- The Secret World Of Gold (ZeroHedge, April 21, 2013):
In a wide-ranging look at the history and present of the barbarous relic, CBC’s Ann-Marie MacDonald has gathered many perspectives (pro and con) on gold. The following documentary moves from historical shipwrecks to Nazi ‘death gold’ and England’s war chest to recent years where widespread economic uncertainty has given the yellow metal a “new lustre in the world of high finance.” Valued for its permanence, beauty and scarcity, people will lie, cheat, steal and kill in the name of gold; and the clip provides color on many of the market manipulations of the last few years. As MacDonald says, whether it’s a few gold coins or gold bars stored in one of the many vaults around the world, many investors are taking a shine to gold. But there’s not a lot of it. It is said that, even melted down, there would not be enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool. Some claim that much of the gold held by the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve and Fort Knox is gone – that for every 100 ounces of gold traded, there exists only one ounce of real, physical gold. So, where is the gold – and who really owns it?
Tags: Adolf Hitler, Andrew Carnegie, Andrew Maguire, Bank of Canada, Bank of England, Banking, China, Economy, Eric Sprott, Fed, Federal Reserve, Fort Knox, Germany, Global News, Gold, Government, HSBC, Hugo Chavez, India, JPMorgan, Nazis, Politics, Russia, Silver, Venezuela
- Sprott: Why SocGen Is Wrong About Gold’s Imminent ‘Demise’ (ZeroHedge, April 5, 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. This is also precisely why gold works so well as a currency. Total gold supply can only grow marginally, while fiat money supply can grow exponentially through printing programs. This is why gold’s monetary value is so important – it’s the only “currency” in play that is immune to government devaluation.
Chart A illustrates the relationship between the growth of central bank balance sheets in the US, EU, UK and Japan and the price of gold. This relationship has an extremely high correlation with an R2 of about 95%. As central banks increase the size of their balance sheets through ‘open market operations’ to buy bonds, mortgage-backed securities (“MBS”) and the like, they inject more fiat dollars into their respective banking systems. As gold has a relatively stable supply, if there are more dollars available, the price of gold should rise in dollar terms. It’s really a very simple and intuitive relationship – as it should be.
This relationship between central bank printing and gold has existed since the beginning of the gold bull market in 2000. In fact, this relationship shows that for every US$1 trillion increase in the collective central banks’ balance sheets, the price of gold has generally appreciated by an average of US$210/oz.
Tags: Bonds, Debt, Economy, Eric Sprott, Eric Sprott Management, EU, Europe, Fed, Federal Reserve, Global News, Gold, Government, Obama administration, Politics, Quantitative Easing, Societe Generale, U.K., U.S.
Sprott had its origins in Sprott Securities Ltd., a brokerage firm founded in 1981 by Eric Sprott. Today, Sprott manages approximately $10 billion in assets and operates through four businesses:
- Asset Management
- Physical Bullion
- Private Equity and Debt
- Wealth Management
– China’s Gold Reserves: Watch What They Do, Not What They Say (ZeroHedge, March 18, 2013):
Yi Gang, Vice Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), recently made the headlines with his comments on Chinese gold reserves. On Wednesday, Mr. Yi stated that China’s gold reserves remain static at 1,054 tonnes, and suggested that a sizeable increase in those reserves would be unlikely in the future. “We need to take into account both the stability of the market and gold prices,” Mr. Yi stated, adding that as the world’s largest gold producer and importer, China produces about 400 tonnes of gold annually, and imports an additional 500 to 600 tonnes of gold every year. “Compared with China’s 3.3-trillion-U.S.-dollar foreign exchange reserves, the size of the gold market is too small,” Yi said, rejecting speculation that China would further diversify its foreign reserve investments into the precious metal. “If the Chinese government were to buy too much gold, gold prices would surge, a scenario that will hurt Chinese consumers … We can only invest about 1-2 percent of the foreign exchange reserves into gold because the market is too small,” Yi stated.
If Yi’s comments are to be believed, he is implying that the Chinese government has not added a single gold bar to its reserves since 2009 – which was the year the Chinese government officially announced its gold reserve increase to 1,054 tonnes. Given the production and import numbers stated above, we find that extremely hard to believe.
Mr. Yi’s comments stand in stark contrast to earlier comments made by Chinese government officials regarding the need to increase China’s gold reserves to ensure economic and financial safety, promote yuan globalization and act as a hedge against foreign-reserve depreciation. In 2009, a State Council advisor known as “Ji” said that a team of experts from Shanghai and Beijing had set up a task force to consider expanding China’s gold reserves. Ji was quoted as saying “we suggested that China’s gold reserves should reach 6,000 tons in the next 3-5 years and perhaps 10,000 tons in 8-10 years”.
- Sprott And Biderman On Paper Vs. Physical Gold (ZeroHedge, Jan 5, 2013):
With gold prices dropping (notably divergent from the ever expanding global central bank balance sheets) but record-breaking levels of physical gold being purchased, we continue to reflect on the other ‘Great Rotation’ that we suspect is occurring as the New Year begins – that from paper gold to physical gold. Who better to discuss the nuances of this dilemma than Eric Sprott as he outlines to TrimTabs’ Charles Biderman the relative strengths and weaknesses of ETFs like GLD and SLV, physical-based ETFs such as PHYS and PSLV, and physical holdings themselves. While the new meme is that the Fed may be considering pulling back (on its ‘flow’) sooner than expected, reality is far different (as Bill Gross recently agreed with us) and that fact makes the following brief clip even more compelling.
- Why are (Smart) Investors Buying 50 Times More Physical Silver than Gold? (Sprott Global Resource Investments):
By: Eric Sprott
As long-time students of precious metals investing, there are certain things we understand. One is that, historically, the availability ratio of silver to gold has had a direct influence on the price of the metals. The current availability ratio of physical silver to gold for investment purposes is approximately 3:1. So, why is it that investors are allocating their dollars to silver at a much higher ratio? What is it that these “smart” investors understand? Let’s have a look at the numbers and see if it’s time for investors to do as a wise man once said and “follow the money.”
Average annual gold mine production is approximately 80 million ounces, which together with an estimated average 50 million ounces of annual recycled gold, totals around 130 million ounces available per year. In comparison, annual mined silver production has averaged around 750 million ounces, while recycled silver is estimated at 250 million ounces per year, which adds up to approximately 1 billion ounces. Using this data, there is roughly 8 times more silver available to buy than there is gold. However, not all gold and silver is available for investment purposes, due to their use in industrial applications. It is estimated that for investment purposes (jewelry, bars and coins), the annual availability of gold is roughly 120 million ounces, and of silver it is 350 million ounces. Therefore, the ratio of physical silver availability to gold availability is 350/120, or ~3:1.1
Now, let’s examine how investors are allocating their investments between gold and silver. The data below is from the US Mint showing gold and silver sales in ounces: Continue reading »
- The physical silver market is getting dangerously (Hang The Bankers, July 18, 2012):
With continued volatility in global stock markets, and gold staging a big rally off of the lows, today King World News interviewed one of the wealthiest and most street-smart pros in the business, Rick Rule. Rule told KWN that when it comes to silver, “there is the strong case for some very substantial upside.”
Rule, who is now part of Sprott Asset Management, discussed silver and gold at length. He also talked about the problems the world currently faces. But first, here is what Rule had to say about Sprott’s very successful offering in the Sprott Physical Silver Trust: “I think it’s evidence of two things: One, we felt we had reasonably good chances of buying the silver if we raised the money. Second, this points to the continuing strength of the high end retail investment market for silver in North America.”
- Sprott – We’re Being Lied To, Even The 1% Is Having Problems (King World News, June 29, 2012):
Today billionaire Eric Sprott gave King World News an extraordinary interview, and it’s not the kind of thing you are going to see in the mainstream media. Sprott told KWN, “…as much as we knew the 99% was having a problem, I can guarantee you the 1% is having a big problem today.” Sprott, who is Chairman of Sprott Asset Management, also said, “the markets go up because the central planners want the markets to go up … The system is imploding on itself, but the central planners want everyone to think it’s fine. They just lie to us.”
I’ve been asked before, is there a solution to the problem? There isn’t a solution to the problem. There’s things that might happen. There’s a default that could happen. There’s hyperinflation that could happen, but none of those would be deemed as solutions to the problem. But one or the other or both is going to happen.
People should, rightly, have fear of having their money in paper instruments, whether it’s in a bank account or a bond. If they had any sense they would be buying (physical) gold and/or silver. That’s the only way to maintain your purchasing power.
- Eric Sprott: “When Fundamentals No Longer Apply, Review the Fundamentals” (ZeroHedge, April 28, 2012):
When Fundamentals No Longer Apply, Review the Fundamentals
This may not come as a surprise, but we’re still not seeing it. We’re not seeing a US recovery.
Here we are, well into 2012, and the fact remains that the US housing situation is still a bust. There is simply no housing recovery happening in the United States. US New Home Sales fell for the fourth time in a row month-overmonth in March, representing a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 328,000, down from 353,000 in February.1 Do you know what the annual rate of New Home Sales was back in 2006? About 1.21 million.2 No recovery there.
Same goes for US Existing Home Sales, which fell unexpectedly by 2.6% in March to an annual rate of 4.48 million units.3 Again – would you care to know where they were in the same month back in 2006, before the financial system fell apart? Approximately 6.92 million units.4 No recovery there either.
Then there’s unemployment. Judging by all the recent earnings-release cheerleading, March’s jobs numbers seem to have been forgotten, but they were plainly weak. The US Labor Department showed US hiring slowing to a mere 120,000 new jobs in March, below expectations of 200,000+.5 That’s not a recovery. That’s simply weak data.
Same goes for the most recent jobless claims numbers, which have been running above 380,000 for the last two weeks, above the 375,000 threshold that supposedly signals future unemployment increases.6 Again – this is not positive data, this is weak data. How high will it have to go before the economists admit that it’s weak? 400,000? 425,000? We’re asking – we’d like to know.
Then there are US tax receipts, which continue to point in the same direction. If the US is recovering so strongly, then why are employment tax receipts only up 2%? ($484 billion fiscal year-to-date as of March 2012 vs. $475 billion over the same period to March 2011).7 A 2% increase is explainable by inflation alone, which was last reported running at 2.7% according to the Bureau of Labour Stastics.8 Shouldn’t the tax receipts be much higher than that? Wasn’t unemployment down so far this year? As the Associated Press plainly states, “The unemployment rate has fallen to 8.2% in March  from 9.1% in August . Part of the drop was because people gave up looking for work. People who are out of work but not looking for jobs aren’t counted among the unemployed.”9 Oh! Sorry,… now the numbers make more sense. There hasn’t been any net new employment at all. Question: if everyone “gives up” looking for work next week, will the US unemployment rate go to zero? We’re asking – we’d like to know.