Author Archives: USAGOLD

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Charles DeGaulle’s ‘Criterion’ speech

Given the increasing frequency and severity of international currency imbroglios and one emerging nation state after another falling into monetary disrepair, it is not difficult to visualize more and more of these states looking to gold as a matter of national defense. One recalls Charles DeGaulle’s famous criterion speech on gold in this context. Though such a holding would not cure internal problems derived from excessive debt and the debasement of their own currencies, it would offer something of a shield for all nation states against the devaluation/revaluation policies of other nation states, just as it does for private investors who take the same course of action.

February 4, 1965

[LINK]

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A telephone call from an old client and friend

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‘Gold shone with the placid certainty of received tradition’

“I had the happy occasion recently of receiving a telephone call from an old client and friend – a physician safely retired near the sea and alongside one of the South’s oldest golf clubs. It was good to hear from this student of the markets – one of life’s steady and thoughtful practitioners.  Back at the turn of the century, Doc foresaw much of what would happen economically in the United States and purchased what he considered enough gold to see him through it.”

[For the rest of Doc’s story we invite you to visit this link.]

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A sovereign tale of gold’s historic undervaluation
Oil, gold and a hoard of British sovereigns stashed in an old piano
“British officials are trying to trace the owner of a trove of gold coins worth a ‘life-changing’ amount of money found stashed inside a piano. A coroner investigating the find on Thursday urged anyone with information to come forward. . . Anyone wanting to make a claim has until April 20, when coroner John Ellery will conclude his inquest.” – Associated Press, London, UK

The above notice was originally posted in the public interest at USAGOLD’s online daily newsletter in June, 2011. As such we are well past the coroner’s due date. If you happen to be the frugal individual who stashed that life-changing amount of money in the piano (a total of 913 old British sovereigns in hand-stitched pouches) and neglected to make your claim, you are officially out of luck. [Smile]

When I first read about the gold hidden in the piano, put away no doubt for a rainy day, I was reminded of the settlement between King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia and a consortium of oil companies on rights to that country’s vast oil riches in the early 1930s. That too involved a stash of British sovereigns – 35,000 of the roughly one-quarter ounce gold coins.

British sovereigns happen to be one of the most sought-after, accumulated and stored pre-1933 gold coins in the world, so it is no surprise that forgotten hoards of the coin turn up every once in a while, nor is it a surprise that Ibn Saud would have asked to be paid in these highly liquid, universally acceptable gold coins. We sell many thousands of this item annually. Some go into safe deposit boxes. Some get buried out on the property. Some get stashed in the living-room piano. Most are kept in the event of a social, political or financial breakdown, or some other unexpected calamity, against all of which the gold British sovereign has been a direct hedge for centuries.

At the time of Saudi Arabia’s oil concession, British sovereigns were valued at $8.24 each, or $288,365 for the 35,000 coin lot. The price of oil in 1933 was about 85¢ a barrel. A British sovereign, as a result, could buy 9.7 barrels of oil. Today those same sovereigns would bring a little less than $10.5 million at melt value ($303 each/$1290 per ounce gold price) and a barrel of oil is selling for about $61. Thus, today a British sovereign can buy a little less than five barrels of oil — a statistic that gives you an inkling of gold’s current under-valuation.

For gold to buy the same amount of oil now that it did in 1933, the price would have to go to just over $2500 per ounce.  All of which brings us to the USAGOLD’s current special offer launched just this afternoon. . . . . . . .


 

Please note:
We just today released on Special Offer a selection of scarcer old British
sovereigns at favorable pricingqueens, kings and hard-to-find mintmarks.

We invite you to have a look.

The selection is very limited and orders will be filled
on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Short and Sweet

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Gold sentiment readings beginning to look a lot better

Over the past weekend, we touched base with Sentiment Trader’s Jason Goepfert to ask about his latest reading on gold market sentiment.  We thought it might be a good time to check to see if there were any changes now that the price is approaching the $1300 level. He graciously sent over the chart posted below along with the following comment:

“Our measure reached a point of maximum pessimism in August and has been climbing pretty steadily every since. It reached the upper end of neutral recently before falling off a bit. Bull markets tend to see optimism stay above 40 during the pullbacks so the next one will be interesting to watch. We got the surge off of the extreme pessimism, and now if it can hold above 40ish and starting bouncing again, it would argue strongly that the longer-term trend has changed for the better.”

Chart courtesy of SentimentTrader/Jason Goepfert (Highly recommended)

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Live Daily Newsletter

“I cannot stress enough how important it is for everybody to really take it upon themselves to read as much as they can and try and understand what’s going on. Don’t rely on the mainstream media, don’t rely on short soundbite information, really dig into this and seek out the people who can help you understand it because it’s incredibly important right now.” – Grant Williams, RealVision-TV (June 2016 Matterhorn interview with Lars Schall

We couldn’t agree with Grant Williams more.  Here at USAGOLD, we have always geared our content to what we believe our clientele would like to know or learn. Not the general public. Not Wall Street. Not the search engines. Not our colleagues in the field.  But our clientele.  The centerpiece to that endeavor is the page you are now reading.

We invite your visits.  We encourage your bookmark.

USAGOLD’s
Live Daily Newsletter
Up-to-the-minute gold market news, opinion and analysis as it happens.

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What you need to know before you buy
your first ounce of gold

Some initial guidelines from one of America’s top gold experts

New to the idea of including gold in your investment portfolio?
If so, you might have questions.

This page is for you.

If you are new to the concept of gold ownership, you might be looking for a little guidance. We, at USAGOLD, have been in the gold business for a good many years and the one thing that stands out to us in working with so many over the years is how often investors, for one reason or another, get off to a bad start.

That is why we developed a question and answer page many years ago that delves into the subject of GETTING OFF TO THE RIGHT START. We update it regularly as things can change rapidly in the gold and silver markets. The page is linked above and we recommend that newcomers spend the few minutes it takes to get through it. . . .

This page receives considerably high-ranking from Google on a number of important searches and we like to think it’s because of the cause it serves – providing some positive direction to investors trying to get off to a solid start in their pursuit of gold ownership.

If you would like to talk with a real, live gold expert about your needs, try this phone number or drop us an e-mail:

1-800-869-5115
Extension #100

– or–

orderdesk@usagold.com

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Gold forecast through 2022 month by month

The Economy Forecast Agency/12-2018

This service also forecasts future oil and silver prices, plus a range of other assets.

USAGOLD note:  How anyone could make such detailed forecasts so far in advance and with such a degree of specificity is beyond us. . . .but we thought we would provide the link nevertheless.  Its forecasts for gold are within reasonable ranges, but will come off as restrained to a good many.  A lot of water is going to run under the bridge between now and 2022. . . . . . .


Repost from 12-24-2018

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CFTC COT reporting

still shelved due to the federal government shutdown.

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Ask the Governor about the future of money

Bank of England/Mark Carney/1-9-2019

“For example, EMEs’ share of global activity is now 60%, but their share of global financial assets lags behind at around one-third. And half of international trade is currently invoiced in US dollars, even though the US has a much lower 10% share of international trade. As the world re-orders, this disconnect between the real and financial is likely to reduce, and in the process other reserve currencies may emerge. In the first instance, I would expect these will be existing national currencies, such as the RMB. However, history suggests these transitions will not happen overnight. The US economy overtook Britain’s in the second half of the 19th century, but it took until the 1920s before it became a dominant currency in international trade.”

USAGOLD note:  Remarkably candid and detailed assessment from the Governor of the Bank of England throughout this Q&A with the public.  He covers a wide-range of topics and states what he has to say without the usual central bank-speak we get as a matter of course. His comments on China’s yuan though will take many by surprise. He does not see much of future for cryptocurrencies, at one point stating that they “currently are not promising even as a form of money let alone as a global currency.” In response to a question about banking the IMF’s SDR with gold, he makes the following comment:

“It would be undesirable to base the value of a global currency on gold. Under the Bretton Woods system – the international system of linking exchange rates to the US dollar which was pegged to gold existing from 1944 to 1971 – there was a fundamental tension in that the global supply of gold did not grow in line with the global demand for money. This tension peaked in the early 1970s and the system collapsed. Since then, major economies have moved towards a system of floating exchange rates, and the basis for the SDR’s valuation has also been switched from gold to the more stable arrangement of valuation based on a basket of currencies.”

Such thinking underscores the flaw in the SDR as a store of value, and why it will never replace gold as the primary asset of last resort on central bank balance sheets.  The great mistake made by the Bank of England, or better put the British government, was to encourage and sponsor the sale of a good portion of UK’s gold reserve at the turn of the century.  In the throes of Brexit, there are many within Britain, no doubt, who would rather see that gold sitting on the BoE’s balance sheet rather than someone else’s.

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Short and Sweet

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“Bear markets are sneaky beasts. . .”

“Bear markets are sneaky beasts and they like to do their damage as secretly and as unobtrusively as possible. I hate to say it but somewhere ahead, the bears going to get it all together and the innocent little stream is going to turn into a waterfall. What can you do about it? Stay out of the market? Protect yourself by remaining in pure wealth, gold. For thousands of years, silver and gold have been treated as pure wealth. As the standard measures of wealth (stocks and bonds) have deteriorated, veteran investors have forgone profits and moved their assets into pure wealth.” – Richard Russell, King World News, 2016

USAGOLD note: King World News called the late, great Richard Russell – who regaled us with his wisdom in the Dow Theory Letter for nearly half a century – “the greatest financial writer in history.” A Mish Shedlock warning recently that Americans should expect a “Lost Decade” and that the stock market rout is “just a start,” lit the memory banks and sent me off searching for this old quote. We can only guess what Russell would have had to say about the current state of affairs, but the quote above provides a clue.  Never predictable in his opinions, he was rock solid on one axiom throughout his career – the necessity and transcendence of gold as a permanent component of the well-balanced investment portfolio. As he said, so often, it helped him sleep at night.

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Better Business Bureau Five Star Review

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Recent Better Business Bureau Client Review

“When I first became interested in purchasing gold, I merely followed the advertising recommendation of a conservative national personality. This experience was not favorable, as the recommended firm seemed to be just another high pressure marketing boiler room, only interested in making a sale at the highest possible commission. Of course I was disenchanted, and thus lumped (unfairly) all gold brokers into the same category.

A few years later, my interest in purchasing gold overcame my earlier experience and I began seeking a trustworthy firm. As I researched various options, USAGOLD caught my attention. After a few weeks of following their website presence (the Live Daily Newsletter and their weekly video), I began a telephonic dialog with Jonathan Kosares. Recognizing that I was a novice, Jonathan patiently provided general precious metals background and technical information, while also directing me to various educational resources. Since I sought a long term relationship with a stable firm, and because of my earlier experience purchasing gold, my next step was to schedule a personal visit to USAGOLD’s offices in Denver. The meeting at USAGOLD was quite comforting and further instilled a deep sense of trust. . . All that I encountered underscored and reinforced USAGOLD’s unique history and competency with regard to gold and precious metals.

Over the next few months, I engaged in several significant transactions, and all aspects of those transactions could not have been better. I could not have been more pleased with the specific recommendations and pricing, strategies related to IRA/HSA alternatives, balancing exposures to both gold and silver, and the execution of shipping and delivery. I intend to be a lifelong customer, and to this day Jonathan is always available to share his knowledge of precious metals and his perspective on the markets. If you are looking for personal attention from a trustworthy firm that has decades of impeccable history along with a focused depth of expertise, you have found it in USAGOLD.” – R.N., 1/29/2017

Scorecard: 38 45  48  49 five star reviews. Zero complaints.
A+ rating. Accredited since 1991.

[Link]

USAGOLD Recommendation: The precious metals industry is unique in the financial industry in that it is not subject to oversight or regulation by third-party government entities like the SEC or CFTC. As such, marketplace forums and feedback sites often serve as a replacement for investors attempting due diligence. While several options can be found, by far the most impartial and least susceptible to vested influence is the Better Business Bureau. When looking at a company’s BBB profile, don’t focus solely on the rating. To be honest, pretty much everybody has an ‘A’ or ‘A+’ rating. What is far more important to assess is the number and nature of complaints, number and caliber of positive and negative reviews, longevity with the BBB, as well as the number of ‘stars’ given a company through the actual customer review system.

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Favorite web pages

Gold Trading Hours

Whenever the gold market gets active, we have a large increase in visitors at our Gold Trading Hours page.  Investors want to see which markets – Asian, European or American – are the focal point for price movement.  They also want to know when a particular market is going to open or close in areas where gold might experience an influx of buyer or seller interest.  That is why we designed this popular page with market hours and a live clock showing the local time in that particular market and all the other major gold markets.  Gold Trading Hours is one of the quiet pages at USAGOLD that garners significant global interest particularly when the market is moving or breaking news warrants more than average interest. We also invite you to return here regularly – to this Live Daily Newsletter page – for up-to-the-minute gold market news, opinion and analysis as it happens.

We invite your visit.  We encourage your bookmark.

USAGOLD’s
Gold Trading Hours
London – New York – Sydney – Hong Kong – Shanghai – Tokyo – Zurich

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Happy New Year

Wishing all a happy, prosperous
and healthy 2019!

from the staff at USAGOLD

 

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No COT report this week

due to federal government shutdown.

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No COT report this week

due to federal government shutdown.

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Posted in COT Reports |

Gold specs raise bullish bets, USD Index specs trim bets

Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Charts and commentary courtesy of CountingPips.com
Tables courtesy of GoldSeek

Note:  Commitment of Traders reports are published Friday with data from the previous Tuesday.


Gold speculators continued to advance their bullish bets for 3rd week

Gold Non-Commercial Speculator Positions:
Large precious metals speculators increased their bullish net positions in the Gold futures markets this week, according to the latest Commitment of Traders (COT) data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday. The non-commercial futures contracts of Gold futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 75,960 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday December 18th. This was a weekly gain of 15,461 net contracts from the previous week which had a total of 60,499 net contracts.

This week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position gaining by 12,568 contracts to a weekly total of 182,168 contracts compared to the gross bearish position which saw a decrease by -2,893 contracts for the week to a total of 106,208 contracts. The net speculative position has now risen sharply for three straight weeks and by a total of 74,089 contracts over that period. The current speculator standing is now at the most bullish level since July 10th when the net position totaled 81,434 contracts.

Gold Commercial Positions:
The commercial traders position, hedgers or traders engaged in buying and selling for business purposes, totaled a net position of -92,675 contracts on the week. This was a weekly shortfall of -15,307 contracts from the total net of -77,368 contracts reported the previous week.

Gold Futures:
Over the same weekly reporting time-frame, from Tuesday to Tuesday, the Gold Futures (Front Month) closed at approximately $1253.60 which was an advance of $6.40 from the previous close of $1247.20, according to unofficial market data.


Silver speculators raised bullish bets for 3rd week to 5-month high

Silver Non-Commercial Speculator Positions:
Large precious metals speculators increased their bullish net positions in the Silver futures markets this week, according to the latest Commitment of Traders (COT) data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday. The non-commercial futures contracts of Silver futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 19,831 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday December 18th. This was a weekly increase of 8,575 net contracts from the previous week which had a total of 11,256 net contracts.

This week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position growing by 2,887 contracts to a weekly total of 74,023 contracts combined with the gross bearish position which saw a decline by -5,688 contracts for the week to a total of 54,192 contracts. The net speculative position has gained for three straight weeks and by a total of 30,797 contracts over that period. The current standing is now at the highest level since July 10th when the net position equaled 23,699 contracts.

Silver Commercial Positions:
The commercial
traders position, hedgers or traders engaged in buying and selling for business purposes, totaled a net position of -35,476 contracts on the week. This was a weekly loss of -7,597 contracts from the total net of -27,879 contracts reported the previous week.

Silver Futures:
Over the same weekly reporting time-frame, from Tuesday to Tuesday, the Silver Futures (Front Month) closed at approximately $1470.10 which was an advance of $7.30 from the previous close of $1462.80, according to unofficial market data.


Speculators trim USD Index bullish bets, raise GBP bearish bets

US Dollar Index Speculator Positions

Large currency speculators lowered their bullish net positions in the US Dollar Index futures markets this week while also adding to their British pound bearish positions, according to the latest Commitment of Traders (COT) data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday.
The non-commercial futures contracts of US Dollar Index futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 36,049 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday December 18th. This was a weekly decrease of -2,073 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 38,122 net contracts.

This week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position declining by -3,362 contracts to a weekly total of 43,298 contracts compared to the gross bearish position which saw a decrease by just -1,289 contracts for the week to a total of 7,249 contracts.

The USD Index speculative position has now declined for five consecutive weeks and has dipped to the lowest bullish level since September 11th of this year.


*COT Report: The COT data, released weekly to the public each Friday, is updated through the most recent Tuesday (data is 3 days old) and shows a quick view of how large speculators or non-commercials (for-profit traders) as well as the commercial traders (hedgers & traders for business purposes) were positioned in the futures markets. The CFTC categorizes trader positions according to commercial hedgers (traders who use futures contracts for hedging as part of the business), non-commercials (large traders who speculate to realize trading profits) and nonreportable traders (usually small traders/speculators). Find CFTC criteria here: (http://www.cftc.gov/MarketReports/CommitmentsofTraders/ExplanatoryNotes/index.htm).

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Specs push gold bullish bets higher, sharply lift silver bullish net positions

Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Charts and commentary courtesy of CountingPips.com
Tables courtesy of GoldSeek


Speculators pushed their bullish bets higher this week

Gold Non-Commercial Speculator Positions:
Large precious metals speculators raised their bullish net positions higher in the Gold futures markets this week, according to the latest Commitment of Traders (COT) data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday. The non-commercial futures contracts of Gold futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 60,499 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday December 11th. This was a weekly rise of 11,498 net contracts from the previous week which had a total of 49,001 net contracts.

This week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position sliding by -3,419 contracts to a weekly total of 169,600 contracts compared to the gross bearish position which saw a decline by -14,917 contracts for the week to a total of 109,101 contracts. The speculative net position rose for a second straight week and by a total of 58,628 contracts over that period. The current standing is now at the highest bullish position since since July 10th when the net position totaled 81,434 contracts.

Gold Commercial Positions:
The commercial traders position, hedgers or traders engaged in buying and selling for business purposes, totaled a net position of -77,368 contracts on the week. This was a weekly drop of -19,119 contracts from the total net of -58,249 contracts reported the previous week.

Over the same weekly reporting time-frame, from Tuesday to Tuesday, the Gold Futures (Front Month) closed at approximately $1247.20 which was an increase of $0.60 from the previous close of $1246.60, according to unofficial market data.


Speculators sharply lifted their bets into a new bullish position

Silver Non-Commercial Speculator Positions:

Large precious metals speculators increased their bullish net positions in the Silver futures markets this week, according to the latest Commitment of Traders (COT) data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday. The non-commercial futures contracts of Silver futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 11,256 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday December 11th. This was a weekly rise of 11,891 net contracts from the previous week which had a total of -635
net contracts.

This week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position rising by 1,822 contracts to a weekly total of 71,136 contracts compared to the gross bearish position which saw a fall by -10,069 contracts for the week to a total of 59,880 contracts. The speculator’s selloff of their bearish bets pushed the new net position into bullish territory for the first time in eighteen weeks (since August 7th). The current standing is at the highest bullish position since July 10th when the net position totaled 23,699 contracts.

Silver Commercial Positions:
The commercial traders position, hedgers or traders engaged in buying and selling for business purposes, totaled a net position of -27,879 contracts on the week. This was a weekly shortfall of -12,461 contracts from the total net of -15,418 contracts reported the previous week.

Silver Futures:
Over the same weekly reporting time-frame, from Tuesday to Tuesday, the Silver Futures (Front Month) closed at approximately $1462.80 which was a shortfall of $-1.20 from the previous close of $1464.00, according to unofficial market data.


Speculators trim US Dollar Index bets for 4th week. Yen bets rise.

US Dollar Index Speculator Positions

Large currency speculators cut back on their bullish net positions in the US Dollar Index futures markets this week, according to the latest Commitment of Traders (COT) data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday.The non-commercial futures contracts of US Dollar Index futures, traded by large speculators and hedge funds, totaled a net position of 38,122 contracts in the data reported through Tuesday December 11th. This was a weekly lowering by -327 contracts from the previous week which had a total of 38,449 net contracts.

This week’s net position was the result of the gross bullish position advancing by 1,307 contracts to a weekly total of 46,660 contracts but being more than overcome by the gross bearish position which saw a lift by 1,634 contracts for the week to a total of 8,538 contracts. The speculative position in the USD Index has now declined for four straight weeks after a streak of seven weekly gains. The current standing remains in a strong bullish position but under the +40,000 net contract level for a fourth week in a row.


*COT Report: The COT data, released weekly to the public each Friday, is updated through the most recent Tuesday (data is 3 days old) and shows a quick view of how large speculators or non-commercials (for-profit traders) as well as the commercial traders (hedgers & traders for business purposes) were positioned in the futures markets. The CFTC categorizes trader positions according to commercial hedgers (traders who use futures contracts for hedging as part of the business), non-commercials (large traders who speculate to realize trading profits) and nonreportable traders (usually small traders/speculators). Find CFTC criteria here: (http://www.cftc.gov/MarketReports/CommitmentsofTraders/ExplanatoryNotes/index.htm).

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USAGOLD Special Report

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Gold – A reverse bubble in search of a pin
The victim could quickly find itself the beneficiary

“The current COMEX short position in gold is a computer-driven market bubble blown to enormous proportions. Now at a record level, it is a different kind of bubble, though, from the type we usually associate with the term – a reverse bubble brought to life and nurtured through excessive selling rather than buying.  Nevertheless, it is just as deadly and opportunistic as the proverbial kind – a bubble in search of a pin.”

–– Full Article ––

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Short and Sweet

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The more things change the more they stay the same

In reading a recent piece of wayward analysis concluding that gold was headed below the $1000 level, I was reminded of an old Murray Rothbard quote that I first encountered when I entered the gold business in the early 1970s. He included it in the intriguingly titled pamphlet, What Has Government Done to Our Money:

“All pro-paper economists, from Keynesians to Friedmanites, were now confident that gold would disappear from the international monetary system; cut off from its ‘support’ by the dollar, these economists all confidently predicted, the free-market gold price would soon fall below $35 an ounce, and even down to the estimated ‘industrial’ nonmonetary gold price of $10 an ounce. Instead, the free price of gold, never $35, had been steadily above $35, and by early 1973 had climbed to around $125 an ounce, a figure that no pro-paper economist would have thought possible as recently as a year earlier.”

As you can see, even when gold was trading at $35, its adversaries were predicting lower prices ($10 per ounce), and even then under the flimsiest of arguments.  Its ‘industrial” nonmonetary price?  How is that different from its monetary price?  Ultimately in that first leg of gold’s long-term bull market, it went well over  $800 per ounce – a far (very far) cry from $10!

The lesson in all this?  The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Gold’s critics have not changed their tactics over the years, and they are not likely to anytime soon.  Make your own assessment on gold and develop a strategy that makes sense for you.  The worst thing you can do if you don’t own gold, or don’t own enough, is to allow yourself to be sidelined by predictions that may or may not be based on a realistic assessment of the markets, gold and the economy.

— Michael J. Kosares

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Image courtesy of the Mises Institute
What Has Government Done To Our Money/Murray Rothbard/Mises.org/Pdf download

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Better Business Bureau Five Star Review

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Recent Better Business Bureau Client Review

“Before investing in gold I really didn’t have a clue about what or how much to invest in. I came across the USAGOLD website and found an excellent resource for both first time and seasoned buyers. My representative has always provided me with useful and trustworthy analysis related to the markets and trends that has further informed my purchase decisions. Transactions are timely and handled with a high degree of professionalism and integrity. I cannot recommend this company highly enough.” – Y.O., 5-14-2018

Scorecard: 38 45 48 five star reviews. Zero complaints.
A+ rating. Accredited since 1991.

[Link]

USAGOLD Recommendation: The precious metals industry is unique in the financial industry in that it is not subject to oversight or regulation by third-party government entities like the SEC or CFTC. As such, marketplace forums and feedback sites often serve as a replacement for investors attempting due diligence. While several options can be found, by far the most impartial and least susceptible to vested influence is the Better Business Bureau. When looking at a company’s BBB profile, don’t focus solely on the rating. To be honest, pretty much everybody has an ‘A’ or ‘A+’ rating. What is far more important to assess is the number and nature of complaints, number and caliber of positive and negative reviews, longevity with the BBB, as well as the number of ‘stars’ given a company through the actual customer review system.

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Special Report

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The National Debt and Gold
Here’s why the two have risen together since the 1970s
and why the correlation is likely to continue

[LINK]

“It is a fact that when your national debt gets to the level ours is, that it constitutes an economic threat to the society, and that kind of threat ultimately has a national security consequence for it.” – John Bolton, U.S. National Security Adviser to President Trump

“Last month, as the US midterm elections approached, Deutsche Bank analysts released a calculation that should have made American voters wince. It shows that the US government currently pays $1.43bn each day (yes, day) to service its public debt — 10 times more than any other G7 country (Italy is a distant second in this grim league).” – Gillian  Tett, Financial Times

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Short and Sweet

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$200 billion in gold sits beneath
the streets of London

“One historical nugget of note: During WWII, the vaults served as bomb shelters. By that time, though, the gold they held had been secretly shipped to Canada, in case the Nazis overran London. ‘It’s all very James Bond,’ says the Sun of the relatively old-school security still in effect—access involves 3-foot-long keys. ‘You can’t visit the gold, of course,’ observes a post at Atlas Obscura.” – Luke Rodney, Newser

USAGOLD note:  The Canada shipments seem to be much rigmarole over a barbarous relic, one would think. Here’s a photo of Queen Elizabeth amidst all that gold in December 2012 – a relic no more, but a very present and important component of reserves in nearly all the primary developed economies.  Britain once owned one of the largest gold hoards on Earth, but most of the gold in this room belongs to other countries who deposited it with the Bank of England.

Queen Elizabeth II And The Duke Of Edinburgh Visit The Bank Of England

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Better Business Bureau Five Star Review

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Recent Better Business Bureau Client Review

“Thank you so much for your high rating for USAGOLD, Denver. They were recommended by a close friend and I researched them on your website in Oct 2009 and have been in touch with them ever since. I am now in full trust with their extraordinary business of great integrity and expertise. I will always deal with them . . Again, thank you for your expert ratings.” – Elan C., 8-29-2017

Scorecard: 38 45 five star reviews. Zero complaints.
A+ rating. Accredited since 1991.

[Link]

USAGOLD Recommendation: The precious metals industry is unique in the financial industry in that it is not subject to oversight or regulation by third-party government entities like the SEC or CFTC. As such, marketplace forums and feedback sites often serve as a replacement for investors attempting due diligence. While several options can be found, by far the most impartial and least susceptible to vested influence is the Better Business Bureau. When looking at a company’s BBB profile, don’t focus solely on the rating. To be honest, pretty much everybody has an ‘A’ or ‘A+’ rating. What is far more important to assess is the number and nature of complaints, number and caliber of positive and negative reviews, longevity with the BBB, as well as the number of ‘stars’ given a company through the actual customer review system.

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Gold in the Attic

Every once in a while we rummage around USAGOLD’s creaky old attic and dust-off a golden vignette from our storied past. Here is a longer piece that first appeared in our monthly client letter in December, 2015.  It considers how the celebrated British economist John Maynard Keynes might have reacted to the current economic predicament in which we find ourselves.  Some have criticized me for lending credence to the work of Keynes, but I try to look past the politics to the man and his philosophy, and from there, make my own judgement as to the value of his work.  This particular piece garnered a very large audience when it was first published and it still attracts readers three years later.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Keynes on the menace of printing money
How the celebrated economist might have structured his investment portfolio today

“I find myself more and more relying for a solution of our problems on the invisible hand which I tried to eject from economic thinking twenty years ago.” – John Maynard Keynes, 1946

John Maynard Keynes made that admission to Henry Clay, a member of the Bank of England’s Advisory Committee, in 1946. Ten days later he passed away. Keynes had come full circle – from economic interventionist extraordinaire to proponent of Adam Smith’s laissez faire. Twenty-five years after that, Richard Nixon would suspend dollar convertibility, scrap the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate regime system of which Keynes was the principal architect and allow currencies and gold to float freely in international markets. The fiat money system of the late 20th and early 21st centuries was born. Though a radically different system from the one Keynes created in the aftermath of World War II, Richard Nixon declared upon its launch that “we are all Keynsians now.”

One wonders what Keynes might have thought of that declaration. What we came to call Keynsian economics in the years that followed had little to do with the economic picture the most celebrated economist of the 20th century had painted. The free-wheeling post-Bretton Woods system reached its zenith in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis under the baton of Fed chairman Ben Bernanke who directly monetized government debt to the tune of trillions of dollars, bailed out an incorrigible financial sector and made saving at the bank a virtue of the past. When Keynes decried the debauching of the currency, this was exactly what he was talking about. Subsequently, central bankers the world over would follow Bernanke’s example.

Far from the laissez faire economics Keynes endorsed at the end of his life, we have ended up with the exact opposite: A command economy directed by the state and fueled by the beneficent paper money machine of the world’s central banks. Today the world economy floats on a sea of paper money backed by nothing but the promises of the governments that issued it and with little in the way of policy options except to do more of the same. Debasing the currency is no longer something to hide in the back corners of central bank policy, but to be trotted out in full view of everyone including the financial markets. Countries, in fact, compete with each other to see who can devalue their currency fastest. As Richard Russell, the recently deceased critic of central bank policies put it, the mantra has become “Inflate or die!”

Keynes would be buying gold hand over fist

How might Keynes, as famous for his investing prowess as he was for his advice to statesmen, have reacted to these circumstances in his own investment portfolio? Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Richard Hurowitz, publisher of the Octavian report, offers some interesting conjecture on that score:

“Keynes understood that sound money and stable exchange rates were necessary conditions for world prosperity and peace. Contrary to popular belief, he believed that in most cases currency devaluations were counterproductive, their benefits often outweighed by increased domestic costs and the undermining of sovereign credit. ‘There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency,’ Keynes observed in 1919. He consistently argued that a sound currency was critical to a functioning free economy. He understood that such a currency would ultimately create much greater wealth than the endless and vicious cycle of improvisational debasement we see playing out globally today.

Were Keynes alive today, he would likely be arguing along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel for more monetary discipline and a return to a more balanced international system. No doubt, however, his neo-Keynesian acolytes would be dismissing his concerns as hopelessly outdated and reactionary.

Keynes was an economic theorist, but he was also a clear-eyed market analyst, and a passionate and committed speculator for his own account and for Cambridge University. If he took in today’s economic vista of near-zero interest rates and quantitative easing, it is clear that he would be buying gold hand over fist—regardless of what his disciples might think.”

The economic consequences of inflationism

Those of you who read this newsletter regularly will recognize the quote from Keynes about the dangers of currency debasement. It occupies a place of prominence at the top of the page (see upper left column). Keynes first penned those words as a young man in The Economic Consequences of Peace (1919) – a treatise published in the aftermath of World War I. It argued leniency for the defeated Germany and its allies, but it also warned of what he called the “menace of inflationism” in the defeated central European countries.

Here, for the record, is that quote in its entirety:

“By a continuing process of inflation governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security, but at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth.

Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their deserts and even beyond their expectations or desires, become ‘profiteers,’ who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat. As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.

Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”

It will not escape the notice of the reader that Keynes description of the inflationary process eerily fits the set of social and economic circumstances in which we find ourselves today. Whether or not the advanced economies will proceed from asset inflation to rapid price inflation – remains to be seen, but we should not overlook the fact that the ground has been prepared and the seed sown. In 1919, when Keynes wrote those words, money printing in Germany, its point of reference, had yet to produce price inflation. In fact, the German economy experienced deflation in the period 1920-1921. In the end though, Keynes was right. By 1922 the hidden forces of economic law were unleashed. Hyperinflation gripped the German economy suddenly and with a vengeance.

I believe Hurowitz is right about Keynes and gold. He would have understood the wolf hammering on the door and adjusted accordingly – both in his personal finances and as an advisor to governments. I keep coming back to former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan’s comment last October that “Gold is a good place to put money these days given its value as a currency outside of the policies conducted by governments.”


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Posted in Gold in the Attic, Today's top gold news and opinion |

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Posted in Today's top gold news and opinion |

Gold in the Attic

Every once in a while we rummage around USAGOLD’s creaky old attic and dust-off a golden vignette from our storied past. Here is a short vignette on software-driven trading in financial markets that originally appeared in the May 2012 edition of NEWS & VIEWS.  It speaks to the issue in a way you might not have anticipated. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. – MK

Computer software gone mad

“With respect to the growing dominance of machines on Wall Street, I recall the old Star Trek episode that involves a visit to a planet where the inhabitants seem to be living in a state of perfect bliss. Captain Kirk knows that this cannot be right. There is no such thing as perfect happiness. As it turns out, the population is controlled not by a loathsome dictator who has drugged the population into compliance, but by a computer that has evolved sufficiently to somehow gain control of their minds. Something must be done, concludes Kirk, to break its hold. Spock comes up with the solution by instructing the computer ‘to resolve the value of pi’ – an impossibility because its resolution, as we all remember from high school math class, is infinite. The computer spends all of its time and devotes all of its resources trying to achieve the impossible and the dictatorial hold it has on the population is released – a trick we might want to keep in mind for the day computers complete their mastery of Wall Street.”

In the February, 2017 issue of NEWS & VIEWS, we reposted that piece with the following added note:

“Similarly, in early 2017 Financial Times told the story of the textbook, The Making of a Fly: The Genetics of Animal Design. It started out selling for $113 per copy at Amazon – that is until the governing algorithm misfired between two third-party sellers. The price then skyrocketed to $23 million before someone took note and fixed the problem. We forget that computer software, and this applies to Wall Street’s trading apparatus as readily as it does the Amazon pricing platform, is only as reliable and intelligent as the code by which it is instructed to operate. The practical equivalent to Mr. Spock’s solution in the financial realm is to store significant capital in the form of gold and silver coins detached from potentially rebellious electronic circuitry.”


Original publication date: May 2012; February 2017

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The November issue of our newsletter

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NEWS &VIEWS
Forecasts, Commentary & Analysis
on the Economy and Precious Metals

NOVEMBER, 2018

This month’s edition of NEWS & VIEWS leads off with an overview of the surprising jump in global private investor and central bank gold demand. From there we delve into a wide-range of topics in short form that we think you will appreciate including speculation on whether or not inflation has returned to the U.S. economy, some insight on who owns the national debt, how Asian investors prefer to own gold, and much more.


In conjunction with our regular newsletter, we released a new SPECIAL REPORT-CLIENT ALERT, which is also now available in the clear:

Historic World Gold Coins
One of the great, largely untouched and potentially lucrative
opportunities in the field of gold investing today


If you would like to sign-up to receive our e-mail release notifications for the monthly newsletter and all SPECIAL REPORTS, you can sign-up here.  Subscriptions are free of charge and are handled discreetly. We do not spam or share our email list.

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BlackSwansYellowGold
How gold performs during periods of deflation,
disinflation, stagflation and hyperinflation

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” – Aldous Huxley

Though Huxley’s observation is readily applied to humanity collectively, it does not apply so easily to individual investors. As justification, we offer the ongoing (and long-term) success of the USAGOLD website as well as the soaring statistics on the growth of private gold ownership over the past decade both in the United States and abroad, inspired directly by the lessons learned over the past decade of financial market upheaval. The following short essays are dedicated to the safe-haven gold investor who, like noted financial author Nicholas Taleb, believes that it is just as important to prepare for what we cannot foresee as what we can.


BlackSwansYellowGold Series

Gold as a deflation hedge

Gold as a disinflation hedge

Gold as a stagflation hedge

Gold as hyperinflation hedge

Gold as the portfolio choice for all seasons

A chronology of panics, mania, crashes and collapses
(400 BC to present)

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Short and Sweet

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Stuck in a fiat dollar world
for some time to come

“For all its problems, the current dollar-based non-system has been far more resilient than the Bretton Woods gold-exchange standard, which never operated as White intended. And the real alternatives — a classical gold standard, in which interest rates are driven by cross-border gold flows; or a supranational currency, like Keynes advocated at Bretton Woods — are likely to remain too radical politically. We are, therefore, almost surely stuck in a fiat dollar world for some time to come.” – Benn Steil, Council on Foreign Relations

Those of you who frequent this page will recall previous references to Benn Steil’s gold advocacy.  Steil, who is the director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, sees central banks’ utilizing gold as a reserve asset to the offset the risks of holding national currencies as opposed to direct backing for the dollar.  In this respect, his thinking is closely aligned with that of Nobel Prize winner, Robert Mundell, who also proposed the use of gold for the same purpose to the European Union at the inception of the euro.

In the essay linked below Steil provides a brief but revealing history of the transition from the late-1960s, early-1970s gold-based system to the dollar-based system under which the global economy functions today. He includes a number of interesting stories about the countries and people involved.  Few people know, for example, that France dispatched a battleship in the early 1970s to New York harbor to pick up its gold deposited at the New York Federal Reserve.

In the absence of a gold standard, the best recourse for the average investor is to put one’s portfolio on the gold standard through a diversification in physical coins and bullion.  We agree with Steil: “We are almost surely stuck in a fiat money world for some time to come” with all its attendant risks.

Adopt a gold-backed dollar? This is what happened the last time we tried
Marketwatch/Benn Steil/8-11-2016

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