-- Posted Tuesday, 23 December 2008 | Digg This Article | Source: GoldSeek.com
- Dollar topping out
- Physical demand skyrocketing
- Supply chain shutting down
- COMEX Gold Manipulation exposed
- Gold shares on the move again
It sure has been a brutal year for gold and its shares and many may wonder if the $1030 top clocked in March 2008 marked the top for the gold bull market that started in April 2001. Despite the fact that many analysts want you to believe that gold has failed to act as a true safe haven this year and that gold will find itself in another bear market for years to come gold's critical drivers have never been stronger than as they are today. Let's face it, physical demand for gold broke record highs in Q2 this year followed by an explosion towards new record highs in Q3 with dollar demand for gold exploding by 45% compared to Q2.
Against this explosion of physical demand we're witnessing a dramatic decline of new gold discoveries which will force the mine output down for years to come. The junior gold exploration sector is bleeding to death due to its inability to secure the financings necessary in order to advance their exploration projects. Please remember that the supply chain for gold starts with the junior gold exploration sector, 75% of all discoveries are made by juniors. Simple 101 economics teaches us that falling supply against skyrocketing demand will force prices higher.
OK you'll say, physical demand is strong indeed, physical inventories for retail sales have dried up completely which resulted in huge premiums for those who want to get hold on this physical stuff (E-bay is showing off premiums up to 25%), then how the heck it's possible to see gold prices tumbling down to lows not seen since 2006?
The answer is quite simple. Gold prices are determined by the paper gold market, not the physical gold market. It's not difficult to understand why since the paper gold market is about 40 times as large as the physical gold market. Since gold futures are trading more or less like an inverted dollar they will drop down upon (temporary) dollar strength. And exactly here lies the heart of the problem. Government can easily create the illusion of a strong dollar and low inflation expectations by suppressing the price of gold. Market interventions became the tune of the day. When the dollar was on the verge of total collapse in March this year (and gold reaching all time highs to $1035) joint intervention was seriously considered in order to rescue the crashing dollar:
U.S., Europe, Japan Planned March Dollar Rescue: Nikkei
By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
Reutersvia The Guardian, London
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
NEW YORK -- The United States, Europe, and Japan had planned to intervene and rescue a weak U.S. dollar in March, business newspaper Nikkei reported on Wednesday.
Officials from the U.S. Treasury Department, Japan's Finance Ministry, and the European Central Bank reportedly drew up a currency contingency plan to be undertaken over the March 15-16 weekend, Nikkei reported, citing sources familiar with the situation.
The monetary officials also agreed on a framework for coordinating dollar-buying intervention, the report said.
The officials did not specify an exchange rate for initiating the dollar rescue plan, but in the event of a free-fall, they all agreed to aggressively buy the greenback and sell yen and euros, according to Nikkei.
Obviously the planned intervention never took place in March since the dollar started to recover on its own after the Bear Stearns rescue. But 4 months later (mid July) the dollar started blasting off like a rocket leaving analysts clueless for the reason why. The thing is that no fundamental news for the dollar could explain such a dramatic move so what did move the dollar so fast? Was it intervention this time? Let's first take a peek at the dollar chart and see what happened since mid July:
What we see here is a rocket launch of the dollar indeed. This rocket launch started as a result of the biggest intervention of all time explained in detail by Bank of Montreal’s Don Coxe in his weekly web cast of September 06.
He explains how the Fed and Treasury in conjunction with the CFTC and SEC "RIGGED" the collapse in commodities and bounce in financials to purposely screw people who were making commodity bets and shorting financials. He states that this was categorically the most massive government intervention into the capital markets since the 1930’s when Roosevelt closed the banks
Jim Sinclair (JSMineset.com) at that time said more or less the same:
A Level Of Market Intervention Never Before Seen
Jim Sinclair, September 09, 2008
· You are all being run by the largest intervention in the shortest time frame any market on the planet has ever seen
· Nothing has changed at all. In fact, it has become fundamentally and significantly WORSE
· Intervention has nothing to do with the markets. Only the precious few know it is about to happen. For the rest it comes out of nowhere
By rigging the commodities markets down government created an artificial demand for the once almighty dollar (commodity deleveraging equals dollar buying). So the commodities went south, the dollar up followed by a short squeeze of epic proportions. Despite the fact that even a chimpanzee could see this dollar rally would be a temporary one many analysts came out swinging declaring that the dollar had replaced gold as the one and only true safe haven.
So far government succeeded in creating a false picture of a sound dollar, the last thing they want is to see a total dollar collapse in the midst of world's biggest financial crisis ever. As mentioned above part of a 'strong dollar' policy is to burry gold prices. And this strategy is exactly what became evident when two US banks increased their gold short positions an astonishing 11 fold this summer which resulted (sure enough) in a devastating crash of the gold price! Please digest this carefully, two US banks betting on a huge decline in the price of gold, you really think they had no inside information of what the US Treasury was up to?
So two big US banks coming into action bombing gold almost on a daily basis for three months and only the people from LeMetropoleCafe and JSMineset are screaming manipulation, most other analysts remain clueless and stick to the more convenient 'deleveraging' theme...
Sure, gold was subject to some serious deleveraging but analysts refusing to deal with the real issue of a cartel crashing gold prices fail miserably in order to explain the gold bombings during the COMEX gold trading sessions. Deleveraging? Please don't make me laugh. Why on earth would traders who want to deleverage only want to do so at exactly 9 AM or 10 AM EST? Gold crashing by $30 or more at 9 or 10 AM EST in just a few nano seconds has nothing to do with deleveraging but with the two US banks at work as mentioned above. This has happened over and over again over the last few months. Please take a peek at some snapshots below and judge yourself whether or not these price movements have the look of free markets at work or just blatant market intervention. Needless to say I prefer the latter.
Please remember that more than 90% of all COMEX sessions end up down, no statistician on earth will tell you that free markets could operate that way. The build up of 9 hours Asian/Europe trading being 'neutralized' in just a few seconds at COMEX is not a blueprint of free and fair markets at work but of blatant intervention.
So COMEX gold prices down last couple of months vs a monster rally in the dollar. Again, many analysts want you to believe that gold has lost its status of safe haven but nothing could be further from the truth. Our mass consciousness is telling us that gold remains the ultimate safe haven hence the record high demand for physical gold in Q2, Q3 this year. Let's face it, you can't get your hands on gold coins these days without paying premiums of up to 25%! people are rushing into physical gold in a way never witnessed before, still the gold price on COMEX doesn't reflect that. Now a funny thing is happening since COMEX doesn't respect real gold prices more and more traders are taking delivery of COMEX gold and resell it in the retail market thereby making handsome profits. Now this is exactly what the short sellers on COMEX don't want to happen since it makes it harder for them to continue their gold price fixing scheme. It's simple, as long as the short sellers can come up with the physical gold being demanded for delivery they can continue their scam. But once they fail to deliver then gold prices will explode to unimaginable new highs since fundamentals dictate gold prices exceeding $2000 these days (see also 'Gold - Fundamentals still pointing towards $2000')
Mr. Jim Sinclair (who is considered the biggest gold trader of all time) is getting furious about the ongoing price capping at COMEX and is encouraging his readers to take delivery of COMEX gold in order to end the price fixing scheme in short order:
Stop the COMEX Manipulators - Level the Playing Field
By Jim Sinclair, December 11, 2008
There is a great shift in the gold market that is being consistently leaned against by the Gold Banks. You can be sure they will be back to rip us all off. Please do me and yourselves a great favour: No matter where you are on this planet if you can afford a 100 ounce bar buy the nearby month gold on the Comex, take delivery then remove the delivered gold from the warehouse.
Another gold veteran who is pounding the table hard against the illegal COMEX manipulators is GATA's Bill Murphy. There's no doubt in my mind that future history books will point to Bill Murphy as the one who exposed the gold manipulation scheme (strong dollar policy).. He's done so for a decade now and his (GATA) views are becoming more excepted day by day. A good example concerns a recent debate (September 09) between Bill Murphy and Tim Wood at the Las Vegas Hard Assets Investment Conference in which Murphy argued that the gold market is manipulated by central banks and their affiliated investment houses and Wood argued that it is not. The audience there overwhelmingly voted Bill Murphy the winner of this debate.
GATA's credibilty got another boost last week. The CFTC wanted to sit down with GATA and listen what GATA has to say. On Thursday 18 December GATA chairman Bill Murphy met with CFTC commsioner Bart Chilton in Washington. Bill Murphy reported from Washington:
My meeting with Chilton went on as scheduled and lasted about 50 minutes. The surprise was that three others from the CFTC staff attended, including the deputy general counsel. One of the other staffers had already viewed the video of GATA's Gold Rush 21 conference.
Chilton listened intently, took notes, as did one of the others, and asked many questions. I laid out GATA's presentation. I am not going to get into all the details, as we will see what takes place in the months to come. But I chuckled when telling them that if they really wanted to comprehend what the gold price suppression scheme is all about, all they have to do is go to their new chairman -- at the right time. No one knows what is going on better than he does.
I did not hold back. I said the main culprit of the Gold Cartel was our own government, which has been in league with bullion banks like JPMorganChase.
Naturally, I drew parallels to the Madoff scandal and how the Securities and Exchange Commission ignored nine years' worth of probable cause to suspect a Ponzi scheme. I also laid out how and why what is occurring in gold and silver could lead to a much bigger scandal if the price suppression scheme is not stopped -- and that is because the Gold Cartel is running out of the gold needed to meet the growing annual deficit between supply and demand.
I was very impressed with Chilton, and he said my trip to Washington would not be in vain.
So what we've been witnessing on COMEX is a false picture painted by blatant intervention pushing gold to artificial lows. Thank goodness our mass conciseness told us that COMEX prices weren't for real so despite discouraging people to get their hands on physical gold the COMEX crowd achieved exactly the opposite which is a record high demand for physical gold not ever seen in history before. Readers who still have their doubts on gold's physical off-take please read on:
World Gold Council confirms record high gold demand:
- Dollar demand for gold in Q3 was a record US$32 billion, 45% higher than the previous record, set in 2Q2008.
- Identifiable investment demand, which incorporates demand for gold through exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bars and coins, rose to $10.7 billion (12.3 million ounces), double year-earlier levels.
- Retail investment demand rose 121% to 7.5 million ounces, with strong bar and coin buying in the Swiss, German, and U.S. markets. Europe as a whole saw an all-time record 1.64 million ounces of bar and coin buying. France became a net investor in gold for the first time since the early 1980s.
- Gold ETFs posted a record quarterly inflow of 4.8 million ounces in Q3. After the collapse of Lehman Brothers in late September, ETF inflows shot higher by an unprecedented 3.6 million ounces in only five days.
- Demand for gold jewelry hit a record $18 billion. Leading the way was India, which witnessed a rise of 65% in dollar value (1.3 million ounces) compared with 3Q2007. The Middle East, Indonesia, and China all experienced increases of more than 40% in value or 10% in weight, year over year.
Trend of gold as store of wealth 'may start to snowball'--ScotiaMocatta
Deep-rooted global financial problems will escalate the demand for gold as a safe haven.
Author: Dorothy Kosich
Wednesday , 10 Dec 2008
In its December Metals Matters report, ScotiaMocatta suggests that global financial problems "seem so deep rooted that demand for gold as a safe haven is expected to escalate."
Gold demand has in fact exploded, and not just here and there. Everywhere. Around the world, customers have been queuing up to strip coin shops' shelves bare. Mints have been running 24/7 and still have been forced to ration coin shipments to their dealers. ETF vaults are bulging.
Fear triggers gold shortage, drives US treasury yields below zero
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Last Updated: 9:26AM GMT 11 Dec 2008
The investor search for a safe places to store wealth as the financial crisis shakes faith in the system has caused extraordinary moves in global markets over recent days, driving the yield on 3-month US Treasuries below zero and causing a rush for physical holdings of gold.
Swiss gold refineries pushed to the limit by demand
By Gerhard Lob
SwissInfo, Bern, Switzerland
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Gold refineries in Switzerland are working at their limit to cope with demand for the precious metal from investors seeking ways to shield their wealth.
"I've never experienced anything like this in my whole career," Erhard Oberle, chief executive of the firm for the past 20 years, told SwissInfo. He said the demand was so heavy that it could hardly be satisfied.The reason for the gold -- and silver -- rush is that at a time of financial crisis many investors want real assets.
The general rule of the market is that gold is always attractive when everything else is unattractive….
The list goes on and on but gold's appeal reaches further than the average retail investor, it seems that gold is regaining its monetary shine as well:
Saudi Arabia buys 3.5 billion dollars worth of gold
There has been an unprecedented surge in Saudi gold purchases in the past two weeks with over $3.5 billion being spent on the yellow metal, reported Gulf News citing local industry sources.
Gold market expert Sami Al Mohna told the leading regional newspaper that this buying had substantially increased the gold reserves of the country: ‘Many Saudi investors see this as the right time for making investments in gold as the price is the most reasonable one at present’.
He said gold was seen as a traditional safe haven at a time of global financial turmoil. Gulf regional stock markets have fallen very sharply since early October, leading to an exodus of cash which needs to find a safe haven.
Gold is currently trading at prices similar to a year ago, and 30 per cent off its March peak. Saudi investors clearly think this is the right time to buy and are piling into gold.
News about the Saudi gold rush is bound to fuel speculation about the alleged large physical gold transactions that have been taking place at prices will above the spot price set in the futures market. It is very unlikely that such a large hoard of physical gold could have been bought for the depressed current price.
China PBOC Mulls Raising Gold Reserve By 4,000 Tons - Report
China PBOC Mulls Raising Gold Reserve By 4,000 Tons - Report
BEIJING (Dow Jones)--China's central bank is considering raising its gold reserve by 4,000 metric tons from 600 tons to diversify risks brought by the country's huge foreign exchange reserves, the Guangzhou Daily reported, citing unnamed industry people in Hong Kong.
The Guangzhou-based newspaper didn't elaborate on the plan.
China's forex reserves, at US$1.9056 trillion at the end of September, is the world's largest. U.S. dollar-denominated assets, including U.S. treasury bonds and mortgage agency bonds, account for a big proportion of the forex reserves
So what we've been witnessing lately is the dollar competing against gold as the most desired safe haven but needless to say gold remains the ultimate form payment and therefore the ultimate safe haven. JP Morgan seems to admit:
JPMorgan Gold report
Gold has been competing with the dollar as a relatively safe haven for investors as stock markets have fallen. Initially, gold and the dollar performed well, but it's wrong to compare dollar strength with the performance of the dollar-denominated gold price since, as the dollar rises, it slows the upward movement of dollar gold. In the less volatile Swiss franc, gold achieved a new all-time high about one month ago. Until the fear-driven flows into the dollar slow, the dollar could continue to rise, but gold's improved visibility may be preparing gold for strength into the year end. We would like to see gold perform in absolute terms, but we are very happy with gold's outperformance of the S&P 500. ...
Many analysts have argued over the past few months that the dollar would continue its appreciation due to safe haven demand. Well, as mentioned above the dollar rally was a fake one, just an ordinary short over rally fuelled by extensive deleveraging of the commodity sector. At least the Chinese figured out in time this dollar rally would be a temporary one:
China wealth fund sees dollar strength as temporary
BEIJING, Dec 8 (Reuters) - One of the top managers of China Investment Corp, the country's $200 billion sovereign wealth fund, reckons current dollar strength is temporary and he would like to bet that the U.S. currency is headed lower.
CIC President Gao Xiqing was speaking in an interview with monthly U.S. magazine The Atlantic two weeks before the Nov. 4 U.S. election. The euro <EUR=> was trading at that time between $1.30 and $1.35. On Monday it stood around $1.2765.
"Everyone is saying, 'Oh, look, the dollar is getting stronger!' I say, that's really temporary. It's simply because a lot of people need to cash in, they need U.S. dollars in order to pay back their creditors. But after a short while, the dollar may be going down again. I'd like to bet on that!" he said.
Needless to say the Chinese had it right! When the FED slashed its interest rate to zero last week, the dollar went south big time. (Point of interest is that the Chinese sovereign wealth fund wanted to know what GATA knows (they held a tele conference call with GATA earlier this year) which of course is another tremendous credibility boost for GATA's outstanding work over the last 10 years)
Regarding last week's dollar plunge JSMineset contributor Dan Norcini comments:.
The fact is that the US Dollar’s horrendous fundamentals have caught up with it. The bear market rally caught a tremendous amount of speculative longs on the wrong side as the bottom fell out of it. We have remarked in the past that the rally in the dollar had NOTHING to do with fundamentals or safe haven buying as the talking heads in the press would have you believe but was rather the effects of a short-lived but massive repatriation of investment funds from abroad by US based hedge funds looking to deleverage, cut losses and meet margin calls and redemptions.
Indeed, please don't look for any fundamental reasons for a strong dollar because you won't find any. Please think about it! The US government has pledged already more than $8 trillion in order to bail out Wall Street. But where is the money coming from? Well, the answer is simple, the U.S. government doesn't have the money so they have to flood the market with a wave of Treasuries the likes of which the world has never seen. Don't think that foreign bond holders are going to sit idle by watching the US government trashing its own currency through reckless printing. To put things in perspective, in over 200 years the U.S. has racked up almost $10.7 trillion in public debt. Now during the last few months our government has pledged an amount equal to three-fourths of its total public debt to bail out Wall Street. Again, this is money the US government doesn't have so they have to print it! The inevitable result will be much higher inflation. I don't buy the argument that the FED can manipulate long-term rates down by buying up long-term debt. Since no government is bigger than the world bond and currency market any attempt to manipulate long-term rates down will be short lived.
John Williams of shadowstats.com continues to warn his readers for the excessive surge in money supplies and the inevitable outcome. In his Alert of December 20 he wrote:
John Williams Shadowstats.com
December 20, 2008
Monetary Base and Reserves Continue to Explode. The St. Louis Fed’s Adjusted Monetary Base in the two weeks ended December 17th was up 97.5% from the year before, versus a 74.9% annual increase in the prior two-week period. Those numbers were up from less than 3% annual growth in August, before the Fed began its latest panicked operations. When cutting the targeted fed funds to a range of 0.00% to 0.25%, Fed Chairman Bernanke and the FOMC continued to indicate they would do whatever it took to stimulate systemic liquidity — broad money supply.
The Fed always can drive the economy into recession and deflation by contracting broad money growth. The reverse, however, is not true. Excessive money growth does not assure economic growth, although it always will assure higher inflation.
So excessive money growth on the back of slashing interest rates to near zero, what does that mean for the dollar? Well, not any good it seems:
Dollar No Longer Haven After Fed Moves Rate Near Zero
By Kim-Mai Cutler and Bo Nielsen
Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The world’s biggest currency-trading firms say the dollar’s appeal as a haven amid the financial crisis all but evaporated.
The U.S. currency slid to a 13-year low against the yen today and had its biggest one-day decline versus the euro after the Federal Reserve reduced its target interest rate yesterday to a range of zero to 0.25 percent, the lowest among the world’s biggest economies. CMC Markets said today the currency’s prospects appear "ominous." State Street Global markets said the dollar’s outlook has been "undermined."
So with the dollar no longer functioning as a safe haven and inflation to be heating up coming years what do to next? It seems that HSBC figured it out already:
HSBC Fund Returns to Buying Gold to Hedge Against Inflation
Dec. 3 (Bloomberg) -- HSBC Investment Management's $2.6 billion Absolute Return Service started buying gold again on expectations that inflation will accelerate and may start adding coffee, sugar and grains next year.
Gold now accounts for 3 percent of the portfolio, fund manager Charlie Morris said by phone from London yesterday. Morris had sold the metal in July when prices were about $900 an ounce. Gold has declined 15 percent since the end of July.
"Gold is the best supported of all commodities," said Morris, whose fund has lost 14 percent this year. "People are buying in anticipation" of inflation, he said…
Not only HSBC seems to get it:
Citigroup says gold could rise above $2,000 next year as world unravels
Gold is poised for a dramatic surge and could blast through $2,000 an ounce by the end of next year as central banks flood the world's monetary system with liquidity, according to an internal client note from the US bank Citigroup
The bank said the damage caused by the financial excesses of the last quarter century was forcing the world's authorities to take steps that had never been tried before.
This gamble was likely to end in one of two extreme ways: with either a resurgence of inflation; or a downward spiral into depression, civil disorder, and possibly wars. Both outcomes will cause a rush for gold.
I realize that the inflation/hyperinflation tune being played by Jim Rogers, John Williams, Jim Sinclair etc., is not supported by many other experts who take the other side and warn for the worst deflationary spiral the world has ever seen.
History books will be the judge of who were right and who where wrong but for me an economic halt is no guarantee for low inflation/deflation as many experts want you to believe. All we have to do is to take a peek at Zimbabwe where it's hard to find any economic activity at all, yet needless to say Zimbabwe does have some inflation worries...(only 200+ million percent ).
Hyper inflation like the one we're witnessing in Zimbabwe is the result of a currency collapse, not because of an overheated economy! A currency collapse is the result of a confidence collapse. A confidence collapse is the result of a government living way beyond its means and paying for its bills through the printing press. The bottom line is no government can print its way out of bankruptcy without paying the consequences (hyper inflation) later.
There is a growing consensus that the only way to get out of this debt nightmare is to revalue the dollar against gold. There are many ways to calculate a hypothetical gold price which would counter balance most of world's debt. In the 70's for example Jim Sinclair predicted that gold would seek a price high enough to offset the public debt held in foreign hands. He proved out to be right. A similar approach these days would require gold prices exceeding the $10.000 mark.
Now $10.000 gold seems a lot but from an historical perspective it seems a reasonable target. When the gold price peaked at $850 in January 1980 the DOW was trading in that range as well. The DOW/GOLD ratio bottomed out at one. When the markets peaked in March 2000 the DOW/GOLD ratio peaked at 44 and has been in decline ever since. In order to hit a DOW/GOLD ratio again of 'one' gold should appreciate above the $10.000 mark indeed with current DOW levels. I don't see the DOW plunging much further from here. Compare it with the 1968 -1982 period were the DOW hovered around the 1000 mark for 14 years. same is happening now, the DOW peaked in March 2000 (inflation adjusted) and it could take very well another couple of years before the DOW manages to leave the 10.000 mark for good. I mean, there's no economic justification now for the DOW to rise much further while a surge in inflation will cushion the DOW to the down-side. A DOW struggling around the 10.000 mark from 2000 to 2012-2015 is not unthinkable and neither is $10.000 gold somewhere in 2012-2015.
Now if you are a true believer in gold's future you might be interested in owning some gold shares the years ahead as well. The burning question however remains whether or not it is a good time to enter the gold share market.
The good news is that the worst is behind us indeed (for the senior gold shares), they bottomed out in October. As we all know, the gold shares took out all support levels to the down side like a knife through butter and many analysts called for the end of the gold bull market.
When all support levels fail then ultimately you have to go back to the long-term monthly charts in order to find the next (last) level of support. On October 22 we send out a chart update with worst case down-side projections based on the long-term HUI monthly chart. Support was to be found at HUI 150, see chart below:
Now luck shot indeed since the HUI bounced off exactly at this HUI 150 level and has shot up afterwards by a stellar 100% in just 6 weeks time. This becomes clearly visible when we zoom into the HUI weekly chart:
Now with the HUI bouncing off its lows with force upon a $100+ rise in the price of gold, what would happen to the gold shares you think when gold reaches CITI's forecast of $2000 gold next year? Yes, the HUI would be reaching new highs which translates itself in another 100%+ appreciation from here on.
So a good moment to get in gold stocks now?
According to Frank Veneroso, a well known gold market strategist, yes, he recently said:
I think gold might have a very explosive upside in the current environment. Gold stocks are now extremely cheap relative to the price of gold with the commodity bust, gold mining costs are falling. I think money managers should now be buying gold stocks.
Well dear reader, whatever the year of 2009 has in mind for us, one thing is for certain, financial history will be written. Future history students will be amazed reading about the intense debates among the hyper inflation/deflation advocates these days. In a time when most probably the most important chapter of financial history is written all we can do is to stay tuned and listen to what the markets are telling us.
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-- Posted Tuesday, 23 December 2008 | Digg This Article | Source: GoldSeek.com