff9d1ee0e721a2e9.jpghttp://www.quickmeme.com/img/d1/d131e378f41f1d548fd565cc09cca5c3e60b9d35b3dc82d1465f2494152cc4d3.jpg

For the rest, LISTEN TO THE RANT!!!

Note: For Non-Native speakers of English and folks who prefer to read rather than listen, you can find the Full Transcript of this Rant HERE

Whither Gold?

Off the keyboard of RE

Published on the Doomstead Diner on April 14, 2013

Discuss this article at the Economics Table inside the Diner

The financial story of the weekend is the 4% hit Gold took going into the weekend, dropping $88 to finish below $1500/oz. The fall isn’t limited to just this week though, it’s been ongoing since Gold hit it’s peak at around $1900/oz back in early 2011. Predicitions from the Gold Bug crowd at the time being that Gold was set for Parabolic Liftoff, heading for $5K or even $10K/oz. Never happenned of course and it’s been on a pretty steady downward track since Q2 of2012.

What’s happening and why? One important factor most recently was the collapse of the Cyprus Ponzi, which led me to short Gold a couple of weeks ago.

There also is likely a Margin Call Event coming down the pipe from this in Europe. It will force Liquidation of Assets across the board, and the Eurotrash have a lot of Gold. I forsee a massive Collapse in the PMs market when the Euro Collapses. I think it is a 6 month-1 year timeline. Disclosure: I am going to short PMs and go LONG on the Dollar through this Shitstorm.

While the Cyprus Event accelerated this trend, it’s been ongoing in Eurotrashland for quite some time, everybody is liquidating assets trying to get out of the Euro Sewer. Thing is, it’s not so simple as just trading a pile of Euro Toilet Paper for a Shiny Paperweight.

The folks with large positions in Euro based assets don’t really HAVE a lot of Euros stuffed in Mattresses, they are leverred Hedge Funds who have to liquidate one asset to buy another, and if they are liquidating into a losing position they are getting progressively deeper in the hole. The have to find an asset INCREASING in value as fast as everything they have is losing value just to stay even. What is increasing in nominal value? The Stock Market of course, because that is what Da Fed is propping up! You don’t wanna buck Da Fed, so you don’t buy Gold, you buy APPL if you are a Eurotrash Hedge Fund manager looking to reallocate assets.

The next issue you have to deal with is “who has money?” and “who has Gold”?  The reality here in the FSoA (and in Europe and China too), is 80% of the population has no more in the bank than a couple months worth of Bills, which they need to keep liquid and in the bank to pay those bills. They can’t realistically keep this money in gold coins in the basement safe, run to the coin dealer when they need to pay a bill, convert it at whatever the spot rate for the day + the dealer’s charge to dollars, run to the bank and deposit it, then write a check on this to pay a bill.

Similarly, any company still in Bizness isn’t paying their employees in Gold Eagles in little Pouches, they have a Payroll Account and are paying in Dollars or Euros. Similarly, they have accounts to pay their suppliers and pay their fixed bills. They can’t keep all this money in Gold and liquidate as needed to pay bills, it’s all moving around too fast for that from one persons account to another. This is where most of the MOVING money in the system is, it’s not in large stashes of cash that some squirrels could take and shift to Gold coins to “store value”. Not to mention, when you go from $1900 to $1500 in the course of 2 years time you are LOSING money at 10% a year, which is not a great store of value. Maybe long term gold coins hold more value than fiat, but short term for the last 2 years they got HAMMERRED.

After looking at where the Money is, you gotta look at where the Monetary Gold is. When I say Monetary Gold, I mean the BRICKS of Gold held in the CB Safes, not Gold Wedding Rings, which generally don’t get sold off until somebody is really hurting. The only people with large amounts of Gold to SELL are the CBs, Sovereign Wealth Funds and a few Illuminati. They can either Dump gold on the market if they want to see the price go down, or Buy it if they want to see the price go up. Gold Bugs call this “manipulation”, but it’s what any pigman does when they hold a near monopoly position in any commodity. That is how the Game WORKS.

What is most curious here is that DESPITE the fact CBs are BUYING gold, the price is still going DOWN. What that tells me is that Hedge Funds are liquidating Gold positions faster than the CBs can or will buy that gold at the moment. Which only makes sense, because it is the Hedge Funds that are NOT quite TBTF that are in the deepest doo-doo, especially in Europe. Certainly the Ruskie Mafia in Cyprus got hit hard here, despite the fact the better connected escaped out the Back Door in the City of London.

So what is the medium and long term prognosis here for the PMs? Well, since de-leveraging in Eurotrashland still has quite a ways to go here, downward price pressure on Gold is likely to remain pretty strong, and you would have to count on Da Fed and the PBoC to buy it and keep the price propped up. In this respect, Gold Bugs should be GLAD the CBs are manipulating the market, because if the PBoC STOPPED buying, in all likelihood the floor would drop out from under Gold. Like with the Bond Market though, the CBs will try to keep any given asset class from being abandoned en masse by buying it. What level the CBs see as “right” for Gold is hard to say, and depends a lot on political machinations. My guess is a floor around 1350, but subject to change if/when TSHTF in the Nip Bond Market or Italy or Spain go Tits Up. Then you are likely to get wild Volatility and Fluctuations as liquidations are undertaken and the hoi polloi scrambles to dump whatever Toilet Paper they are holding in favor of what shiny paperweights they can locate.

Finally in this mix is general psychology, which is not the same amongst the vast majority of Homo Sapiens as it is amongst Doomers. Doomers see the End Game as IMMINENT, so those who do have some “wealth” are putting it into Possessible PMs if they believe in this asset class as a store of that wealth. Long term they do likely hold more value than Toilet Paper, but how much more is a very open question. For most people here in the FSoA and stronger Eurotrash economies like Krautland, while they may not be happy with their Goobermints they don’t see them as in imminent danger of collapse. Current Boomers and Silents receiving Social Security checks don’t see it likely the check won’t arrive next month, and they are likely correct in that assumption. Overall, the number of people who BOTH see collapse as IMMINENT and HAVE enough money to drop a significant amount of it into PMs as a choice is EXCEEDINGLY small both relative to population size AND relative to the centralized wealth pools controlled by the CBs as proxy for the Illuminati. J6P can’t push around the prices of these asset classes, he doesn’t have a big enough slice of the financial pie with which to do it. So one can only assume that those who do hold the vast majority of Monetary Gold will manipulate the price best they can until the Plug gets Pulled at some other end of the financial spectrum. When that occurs, it’s hard to predict where the CBs will put their support behind, but not sure it will matter either because the system in general will be so out of whack that no commerce will be moving anywhere.

In that longest term outcome for this post, I would agree with the Gold Bug that Gold will hold more value than Fiat does, but probably not by a whole lot and it will be difficult to keep, difficult to exchange and likely taxed to beat the band as well.  Right now, it’s mainly a specualtive medium, a GAMBLE only to be taken if you can afford to lose the bet. I sure would not leverage gold Short or Long now, it can swing as wildly as Bitcoin. Like all the rest of the financial markets it is a CRAPSHOOT.

Gold has some appealing properties which made it work both as Currency and as a Store of Value during the expansionary period of the Money game in the community of Homo Sapiens.  Its chemical properties make it difficult (impossible without Nuclear chemistry) to produce at will, thus you can’t “counterfeit” real gold, though you can of course do metal dilutions that are difficult to detect during typical commerce.  It lasts essentially forever, doesn’t rust, hell it’s even impervious to that most corrosive of environments, sea water. Still TONS of gold sitting at the bottom of Davey Jones Locker in basically the same condition it was when a Spanish freighter was sunk by a French Privateer.

Regardless of those qualities, to function as Currency, Gold had to be widely distributed, which it once was but no longer is.  Because it was perceived as a store of value, it was over many millenia CENTRALIZED into very large pools, which really don’t ever get redistributed, they just wheel them from one cage to another in the basement of the FRBNY. I’ve never run into a Gold Bug who could plausibly explain to me how these huge piles of Gold would ever be broken up and redistributed out to J6P as Coinage to use as currency.

As long as there ARE big centralized Piles of it, whoever controls those piles controls its “going price” on the market, not selling any if they want the price to rise, dumping if they want the price to fall.  It behooves those in control to keep a floor price under gold, but also not to let it rise to stratospheric levels, because then it loses representative value. Put it this way, if Gold were to rise to $10K/oz, 10 1 oz coins could buy a nice Doomstead in the Ozarks. Happy Days for a Gold Bug if that were to occur, but a highly unlikely outcome here.

Nowadays, the PM market is a Casino, mostly well controlled by those who control vast quantities of it, and also control the Mines where it is dug up from under the ground as well.  If you do have a lot of extra spare change and place a Bet on the PM Number on the Roulette Wheel, you’re probably better off than holding Euros, but in the near term not better off than holding Dollars, especially if you are leveraged, which just about all hedge funds are, and Sovereign Wealth funds also for that matter. As a future Currency, Gold holds very little promise, its mostly well sequestered into Safes controlled by others far more powerful, and it’s not ever coming out of those safes for redistribution.  Its value is just PERCEIVED value, not Utility Value.  Unlike a gallon of Gas, it won’t make your SUV go anywhere.  Unlike a patch of Land in the Ozarks, it won’t grow any food for you to eat.

Most of all, unlike Friends, Gold will not stand by your side and help you protect and defend you children and loved ones. Bet on something you can depend on. Bet on your FRIENDS. Bet on COMMUNITY. That is the FUTURE, not Gold and not Money.

The ROOT of all EVIL.

RE

 

All That Glitters

Post your comments here.

Doomstead Diner Forum pages often feature discussion about the merits of gold and other precious metals. It is hard to not be attracted to its utility as a way of preserving value, in age where the Masters of the Universe have debased the world’s currencies  beyond recognition. So who wouldn’t be attracted to gold? Bastion of value in an age of fiat plunderers, object of desire for both princes and beautiful women, even James Bond was bedazzled. I confess my own confusion on this subject. In the effort to lift the veil from my eyes, I have done some internet investigation, and remain as bollixed as when I began.

 

IN “Manufacturing Money,” RE asserts with the surety of an Old Testament prophet that “you CANNOT MAKE SOMETHING FROM NOTHING.” Bold, and in caps, at that. To set up his essay, he cites a quote from Steve from Virginia:

‘Money printing’ is inaccurate and false: central banks cannot create new money, they are balance sheet constrained. They cannot lend without collateral. They cannot lend above the ‘face price’ of the collateral, which is almost always another loan. What central banks do is shuffle the custody of loans between agents, moving up or down the yield curve in the process.

 

Perhaps I am mistaken, and may well be, but it seems that the global game of Three Card Monte that the central bankers are playing is “rehypothicating” capital such that the collateral appears viable? Or in other words, creating the appearance of something from nothing? All of which serves to keep the giant balloon of debt at least partially inflated. You might consider it “hologram capital–” visible to an observer from a fixed position, but as insubstantial as a hologram when you try to touch it.

 

The various computations attempting to cite the amount of debt tend to run out of zeroes, and quickly reach numbers that beggar understanding. It is hard enough to wrap the mind around the concept of a billion anything; the idea of quintillions of anything enters the realms of mystery, and is not meaningful in any practical way. With so much money in play, how does a peasant lock away some value?

 

In a word, gold, or precious metals. At least to some of our friends here.

 

Disclosure: I hold no PMs. I confess personally to being baffled by the precious metals argument. If your bet is that the rule of law will continue pretty much along the lines of what we know now, and that FSA agents won’t kick your door down to confiscate your boodle, then PMs are probably a good idea. But what if the grid goes down, the phones stop working, and the rule of law devolves to that which you can enforce personally? It seems to me that, in a TEOTWATKI situation, the best hedge against privation would be to be long potatoes. The value of PMs as a  hedge against inflation seems to be directly to related to one’s ability to protect  them from somebody who, say, had a store of lead. The other words, come TEOTWATKI, how would you protect it? Mad Max-style wandering warlords might well be less eager to make off with your cellar of potatoes, say, than your cache of gold.

Apparently the United States was on a gold standard for most of his existence. And led to a true gold standard in 1900 with the passage of the Gold Standard Act. That  standard apparently came to an end in 1933 when FDR outlawed private gold ownership except for the purposes of jewelry. The Bretton Woods agreement created a system of fixed exchange rates where governments could sell their gold to the US treasury of the price of $35 an ounce. That avatar of Satan, Richard Nixon, decoupled the dollar from gold in 1971. Gone was any link between the major world currencies and precious metals and since that time the gold standard has fallen away.

 

So we are left with fiat.. Fiat money is defined as money that is intrinsically useless; used only as a medium of exchange. And as all of us of experience, a medium of exchange that becomes less and less valuable with the passing of time and inflation. A gold standard, on the other hand, keeps a government from printing too much money and keeps the supply of money relatively stable. Absent a gold standard, we have seen the Federal Reserve enact policies which have stretched the growth of the money supply past recognition or rescue.

 

A gold standard has fans here:

Quote from: Mark N on July 04, 2012, 09:49:25 PM <http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=545.msg4306#msg4306>

If I thought that ANY economic model was good idea, I would say a gold standard would be fine. I feel however the agricultural revolution was a tragic mistake; exponential population growth followed leading to constant war and ecological destruction. So I can only get behind a system that uses no more than we need and never more than mother earth can yield sustainably. All other roads lead to hell despite any medium of exchange.

 

I do feel Ron Paul is one of the only honest politicians and liberty a sweet dream. Humanity however has entered the valley of the shadow and liberty is just a dream; 7 billion people living the American dream would kill the planet in no time flat.

 

Uh… all that glitters, etc.

 

Since the teaching of history has apparently been made a Class 1 misdemeanor in most states, we tend to forget the “free silver” debates of the last century and the depredations of the Gilded Age.

 

In 1896, the “Cross of Gold” speech was delivered by William Jennings Bryant at the Democratic National Convention in 1896. Bryan supported bimetallism or “free silver”, which he believed would bring the nation prosperity. He decried the gold standard, concluding the speech, “you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold”.

http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5354/

Democrats wanted easier money, the plutocrats wanted “sound money.” As always, the plutocrats won. As Dems were disaffected with Pres. Cleveland’s stance v. gold, they made Bryan their candidate, largely as a result of this impassioned speech. Bryan lost the election to McKinley. The US adopted the gold standard in 1900.

 

IN an article appearing in the March Harper’s, Thomas Frank observes some very telling points about the wave of historical revisionism sweeping the land, particularly on the part of Teahadis, who wish to rewrite history to assert that FDR’s New Deal, and by extension most of the 20th century, was a mistake:  “What we remember most vividly about [Hoover’s Treasury Secretary] Andrew Mellon is a remark attributed to him by Herbert Hoover, in the third volume of the ex-president’s memoirs. Once the Depression got rolling in 1929, Hoover recalls, his economic team divided into two factions: First was the “leave it alone liquidationists” headed by Secretary of the Treasury Mellon, who felt that government must keep its hands off and let the slump liquidate itself. Mr. Mellon had only one formula:

 

“Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate.”

 

Mellon insisted that, when the people get a snootful of  inflation, the only way to get it out of their blood is to let it collapse. He held that even a panic was not altogether a bad thing. He said: “It will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up the wrecks from less competent people.”

He often used the expression, “There is a mighty lot of real estate lying around the United States which does not know who owns it,” referring to excessive mortgages.

Let us be clear about Mellon’s position. He was suggesting that the government do nothing to halt unemployment, foreclosures, stock-market disasters, or the ongoing collapse of the nation’s agriculture. Let the Depression do its thing, argued Mellon. Let it bring ruination willy-nilly, scrubbing the landscape clean of debt, immorality, and European-style hedonism. And also let us be clear about Mellon’s economic position: having amassed enormous fortunes in banking, coal, steel and oil, he was immune to financial consequence. Frank again: “For a person of less exalted station to pine so openly for an economic apocalypse would have been almost unthinkable. Mellon’s were strictly the sentiments of someone who would never himself be liquidated.”

 

These sound like the positions of the Republican House majority and their candidate for POTUS. It seems pretty clear that, in the event of currency destruction either through hyperinflation or hyper-deflation, anyone sitting on a pile of PMs would emerge from the resulting wreckage financially OK. Whether they could keep them remains another story. And what the landscape might look like after one emerges from one’s bunker, or vault, is a third.

 

Nowadays, Mr. Paul and all of the other Austrians who prowl the earth at night talk about the “unsustainable debt,” and austerity being the answer. As if the taxpayers who had billions transferred to the TBTF banks are somehow responsible for the disease for which austerity is the medicine. In their pronunciamentos you can hear the ghost of Andrew Mellon rasping, looking for fresh blood. People from Athens to Andalusia are less than enthralled with the prospects of having to liquidate themselves and the meager savings amassed over a lifetime of labor to pay for the banksters’ bonuses. Unlike us here, they rouse themselves from their torpor and get out in the streets.

 

Why common people in the FSA can be so enthusiastic about the prospects of their impending ruin is amazing, a triumph of the existing system of state control of propaganda. Rather than insisting on a pension of their own, workers today are convinced to attack their neighbors’… it continues to amaze me.

 

So it’s pretty clear to me that a gold standard = austerity for the 99 per cent.

 

Yet my friend Golden Oxen asserts thus:

“Surly, The greatest creation of wealth and a strong majority middle class happened in the USA from it’s inception to the severance of the dollar from all links to gold in 1970.

It all happened while we were on some sort of gold silver bi metal standard. Most prospered and inflation was low to non existent.”

 

So who knows which path would be better for peasants like me?

In the same article, Frank describes an exchange between Grover Norquist and a Spanish newspaper in which Norquist averred that the reason the political equation in America was changing was that people who remembered the Depression were dying off. “The age cohort that is most Democratic and most pro-statist,” declared Norquist, “are those people who turned twenty-one years of age between 1932 and 1952—Great Depression, New Deal, World War II, Social Security, the draft—all that stuff. That age cohort is now between the ages of seventy and ninety years old, and every year 2 million of them die.” The commonly held views of that group, he continued, were “very un-‘American.’ Very unusual for America.”

 

As appalling as it seems to me, perhaps an entire generation of fresh scrubbed libertarians fresh off the bus, dressed in identical blue blazers and chinos, recruited to distribute free hot dogs for the “Lift The Ban” pro-mining types at public hearings (geared to gin up support for lifting Virginia’s ban on uranium mining), represent a new cohort in a fact-free electorate untroubled by mere historical detail. Maybe the New Deal and its various reforms—a boring and predictable financial establishment, a home, a secure retirement, a middle class life—were an exception to the dog-eat-dog rules of American history, instead of the middle-class norm they once seemed to represent. That they are today under such withering attack by a new generation of fully-propagandized “average people,” themselves caught up in a orgy of anxiety and hard-times righteousness–and able to ignore the 60 year low on tax receipts from corporations and the most wealthy–  is perhaps the surpassing irony of the age.

 

We are become Alan Greenspan’s “precariat.”

George Santayana once said, in a quote often butchered but here restored to proper context, “Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

 

We retain nothing. But I am holding on to my potatoes.

 

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

https://image.freepik.com/free-icon/musical-notes-symbols_318-29778.jpg

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Going Cashless

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Simplifying the Final Countdown

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Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

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Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

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Singularity of the Dollar

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Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

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SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

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Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

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Merry Doomy Christmas

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Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

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Collapse Fiction

Useful Links

Technical Journals

Deterministic–stochastic empirical mode decomposition (EMD) is used to obtain low-frequency (n [...]

At the sub-national level, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) proposes [...]

The recent droughts in the American Southwest have led to increasing risks of wildfires, which pose [...]