Alasdair Macleod on The Coming Slump: Why The Cure Will Finally Kill the Patient

macleodThe transformation of an economy from no monetary discipline into one based on sound-money principals is widely thought by central bankers to risk creating a major banking crisis.
The crisis will indeed come, but it will probably have its origins in the inability of individuals, robbed of the purchasing power of their fixed salaries and savings, to pay the prices demanded from them by businesses.
This is called a slump, an old-fashioned term for the simultaneous contraction of production and demand.
Not even zero or negative interest rates will save the banks from this increasingly certain event, for a very simple reason: by continuing the transfer of wealth from individuals through monetary inflation, the cure will finally kill the patient.

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Alasdair Macleod: Monetary Discord

gold or fiatWith the knowledge that the BIS is not in thrall to Keynes and the monetarists, we can logically expect that Caruana and his colleagues at the BIS will be placing a greater emphasis on the future role of gold in the monetary system. Given the other as yet unstated conclusion of the Mises-Hayek-BIS view, that paper currencies are in a doom-loop that ends with their own destruction, the BIS is on a course to break from the long-standing policy of preserving the dollar’s credibility by suppressing gold. [Read more...]

The NEW Silver FIX — Alasdair Macleod

Silver fixIn this excellent interview with the SGTReport, gold expert Alasdair Macleod discusses Friday’s news that the CME and Thomson Reuters have been chosen to run the replacement for the 117-year old London Silver Fix.
But the new boss is the same as the old boss, because it looks like the new system is little more than an ELECTRONIC FIX – so there will be NO free market mechanism allowed to set the REAL, MARKET price for silver.
We also discuss the startling fact that according to Jeff Christian’s CPM Group, $5 TRILLION of silver circulated globally last year — that equates to $5,000 per ounce silver if all that paper had to be backed by PHYSICAL… 
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Alasdair Macleod’s Market Report: Sharp Consolidation

silver crashBefore Thursday’s rise in bullion prices, precious metals were in corrective mode this week after recent rises.
There were two big stand-out sales of gold contracts on Monday, estimated to be about 5,000 contracts at the European opening, and 15,000 on the US opening. The combination of the two sales drove gold down over $30, and on Tuesday a further sale of 15,000 contracts drove the price down to a low of $1293 for a total fall of $45.
This negative action occurred at the same time as a new banking crisis was developing in Portugal, with Banco Espirito Santo getting into financial difficulties.   For many gold traders, this suggested these large sales were price intervention to maintain confidence in the financial system.  For this to be true, Open Interest would have expanded on Comex reflecting new opening bear positions.
As the chart below clearly shows this cannot have been the case.

 

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Alasdair Macleod On Unwinding Unallocated Gold Accounts

EmptyVaultWith an unallocated account the customer doesn’t have an entitlement to any specific bullion bars, and is a creditor of the bullion bank.   So long as the customer is happy with the counterparty risk, this is the cheapest way for him to have exposure to gold. F
rom the bank’s point of view, there is no need to hold more gold than required to meet customer withdrawals. Furthermore, even this gold doesn’t have to be bought, merely leased from a central bank, remaining in the Bank of England’s vault unless needed.
There can be little doubt that the increase in the quantity of gold held in the Bank’s vaults between 2006 and 2013 reflected, among other factors, physical backing for increasing unallocated accounts during the 2000-2012 bull market.
In the past a bullion bank’s risk to a rising gold price either went unhedged, or was managed through derivatives, using forwards futures and options. Therefore, so long as systemic risk is not regarded as a material factor, the bullion banking community can absorb significant gold demand from investors by expanding unallocated accounts without any physical buying required.
However, the investing public’s greater awareness of risk to bank deposits from bail-ins could change this in future. 

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Alasdair Macleod: The Ghost of Bail-ins Past Returns to the Financial Stage

bail inConfirmation of why Europeans might be buying physical gold arises from concerns over the financial health of Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo, which has undermined share prices of the entire Eurozone banking sector.
The ghost of the Cyprus bail-in may be returning to the financial stage. 
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Alasdair Macleod: A Tale of Two Certainties

Alasdair MacleodIt may be just coincidence, but stories about multiple rehypothecations of physical metal in China’s warehouses have emanated from sources involved with trading in these metals.
These traders have had to take significant losses on the chin on a failed strategy, and may now be moving towards a more bullish stance, because China’s warehouse scandal has not played out as they expected.
So two certainties, the collapse of both the yen and of Chinese economic demand don’t seem to be happening, or at least not happening quickly enough.   The pressure is building for a change of investment strategies which is likely to drive markets in new directions in the coming months.

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Alasdair Macleod’s Market Report: Underlying strength

Gold Open Interest 04072014 Gold and silver spent most of last week consolidating recent gains by moving broadly sideways, but their underlying strength was a notable feature.
The increase in open interest tells us that the rise in price was on the back of buying rather than a bear squeeze, which would have seen rising prices on steady-to-declining OI.
This is an important development, because it indicates that speculators are beginning to think the downtrend of the last 30 months might be over. 

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Taming the Markets

the endThe acquisition of equities by central banks, government pension funds and sovereign wealth funds amounts to enormous power to sway markets the state’s way; all that’s required is a bit of inter-departmental cooperation and $29 trillion (and rising) can be fully utilized to this end.
This intervention could increase until governments end up as significant shareholders in most major companies. Norway’s Government Pension fund alone is buying 5% of every major listed European company.

So do not under-estimate the potential scope for further government intervention. Politicians and crony-capitalists will relish this new state-sponsored capitalism, which promises to tame bear markets and enhance share options. Unfortunately such idealist thinking is in defiance of economic reality with all the eventual consequences that entails.

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Alasdair Macleod’s Market Report: Precious Metals Building a Base

summerIt is three weeks since the managed money category on Comex placed their biggest bet ever recorded in recent times that silver was going lower, and also bet big-time that gold would sink below $1200.
As is often the case when traders are so commonly committed to a price outcome they end up nursing some painful losses. [Read more...]

Alasdair Macleod: Blaming Deflation

Alasdair MacleodWith the Eurozone going to the extreme of negative interest rates and the IMF belatedly revising downwards their expectations of US economic growth, deflation is now the favoured buzzword.
It is time to untangle myth from reality and put deflation in context. [Read more...]

The Squeeze is On! Alasdair Macleod Explains Why “Gold & Silver Are Going to Run Very, Very Quickly!”

Play

bank panicIn the best trading week for silver since 2011, Alasdair Macleod joins the SD Metals & Markets for an explosive show discussing:

  • The Squeeze is On! Gold & Silver spike through $1300 & $20- is the next major bull move underway?
  • Will the end of the Silver Fix kill the gold fix as well?  Alasdair explains why THE FIX IS DEAD!!
  • We discuss physical demand in US & Europe, & Alasdair breaks down how 3/4 of all above ground gold is now in Asia!
  • Bloomberg admits paper derivatives in silver is a $5 trillion annual market, with gold an $18 trillion annual market-  20 x as much paper silver as gold capping prices?
  • With gold & silver bursting out of consolidation patterns this week (& silver breaking out of a 3+ year downtrend) Alasdair informs SD readers that once an uptrend is established (perhaps within a matter of a few weeks): “The prices of gold and silver are going to run very, very quickly“, and that “If we look back on 2014 and saw that was the year gold & silver broke into new high ground, it wouldn’t surprise me-I’m not predicting it, but I would not be terribly surprised because the underlying dynamics are there!

The SD Weekly Metals & Markets with Guest Host Alasdair Macleod is below: [Read more...]

Market Report: Firmer Tone in Precious Metals

 macleodFollowing on from last week when Iraq hit the headlines and the price of oil firmed up, gold was steady for the first three trading days.   It seemed the shorts just held their breath and hoped Iraq would go away. But with oil prices up yet again Thursday a vicious bear squeeze followed after someone bought over 3,500 gold contracts, driving the price up to just under $1300. Once this level broke at 13.40 New York time, gold jumped a further $15 as stops were triggered.
Silver also responded dramatically, rising through the $20 level to $20.90 for a gain Thursday of 5%.
The price action and open interest this so far month is shown in the following charts and illustrates how record bear positions are being squeezed in both metals.
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Alasdair Macleod: Market Volatility Grinds to a Halt

stormThere is uneasiness across a number of markets with moment-to-moment volatility grinding almost to a halt.
It contributes to a feeling that this is the calm before a storm.
It is not unusual for there to be a summer lull, or for one market to suffer disinterest relative to another, but the current situation across the whole range of capital markets should be a major concern.
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Alasdair Macleod’s Market Report: Bottoming Out?

gold bottomThe signs are good. With record short positions in gold and silver, hedge funds and algorithmic traders should be worried at the lack of price confirmation: gold is holding well above its bear-market lows and silver is refusing to weaken into new low ground.
The sudden increase in shorts in both metals amounted to a dramatic bear raid. With gold rising every day this week the squeeze is now on, suggesting in the absence of any new and material factor the current rally should have enough legs to take gold to the $1300 level. The situation in silver is likely to have a more dramatic outcome.

 

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