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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The extinction of gold derivatives

This month is the fiftieth anniversary of the Nixon shock, when the Bretton Woods agreement was suspended. And the expansion of commercial banking into credit for purely financial activities became central to the promotion of the dollar as the international replacement for gold.

With the introduction of Basel 3, commercial banking enters a new era of diminishing involvement in derivatives. The nominal value of all derivatives at the end of last year amounted to seven times world GDP. While we can obsess about the effects on precious metals markets, they are just a very small part of the big Basel 3 picture.

However, gold remains central to global money and credit and the impact on gold markets should concern us all. In this article I quantify gold forwards and futures derivatives to estimate the impact of reversing anti-gold policies that date back to the Nixon shock in 1971.

We are considering nothing less than the effects of ending fifty years of gold price suppression. Through leases, swaps, and loans central banks have fed physical bullion into derivative markets from time to time to keep prices from rising and breaking the banks who are always short of synthetic gold to their customers.

To summarise, bullion banks withdrawing from derivative markets is bound to create replacement demand for physical gold that can only drive up the price and further undermine fragile confidence in fiat currencies at a time of rapidly increasing monetary inflation.

- Source, James Turk's Goldmoney

Saturday, August 14, 2021

The problem with climate change politics

Western economies have moved on from free markets to the point where they hardly exist in the true meaning of the phrase. Yet the state continually claims that it is free markets that fail, not government.

The reason governments fail in economic terms is that economic calculation is never part of their brief, and nor can it be. By economic calculation, we mean taking positive actions aimed at a profitable outcome. To survive and prosper, businesses and individuals must do this all the time — the only exception being when they can rely on the state to underwrite their failures, which is why established businesses encourage statist regulation to place hurdles in the way of upstart competitors. And why at an individual level there is a ready demand for state welfare.

But political objectives cannot involve profit and therefore economic calculation. Instead of economic calculation, a responsible state can only manage its tax revenues efficiently to minimise its impact on the producers in the economy and to achieve affordable social outcomes in the context of a realistic consensus. The problem is deciding where the line is drawn between what is reasonable and what is not. It is also the line that determines who in the distant future will go down in history as a statesman or as a political flaneur.

Political objectives in the narrowest sense were the focus in America until the days of President Hoover, who broadened the political mandate into interventionism, followed by the modern-day hero for socialist economists, Franklin D Roosevelt. Nearly a century of increasing socialistic intervention since Hoover has led us into a socio-political system whose dubious achievements are not much more than monetary debasement and the repeated failure of statist ambitions.

It’s not just America; it’s all advanced nations. Regular readers of Goldmoney articles will be aware of the inflationary consequences of promoting neo-Keynesian interventionism and to where it all leads. But over the last thirty years and more we have seen the same state-sponsoring of self-serving scientists in fields other than just economics. Especially relevant today is climate change, because this highly politicised topic is now determining the course of capital investment in the commercial sector instead of profitable objectives.

Scientists, with no experience of climatology have been jumping on the global warming bandwagon for decades, milking state funds allocated for research aimed at proving that homo stultus is responsible for global warming. And when that didn’t arrive on frequently predicted schedules, global warming was renamed climate change...

- Source, Goldmoney, read the full article here

Thursday, August 5, 2021

The Monetary Logic for Gold and Silver

This week saw the news that a vaccine had been found to combat the coronavirus. At least it offers the prospect of humanity ridding itself of the virus in due course, but it will not be enough to rescue the global economy from its deeper problems. Monetary inflation is therefore far from running its course.

The reaction in financial markets to the vaccine news was contradictory: equity markets rallied strongly ignoring rapidly deteriorating fundamentals, and gold slumped on a minor recovery in the dollar’s trade weighted index. Rather than blindly accepting the reasons for outcomes put forward by the financial press we must accept that during these inflationary times that markets are not functioning efficiently.

To obtain a grasp of what is truly happening in capital markets, it is usually best to stand back and observe the broader context. Figure 1 below shows the course of three major indicators this year: the S&P 500 index as proxy for the stock market, the copper price as proxy for industrial commodities and gold as proxy for monetary inflation.

Before 22 March, the stock market had slumped along with copper, and gold had broadly flat-lined. The signals suggested that stock markets and commodity prices were discounting an economic slump, and that gold perhaps offered a haven from systemic risk, at least until it fell sharply in late March.

On Thursday, 16 March, the Federal Reserve Board cut its funds rate to zero and the following Monday, 23 March, the Fed declared unlimited quantitative easing to support the economy through what it declared would be a V-shaped recovery. In other words, an injection of money was expected to ensure economic recovery and a return to normality. March was also the month many countries entered lockdowns to combat the first wave of viral infections.

Following the Fed’s announcement, stock markets recovered sharply, being the direct beneficiaries of unlimited monetary expansion, which we discuss later. Copper recovered strongly, it was said to be on improved prospects for the global economy, but the back story here is more concerning. Following the Fed’s statement, China’s government decided to reduce its stockpile of dollars by buying key industrial commodities, particularly copper. If widely adopted by other foreigners and subsequently the American public, it is a policy that will ultimately destroy the dollar’s purchasing power.

The threat of infinite money printing to the purchasing power of the dollar drove the gold price to new highs, but it can be seen in Figure 1 that gold generally underperformed equities and copper by a significant margin. In one sentence, the reason is the establishment’s dislike and suppression of gold as a rival to fiat currencies, and ignorance in the financial community about the effects and consequences of monetary inflation.

This article is intended to put the latter right and to give the reader an advantage of knowledge in a subject which is bound to dominate financial markets and their underlying economies in the months to come.

The evolution of money and what it represents

In the pre-dawn of history, when the limitations of barter became an impediment to further human progress, two conditions needed to be satisfied. A form of intermediary good commonly accepted as a medium of exchange was indispensable so that through the division of labour and by their individual skills and knowledge, humans could maximise their output in order to acquire other goods to satisfy their needs and wants. The classical economists defined the division of labour and with it the role of money as Say’s law, after the French economist, Jean-Baptise Say (1767—1832), who described it.

The economic benefits of the division of labour are now taken for granted, even by socialists who are otherwise scathing of free markets. And the intermediary good, money, evolved to become commonly accepted by diverse communities, even those which did not trade with each other. Eventually, all civilisations accepted metallic money as the durable, reliable and quantifiable units of exchange.

In descending order of value, that which we would term their purchasing power today, metallic monies were gold, silver and copper. Before the dawn of history, when scribes began to document events, metallic money had already become established. History then recorded numerous occasions when the powerful deceived the public by corrupting money — obtaining it for themselves while forcing the public to accept inferior or worthless substitutes.

The Emperor Nero famously debased the Roman denarius to pay his troops, an act necessary for his personal survival, and a policy pursued by his successors for two centuries. In China, Kublai Khan confiscated gold, silver and precious stones, doling out paper substitutes made from mulberry leaves. From ancient times to the present day, kings, emperors and now governments more often than not were and still are heavily indebted and authorised schemes to replace gold and silver with debased coinage, or their own alternative forms of money. The public’s choice of a medium of exchange was incorruptible; a ruler’s choice was made with the intention to debase it as a source of finance.

Gold and silver had long been accepted as the medium of exchange, chosen by those that use it. The fact that its quantity could not be expanded by a government was no impediment to the advancement of national and personal wealth. The improvement of living standards throughout Europe and America in the nineteenth century was testament to the combination of free markets and sound money.

The limitations imposed by metallic money on the state’s ambitions were seen as a hindrance by socialising governments. The modern template for a resolution of the problem was the Prussian-led federation of German states, unified in 1871 by Otto von Bismarck. Accordingly, when Georg Knapp promoted his state theory of money in 1905, Bismarck furthered his statist ambitions by seizing the opportunity given by Knapp’s state theory of money to finance the expansion of Germany’s military forces, issuing marks unbacked by gold while still on a gold standard.

In August 1914 Germany’s gold exchange standard was temporarily abandoned, and when it became clear that the war was not going to be the short conflict which Germany expected to win, the purchasing power of the paper mark began to fall, collapsing to a notional trillion paper marks to one gold mark in November 1923. Other European currencies without a gold exchange standard and who put vast quantities of unbacked money into circulation also suffered monetary collapses, notably those of Austria, Hungary, Poland and Russia.

Bismarck showed in the years before the First World War that the gold standard was not necessarily protection against monetary debasement. Similarly, Benjamin Strong, the Chairman of America’s Federal Reserve Board, in the early 1920s used inflationary monetary policies under cover of the gold standard, and with the cyclical expansion of bank credit fuelled an unsustainable boom in the 1920s. The result was a stock market collapse, a banking crisis, the ownership of gold banned for American residents in 1933 and a substantial devaluation of the dollar against gold in January 1934. Gold then remained exchangeable for dollars, but only for the settlement of overseas trade.

From these changes, the current monetary situation evolved, driven by a new breed of economist which abandoned classical economics. Classical economics had emphasised the importance of free markets and the immutability of Say’s law. Instead, the mass unemployment in the 1930s was taken as evidence that free markets and the division of labour had failed, and that the state had an interventionist role to ensure that a depression would never happen again.

Despite all the evidence and a priori theory that explains the massive improvements in the human condition that arose from the division of labour and free markets, the denial of Say’s law was formalised by Keynes in his General Theory. Or rather, he skated around the subject, concluding that, “If, however, this is not the true law relating the aggregate demand and supply functions, there is a vitally important chapter of economic theory which remains to be written and without which all discussions concerning the volume of aggregate employment are futile.” Note that Keynes does not deny Say’s law as his acolytes do; he merely supposes that “If it is not the true law”.

From Keynes’s supposition he went on to invent macroeconomics, a mathematically based discipline that substituted human action with aggregates and averages. It justified the temporary budget deficits that are intended to stimulate a slumping economy by monetary inflation — deficits that have now become permanent and increasingly beyond control. By inventing an economic role for the state, Keynes opened the door to unlimited statist intervention and for the generally non-productive state to become an increasing burden on the productive private sector.

With the raison d’ĂȘtre provided by macroeconomics and questionable government statistics, the reliance by governments on inflationary financing has increased over time. We are now at the point when some observers of monetary history warn of hyperinflation...

- Source, Goldmoney

Friday, July 23, 2021

James Turk: Bitcoin and Gold are Quite Complimentary

Max Keiser continues his interview with James Turk of Gold Money about bitcoin and gold to find out which asset could be considered as a hedge and why.

“Bitcoin is the currency of the future because it has proven to be an escape currency, it’s a way of getting your purchasing power into something that’s relatively safe,” says Turk.

He points out that “Bitcoin and gold are in fact complimentary to one another because the weaknesses of gold are the strength of bitcoin,” and vice versa.

“What I mean is that you can hold gold in your hand but you can’t do that with the bitcoin” but gold can be confiscated while the cryptocurrency cannot. 

“So, the two are really complimentary to one another, and if you feel that you need to own gold in your portfolio (and everybody should as a hedge), you might consider a cryptocurrency, like bitcoin, in your portfolio as well,” the expert says.

- Source, Russia Today

Sunday, July 18, 2021

The Consequences of Budget Deficits for International Trade

Long before the covid-19 lockdowns, economic and financial developments threatened to undermine both the US economy and the dollar.

The similarities between the situation today and the end of the roaring twenties, and the depression that followed, are enormously concerning. Both periods have seen a stock market bubble, fuelled by bank credit and an artificial monetary stimulus by the Fed. Both periods have experienced an increase in trade protectionism: In October 1929, the month of the crash, after debating it for months Congress finally passed the Smoot Hawley Tariff Act, raising tariffs on all imported goods by an average of about 20%. In 2019, US trade protectionism against China put a stop to the expansion of international trade. These facts, which should continue to concern us, have been buried by the immediacy of the coronavirus crisis, which is an additional burden for the global economy today compared with the situation ninety years ago.

As is nearly always the case in the year of a presidential election, economic negatives get buried in waves of reflationary optimism. This time the optimism has in turn been buried by the virus, but the reflation relation is still there in spades. The American budget has soared from a previously planned trillion dollars or so to $3.3 trillion in the fiscal year that ended last month. Between March and September, the deficit increased over the first half of the fiscal year by $2.7 trillion, an annualised rate of $5.4 trillion. And given the resurgence of the virus and the US Government’s commitment to avoid the slump, not only is the budget deficit likely to be even greater in the current fiscal year, but all else being equal it will be out of control for several years to come. Money-printing as a source of finance has already overtaken tax receipts by a substantial margin.

While the Wall Street Crash commenced in late September 1929, there was an initial consolidation that lasted until the following May, nearly eight months. The recent market collapse between last February and March and the initial recovery to September echoed the duration of the recovery in 1929—1930, as shown in Figure 1 below. Today’s Dow is superimposed on the that of 1920—1933.

The difference between the two periods is that between 1920—1933 the Dow was effectively priced in gold through the dollar at $20.67 to the ounce, while today it is priced in unbacked fiat dollars. It is a matter of fact that today’s dollars are issued by the Fed with a view to keeping the investment yardstick, US Treasuries, yielding as little as possible. And by flooding the financial markets with money, in relative valuation terms equity prices are artificially supported in defiance of economic fundamentals by current monetary policies.

It is a situation that cannot persist. Sooner or later, monetary inflation will undermine the purchasing power of the dollar as measured on the foreign exchanges, foreign selling of dollar portfolio assets is bound to escalate, the yields on US Treasuries will rise beyond the Fed’s control, and equities will adjust towards fundamentally derived values.

- Source, Goldmoney

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Goldmoney's James Turk: Money & Liberty

James Turk, Founder and Lead Director of Goldmoney Inc. discusses what is money and the best way to preserve your wealth.

Friday, May 7, 2021

James Turk: The Roaring Twenties Are Back!

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy look at the return of the roaring twenties as incomes and consumption soar. 

In the second half, Max continues his interview with James Turk of Gold Money about the fate of the US dollar in the day and age of the Belt and Road Initiative and excessive money printing.

- Source, RT

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Alasdair Macleod Biden’s Last Throw of the Geopolitical Dice

Alasdair Macleod explains why America is already on its back foot in the continuing cold war, why the days of dollar hegemony are limited and what that will mean for your investments.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Interest Rates Amid Out of Control Spending

John Rubino discusses how much more of this debt-based money can be produced before we face a hyper inflationary end of the momentary system as we know it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Alasdair Macleod: Bitcoin Will Die Along with Fiat Currencies

Alasdair explains how the Treasury plans to spend the 1.6 trillion in the general fund over the coming months and its effects. The Fed is forcing the large banks to implement negative interest rates on deposits. 

He outlines backwardation and the implications for overnight loans with negative interest rates. Alasdair doesn't see much chance of a sudden economic recovery, and the markets are beginning to understand inflation is coming. 

In an inflationary environment, investors want higher rates of returns on their money. Rates are rising globally, and ironically, those in Europe are almost in positive territory. 

He feels the EU banks remain vulnerable and the entire banking system there is in zombie mode. This state can't continue much longer. Historically gold is extremely cheap compared to the dollar, which demonstrates how broken the markets have become. However, you wouldn't think gold would be acting dead at the bottom of the swimming pool in this environment. Gold can and often does rise along with bond yields. 

During the 1970s, gold moved up in multiples along with rising rates. Comex gold suppression is designed to keep regular investors uninterested in the shiny metal. has had something of a run in the market, and very little remains in London and Switzerland. 

They are likely holding some metals back, but overall deliveries from the Comex are tight. 

This is a wonderful opportunity to stack and keep in mind you can buy many things when no one else has physical gold and silver. Alasdair believes that central banks have been leasing gold into the markets. A recent GLD prospectus detailed some reserves of the ETF being held at the Bank of England. 

The only way that could happen is if it was leased. Central banks can intervene to smooth things over, but that results in multiple owners. Central banks don't have or store silver. London silver is mostly stored with ETF's and industrial users only take it from the vault as needed. 

Bitcoin is a fascinating development, and it's educated an entire generation or more on fiat currency risk. 

He questions if Bitcoin should be regarded as money or just as a store of value. Due to its deflationary nature, it can't easily support a debt-based monetary system.

- Source, Palisade Radio

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

John Rubino: Will Democrats be Gold Friendly?

John Rubino explains that the U.S. is broke and neither political party is able to fix the debt problems but the democrats will spend more money and drop off the cliff faster.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Alasdair Macleod: IMF Urges Govts to Spend as Much as You Can

Alasdair Macleod, head of research at, returns to Liberty and Finance to declare that we are on entering inescapable hyperinflation, and that there’s no escape for the US government but to ramp up destruction of the dollar and our wages, savings, and pensions, thus impoverishing almost everyone.