• Tag Archives Switzerland
  • A Look Inside The Secret Swiss Bunker Where The Ultra Rich Hide Their Bitcoins

    Somewhere in the mountains near Switzerland’s Lake Lucerne lies a hidden underground vault containing a vast fortune.
    It’s no ordinary vault, according to Quartz. Built inside a decommissioned Swiss military bunker dug into a granite mountain, it’s precise location is a closely guarded secret, and access is limited by myriad security precautions.
    But instead of gold bars, the bunker contains hard drives on which customers’ bitcoins are being kept in what’s call ‘cold storage’ – i.e. the owners’ private keys are protected by an air-gapped hard drive. The vault is one of many operated by Xapo, an early bitcoin company known for its cold storage wallet products and a debit card that pays for transactions in digital currencies.


    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 18, 2017.


  • “We Don’t Know How To Replace The Vast Gold Deposits Of The Past”

    Pierre Lassonde, chairman of Franco-Nevada, expects production in the gold mining sector to decline significantly and foresees a price push for the yellow metal.
    Few people have achieved more success in the mining business than Pierre Lassonde. The savvy Canadian is the co-founder and chairman of Toronto based Franco-Nevada (FNV 99.91 -0.94%) and pioneered the royalty business model in the gold mining sector based on the model used in the oil-and-gas industry. For investors this strategy has paid off golden returns. Today however, Mr. Lassonde points out that the gold industry hasn’t made any large discoveries for years which will put heavy upward pressure on prices in the years to come. He also thinks that US President Donald Trump is good for the yellow metal and that investors will fare better with gold than with stocks.
    ***
    Mr. Lassonde, after a few difficult years gold seems to get its shine back. What’s next for the gold price?
    Right now, there is more demand for paper gold than for physical gold. For instance, when you look at the refineries in Switzerland they will tell you that they’ve got the bouillon but they’re not busy. It’s not like a year and half ago when they had no stock and the gold bars basically were flying off their shelf the minute they were produced. So the pressure is in the paper gold market, the futures market.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 16, 2017.


  • Gold Market Charts – September 2017

    Featuring charts produced by the GOLD CHARTS R US market chart website, the BullionStar chart series focuses on a number of the world’s most important physical gold markets including China, Russia, India, Switzerland and the London gold market, and provides background and commentary on the selected charts.
    Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) Gold Withdrawals Gold withdrawals from the Shanghai Gold Exchange network of precious metals vaults totalled 161.4 tonnes during August. These withdrawals are in the form of actual physical gold bars and ingots which leave the Exchange’s vaults and enter the downstream investment, jewellery and fabrication markets. Since most gold flowing through the Chinese gold market from the supply side to the demand side is traded through the SGE, this makes SGE Gold Withdrawals a suitable proxy for wholesale gold demand in China. See “Mechanics of the Chinese Domestic Gold Market” for more details.

    This post was published at Bullion Star on 30 Sep 2017.


  • North Korea Said To Seek Help From Republicans “To Figure Out Trump”

    In what may be the most bizarre development of the day, the WaPo reports that in their ongoing feud with President Trump, the North Korean government has quietly sought the help of an unlikely counterparty: Republicans.
    As the WaPo details, officials in Pyongyang have been quietly trying to arrange talks with Republican-linked analysts in Washington, “in an apparent attempt to make sense of President Trump and his confusing messages to Kim Jong Un’s regime.” The outreach is said to have begun before the current eruption of threats between the two leaders, but will likely become only more urgent “as Trump and Kim have descended into name-calling that sharply increases the chances of potentially catastrophic misunderstandings.”
    ‘Their No. 1 concern is Trump. They can’t figure him out,’ a source with direct knowledge of North Korea’s approach to Asia experts with Republican connections told the WaPo.
    While the North Koreans do not appear to be interested in negotiations about their nuclear program, they want forums for insisting on being recognized as a nuclear state, something the Trump administration has made clear it is not interested in. At a multilateral meeting here in Switzerland earlier this month, North Korea’s representatives were adamant about being recognized as a nuclear weapons state and showed no willingness to even talk about denuclearization.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 26, 2017.


  • BIS Hunts for ‘Missing’ Global Debt, Inflation (Try Including Housing!)

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Snake Hole Lounge. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    Just like global central banks, the Bank for International Settlements can’t seem to find inflation and $114 trillion in off-balance sheet FX derivatives.
    ZURICH – Nonfinancial companies and other institutions outside of the U. S., excluding banks, may be sitting on as much as $14 trillion in ‘missing debt’ held off their balance sheets through foreign-exchange derivatives, according to research published Sunday by the Bank for International Settlements.
    These transactions, which resemble debt but for accounting purposes aren’t classified that way, aren’t new. Rather, researchers from the BIS – a consortium of central banks based in Basel, Switzerland – used global banking data and surveys to estimate the size of this debt for the first time.
    The implications for financial stability are unclear because FX swaps are backed by cash collateral and can be used to hedge exposure to currency swings, thus promoting stability. Still, the debt ‘has to be repaid when due and this can raise risk,’ the authors wrote.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on September 19, 2017.


  • “It Blows My Mind”: 100-Year Austrian Bond With Record Duration 3x Oversubscribed

    As we reported yesterday, Austria was set to make Eurozone history with the first sale of a 100 year bond direct to public markets, bypassing private syndication. It did that later in the day, when the 3.5 billion offering priced tighter than initially marketed, at RAGB 2/2047 +50, at a price 99.502 to yield a paltry 2.112% and with a negligible 2.1% cash coupon.
    What is even more notable is that despite mounting fears of an imminent tapering by the ECB which many have predicted will lead to a new European bond tantrum and blow out in yields, there was tremendous end demand by investors for the offering managed by BofAML, Erste Group, GS (B&D), NatWest and SocGen, mostly fund managers from across the globe, resulting in what ended up being more than 11BN in 208 different bids for the paper, an oversubscription of more than 3x! The breakdown for the final allocation is was follows, courtesy of Bloomberg:
    3.5b 100Y tranche: Book exceeded 10.8b from 208 investors, including 1.5b of JLM interest
    Allocation by geography:
    Eurozone incl. Austria 29% Germany 13% France 4% Spain 3% Other Eurozone 9% Other Europe (non-Eurozone) 55% U. K. 42% Switzerland 9% Americas 12% Middle East 4%

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 13, 2017.


  • Shares of the Swiss National Bank Soar 64% in Two Months

    What the heck is going on? The central bank of Switzerland has become a huge hedge fund since it decided in January 2015 to print Swiss francs – for which there is huge global demand – and sell these freshly created francs to buy bonds and stocks that are denominated in euros and dollars. US stocks are a particular favorite. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has thereby created a fantastical money-fabrication scheme. This scheme is publicly traded. And the shares have become a doozie.
    Today, the shares (SNBN) closed at a new high of 3,126 Swiss francs, having soared 64% since July 19 in cryptocurrency-fashion. This chart shows the daily moves since May:
    ***
    In January 2015, the SNB ‘shocked’ the financial markets globally by scrapping its minimum exchange rate of CHF 1.20 to the euro and switched to a draconian negative-interest-rate policy and massive asset purchases – massive for a tiny country like Switzerland – to keep the value of the franc from rising against the euro.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Sep 11, 2017.


  • The Irony for the Money-Printing Central-Bank Hedge Fund?

    So Swiss National Bank shares soar 64% in 2 months.
    The central bank of Switzerland has become a huge hedge fund since it decided in January 2015 to print Swiss francs – for which there is huge global demand – and sell these freshly created francs to buy bonds and stocks that are denominated in euros and dollars. US stocks are a particular favorite. The Swiss National Bank (SNB) has thereby created a fantastical money-fabrication scheme. This scheme is publicly traded. And the shares have become a doozie.
    Today, the shares (SNBN) closed at a new high of 3,126 Swiss francs, having soared 64% since July 19 in cryptocurrency-fashion. This chart shows the daily moves since May:

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Sep 11, 2017.


  • Swiss Central Bank Boosts Stakes in FAAMG Stocks by 77 Percent to $9.38 Billion

    The Swiss central bank may be part of a modern age Tulip Bubble.
    Since June 30 of last year, Switzerland’s central bank, the Swiss National Bank, has increased its stock holdings of five U. S. social media/tech stocks from $5.3 billion to $9.38 billion, an increase of 77 percent in 12 months. The stocks are Apple, Alphabet (parent to Google), Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook. The stock information comes from a 13F filing the Swiss National Bank made this month with the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a quarterly form required of institutional investment managers who manage $100 million or more.
    According to the SEC form, the Swiss central bank owns the following positions as of June 30, 2017: $2.76 billion in Apple common stock; over $2 billion in two classes of Alphabet stock; $1.864 billion in Microsoft common; $1.434 billion in Amazon common; and $1.32 billion in Facebook Class A. It owns tens of billions of dollars more in other U. S. and global stocks.
    Adding to the peculiarity of this central bank, its own stock actually trades on a stock exchange and its stock price has soared by 88 percent since April. (See chart above.)
    According to the website of the Swiss National Bank, it ‘does not pursue any strategic interests in its equity investments and as a general rule does not engage in any stock selection.’ It says its share holdings are ‘managed passively by replicating a combination of different indices.’

    This post was published at Wall Street On Parade By Pam Martens and Russ Marte.


  • Leftists Worry As America’s Tax System Is On The Verge Of Collapse

    The burdensome and regulation filled tax system on those living in the ‘land of the free’ is more than likely on the verge of collapse. The IRS can’t collect enough money, and the government spends too much. But the left is fighting to ensure the government continues to steal as much as possible.
    If the tax system collapses, it’ll be leftists we should worry about. If one in America even suggests to a leftist that they don’t want to pay taxes (have the IRS steal their hard earned money) they are ridiculed, chastised, and accused of not wanting to help the poor. For now, the IRS has bigger fish to fry, but that won’t last, as left-leaning rags everywhere suggest harsher and more aggressive means of taking from others. The IRS is ratcheting up their tax collecting and going after anyone who may have tried to keep some of their own money.
    In March, federal agents raided the headquarters of equipment giant Caterpillar Inc, as part of a long-running investigation into whether the company owes $2 billion in back taxes and penalties for a scheme that allegedly shifted profits to Switzerland. Caterpillar isfighting the charges. – Vice

    This post was published at shtfplan on August 24th, 2017.


  • China’s Get the Gold Plan: Part II

    Money Metals readers may remember my November 2014 report in which I discussed how gold flowed into China in “tributary fashion” like small streams flowing into a giant one. In this case, the gold has been streaming into China’s increasingly massive thousands-of-tons gold hoard.
    In January, 2015, I penned an essay titled “China’s Global Gold Supply “Game of Stones,” outlining China’s long-range goal to dominate the world’s physical gold market.
    Well, events have moved massively forward since then. I want to update you as to just how much things have changed – and how close we may be to experiencing a “defining moment” in the gold market.
    I’m talking about a game-changing event that could, with little warning, propel the price of gold upward by hundreds – even thousands – of dollars per ounce in the space of a few weeks… conceivably overnight! (And since silver’s price movements are highly correlated with that of gold, we could expect an upside explosion in silver as well.)
    China’s 4-pronged gold accumulation strategy:
    First: Buy physical gold in world markets, re-fabricate it when necessary (into .9999 fine bars in Switzerland), and ship to the mainland.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on 23 August 2017.


  • Marc Faber: In The Age Of Cyber-Terrorism, Every Investor Must Own Gold

    Take it from ‘Dr. Doom’: own some physical gold and keep it out of the banking system.
    Dr. Marc Faber, a legendary investor and the editor/publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, is well known for his contrarian investing style.
    In a recent Metal Masters interview with the Hard Assets Alliance, he noted that the biggest geopolitical risk for Americans today is not a conventional war but rather cyber-attacks that could take down the US power grid.
    In such a scenario, gold would become an irreplaceable medium of exchange. But it’s not the only reason to own gold today.
    Diversified Assets Outside the Banking System
    Faber grew up in Switzerland right after World War II, a tough time that caused his family to distrust paper money and taught him the importance of precious metals as a safety net.
    Faber remembers how his father talked about rich people as millionaires.
    ‘That, in the ’50s and ’60s and ’70s, was a lot of money. Today, a million is nothing at all – small change. Unfortunately. When people talk about, ‘Oh, there is no inflation in the system,’ this is nonsense. Compared to assets, money has lost a tremendous amount of purchasing power.’

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 20, 2017.


  • Governments to Control Large Cash Transactions

    I have been pointing out the crisis we face moving forward. The gist of this is the total fiscal mismanagement of government for which we, the people, are always blamed. This hunt for taxes has led down the path of arguments for eliminating currency. While people think Bitcoin is an answer, they do not understand government’s hunt for taxes no less the lack of a true rule of law. The government need only pass a law that anyone who fails to report what they have in Bitcoin is criminal and they get to confiscate all your assets.
    Switzerland has its ‘wealth tax’ which they argue is nothing just 0.02%. However, it requires you to report all assets worldwide. They then know precisely what you have and it is merely one vote away at anytime to raise the tax or impose criminal penalties for failure to report everything. Yet, once Switzerland has that info, under G20 they must share it with all other governments.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Aug 16, 2017.


  • How to Cash In When the Fed’s Sweetheart Deal with the World’s Biggest Banks Turns Sour

    I recently showed you why ‘don’t fight the Fed’ is likely the most profitable investment advice you can get.
    Now I’m going to show you why it works so well.
    And while I do that, I’m going to blow the door off the hinges and expose how the Federal Reserve’s outsized influence and tight relationships with some of the planet’s biggest, most powerful banks can make or break markets…
    …and lead you to some of the biggest gains you’ve ever seen: 100% sure money.
    Meet the Fed’s ‘Accomplices
    Big surprise: the U. S. Federal Reserve does things a little differently than your ‘usual’ bank.
    You see, the Fed handpicks a small group of (very) privileged dealers to trade with.
    They are officially called ‘Primary Dealers,’ and today there are 23 of them. These banks are based in Canada, France, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, and of course, the United States. The foreign banks the Fed deals with maintain a presence in New York City.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on August 10, 2017.


  • Can Switzerland Survive Today’s Assault on Cash and Sound Money?

    ‘Switzerland will have the last word,’ wrote Victor Hugo in the late 19th century. ‘It possesses one of the most perfect forms of government in the world.’ A contemporary of his, Frederick Kuenzli, a scholar of the Swiss Army, boasted: ‘No purer type of Republican ideals, no more fixed and devoted adherence to those ideals can be found in all the world than in Switzerland.’
    On many levels, there is reason to believe that, indeed, Switzerland remains a unique oasis of rationality and intelligence in the ocean-wide bloodbath that is contemporary Western fiscal and social self-sabotage. On the other hand, there is the Swiss National Bank – the central bank – that oddly appears to be encouraging the same monetary policy dance-with-death that has tripped up the country’s masochistic neighbors. How viable yet is the Swiss element in that which we still admire as the nation of Switzerland? First the good news:
    Direct democracy is alive and kicking: No mere opinion poll, the power and vibrancy of the referendum – one that can be launched by any local who can gather 100,000 signatures in support – constitutes one of the most impressive displays of true citizen-republicanism that there is. There is an upcoming vote on the Swiss Sovereign Money Initiative – a movement to obstruct financial speculation; recent referendums that were voted into law include a phasing out of nuclear energy to be replaced by renewables, and easier naturalization of third-generation immigrants.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on August 7, 2017.


  • The West lost at least another 1000 tonnes of large gold bars in 2015

    Over the last number of years, one of the most interesting trends in the physical gold world is the ongoing conversion of large 400 ounce gold bars into smaller high purity 1 kilogram gold bars to meet the insatiable demand of Asian gold markets such as China and India.
    This transformation of 400 ounce bars into 1 kilogram bars is an established fact and is irrefutable given the large amount of evidence which proves it is happening, as has been documented on the BullionStar website and elsewhere.
    It is also something which causes plenty of excitement in the gold world as it underscores the huge movement of physical gold from West to East, and the continual depletion of gold inventories from locations such as the London Gold Market.
    The general movement is one of 995 purity 400 ounce gold bars coming out of gold-backed ETFs, central bank gold holdings and other wholesale gold holdings, and these bars making their way to the Swiss refineries where they are transformed / smelted / recast into smaller 9999 high purity gold bars. The smaller gold bars are then exported from Switzerland to India, China, Hong Kong, and the Middle East.

    This post was published at Bullion Star on 31 Jul 2017.


  • June Swiss gold exports: 90% moving east — Lawrie Williams

    The latest figures for gold exports from Switzerland just further emphasise that physical gold is continuing to move eastwards in a big way. The country’s gold refineries sent 74% of their gold exports to Greater China (the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong) and India alone, while if we add in other south and east Asian nations – Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea – and the Middle East – Turkey, the UAE, Lebanon and Jordan – fully 90% of Swiss gold exports that month moved to this region.
    Why is this so significant? Switzerland produces no gold of its own, but its gold refineries between them are the world’s largest gold exporters taking gold bullion and scrap from mines and other sources, including good delivery 400 ounce bars, and re-refining these into the smaller sizes in demand in Asia and the Middle East and re-exporting the bullion mostly to these eastern nations.
    The latest Swiss figures also support the anecdotal evidence of extremely tight supply, with the Swiss refineries struggling to source enough gold to meet the eastern demand. In June, Switzerland exported in total 162.1 tonnes of gold while only importing 124.9 tonnes – a shortfall of 37.2 tonnes. This is the second month in a row where Swiss gold exports were substantially larger than imports – the figure for May was around 39 tonnes.

    This post was published at Sharps Pixley


  • JULY 27/GOLD UP $ 10.45 WITH SILVER UP 13 CENTS/GOLD/SILVER EQUITY SHARES FLOUNDER AT THE END OF THE DAY SIGNALLING A POSSIBLE RAID TOMORROW//EU IS FORCING 3 COUNTRIES TO ACCEPT MIGRANTS AGAINST …

    GOLD: $1260.30 UP $10.45
    Silver: $16.59 UP 13 cent(s)
    Closing access prices:
    Gold $1259.50
    silver: $16.58
    SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: FIRST FIX 10 15 PM EST (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
    SECOND FIX: 2:15 AM EST (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
    SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1269.54 DOLLARS PER OZ
    NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1263.20
    PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $6.34
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1267.86
    NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1262.60
    Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$5.26
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1262.05
    NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1263.00
    LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1261.10
    NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1261.20
    For comex gold:
    JULY/
    NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR APRIL CONTRACT MONTH: 4 NOTICE(S) FOR 400 OZ.
    TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 175 FOR 17500 OZ (.5443 TONNES)
    For silver:
    JULY
    112 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR
    560,000 OZ/
    Total number of notices filed so far this month: 3282 for 16,410,000 oz
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    WE HAVE NOW ENTERED OPTIONS EXPIRY WEEK:
    LONDON BASED OPTIONS EXPIRY: JULY 31.2017 AT 11AM OR SO.
    (OTC/LBMA CONTRACTS)
    Judging from the way the gold/silver shares traded today, it sure looks like the boys are going to orchestrate another humdinger of a raid against us tomorrow.

    This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on July 27, 2017.


  • Tricked on the Fourth of July

    I do not celebrate the fourth of July. This goes back to a term paper I wrote in graduate school. It was on colonial taxation in the British North American colonies in 1775. Not counting local taxation, I discovered that the total burden of British imperial taxation was about 1% of national income. It may have been as high as 2.5% in the southern colonies.
    In 2008, Alvin Rabushka’s book of almost 1,000 pages appeared: Taxation in Colonial America (Princeton University Press). In a review published in the Business History Review, the reviewer summarizes the book’s findings.
    Rabushka’s most original and impressive contribution is his measurement of tax rates and tax burdens. However, his estimate of comparative trans-Atlantic tax burdens may be a bit of moving target. At one point, he concludes that, in the period from 1764 to 1775, “the nearly two million white colonists in America paid on the order of about 1 percent of the annual taxes levied on the roughly 8.5 million residents of Britain, or one twenty-fifth, in per capita terms, not taking into account the higher average income and consumption in the colonies” (p. 729). Later, he writes that, on the eve of the Revolution, “British tax burdens were ten or more times heavier than those in the colonies” (p. 867). Other scholars may want to refine his estimates, based on other archival sources, different treatment of technical issues such as the adjustment of intercolonial and trans-Atlantic comparisons for exchange rates, or new estimates of comparative income and wealth. Nonetheless, no one is likely to challenge his most important finding: the huge tax gap between the American periphery and the core of the British Empire.
    The colonists had a sweet deal in 1775. Great Britain was the second freest nation on earth. Switzerland was probably the most free nation, but I would be hard-pressed to identify any other nation in 1775 that was ahead of Great Britain. And in Great Britain’s Empire, the colonists were by far the freest.

    This post was published at Gary North on July 04, 2017.


  • TECHNOCRACY INC: Now Charging for Roads By the Mile

    The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has published a transport strategy that outlines his vision of the future of transportation in Britain’s capital. The strategy conforms to his pledge to be London’s ‘greenest mayor’ as it will reduce motor vehicle traffic while simultaneously encouraging walking and cycling. As a way to discourage motor vehicle journeys, Khan plans to charge drivers a distance-based fee for using city roads. While the scheme is likely to represent an important new revenue stream for the city (or the firm that wins the contract), the plan also seems to resemble parts of the global elite’s technocratic agenda.
    First of all, London’s proposal is not the only one of its kind. Various forms of road charging are in use in countries around the world, with many more proposed; the type that charges motorists based on the distance they drive is often called a ‘vehicle miles traveled tax’ (VMT tax). This type of scheme has so far been implemented in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Switzerland, as well as in several locations around the United States, such as Oregon with its OReGO program. Other similar schemes are being tested in countless locations internationally. Numerous think tanks and governments – including the UN and EU – have been urging the adoption of VMT taxes for some time, in what is clearly a coordinated international push.
    An obvious problem with this idea is that charging for road use according to distance driven will discriminate against lower-income people and small business, but favour wealthier individuals and larger corporations. When Khan says, ‘we have to make not using your car the affordable, safest and most convenient option’, he is clearly saying that using a car would become less affordable under the scheme. This broadly fits with the UN’s Agenda 21 plan, which aims to reduce the use of motor vehicles by the general public – as we shall see.

    This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JUNE 30, 2017.