When panic and fear dominate financial markets, gold and silver both tend to rapidly rise in price. We witnessed this during the last financial crisis, and it is starting to happen again. Because I am the publisher of a website called The Economic Collapse Blog, I am often asked about gold and silver when I do interviews. In fact, just a few days ago I was sitting right next to Jim Rickards during the taping of a television show when this topic came up. Jim expressed his belief that investing in gold is superior to investing in silver, but I had the exact opposite viewpoint. In this article, I would like to elaborate on why I believe that silver represents a historic investment opportunity right now.
Long before Turkey was flagrantly arming and funding the CIA-created “terrorist organization” known as ISIS, there was another, far more elaborate way in which Turkey was flaunting international sanctions against an ostracized state – in this case Iran – which involved an epic gold smuggling triangle of Hollywood-thriller proportions, all made possible thanks to the United Arab Emirate city of Dubai.
Best known known for its luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture including the world’s tallest building, a lively nightlife scene, and a facade of openness and decorum, what Dubai is less known for is its unprecedented seedy underbelly of corruption and untouched criminality among the handful of billionaire oligarchs, princes, sheiks and sultans, who quietly dominate the local (and global) power and financial structure.
But first, a little history.
Back in September Zero Hedge reported that something snapped in the COMEX market and all indicators suggest there was a relentless outflow in registered gold. At that time there were about 202,054 ounces of gold available for delivery. To put that into perspective, Craig Hemke of TF Metals Report points out that just earlier this year there were nearly one million registered ounces available.
What this likely means is that someone, somewhere is requesting that their paper holdings be converted into deliverable physical gold. All the while many a mainstream pundit has declared that gold is nothing but a relic of times past. Yet, despite its purported unpopularity, since the last time the COMEX snapped in September even more registered gold has disappeared.
– “It’s A Tipping Point” Marc Faber Warns “There Are No Safe Assets Anymore” (ZeroHedge, Sept 2, 2015):
Markets have “reached some kind of a tipping point,” warns Marc Faber in this brief Bloomberg TV interview. Simply put, he explains, “because of modern central banking and repeated interventions with monetary policy, in other words, with QE, all around the world by central banks – there is no safe asset anymore.” The purchasing power of money is going down, and Faber “would rather focus on precious metals because they do not depend on the industrial demand as much as base metals or industrial commodities,” as it’s now “obvious that the Chinese economy is growing at nowhere near what the Ministry of Truth is publishing.”
Faber explains more… “I have to laugh when someone like you tries to lecture me what creates prosperity”
Some key exceprts…
H/t reader squodgy:
“Seems mainstream media is being treated for what it is, lying, misleading false flag propagandists, and we’re not alone in dismissing them.”
And we’ve been here before.
What they are doing, by selling billions of dollars of paper gold in a second, is only done to keep the price of gold and silver artificially low.
This is the new form of ‘gold confiscation’ by TPTB, trying to keep the people away from buying one of the save havens before the collapse happens and making it cheap for themselves.
Meanwhile China and Russia are buying.
Perth Mint Gold Bar (1 kilo)
– Demand for Gold Bullion Surges – Perth Mint, and U.S. Mint Cannot Meet Demand (GoldCore, July 31, 2015):
– Perth Mint sees surge in demand and cannot keep up with demand
– “Our biggest restriction is the amount of unrefined gold we’re getting in from producers”
– Very high demand for Perth Mint coins, bars coming from Asia, U.S. and Europe
– U.S. Mint sees highest sales of gold coins in over 2 years
– U.S. Mint restrictions on silver coins due to very high demand
– Gold sentiment has moved from despondency to depression (see chart)
– Current negative sentiment despite strong demand is good contrarian indicator
Depressed prices have led to the usual market response, a surge in physical demand for coins and bars globally.
This is confirmed in conversations we have had with our refiner and mint partners in recent days. There are growing shortages of supply of small coins and bars. This is resulting in delays in receiving bullion and indeed to rising premiums.
Asian gold demand picked up this week keeping premiums robust and slightly higher in the world’s top gold buying regions.
– Last Night’s Gold Slam So Furious It Halted The Market Not Once But Twice, And The Funniest “Explanation” Yet (ZeroHedge, July 20, 2015):
Yesterday, just before the Chinese market opened, precious metals but mostly gold, flash crashed in milliseconds with a violent urgency never before seen. We documented the unprecedented event last night, but for those who missed it, the following chart from Nanex clearly lays out just how sudden the “out of nowhere” selling was, which led to not one but two 20-second halts in the gold futures market spaced out precisely 30 seconds apart as a result of a Velocity Logic (or lack thereof) event.
– Gold, Precious Metals Flash Crash Following $2.7 Billion Notional Dump (ZeroHedge, July 19, 2015):
The last time gold plummeted by just over $30 per ounce (dragging down silver and bitcoin with it) and resulted in a crash so furious it led to a “Velocity Logic” market halt for 10 seconds, was on January 6, 2014. Many said this was just perfectly normal selling, although we explicitly said (and showed) that it was a clear case of an HFT algo gone wild (following an order to do just that and slam all sell stops) when someone manipulated the market and repriced gold substantially lower.
Precisely one month ago, some 18 months after the incident, the Comex admitted as much, when it blamed the collapse on “unusually large and atypical trading activity by several of the Firm’s customers and caused the mass entry of order messages by Zenfire, which resulted in a disruptive and rapid price movement in the February 2014 Gold Futures market and prompted a Velocity Logic event.” Curiously despite the “errant” order, gold did not rebound because the entire purpose of the selling slam was to reset the prevailing price far lower. This is what the Comex said in Disciplinary action 14-9807-BC:
What JPMorgan is doing to the “Other” commodities space, Citigroup has just done to the “Precious Metals” derivative market.
– Citigroup Just Cornered The “Precious Metals” Derivatives Market (ZeroHedge, July 4, 2015)
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
– The Lawless Manipulation of Bullion Markets by Public Authorities (Paul Craig Roberts and Dave Kranzler, Dec 22, 2014):
Note: In this article the times given are Eastern Standard Time. The software that generated
the graph uses Mountain Standard Time. Therefore, read the x-axis two hours later than the axis indicates.
The Federal Reserve and its bullion bank agents are actively using uncovered futures contracts to illegally manipulate the prices of precious metals in order to keep interest rates below the market rate. The purpose of manipulation is to support the U.S. dollar’s reserve status at a time when the dollar should be in decline from the over-supply created by QE and from trade and budget deficits.
– Commodity Trading Giant Exits Physical Gold Due To “Lack Of Physical With A Documented Origin” (ZeroHedge, Dec 16, 2014):
Back in March, otherwise very under-the-radar Swiss commodities trading giant Gunvor and the fifth largest oil trader in the world, made headlines in the press when one of its then-Russian owners, billionaire Gennady Timchenko (estimated net worth of $8.5 billion), sold his entire 44% stake in the company to his partner in the firm, Torbjorn Tonqvist, just a day before the US revealed its first round of sanctions against individuals affiliated with the Putin regime. Timchenko was among them. As a result of the sale, however, Gunvor avoided falling on the US sanctions list and a Treasury official said that “Gunvor Group Ltd. isn’t subject to automatic blocking from dealing with U.S. persons under Russian sanctions because co-founder Gennady Timchenko owns less than 50 percent of the company.”
Since then the Geneva-based company rarely appeared in the media which is how the nondescript company lliked it. Until last week, that is, when Bloomberg reported that the company was giving up trading physical precious metals, read gold, less than a year after the commodity house started a business dedicated to buying and selling gold. Gunvor is, or rather was, one of the few large commodity firms that handles precious metals. The move into gold was part of an expansion into non-oil businesses that now include iron ore, industrial metals and natural gas. Gold trading was done by a handful of people in Singapore and Geneva.
Gunvor’s move away from physical commodities trading in itself is not surprising: recall that first it was Germany banking titan Deutsche Bank which announced it would no longer trade physical precious metals last month.
– Iran launches Middle East’s ‘biggest’ gold plant, plans to double production (RT, Nov 15, 2014):
Iran has opened a new gold processing plant, reportedly the biggest in the Middle East, hoping to double its production of precious metals. Using a unique technology, Tehran says it will now mine up to three tons of gold per year.
Iranian TV reported that the opening ceremony was attended by First Vice President Ishaq Jahangiri.
The new facility is located near one of the country’s richest mines, Zareh Shuran. It is located 35 kilometers from the city of Takaab in northwest Iran, in an area where gold, silver, and mercury are extracted.
The gold ore reserves of the Zareh Shuran mine are estimated at 20 million tons. ((…with an average karat of 5.5 gram per ton which is considered one of the most valuable known mines in the country.))
– Gold Rigging Settlement With UBS – Other Banks To Follow (GoldCore, Nov 10, 2014):
Suspicions that the price of precious metals are frequently manipulated by a few international banks were further confirmed over the weekend. UBS agreed to settle with various international regulatory bodies investigating rigging in foreign exchange and precious metals markets.
– Gold & Silver Hit Multi-Month Highs As ETF Inflows Surge Most In 21 Months (ZeroHedge, July 2, 2014):
The last 2 days have seen something ‘odd’ happen in gold markets. As the China commodity finance deals are unwound and massive futures positions squeezed, Gold ETFs have seen the biggest inflows since September 2012 (and are their highest in 2 months). Whether this is the start of trend is unclear (as perhaps the conspiracy ‘fact’ proof of manipulation and rigging in the gold markets stalled the hollowing out of the gold complex). Ironic that this considerable rise should occur shortly after rumors of Germany’s end to repatriation calls. Gold (and silver) has broken out once again this morning after the early dump on ADP ‘good’ news is well bid to 3-month highs.
Bloomberg has some color from analysts…
– Turkey’s “200 Tons Of Secret Gold” Trade With Iran: The Biggest, Most Bizarre Money Laundering Scheme Ever? (ZeroHedge, June 25, 2014):
The topic of Turkey’s Oil-for-Gold ‘deals’ has not been far from our thoughts over the last few years (here, here, and here) but as Bloomberg reports, after accessing a report leaked on March 14 of a network that spanned Turkey, China, Dubai and Iran, the plot reveals “one of the most complex illicit finance schemes [prosecutors] have seen.” It included the classic money-laundering techniques of over-invoicing and false invoicing (exactly as in the case of the Chinese commodity financing scandal underway) but the secret government plan to juice Turkey’s exports goes much deeper; and if you think that the exposure of this scheme is slowing Turkey’s manipulation, think again. Turkey’s trade balance continues to fluctuate unpredictably as gold stocks flow out of the country in bursts. “Turkey’s going to continue it,” the Turkish economy minister said. “If those casting aspersions on the gold trade are searching for immorality, they should take a look in the mirror.”
We first started noticing major ‘odd’ exports of gold from Turkey to Iran in May 2012. But in 2013, with a plunging currency, surging inflation, slowing growth, and specter of rapid QE-driven hot money outflows leaving his nation desperate; Zafer Caglayan, the minister in charge of Turkey’s $800 billion economy decided that the only way to ensure success in the looming election… was to cheat…
– From Rothschild To Koch Industries: Meet The People Who “Fix” The Price Of Gold (ZeroHedge, May 14, 2014):
Earlier today many were stunned when the historic, 117-year old, London Silver Fix announced that in three months it would no longer exist. However, silver is only one half of the world’s two best known precious metals. Which is why we decided to take a long, hard look at that other fix: gold.
The reason for this particular inquiry is because in the aftermath of the rapid and dramatic departure of the world’s largest bank by outstanding notional derivatives, and Europe’s biggest bank by any metric, Deutsche Bank, from the precious metal fix, something felt out of place: almost as if the participants of the “fixing” process which for so many years took place in the office of none other than Rothschild on St. Swithin’s Lane in London, were suddenly scrambling to disappear without a trace.
In conducting our research we hope to not only memorialize just who are these particular individuals who “fix” gold using nothing but publicly available information of course – because after all it is not as if they have anything to hide or fear – but to connect some of the very peculiar dots behind the scenes of what to some, is the original, and most manipulated market in history – that of gold.
– The Beginning Of The End Of Precious Metals Manipulation: The London Silver Fix Is Officially Dead (ZeroHedge, May 13, 2014):
Following a crackdown on precious metal manipulation by various European regulators (mostly Germany’s BaFin, recall “Precious Metals Manipulation Worse Than Libor Scandal, German Regulator Says“), which led to the shocking outcome that Deutsche Bank would pull out of the London gold and silver fixing committees, the London Silver Market Fixing company ended up with a most curious outcome: it would have just two members: HSBC and Bank of Nova Scotia. And, as an even more shocking result, overnight the London Silver Fix announced that after August 14, 2014 it will no longer exist – the first of many victories for all those who have fought for fair and unmanipulated precious metal markets.
From the press release:
The London Silver Market Fixing Limited (the ‘Company’) announces that it will cease to administer the London Silver Fixing with effect from close of business on 14 August 2014. Until then, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Bank USA N.A. and The Bank of Nova Scotia will remain members of the Company and the Company will administer the London Silver Fixing and continue to liaise with the FCA and other stakeholders.
The period to 14 August 2014 will provide an opportunity for market-led adjustment with consultation between clients and market participants.
– ADP Reaction – Bonds & Bullion Surge As Dead-Cat-Bounce Stock Bulls Purge (ZeroHedge, Feb 5, 2014):
Precious metals had begun to jump higher before the ADP data hit but once it did – and disappointed – gold and silver spiked (over $1,270 and $20 respectively). Equity markets kneejerk reaction was a spike higher which immediately faded into a crash to recent lows. Dow futures are testing 2014 lows – as are S&P 500 futures. 10Y Treasury yields touched 2.60%; Nikkei futures are once again testing 14,000 as USDJPY breaks below 101.
– ADP Plunges In January To 175K; Biggest Miss Since August; December Revised Lower: “Cold, Storms” Blamed (ZeroHedge, Feb 5, 2014):
And sure enough, the January ADP print missed as we expected, printing at 175K vs the expected 185K, while the December 238K was revised lower to 227K, confirming that ADP is nothing but an NDP trend follower and an absolutely worthless and meaningless data point that does nothing to add relevant data to the economic picture.
For those who care, this was the biggest miss since August and the largest monthly drop since August 2012, and the weakest print since August as well.
– Sprott: “Manipulation Of Gold By Central Banks Cannot Continue In 2014” (ZeroHedge, Jan 17, 2014):
With Deutsche Bank quitting the price-setting panel for gold and Bafin bearing down on the manipulators, Eric Sprott provides some more color on where the manipulation in the precious metals markets is underway (and when it will end)…
Submitted by Eric Sprott of Sprott Global Resource Investments,
As we very well know, 2013 was a difficult but also puzzling year for precious metals investors. The price of gold, silver and their related equities declined by a significant amount while demand for physical bullion from emerging markets and their Central Banks was exceptionally strong.
– Precious Metals Manipulation Worse Than Libor Scandal, German Regulator Says (ZeroHedge, Jan 16, 2014):
Remember when banks were exposed manipulating virtually everything except precious metals, because obviously nobody ever manipulates the price of gold and silver? After all, the biggest “conspiracy theory” of all is that crazy gold bugs blame every move against them on some vile manipulator. It may be time to shift yet another conspiracy “theory” into the “fact” bin, thanks to Elke Koenig, the president of Germany’s top financial regulator, Bafin, which apparently is not as corrupt, complicit and clueless as its US equivalent, and who said that in addition to currency rates, manipulation of precious metals “is worse than the Libor-rigging scandal.” Hear that Bart Chilton and friends from the CFTC?
More on what Elke Koenig said from Bloomberg: