Whether his insatiable appetite for gold is a desire to strengthen national sovereignty, flex his muscles in preparation for an economic battle in the global theater or remove the ruble from scrutiny against the U.S. dollar, two things are crystal clear: Strength comes from diversity, and Putin seems to be focused on converting his limited cash reserves into gold.
We’ve seen unprecedented US government and Federal Reserve intervention in virtually all asset markets in the past decade, and all of them are pretty much out in the open…whether it be buying bonds, buying stocks, bailing out industries, and so forth. The US government even buys oil in the open market to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, something we could see happening again soon given the dramatic fall in oil prices recently and the negative impact on domestic producers. But while these other interventions are freely disclosed to the public, no one in government seems willing to admit to interventions in the gold and silver markets. Why the secrecy, and why don’t the “powers that be” want to see a free gold market?
In its monthly industry release, The Silver Institute reported once again new applications of silver in products across several industries. The Silver Institute has written extensively how silver has helped breakthrough improvements in product development and industries.
Like the moon, silver has many phases and is the most dynamic of the precious metals. Its dynamic properties give it the most uses of any metal, which include those in commerce, health and industry. In its first phase, silver acted as a monetary metal. This infographic describes how the Persian empire, the Greek and Roman empires had used silver in their economic and monetary system. In the second phase, silver was a health metal. In phase 3, silver played a role as an industrial metal; today, silver has thousands of uses.
Say what you want about the gold price languishing below $1200, and say what you want about the technical picture or the “6,000-year bubble,” as Citi’s Willem Buiter recently termed it; but know this: gold is an insurance policy and the time to assess gold is when people have a sudden need for insurance. When that day comes — and believe me, it’s coming — the price will be the very last thing that matters. It will be purely and simply a matter of securing possession and at any price. That price will NOT be $1200. A “run” on the gold “bank” would undoubtedly lead to one of those Warren Buffett moments when a bunch of people are left standing naked on the shore.
Total silver industrial demand is forecast to grow 27 percent, adding an additional 142 million ounces of silver demand through 2018 compared with 2013 levels, according to a new report issued today by the Silver Institute. Half of this growth will be accounted for by the electrical and electronics sector, but additional demand will be due to growth in other industrial applications, as highlighted in the report entitled, “Glistening Particles of Industrial Silver.”
Money Metals Exchange has quoted shipping delays on certain products of up to 1-2 weeks in very rare situations over the past 5 years. We can think of no legitimate reason for delays of one or two months or longer when it comes to the popular and widely traded bullion coins, rounds, and bars. In our view, any company that forces its customers to wait that long is either poorly managed or dangerously undercapitalized (or both).
These strong signs of demand don’t normally correlate with an asset in a bear market. Do you know of any bear market, in any asset, that’s seen this kind of demand? Neither do I.
The larger rationale for holding precious metals is even better – when times are good and people have more disposable income, as literally hundreds of millions of “Chindians” are in the process of achieving right now – the buy-and-hold demand for precious metals looks destined to rise in a big way and continue doing so in the foreseeable future.
The first one of the QE Central Banks that attempts to exit QE will be flooded with capital inflows with the accompanying strong currency appreciation. Indeed, such currency appreciation will crush the economy via the export sector, whilst it will import price disinflation. This falling inflation will in turn give the central bank the cover to renew again any QE policies. This is the so-called boom and boost inflation-deflation cycle that central bankers create with their bias towards expansionary policies.
If one thing became clear, it is that the establishment and government have been very scared. The “anti-gold” camp has been firmly reproaching the “pro-gold” camp that they do not understand the economy because it is too complex. In two days, the world will learn whether the “anti-gold” propaganda has worked or whether the Swiss citizens had been able to figure out there were sufficient benefits for their own future to vote “yes.”
With photovoltaic installations on the rise, silver demand is ready for a major surge. About 80 metric tons of the metal are needed to generate one gigawatt, or 1 million kilowatts, of electricity, enough to power a little over 90 typical American homes annually. In 2016, close to a million and a half metric tons of silver are expected to be needed to meet solar demand in the United States alone.
The problem of central bank overreach is certainly not isolated to Switzerland. Since the financial crisis 6 years ago, central banks around the world have interfered in and manipulated bond, foreign exchange, and equity markets on an unprecedented scale. These unelected institutions have actively redistributed wealth from one group to another and compete against one another to adjust the purchasing power of their national currency downwards relative to other nations without the knowledge of their populations. For over 3 years the SNB has been operating opaquely behind the scenes substituting another currency for its own, converted its citizen’s savings into EUR, and imposing a stealth tax on European imports without public consent.
This infographic summarizes the upcoming Gold Referendum in Switzerland: Why is it important, what is at stake, why it could be a game changer and trend change. It also puts the Swiss gold reserves into perspective and compares, in relative terms, how Switzerland has much more gold per capita than any other country. However, it used to be an even bigger holder of the yellow metal. In 2000, the SNB held 2,500 tonnes of gold and it has also been the biggest national seller since.