A RISING JUNIOR GOLD STOCK TO WATCH

You’ve barely heard from me in The Dollar Vigilante (TDV) Blog for the last few years in terms of my picks for gold and silver stocks. If you aren’t a TDV newsletter subscriber, where I comment nearly weekly on the markets and on precious metals stocks you’d think I’d all but disappeared.
However, Jeff Berwick and I have been on the same page that the market wasn’t ready for a heavy focus the last few years, and I’ve been helping our subscribers maintain and manage their portfolios and develop their broader macro-economic outlooks (which included a bullish call on stocks up until the end of 2013 that was not popular with most subscribers). Meanwhile, Jeff has done a great job in focusing on other areas that have had massive growth including bitcoin (up from $7 to $500 since he began talking about it in 2011) and now medical marijuana stocks, one of which, Organigram, just delivered a double since it was brought to TDV and TDV Golden Trader subscribers just a few weeks ago and went public yesterday at more than double the price our subscribers got into it at.
But, as Jeff has recently stated, we believe now is the time to buy gold and silver shares, if for no other reason because they’ve been abandoned by even the value investor. In the TDV portfolio, we have about 18 companies, and we are working towards rounding it out at 20 names.
Two of them have disappeared in takeovers in recent months: Osisko Mining and Papillon Resources.
The buyers are companies that are already included in our portfolio (i.e. Agnico Eagle, Yamana, and B2Gold) so we have not lost the assets altogether. But it gave investors a bit of liquidity and nice gains for those who bought along with us, as we suggested, and it left room for us to bring in a couple of new picks. I will be telling you about them soon (of course subscribers will get first access – you can subscribe here). Importantly, the timing is good. What we see now is that most gold/silver shares have been bottoming for over a year. Some have been rallying through the year, like Agnico Eagle.

This post was published at Dollar Vigilante on August 26th, 2014.

De-Escalation Algo Pushes Futures To Overnight Highs

It is unclear exactly why stock futures, bonds – with European peripheral yields hitting new record lows for the second day in a row – gold, oil and pretty much everything else is up this morning but it is safe to say the central banks are behind it, as is the “de-escalation” algo as a meeting between Russia and Ukraine begins today in Belarus’ capital Minsk. Belarusian and Kazakhstani leaders will also be at the summit. Hopes of a significant progress on the peace talks were dampened following Merkel’s visit to Kiev over the weekend. The German Chancellor said that a big breakthrough is unlikely at today’s meeting. Russian FM Lavrov said that the discussion will focus on economic ties, the humanitarian crisis and prospects for a political resolution. On that note Lavrov also told reporters yesterday that Russia hopes to send a second humanitarian aid convoy to Ukraine this week. What he didn’t say is that he would also send a cohort of Russian troops which supposedly were captured by overnight by the Ukraine army (more shortly).
Asian equity markets haven’t really followed suit the US/European rally with bourses in Japan, Hong Kong, and China down 0.6%, 0.4% and 1%. The Dollar is softer against the Yen which perhaps added some pressure on Japanese equities. There isn’t much Asian headlines this morning and we suspect parts of the market (HK/China) are still busy with the ongoing earnings season. Asian credits are doing better in relative terms led by sovereigns. Indonesia’s USD bonds continued its march higher (helped by Treasuries) whilst its 5yr CDS spreads are marked 4bps tighter overnight. Asian stocks fall with the Kospi outperforming and the Shanghai Composite underperforming. MSCI Asia Pacific down 0.2% to 148.4. Nikkei 225 down 0.6%, Hang Seng down 0.4%, Kospi up 0.3%, Shanghai Composite down 1%, ASX up 0%, Sensex up 0%. 2 out of 10 sectors rise with health care, energy outperforming and utilities, telcos underperforming

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/26/2014.

French Government Dissolves in Dispute Between PM Valls and Economy Minister Montebourg

Economy minister Arnaud Montebourg stepped over the line last weekend criticizing the policies of president Francois Hollande. Some sources report that prime minister Manuel Valls gave Hollande a “him or me” ultimatum, but Valls disputes that claim.
Regardless, France Thrown Into Political Turmoil After Government Dissolved.
France has entered uncharted political waters after the prime minister, Manuel Valls, presented his government’s resignation amid a political crisis triggered by his maverick economy minister who called for an end to austerity policies imposed by Germany.
The prime minister, a social democrat who has been compared to Tony Blair, acted with characteristic swiftness in a bid to reassert his authority. His aides had let it be known on Sunday that the economy minister, Arnaud Montebourg, had crossed a “yellow line” for his dual crime of criticising both the president of France and a valued ally.
Montebourg, 51, fired his first broadside in an interview with Le Monde on Saturday and followed up with a speech to a Socialist party rally the following day. In a veiled reference to President Franois Hollande, he said that conformism was an enemy and “my enemy is governing”. “France is a free country which shouldn’t be aligning itself with the obsessions of the German right,” he said, urging a “just and sane resistance”.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on August 25, 2014

The Winner-Take-All Economy

When the majority of Americans examine the world around them, they see a stock market at record highs and modest apparent improvement in the economy, but, as John Hussman notes, they also have the sense that something remains terribly wrong, and they can’t quite put their finger on it.
Exceprted from John Hussman’s Weekly Market Comment,
According to a recent survey by the Federal Reserve, 40% of American families report that they are ‘just getting by,’ and 60% of families do not have sufficient savings to cover even 3 months of expenses. Even Fed Chair Janet Yellen seemed puzzled last week by the contrast between a gradually improving unemployment rate and persistently sluggish real wage growth.
We would suggest that much of this perplexity reflects the application of incorrect models of the world.
Before the 15th century, people gazed at the sky, and believed that other planets would move around the Earth, stop, move backwards for a bit, and then move forward again. Their model of the world – that the Earth was the center of the universe – was the source of this confusion.
Similarly, one of the reasons that the economy seems so confusing at present is that our policy makers are dogmatically following models that have very mixed evidence in reality.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/25/2014

Is This A Gold And Silver Bear Market Or A Correction In A Secular Uptrend?

Does the following contrast sound familiar to you? Mainstream media headlines, mostly based on either mainstream economists or large financial institutions, report continuously how weak the precious metals market is; they hasten to remember readers how the bull market had burst in 2011 and that much lower prices are just around the corner. In their view, after peaking in 2011, gold and silver are in a clear bear market. On the other hand, writers and analysts that are non-mainstream (most of them non-Keynesian) consider today’s gold and silver market as a long correction in a gigantic secular uptrend; they expect (much) higher prices in the years to come. The interesting thing is that everyone is looking at the same data and charts.
The key question is whether the gold market is correcting in a secular trend or the bear market is here to stay(till the next cycle starts).
In order to answer that question, the team at ShortSideOfLong did an excellent job comparing the ongoing correction in gold and silver with previous corrections. Based on purely chart observations it seems feasible (with a high probability) to come to a reliable answer. One should note that the data in the following two charts come from the period after 1971, as that was the year when gold started to trade in a ‘free market’ (after US President Nixon closed the gold window on August 16th 1971).
The first chart shows different gold bear markets since 1971. The conclusions from the chart come from the analysts at ShortSideOfLong:

This post was published at GoldSilverWorlds on August 23, 2014

Argentine Peso Collapses on Top of Rogue Regime

Adeptly managed by the central bank and the government, the Argentine peso has been plunging in perfect form, an activity it is very, very good at. And so on Thursday, it plunged 4.1% on the black market, hitting 14 ARS/USD for the first time. With the official rate at 8.39 ARS/USD, the gap between the two soared to a record of 5.61 pesos. A sign that any remaining trace-amounts of confidence in the peso were evaporating.
It was the steepest plunge since January 24, when the central bank devalued the peso by 15%.
‘Expect the government to take action to bring this rate down – fast,’ wrote Bianca Fernet, stilettos-on-the-ground American economist in Buenos Aires and contributor to Wolf Street. This ‘Argentine monetary policy,’ as she explained in The Bubble, would include:
Forcing state-owned agencies to sell dollar bonds locally Closing the cambios and other currency dealers for a few days Raising interbank lending rates, forcing banks to sell assets locally. On Friday, the peso recovered a smidgen, and the reported ‘blue dollar’ rate dipped below 14 ARS/USD, after the central bank had reportedly blown $10 million of its foreign exchange reserves to prop it up. But it desperately needs those reserves – now below $29 billion – to service its foreign-currency debt, part of which it defaulted on once again on July 31.
‘They are reporting a lower rate than the real rate; reporting a rate above 14 is evidently not permitted,’ Bianca told me, perhaps tongue in cheek because that’s the only way to take Argentina. Then she added, ‘The brokers are trading at 14.35 right now.’
On Monday, brokers were selling the dollar at 14.1 ARS/USD, illegal and un-permitted as that may be.

This post was published at Wolf Street on August 25, 2014

Spotting The Next Detroit – America’s Fasting-Shrinking Cities

Whether Detroit’s slumping population was cause or effect (or both) in its demise remains up for discussion; either way, in the ever-more-entitled and ever-less-working world in which we live, a declining population in the face of increasingly promised benefits has only two ends – death (bankruptcy) or taxes. In spite of almost record-low Muni market yields (and spreads), risks remain – just ask the HY market… and these 25 cities have the highest rate of population decline in America.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/25/2014

Events Impacting The Gold And Silver Price In The Week Of August 25th

Although the primary focus of this website is to report on the different aspects of the gold market (gold fundamentals as well as economic or monetary analysis), we also tend to release basic technical analysis in gold and silver. As of this week, we will also summarize the key events at the start of each week that are likely to impact the price of gold and silver price.
We hasten to add that our view on the real price setting in the gold and silver market differs from the mainstream view. Price changes happen to coincide with events or announcements; mainstream media are used to report a relationship between both. However, we believe, and owe this insight to our readers, that the real price setting for the time being is taking place in the COMEX futures market. Market expert Ted Butler does an outstanding job analyzing the weekly evolution in the COMEX market and how it affects price setting…

This post was published at GoldSilverWorlds on August 25, 2014

Former Mafia Boss Tells CNBC: “Stocks Are In A Bubble, Buy Physical Gold”

Michael Franzese, a former mob boss for the Colombo crime family in New York (and GoodFellas character), told CNBC, “there’s a bubble there that’s going to burst at some point and when it does it’s not going to be good,” but there is another reason he says investors should avoid the U. S. stock market – “I did a lot of things at times with people on Wall Street.. a lot of guys are shady and they did shady things with me and I don’t trust them. And I don’t like other people that I don’t know really well taking care of my money.” As we noted earlier, his advice is to hold gold (in Physical bullion bars not ETFs), because “there will always be something there,” unlike stocks “where in our country, you go to sleep, everyone tells you everything is wonderful, you wake up and everything is gone.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/23/2014

Europe’s Real Borrowing Costs

Just what Europe needs… more QE… this is the real problem – not only is demand for credit weak in the periphery as the balance sheet recession rolls on, but “real” borrowing costs are at near-record highs… Despite Draghi’s earlier comments and promises, cramming SME loans down the throats of borrowers at suppressed risks will do nothing but kill bank balance sheets (most critically the ECB’s)…
These are “market” rates… i.e. what real risk is being priced at away from the hand of Draghi…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/23/2014

Occam’s Razor and Bank Lending

I received an interesting question on bank lending just a bit ago.
The question is in reference to Euro Bond Bubble Guaranteed to Burst where I stated …
“Would QE by the ECB spur European bank lending? Of course not. Banks do not lend from excess reserves. Banks lend (provided they are not capital impaired), when credit-worthy borrowers want credit and banks perceive risks worth lending.”
Reader Kenneth from Stockholm, Sweden writes …
As a layperson I must say this makes perfect sense, but I have a problem applying Occam’s Razor to it. For Occam’s Razor to hold, one must assume that the central bank has never talked to a banker, right? Surely the commercial banks must know why they are or aren’t lending? Or is there a hidden pretext for the ZIRP and QE that the central bankers are not telling us? Please don’t say it’s because they’re stupid. A well deserved insult maybe, but that would not hold as an explanation for this.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on Saturday, August 23, 2014

The G-20′s Solution To Systemically Unstable, “Too Big To Fail” Banks: More Debt

It’s been 6 years since Lehman went bankrupt overnight, stunning bondholders who were forced to reprice Lehman bonds from 80 to 8 (see chart below) in a millisecond, and launching the world’s worst depression since the 1930s, which courtesy of some $10 trillion in central bank liquidity injections, has been split up into several more palatable for public consumptions “recessions”, of which Europe is about to succumb to the third consecutive one even if for the time being the Fed’s has succeeded in if not breaking the business cycle, then certainly delaying the inevitable onset of the next major contraction in the US economy.
Paradoxically, instead of taking advantage of this lull in volatility and relative economic calm, and making the financial system more stable, all so-called regulation has done, is paid lip service to the underlying problems, hoping that should the next crisis appear the Fed will be able to delay it yet again by throwing countless amounts of taxpayer money at the problem. In the meantime, the biggest banks have gotten so big that the failure of one JPM or Deutsche Bank, and their hundreds of trillions in gross notional derivatives, would lead to the biggest financial and economic catastrophe ever witnessed and make 2008 seem like a fond memory of economic euphoria.
So finally, with a 6 year delay, the western world’s “government leaders” have finally decided to do something about a TBTF problem that has never been more acute. According to Reuters, in November said leaders will agree “that the world’s top banks must issue special bonds to increase the amount of capital which can be tapped in a crisis instead of calling on taxpayers to come to the rescue, industry and G20 officials said.” In other words, suddenly the $2.8 trillion in Fed injected excess reserves, split roughly equally between US and European banks, are no longer sufficient, and while regulators are on one hand delaying the implementation of Basel III and its tougher capital rules, on the other they are tacticly admitting that whatever “generous” capital buffer banks have on their books right now will not be sufficient when the next crisis strikes.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/23/2014

‘Monetary Policy’ Gone Berserk

One issue the financial media is willing to ignore, but has been foremost in my mind for many years is the utter recklessness of the Federal Reserve’s ‘monetary policy.’ Below is a chart the public will never see on CNBC, or anywhere else, but I believe is vital to understand the threat that Washington and Wall Street currently present to the world at large. You’re looking at what academic-quack economists have done to the global reserve currency to save the hides of the banking elite, who for decades have acted as if Wall Street was their private fiefdom.

The FOMC calls this ‘monetary policy’ but for me something completely different comes to mind: legalized counterfeiting. Unfortunately, for years the baby-boomer generation (and their children; the Gen-Xers) have sought pleasure in immediate consumption. It’s hard to blamethem since the Fed destroyed their incentive to save by lowering the Fed Funds Rate to nearly 0% in December 2008. This rate can never be raised (despite the Fed rhetoric) without blowing up the budget deficit, sinking the economy in the process. For decades American’s, (and just about everyone else) have taken full advantage of the debt generously provided by the banking system to leverage their income, and now far too many people are hooked on cheap credit and just one paycheck away from insolvency, as are their employers.

This post was published at Gold-Eagle on August 24, 2014

Manipulation Is Still Alive And Well In The Gold Market

If one looks at a longer term chart of the last two years it’s very clear that gold is being capped at certain levels, and those levels are slowly forcing gold lower and lower. Each one of these manipulation zones are being defended successfully and that has some serious connotations going forward.
This all started right after the announcement of QE3. Gold was driven below $1700 and held below that level for 2 months. This got the ball rolling so to speak, it broke an intermediate cycle and started the bear market. Of course we all remember the call by GS to sell gold short followed by the premarket attack on April 12 that took out the stops below $1520 leading to a waterfall decline. That had to be one of the most blatant cases of manipulation in market history. Without a doubt gold completed a final ICL on Apr. 16. The May retest was the beginning of what should have been a recovery from the manipulation and a resumption of the secular trend.

But then something happened. As gold tried to rise above $1400 we saw repeated attacks to keep gold below that level eventually leading to another waterfall decline in June down to $1179. In the process this created a 33 week intermediate cycle – a full 10 weeks longer than normal.

This post was published at Gold-Eagle on August 24, 2014

How Hedge Funds Are Making Money In 2014: The Full Strategy Breakdown

As part of his latest weekly report, Goldman’s David Kostin breaks down the full array of strategy “baskets” used by hedge funds at this moment to outperform the market in 2014. In a nutshell, the best performing strats right now involve betting on a high vs low tax rate divergence (perhaps because companies facing high tax regimes are soaring on hopes they will engage in a price-boosting tax inversion deal), and shorting BRIC exposure:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/24/2014

How to Obscure one of the Biggest Economic Problems in the US

By Doug Short, Advisor Perspectives:
Earlier this week I updated my commentary on Five Decades of Middle Class Wages, an analysis of Real Average Hourly Earnings of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees. During the 21st century and especially since the end of the Great Recession, wages have clearly been stagnant.
But, as Mark Twain famously remarked, ‘there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.’
I was, therefore, not surprised when a reader sent me a link to a blog article entitled ‘Real Wage Stagnation Is a Bit of a Myth.’ Seriously! The article featured a chart that included the very same earnings data series that I had used, but it came to quite the opposite conclusion:
‘Contrary to popular belief, wages have been rising a bit faster than prices. In other words, real wages haven’t stagnated as widely believed, but have been moving higher, albeit at a slow pace.’ All it takes is a simple statistical manipulation to paint a smiley face on the real wage data. And what is that? Choose a tame deflator for your inflation adjustment.
Below are two charts of the Average Hourly Earnings of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees stretching back to 1964, the year the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) initiated the series. The top chart is my analysis. The one below it is the optimistic variant that claims stagnation is a ‘myth’ (click them for larger versions).

This post was published at Wolf Street on August 24, 2014

India Imports 2559 MT Silver In 5 Months

While silver has been widely used as money in history, at the beginning of the 19th century gold became the dominant metal in trade. At the end of the 19th century central banks erupted around the world and began holding gold in reserve to back their currencies, the international monetary system in this period is known as the classic gold standard. When the last remnants of the gold standard were officially left behind n 1974, and the world was on a fiat standard, central banks held on to their gold. This can only be explained as insurance in case the fiat standard wouldn’t succeed, concomitant admitting there is a reasonable chance fiat money will fail.
Nowadays central bankers sporadically tell us about the true function of gold in the international monetary system. This is only logic if one realizes they (/the US) preferred to minimize the role of gold, in the hopes the fiat standard would provide them maximum flexibility to manage the monetary system. Jelle Zijlstra, president of the central bank of the Netherlands from 1967 to 1982, wrote in his autobiography of 1992:
Gold as the monetary cosmos’ sun.
To analyze gold’s gravity in its ultimate role as the sun in our monetary system I try to be acquainted with all the planets in orbit, black holes nearby and comets crossing the solar system. For example: foreign exchange markets, inflation, quantitative easing, too big to fail banks, derivatives, oil, geo-politics, the media, technical analysis, commodities and silver. I certainly do not pretend to be an expert in all fields (the cosmos), but to make a long story short; while always attributing more importance to gold I recently decided to pay more attention to the global silver market. Few events happen in isolation these days and I did some interesting findings with regard to the silver market worth digging into. In this post we’ll be examining some data from India.
Silver Because of the pressure on the current account deficit the Central Board of Excise and Customs of the Indian Government, raised the gold import duty in January 2013 from 4% to 6 %, in June to 8 % and in August to 10 %. The silver import duty was raised in January 2012 from 1,500 Rs/Kg to 6 % of the silver price and in August 2013 to 10 %. Since the import duties, or tariffs, were raised, the price of gold in India developed a higher premium (excluding the import duty) than silver, as can be seen in the charts below.

This post was published at Bullion Star on 21-08-2014

Russia Asks If America Is Still Fit To “Participate In Solving International Problems”

Yesterday it was China slamming America’s superpower status (and thus dollar reserve currency status) when in Sina News it stated the following:
Their various reconnaissance aircraft have been wandering around foreign airspace for decades and watching the military secrets of other countries like a disgusting thief spying over his neighbor’s fence. However, when the neighbor comes back with a big stick, the thief will turn tail and run away, blaming the neighbor. When you show people weakness, they will bully you. When you show people strength, they will respect you.
We [the newspaper] believe the Chinese Air Force and Naval aviation should maintain a high level of vigilence and morale in southeast coastal region to prevent the further US action.
America has lost face and does not want to show the world they are sick. They have been lording over other countries for so long, and they will never let it go after they eat this loss.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/24/2014

Building for a future of American renting serfs: Private housing starts for structures with at least 5 units hits a post recession high. More than 11 million Americans spend more than 50 percent …

There was much celebration regarding the jump in private housing starts. However, once you begin to look beyond the headlines you realize that the big jump came largely because of multi-family starts. In other words, building more rentals in the form of apartments for a growing population that rents. Private starts for places with 5 units or more has now hit a post recession high. This makes sense given the fall in rental vacancy rates and the rise in rental prices. Yet what we find is that more income is being siphoned off into a less productive sector of our economy. Real estate tends to be a big plus for an economy when it happens organically with rising incomes, good overall employment prospects, and first time buyers leading the charge. Today it is more of a shifting of assets into fewer hands while extracting more income from the productive sectors of the economy. Not everyone can have their flipping show on cable television. For example, over 11 million Americans now pay 50 percent or more of their income to rent. Many of those people are here in California. The trend to building rentals aligns with the underlying reality that many future Americans will be less affluent compared to their parents.
Multi-unit starts
Builders realize there is pent up demand but not for expensive new homes. New demand is in the form of rentals where little savings are required and incomes are less scrutinized. Although I will say in many tight rental markets like San Francisco getting a rental is even more stringent than purchasing a home. The charge for private housing starts is being pushed by rental housing. In some way more supply of this kind of housing should alleviate some of the short-term pressure we are seeing on rental prices.
Take a look at private starts for structures with 5 units or more:

This post was published at Doctor Housing Bubble on August 24th, 2014