Indium tin-oxide is widely used in touchscreens, plasma televisions and flexible electronics because of its high electrical conductivity and optical transparency. However, this compound is becoming more expensive and engineers are seeking an alternative. One substitute may be silver nanowires embedded in flexible polymers.
A remarkable new paper by a Cornell law professor and CFTC staff counsel suggests that many aspects of high frequency computer trading (HFT) may be, in fact, illegal under various provisions of basic commodity law. Heretofore, it was generally assumed that HFT was legal, but disabused and impacted markets in disruptive manner on occasion. Many, like myself, never looked on HFT favorably, but few have tried to make the legal case against it. Scopino looked at HFT not through the universal perspective of something that’s here to stay and that we must get used to; to looking at it through an interpretation that it might violate existing law. His conclusion appears to be that much of HFT is not properly aligned with existing commodity law.
The gold market ended 2014 on a strong footing: Q4 demand grew from 6%. The annual total of 3,923.7t was down 4% year-on-year – not surprising as consumer demand in 2014 was never likely to match 2013’s record surge. Year-on-year comparisons for the last few quarters have been coloured by the singular strength in jewellery, bar and coin demand in 2013. Central banks absorbed 477.2t of gold in 2014. Seeking continued diversification away from the US dollar, these institutions – primarily those in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) – continued to bolster their holdings of gold.
The website of Physicalgold.com released an interactive infographic with some interesting facts and figures about the ten countries which hold the highest gold reserves in the world. Countries hold gold as a precaution to safeguard themselves against inflation, loans, debt and economic disasters. The total gold holding globally was just under 32,000 tonnes in the summer of 2014.
The manic in/out movements in COMEX warehouse silver stocks, and the record high silver eagles and silver maple leaf sales in the face of punk retail sales, are the silver stories of the decade, if not this very young 21st century. Why is nobody else talking about this?! This whole thing screams of what some might call a fraud or a scam.
China has a 4-way global gold supply domination strategy. And it’s starting to corner the market. First, China buys physical gold in world markets, fabricates it where necessary into “good delivery” bars – in Switzerland or the Middle East – then ships the bullion, transparently through Hong Kong or Shanghai. Second, it keeps virtually all domestically mined gold “in house.” Third, China partners with or buys high grade, in-situ gold projects around the globe. Fourth, China’s efforts to purchase “off the books” gold production from what are known as informa or artisanal gold miners in Africa and South America.
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.