Entries Tagged as 'Gold'

The Fed’s “Debt Monster” Is Calling the Shots

The Fed’s “Debt Monster”

Bill Bonner calls our attention to the danger:

You know our prediction: The Fed will never willingly lead interest rates to a neutral position.

It can’t. The FED  has created a debt monster. It must feed this Frankenstein with easy credit.

This time last year, the Fed began its “rate-tightening cycle.” That is, it began raising short-term interest rates.

It pledged to continue to do so in 2016. But then it diddled and dawdled, fiddled and fawdled… claiming to be on top of the situation… watching its “data” come in like a fisherman’s wife waiting for the return of the fleet… and not wanting to admit she was already a widow.

What it was really waiting for was a place to hide.

The Fed can raise short-term rates. But it will have to follow, not lead. It will have to hide in the shadow of rising consumer prices, staying “behind the curve” of inflation expectations.

That way, the expected real interest rate – the rate of return on your money above the rate of consumer price inflation – never really returns to neutral.

Already, the price of a barrel of crude oil – a key input into prices across the economy – is twice what it was 10 months ago. Leading business-cycle research firm the Economic Cycle Research Institute says the inflation cycle has turned positive.

And already, foreign nations are talking about retaliating against Team Trump by canceling orders and imposing new tariffs in their own versions of “better trade deals.”

This, too, is bound to raise prices.

Forget speculating on stocks, options, or other risky, low-probability moneymaking schemes. This wealth-building formula is the most reliable way to make seven figures in seven years or less in today’s uncertain economy…

Funny Money Antics

But if consumer price inflation were really a concern, the bond market would race ahead of the Fed, imposing its own regimen of rising yields.

The Fed’s increases would be too little and too late to have any real effect on the outcome.

Bondholders don’t care much about nominal rates. If consumer price inflation were to rise to the Fed’s 2% target, for example, bondholders might clamor for a 4% yield to give them a positive 2%.

That is a big increase over the 52-week low of 1.32% the yield on the 10-year Treasury note hit on July 4.

But you don’t get that kind of seismic shift without cracking some flower pots.

Much of the world’s $225 trillion in debt is calibrated to borrowers who will have a hard time surviving a 3% interest rate world, let alone a 4% one.

This is an economy that can stand a lot of grotesque and absurd “funny money” antics. It can survive a bizarre financial world; it can’t survive a normal one.

As inflation expectations increase, investors do not sit still and watch their retirements, their savings, and their fortunes get broken by inflation.

They don’t wait for the Fed’s policy-setting committee to meet. They don’t reflect calmly as the Fed’s wonks collect their “data” and create their “dot plots.”

Instead, they act out. The monster gets mad and starts throwing things.

First through the window are the bonds. They get chucked out before inflation manifests itself fully… and long before the Fed increases its key short-term rate.

Then, the “boom” turns quickly into stagflation… as higher borrowing costs pinch off growth even as consumer prices continue to rise.

But more likely, inflation is not really surging… Not yet.

And most likely, it will be the painfully apparent when the U.S. economy goes into recession next year.

Then, it will be stocks’ turn to get tossed out, while bonds sneak back in through the side door.

It will also be apparent that the Fed has taken another false step… that the recovery was a sham… and that it’s the debt monster calling the shots, not Janet Yellen.

Regards,

Bill Bonner

What does the new frontier of negative interest rates in the global arena mean for investors?

What does the new frontier of negative interest rates in the global arena mean for investors?

What does the new frontier of negative interest rates in the global arena mean for investors?

 

Cindy Yeap / The Edge Malaysia discusses “What does the new frontier of negative interest rates in the global arena mean for investors?”

“For RHB Research Institute executive chairman and chief economist Lim Chee Sing, NIRP “can only be seen as a temporary expedient to hold up financial markets”, albeit one that has little room to push for more economic growth in this relatively mature stage of the growth cycle.

“That means rising investment premiums and heightened market volatility will likely be the order of the day in the days ahead. Portfolio investors may have no choice but to build some degree of defensiveness into their portfolios to balance out the risks. This implies rising appetite for high-yield stocks,” Lim says.

“Even dividend stocks have caveats in the days ahead, largely due to their rich valuations vis-à-vis tougher conditions to grow at the same rate as before. For example, sin stocks might have to contend with higher taxes; the fees for telecommunications spectrum refarming have yet to be revealed; and consumer stocks have to contend with the possibility of a further tightening of consumer spending. Then, there is the higher labour cost.

“The focus should be on stocks with an improved business model, reasonable earnings visibility, strong cash flow, a dividend policy and, thus, sustainable dividend payments. Of course, one cannot ignore valuations but rich valuation stocks are still susceptible to a selldown should the global economy take a turn for the worse,” Lim adds.

“Gerald Ambrose, CEO of Aberdeen Islamic Asset Management Sdn Bhd, too, noted expensive valuations after a good run in recent years.

“We are keeping a close eye on notable high-yield companies, like the cellular phone companies, the brewers, tobacco companies and the REITs (real estate investment trusts). We’re currently about halfway though the 4Q2015 results season and to be honest, a lot of the better-managed companies have been able to find efficiencies to enable dividend payout to remain high. However, after outperforming for over a year, a lot of the high dividend yield companies are hardly cheap,” he says.”

BOTTOM LINE: Focus your strategy on yield and gold. Gold is an alternative when interest rates are negative adjusted for taxes and inflation.

NEW: Money Metals Issues 2016 Gold/Silver Forecast

Looking Ahead to 2016

NEW: Money Metals Issues 2016 Gold/Silver Forecast

By Clint Siegner, Money Metals Exchange

Looking Ahead to 2016

Forecasting today’s volatile, high-frequency machine driven and manipulated futures markets using fundamental analysis is futile, as a great many precious metals bulls will attest. To complicate matters, an obsession with Fed policy dominates all markets. Officials at the Federal Reserve are often less than forthcoming and are just as bumbling as the Soviet bureaucrats when it comes to centrally planning our economy.

Nevertheless, beneath all of the artificial influences and all of the leveraged paper, the gears of the physical market for gold and silver still turn. We can be sure prices will reflect actual supply and demand for physical metals at some point, even if we do not know when. With that in mind, here is a look ahead to 2016…

Supply Destruction

Silver production peaked in 2014, while gold production is expected to peak in 2015. Falling prices make an increasing number of mining projects uneconomic. Lower fuel costs are helping, but the average all-in cost of production for silver is estimated at around $17/oz and for gold at around $1,150/oz.

Today precious metals sell for well below than their all-in production cost. Primary producers of gold and silver will deliver less to market in 2016 given that a great many miners currently take a loss on every ounce they sell.

But there is another factor likely to decimate supply in 2016. Base metal prices, including for copper, fell dramatically this year, and the outlook is not too bright for the year ahead. The Chinese economy, the world’s largest market for commodities, is slowing. Brazil is in real trouble and economists are worrying more about the possibility of recession around the world.

Looking Ahead to 2016

Slumping demand for base metals will impact supply of gold and silver because huge quantities of these precious metals are produced as a byproduct of mining for base metals such as copper and zinc. The reorganization of Anglo-American PLC, one of the world’s largest mining conglomerates, earlier this month highlights just how difficult the current environment is for producers – regardless of which metal they are mining.

Gold and silver prices have been in decline since 2011, but it is only during the past year that average prices will finish well below even the most conservative estimates of production costs. The recent carnage in base metals will add significantly to constraints on precious metals supply in the months ahead.

Physical Demand Rising

Investment demand for physical bullion is perhaps the biggest story in precious metals for 2015. Mints and refiners spent much of the 2nd half of the year unable to keep up. Investors had to contend with higher premiums and delivery delays, finally getting some relief now as the year draws to a close.

Only time will tell if 2016 can top this year’s record. We look set to enter the New Year in much the same way we entered 2015 – with steady, but far from overwhelming buying activity for fabricated coins, rounds, and bars. Investors loaded up in recent months and now await the next catalyst.

Looking Ahead to 2016

It may be price action. Lower spot prices over the past 4 years have been a big driver of demand. And prices moving consistently higher will also inspire demand from newcomers (as we saw during the last bull cycle between 2009 – 2011). Only flat or range-bound prices typically lead to investor apathy.

As always, geopolitical events will play a big part in whether or not metals benefit from safe-have buying. In 2016, investors will be watching the ongoing saga surrounding Greece and other hopelessly indebted European nations. The U.S. is at odds with Russia in the Middle East and in Ukraine.

And recent tremors in high-yield debt markets may be advance warning that extraordinary leverage is about to rock financial markets once again. These stories, and others no one can predict, have potential to generate a flight to safety in the coming year.

Industrial demand for gold and silver may turn out to be tepid for 2016. This is less of a factor in gold markets than for silver, where manufacturers consume a good portion of what is produced annually. As mentioned above, some economists worry about the possibility of recession in the coming year. Any slump will weigh on demand for items such as jewelry and other goods. However, a lot of industrial demand comes from high-growth sectors which have proven resilient during past recessions. Electronic, solar, and healthcare related applications for silver come to mind.

Some 2016 Wildcards

Delivery defaults are possible in the futures markets. The explosion of leverage in COMEX gold futures bears watching in 2016. The number of registered bars available for delivery in exchange vaults relative to the number of paper ounces being traded shrunk dramatically to record lows in recent weeks. It’s a trend that simply cannot go on very much longer – not at the current pace of decline.

Looking Ahead to 2016

Exchange participants may convert more gold stocks from “eligible” to the “registered” category. That’s possible, though there is good reason to wonder how much physical metal the holders want to part with at current prices. The precipitous drop in registered stocks may well be signaling they are more than a little reluctant to part with it.

If holders of silver and gold futures contracts start standing for actual delivery of more metal than the COMEX has available to deliver, or should traders even begin to seriously entertain that possibility, we’ll see some fireworks.

Leading Republican candidates are making noises about sound money. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Ben Carson all have questioned the wisdom of Fed policy. Republicans everywhere are critical of federal debt and deficits and have been for decades now. Given the Party’s atrocious record of turning the talk into actual policy, we should remain skeptical that any elected Republican leader will actually achieve reform.

But there can be no doubt that the sound money issue is gaining traction. We can’t rule out someone in the crowded field of candidates tapping into the popular outrage over out-of-control borrowing and spending. Should ideas like reinstituting gold backing for the dollar gain serious momentum in the campaign, the metals markets could perk up.

 

seigner

Clint Siegner is a Director at Money Metals Exchange, the national precious metals company named 2015 “Dealer of the Year” in the United States by an independent global ratings group. A graduate of Linfield College in Oregon, Siegner puts his experience in business management along with his passion for personal liberty, limited government, and honest money into the development of Money Metals’ brand and reach. This includes writing extensively on the bullion markets and their intersection with policy and world affairs.

Top 5 Precious Metals to Invest In

Gold in Bullion and Coins

Gold

Following the recession of 2008, investors have found a better way to protect their investment by pouring their hard earned money into precious metals. Here, we’ll be discussing the Top 5 Precious Metals to Invest In worldwide.
Gold
Over the last decade, we’ve witnessed a descending trend in gold prices. However, the fact that gold outlays better than other types of investment is because of its trustworthiness, as it is not as prone to fluctuating prices. The factors that are responsible for its prices are the US dollar value, supply and demand, and interest rates.
The most common uses of gold are for investment, electronics, dental treatments, and the obvious one, jewelry.
Silver
Investing in silver is a reliable way of making sure that you have a stable capital investment. It’s a much better way of preserving assets regardless of the position the financial system is in and it is particularly well suited for holding in tough economic times.
This passing year, 54% of the total silver demand was for industrial uses, which ranged from automobile industries to electronics. Another factor that affected demand for silver was the solar explosion in Japan. China was reported to have imported most of the world’s silver last year, about 1,154 tons.
The most common uses for silver are electronic devices, water filtration, Silver Oxide Batteries, piping, and solar panels.
Platinum
Platinum is one of the world’s scarcest metals. Platinum provisions are concentrated to the region of South Africa, which results in about 80% of the total provisions. Meanwhile, Russia has about 11%, and North America has about 6%. This metal holds high significance as a manufacturing material; its prices are however, fairly unpredictable due to limited suppliers. For this very reason, investors find it an attention grabbing investment.
The value of platinum is about twice of that of gold, which fluctuates according to the supply and demand. In harsh economic times, the value decreases due to fall in demand, and has been known to decline even below the price of gold. To give you a fair idea, the high and low of platinum prices for the year 2014 were $1,178 and $1,520.
Palladium
Palladium is a metal that is in the same group as platinum. In addition to the supply and demand factors it shares with platinum, palladium is affected by the following three factors; the crises in Ukraine, vigorous venture demand, and the vehicle industry. 40% of the palladium is mined in South Africa, while Russia produces about 44%, and the rest is produced by Canada and US based mines.
Rhodium
Up until a couple of years ago, rhodium was the most posh metal around, with the price of an ounce touching $10,000. Not only is it a 100 times rarer than gold, but apart from that, it is imperative for use in the automotive industry, as its application as a catalytic converter is unparalleled.
Nevertheless, the trio of platinum, palladium, and silver are the most in demand in the current times, with the demand being driven by industrial needs rather than being used as a safety investment. Continued manufacturing in industries will also only improve their appeal in the upcoming years.

Why Gold?

fed_spending

From Hebba Alternative Investments:

File this “Closing the Gap” graph under why you own gold.  Why is that?  Well notice how our defict reduction has pretty much been related to increasing revenues – spending hasnt fallen at all.  If stock markets start to fall, then revenues will fall and the budget gap will increase again – we havent done anything structurally about government spending in any way, shape, or form.

This Is What Gold Does In a Currency Crisis

by John Rubino on December 16, 2014

To say that gold is in a bear market is to misunderstand both gold and markets. Gold isn’t an investment that goes up and down. It is money in the most basic store-of-value sense. Most of the time it just sits there, and when its price changes in local currency terms that says more about the local currency than about gold.

But when currencies collapse, gold shines.

Consider the above from the point of view of a typical Russian. The ruble is tanking (no need to understand why — all fiat currencies go this way eventually and the proximate cause is almost irrelevant). Russians who trusted their government and kept their savings in, say, a bank account, are losing their shirts. But those who own boring, doesn’t-pay-interest, in-a-bear-market gold have seen their capital appreciate in local currency terms by about 60 percent in just the past month. They’re not “making money,” but they are preserving wealth.

Russian gold price Dec 2014

This is how it has gone always and everywhere when governments have destroyed their currencies. In the Roman Empire, revolutionary France, revolutionary America, most of Latin America in the 20th century, and now big parts of the developing world, local currencies evaporate but gold just sits there, buying the same amount of stuff as ever, impervious to the games governments play.

It won’t be long before this chart is replicated in a whole lot of other places. But by then it will be too late to prepare. The gold will be gone and those who trusted their governments will have to make do with promises.


Inflation: Higher And Higher We Go

Economics / Inflation
Jul 08, 2014 – 10:48 AM GMT
By: Darryl_R_Schoon

Economics
In the end game, truth is found only at the margins

In Time of the Vulture: How to Survive the Crisis and Prosper in the Process(2007, 2012 3rd edition), I wrote about inflation and its root cause:

In a credit-money system, over time the constant infusion of increasing amounts of credit will inevitably lead to higher and higher rates of inflation. Because common knowledge of this fact is not in the best interests of those benefiting from the system, it is hidden away. And in the US, hiding the real rate of inflation is done the old-fashioned way, by lying about it.

Prior to the 1990s, the cost of a basket of standard goods and services was compiled. This was called the consumer price index, the CPI, and any rate of increase was considered to be the actual rate of inflation. However, in the early 1990s, this began to change.

Perhaps the old method of tracking inflation seemed outdated or quaint, much like the Geneva Accords [which outlawed torture], to Alan Greenspan and Michael Boskin, the chief economist under President Bush Sr., and a newer way of calculating the CPI was needed.

What was needed was a way that would show a slower rate of increase rather than the actual rate, a way that would save the US government money by lowering social security payments and Medicare benefits tied to the CPI, a way that would convey to global investors that all was well in America, that inflation was under control.

The government keeps changing the rules

Changing the way inflation is calculated

Irrespective of what the newly reconstituted CPI says about inflation, its effects cannot be hidden. Remember Motel 6? A low cost motel chain started in Santa Barbara, California in 1962 whose advertised price was a part of its name, $6.00 per night for accommodations.

I recently checked the prices Motel 6 charges, forty-four years later. The current room rates of Motel 6 at three different locations in Santa Barbara are:

1962 2006

Motel 6 location #1 $6.00 $105.99 an increase of 1,767 %

Motel 6 location #2 $6.00 $82.99 an increase of 1,383 %

Motel 6 location #3 $6.00 $61.99 an increase of 1,033 %

Home prices are also higher as advertised in Morris County New Jersey.

1966 2006

Three bedroom home $15,900.00 $399,900.00 an increase of 2,515 %

Four bedroom home $19,000.00 $624,900.00 an increase of 3,289 %

Marijuana also shows a similar increase in price since the 1960s.

1966 2006

One lid of pot $10.00 $250.00 an increase of 2,500 %

The cost of attending college at the University of Minnesota also rose.

1968 2004

Cost per unit $8.25 $183.00 an increase of 2,218 %

THE DIFFERENCE IN PRICES

BETWEEN THEN AND NOW

IS DUE TO INFLATION

INFLATION IS THE INCREASING COST

OF GOODS AND SERVICES CAUSED

BY THE CONSTANTLY DECLINING

VALUE OF PAPER MONEY OVER TIME

THE MORE MONEY YOU PRINT

THE LESS IT’S WORTH

ECONOMICS – SHILL OR SCIENCE

Time for the Gold Option Trade?

Until recently, the world has forgotten about gold and gold futures prices it would seem. A few years ago, all we heard about was gold and silver futures making new highs on the back of the Federal Reserve’s constant money printing schemes. However, after a dramatic selloff the world of precious metals it became very quiet. It may be time for a gold option trade.

Gold prices have been in a giant basing or consolidation pattern for more than one year. As can clearly be seen below, gold futures prices have traded in a range between roughly 1,175 and 1,430 since June of 2013.

Chart1

The past few weeks we have heard more about gold prices as we have seen a five week rally since late May. I would also draw your attention to the fact that gold futures also made a slightly higher low which is typically a bullish signal.

At this point in time, it appears quite likely that a possible test of the upper end of the channel is possible in the next few weeks / months. If price can push above 1,430 on the spot gold futures price a breakout could transpire that could see $150 or more added to the spot gold price.

Clearly there are a variety of ways that a trader could consider higher prices in gold futures. However, a basic option strategy can pay handsome rewards that will profit from a continued consolidation. The trade strategy is profitable as long as price stays within a range for a specified period of time. Ultimately this type of trade strategy involves the use of options and capitalizes on the passage of time.

The strategy is called an Iron Condor Strategy, however in order to make this trade worth while we would consider widening out the strikes to increase our profitability while simultaneously increasing our overall risk per spread. Consider the chart of GLD below which has highlighted the price range that would be profitable to the August monthly option expiration on August 15th.

Chart2

As long as price stays in the range shown above, the GLD August Iron Condor Spread would be profitable. Clearly this strategy involves patience and the expectation that gold prices will continue to consolidate. This trade has the profit potential of $37 per spread, or a total potential return based on maximum possible risk of 13.62%. The probability based on today’s implied volatility in GLD options for this spread to be profitable at expiration (August 15) is roughly 80%.

Our new option service specializes in identifying these types of consolidation setups and helps investors capitalize on consolidating chart patterns, volatility collapse, and profiting from the passage of time. And if you Advanced options trades are not your thing, we also provide Simple options where we buy either a call or put option based on the SP500 and VIX. The nice thing about buying calls and puts is that you can trade with an account as little as $2,500.

If You Want Daily Options Trades, Join Technical Traders Options Alerts: www.TheTechnicalTraders.com/options

Chris Vermeulen

Sincerely,

Chris Vermeulen
Founder of Technical Traders Ltd. – Partnership Program

Gold/Oil Ratio Redux

I continue to monitor the Gold/Oil ratio (GOR). The last time I wrote about it was December, 2008. At that time Gold closed that day at $837 and Oil closed at $42.36. That is a GOR of 19.75.

Here’s the chart at that time:

Gold/Oil Ratio chart

20-Year History of GOR

Notice there were two peaks, a three step drop, a double bottom and then a BIG rally. We are experiencing the same thing again.

Gold/Oil Ratio from 2011

Gold/Oil Ratio from 2011

We don’t see the first peak in 2011, then we have a three step drop, a double bottom and then… I think we may be setting up for another rally in Gold (and Silver). Oil is now at $106, Gold is $1,317. At a GOR of 20, assuming Oil stays the same, Gold could be trading at $2,120. With all the chaos in the world, suppose Oil goes to $150. Gold could then be $3,000. Silver is currently $21. At $2,120 Gold Silver could be $141; At $3,000, Silver could be $200.

No guarantees, of course.

When Real Interest Rates Fall, Gold Rises

Mike Burnick writing for Money and Markets has this informative piece:

Real Yields Sink

Historically, real interest rates (long term bond yields minus the inflation rate) have always had a very close, inverse correlation with the price of gold. In fact, it’s the single most predictive factor for gold prices.

When real rates fall, gold inevitably rises, and vice versa. As you can see in the chart below, real interest rates declined steadily after the financial crisis and Great Recession in 2008, and gold rose every step of the way.


Click for larger version

But as you can see above, real yields began rising again in 2012, which continued last year. This corresponds almost perfectly with a sharp decline in gold prices, but recently real rates stopped rising and are now rolling over again, as you can see at the far right.

While interest rates around the world are declining steadily this year, inflation is beginning to edge higher.

This is pushing real (inflation adjusted) interest rates down again … which is precisely when gold shines!

Forget the Consumer Price Index. We all know this flawed gauge of inflation is way behind the curve in measuring the true cost of living and it’s a backwards-looking indicator. Instead, focus on leading indicators of future inflation pressure: Higher commodity prices, rising wages, higher rental rates and soaring health-care and education costs … these are all pointing to higher inflation down the road.


Copyright © 2007 Mover Mike. Design by Anthony Baggett.