• Tag Archives Switzerland
  • James Rickards: Gold Will Start Heading Higher On ‘Dwindling’ Supply

    James Rickards via Daily Reckoning
    Gold was down after the Fed’s hike, but I expect it to start heading higher again. Too many powerful forces are driving it behind the scenes. Dwindling physical supply is a major one.
    On a recent visit to Switzerland, I was informed that secure logistics operators could not build new vaults fast enough and were taking over nuclear-bomb proof mountain bunkers from the Swiss Army to handle the demand for private storage.

    This post was published at Gold Core on June 19, 2017.

  • DOJ Moves To Seize DiCaprio’s Picasso, Rights To “Dumb and Dumber To” As Part Of 1MDB Case

    As part of the ongoing money-laundering probe of Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB, which is perhaps best known for Goldman’s enabling and participation in what may end up being one of the world’s biggest, multi-billion, cross-border embezzlement schemes, on Thursday the DOJ moved to seize a Picasso and Basquiat paintings given to Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as rights to two Hollywood comedies, in complaints filed to recover about $540 million they say was “stolen” from 1MDB (with Goldman’s help).
    The DOJ filing was the latest in a long series of legal actions tied to money laundering at the fund set up by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 – who still remains in power – to promote economic development. In the complaint filed overnight, the department alleged that more than $4.5 billion was taken from 1MDB by high-level fund officials and their associates. Fraud allegations against 1MDB go back to 2009 and the fund is subject to money laundering investigations in at least six countries, including Switzerland and Singapore.
    “This money financed the lavish lifestyles of the alleged co-conspirators at the expense and detriment of the Malaysian people,” Kenneth Blanco, acting assistant AG said in a statement. The name of Goldman Sachs, which participated and directly profited from many of the 1MDB transactions, was oddly missing from today’s filing.
    Najib has denied taking money from 1MDB or any other entity for personal gain, after it was reported that investigators traced nearly $700 million to bank accounts that were allegedly in his name.
    And while we won’t hold our breath to learn why Goldman’s involvement was mysteriously dropped, Reuters reported that Leonardo DiCaprio has turned over an Oscar won by Marlon Brando to U. S. investigators probing the 1MDB money laundering. DiCaprio also initiated the return of other, unidentified items that the actor said he accepted as gifts for a charity auction and which originated from people connected to the 1MDB wealth fund, they said in a statement.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 15, 2017.

  • Sharps Pixley Sees a 252 pct Increase in Physical Gold Demand — Ross Norman

    The elections leading to a hung parliament in the U.K. have seen a rush into physical gold by investors, as the country slips into a political vacuum. The uncertainty both in the U.K. and indeed geopolitical concerns across the globe have fed into firmer gold prices which have risen 11 pct so far in 2017 in international markets.
    Sharps Pixley report they have been inundated with investor interest with a 252 pct increase in gold demand year-on-year (May 2016 vs. May 2017) ; the business has run out of some bullion products and they are again flying in fresh metal from Switzerland and Germany in order to replenish stocks. In the June month-to-date they are on track to break all records.
    Speaking of the physical demand, Ross Norman, the CEO of Sharps Pixley commented “Sharps Pixley is the first business on the high street to make physical gold readily accessible and prominent – in our first year of business we have attracted about 40m of client interest ; the current bout of buying however is exceptional and the uncertainty surrounding UK politics has prompted a rush to safe haven assets“. He added “a sharp decline in sterling is a big win for British gold buyers and only today the price has risen above the important 1,000 per ounce level.”
    “Physical gold is not just for the privileged few and the breadth of demand demonstrates that it remains a fantastic way for ALL investors to protect their wealth. Gold in sterling has risen by 470% since 2000, that’s over 11 pct a year compounded – that’s about three times the average U.K. property over the last 16 years” enthused Norman. “In addition, investments are devoid of VAT and can be capital gains tax free and the difference between the buying and selling price is competitively priced … why wouldn’t you invest ?”
    In short, physical gold may be a “minority sport” but it has certainly demonstrated a track record in serving investors well.

    This post was published at Sharps Pixley

  • Has the Tech Bubble Finally Burst?

    Tech stocks saw a big hit on Friday with most headlines still speculating on the exact cause. Regardless of the reason, the tech sector was simply due for a pullback given the “strong positive bubbles” appearing in the U. S. Nasdaq composite, as Didier Sornette reported on our show two weeks ago.
    As he explained in Using a Supercomputer to Trade the Market, Didier and his team of researchers at ETH Zurich in Switzerland programmed one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers to scan 25,000 assets around the globe each day for “bubble signals” – accelerating oscillations combined with faster than exponential moves in price.
    Here’s a clip of that interview:

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 06/09 2017.

  • China’s gold imports seen jumping 50% as haven demand booms

    China, the world’s biggest gold market, may boost imports through Hong Kong by about half this year as local investors seek to protect their wealth from currency risks, a slowing property market, and volatile stocks, according to the Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society.
    Mainland China is set to import about 1,000 metric tons from the territory in 2017, said Haywood Cheung, president of the century-old exchange in Hong Kong which trades physical gold and silver. That compares with net purchases of 647 tons last year and would be the biggest since 2013, data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department compiled by Bloomberg show.
    Demand is rising on concerns over property, share and bond markets and the outlook for the yuan, amid a government drive to reduce leverage in the financial system. Local consumption was up 15 percent in the first quarter, with sales of bars for investment climbing more than 60 percent and dwarfing a 1.4 percent rise in jewelry buying, according to data from the China Gold Association. China also imports gold from Switzerland.

    This post was published at bloomberg

  • How To Destroy The Value Of College

    It wasn’t that long ago that I could resoundingly recommend that teens in the US who had an interest in any sort of “STEM” field go to college and get their degree.
    I’ve not been able to make that argument for the “social arts” or the “liberal arts” for close to 20 years, but as recently as 10 years ago it was still an excellent argument, even at the inflated, debt-laden price, for STEM-related fields.
    About five years ago I started to sound the alarm even in the STEM fields, as the offshoring and H1b abuse got bad enough that with few exceptions the risk had risen to unacceptable levels even in those fields, considering that your risk profile extends out at least four years from when you go to college and usually five or six.
    Now, today, it appears I was right to be concerned — and I can no longer make any sort of argument for post-secondary education at today’s prices in the United States.
    Monthly salaries plummeted 16 percent to 4,014 yuan ($590) this year for a second-straight annual decline, data from recruitment site Zhaopin.com show. The Ministry of Education estimates that 7.95 million will graduate this year, almost the population of Switzerland.

    This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-06-05.

  • The Internet Helped Kill Inflation In America, Says Credit Suisse

    Whether or not San Francisco Fed President John Williams is right about US inflation and employment being about as close to the central bank’s targets as investors have seen – as he told CNBC two days ago – is irrelevant: The central bank is going to raise interest rates two more times this year no matter what happens to consumer prices, says Credit Suisse Chief Investment Officer for Switzerland Burkhard Varnholt.
    That’s because it’s pointless waiting around for prices to rise when the real reason inflation is low – and will likely remain low – has nothing to do with the Fed, but with a structural shift in the US economy that’s being driven by technology giants like Amazon and Uber. Burkdard says these companies have ‘turned most companies and sectors into price takers rather than price makers.”
    ‘Well look, inflation has been gone for quite some time and what’s really killed inflation clearly isn’t the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy but the Internet – it’s the sharing economy, the network economy it’s the uber-deflationary companies like Uber, Amazon, Airbnb and the like who have transformed most companies and most sectors into price takers rather than price makers.’

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 30, 2017.

  • India top importer of Swiss gold for fourth successive month — Lawrie Williams

    There’s probably no better indicator of the pick-up this year in Indian gold demand, after a dismal 2016, than the levels of Swiss exports to the world’s second most populous nation. In April, India was again the principal export destination for Swiss re-refined gold, as it has been every month so far this year. In the four months of the year so far India has imported no less than 167.2 tonnes of gold from the small European nation’s plethora of top-rated gold refiners. At this rate India will import around 500 tonnes of gold from Switzerland alone and, historically, it only sources a little under half its reported gold imports from Switzerland – in Q1 this year India reported total gold imports of 249 tonnes, of which 47.7%, or 119.2 tonnes came in from Switzerland.
    While as my colleague Julian Phillips notes in a recent post on http://www.lawrieongold.com the early year peak is perhaps already behind us, ahead of the monsoon season, but then gold demand tends to pick up again from September on as the harvest comes in, and ahead of the Dhanteras and Diwali festivals in October and then again with peak wedding season coming in in November and December. Indian Hindu weddings tend to take place on auspicious dates throughout the year apart from from mid-July to end-October – Chaturmas – a period deemed inauspicious for Hindu weddings.
    Julian Phillips thus puts estimated Indian gold demand this year as likely being around 1,000 tonnes plus, although this would likely be boosted by smuggled metal, while the World Gold Council (WGC) put India’s consumer demand last year at 675.5 tonnes. There may be an element of the jewellery sector restocking ahead of an expected Goods and Services Tax imposition due to come in in mid-year which could reduce second half imports, but regardless it looks as though Indian demand is due for a major pick-up this year which will enhance the yellow metal’s fundamentals.

    This post was published at Sharps Pixley

  • New Gold Pool at the BIS Basle: Part 2 – Pool vs Gold for Oil

    This is Part 2 of a two-part series. The series focuses on collusive discussions and meetings that took place between the world’s most powerful central bankers in late 1979 and 1980 in an attempt to launch a central bank Gold Pool cartel to manipulate and control the free market price of gold. The meetings centered around the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basle, Switzerland.
    Part 2 takes up where Part 1 left off, and begins by looking at developments in the BIS Gold Pool discussions during January 1980, a month in which the US dollar gold price rocketed more than 60% during a three-week period to reach a then record of $850 per ounce. Part 2 then looks at how the discussions involving these central banks evolved over the remainder of 1980 and 1981 as key high level central bankers continued to call for intervention into the gold market.
    Part 2 also looks at evidence that central bankers party to the discussions began advocating gold for oil exchanges between the West and the Saudis, exchanges which would provide real wealth (gold) to the Arabs in exchange for oil flowing to the West, while simultaneously keeping a lid on the gold price.

    This post was published at Bullion Star on 23 May 2017.

  • Central banks kept conspiring against gold long after it left the financial system

    A central bank Gold Pool which many people will be familiar with operated in the gold market between November 1961 and March 1968. That Gold Pool was known as the London Gold Pool.
    This article is not about the 1961-1968 London Gold Pool. This article is about collusive central bank discussions relating to an entirely different and more recent central bank Gold Pool arrangement. These discussions about a second Gold Pool began in late 1979, i.e. more than 11 years after the London Gold Pool had been abandoned. This article is Part 1 of a 2 part series. Part 2 will be published shortly.
    These discussions about a new Gold Pool arrangement took place in an era of soaring free market gold prices and in the midst of the run-up in the gold price to US$850 in January 1980.
    The discussions and meetings about a new Gold Pool in 1979 and 1980 and beyond which are detailed below, occurred at the highest levels in the central banking world and involved the world’s most powerful central bankers, some of whose names will be familiar to readers. The aim of these central bank discussions and meetings was to reach agreement on joint central bank action to subdue and manipulate the free market gold price in the early 1980s. Many of these collusive meetings were private meetings between a handful of Group of 10 (G10) central bank governors, and took place in the actual office of the president of the Bank of International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland.
    Above all, these central bank meetings show intent. Intent by a group of powerful central banks to manipulate a free market gold price so as to distort free market gold pricing signals. So these documents are timeless in that regard. The documents also illustrate the concern that a rising gold price in the free market creates for senior central bankers, and importantly, also shows that these same central bankers have no qualms, at least from a legal or moral perspective, of intervening to manipulate a gold price when they see it as a threat to their fiat currency monetary system.

    This post was published at GATA


    Time and time again we are seeing fraud taking place in the precious metals’ market. Thousands of tonnes of paper silver and paper gold are being dumped over just a few hours or days. For anyone who doesn’t understand what is happening, let me categorically state that this has nothing to do with the real physical market in gold and silver. No, this is blatant manipulation by governments and bullion banks as well as speculators. And since governments are involved, it is sanctioned by them with no consequences for the traders who are rigging the market.
    BULLION BANKS FEAR THE DAY THEY MUST TURN PAPER GOLD INTO PHYSICAL What is happening has nothing to do with real markets or real supply and demand. What we are seeing is governments trying to obfuscate their total mismanagement of the economy and the currency. So far, the bullion banks have been fortunate that gold and silver paper holders haven’t called their bluff and asked for physical delivery. Because we know and the banks know that the day they will need to come up with the real gold and silver bars, it is game over. Because they haven’t got physical gold or silver to cover even a fraction of their paper shorts. Between futures exchanges, bullion banks, including precious metals derivates contracts, there are hundreds of ounces of paper gold and silver outstanding for every ounce of physical backing.
    The problem is that it is not only the bankers that are the culprits in this game. No, governments are just as culpable. Western banks officially hold 30,000 tonnes of gold. Virtually no Western central bank has ever had a physical audit of their gold. The US had their last audit during Eisenhower’s reign in 1953?
    Western central banks have in the last few decades been liquidating a major part of their gold holdings. For example, he UK sold half of their gold holdings at the end of the 1990s and Switzerland sold over half. Norway sold ALL their holdings in the early 2000s.

    This post was published at GoldSwitzerland on May 12, 2017.

  • From West to East: Asia Gobbling Up Gold as US Exports Surge

    Gold exports from the US nearly doubled in the first two months of 2017 compared to last year. Where is all of this gold going? Most of it is heading east.
    Total US gold exports in the first two months of 2017 totaled 101 tons. That compares with 56.5 metric tons in 2016. Nearly two-thirds of the gold flowing out of the US ended up in Asia. China and Hong Kong imported 51 tons of US gold, and India gobbled up another 10.8 tons. Switzerland was the leading non-Asian purchaser of US gold, importing 28 tons. England imported 5.6 tons of US gold, and the UAE took in 3.3 tons. The remaining US gold exports went to countries such as Germany, Canada, and Mexico.
    To put things into perspective, gold exports to China, Hong Kong, and India doubled in the first two months of 2017 compared to the same period the previous year.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on MAY 11, 2017.

  • Swiss gold imports: anomalous suppliers — Lawrie Williams

    We commented yesterday on the March Swiss gold export figures which confirmed India as the largest recipient of the gold from the Swiss refineries, which dominate global independent gold refining. Hong Kong and China were the two other major recipients, while overall the Middle East and South and East Asia accounted for almost 88% of total Swiss gold exports, emphasising the continuing flow of gold from West to East. (See: March Swiss gold exports show India no.1 again).
    As Switzerland produces no gold of its own, but specialises in re-refining LBMA good delivery gold bars and scrap gold into the metric and small sizes in demand in the East, it has to be a major gold importer to keep the refineries’ production going, as well as to supply its own investment demand and it is particularly interesting to review the sources of this gold for re-refining and exporting.
    The biggest source of Swiss gold imports is usually the U.K., which is not surprising as London has traditionally been at the centre of the global gold trade, but some of the other sources of gold for the Swiss refineries are a little more unexpected. After London the three biggest sources of imported gold are Hong Kong, the UAE (primarily Dubai), and the USA. The latter is not surprising at all as it is the world’s fourth largest producer of new mined gold, but the UAE and Hong Kong have to be considered as highly anomalous sources as they both produce little or no gold of their own, but are traditionally gold traders. Next in line comes Thailand – again usually a gold importer rather than exporter. Most of the remainder of the source nations for the Swiss gold imports are indeed gold producers as would be expected.

    This post was published at Sharps Pixley

  • U.S. Gold Bullion Exports To Hong Kong Surge, 82% Of Total Shipments

    U. S. gold bullion exports to Asia started off with a bang in 2017, as the majority of the total shipped in January went to Hong Kong. Not only did the U. S. export most of its gold bullion to Hong Kong, it was the highest monthly amount in quite some time.
    Looking back at the data for the past two years, Hong Kong’s highest monthly amount of gold bullion imported from the United States was less than half of what was shipped in January. According to the USGS, the U. S. exported 31.6 metric tons (mt) of gold bullion to Hong Kong, 82% of the total 38.1 mt shipped in January:
    The four other countries that received the remaining lion’s share was, China (2 mt), India (1.6 mt), Singapore (1 mt) and Switzerland (1 mt). If we assume that most of the gold bullion exported to Hong Kong made its way into China, then if we add the other 2 mt that China received, the total gold bullion shipped to China was more like 33.6 mt.

    This post was published at SRSrocco Report on APRIL 10, 2017.

  • Tax Authorities Still Hunting for More

    Credit Suisse was raided in the hunt for tax money all throughout Europe. They took out ads last Sunday in the Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph and Observer in London, all saying that they were a ‘response to recent reports about tax probes in various European countries’. The hunt for taxes has continued to target Switzerland which the other governments blame for their own fiscal mismanagement. The prevailing view has embedded that the Swiss banks for years has helped wealthy individuals around the world to hide money. Previously, Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, in 2014 pleaded guilty and was fined $2.6 billion by U. S. authorities over charges it helped wealthy Americans evade taxes. It has also settled tax, dodging cases in Italy and Germany. The tax authorities of various government tasted first blood and now they are back for more.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Apr 9, 2017.

  • Heraeus Gold Refinery Buys Swiss Refiner Argor-Heraeus

    – Heraeus gold and precious metals refinery buys Swiss refinery Argor-Heraeus
    – Heraeus reported to have paid ‘few hundred million euros for the remaining Argor shares’
    – Argor-Heraeus ‘goodwill’ alone reported to have been valued at over ‘half a billion Swiss francs’
    – Global technology & precious metals refiner Heraeus will acquire stakes from Commerzbank and Austrian Mint
    – Heraeus involved with Argor-Heraeus since 1986
    – Swiss refinery Argor Heraeus once fully-owned by UBS
    – Heraeus to profit from Argor’s competence for gold and silver refining and international footprint
    – Prudent Germans know history and love gold
    Heraeus, the family owned German global technology and precious metals refining company has announced that it is to buy one of Switzerland’s largest gold and silver refineries, Argor-Heraeus.

    This post was published at Gold Core on April 5, 2017.

  • Shadow Banking Is Getting Bigger Without Getting Better

    Taxi companies that compete with Uber and media companies that are up against Facebook know it: In a rivalry between regulated and unregulated firms, the latter have an unfair advantage. It also applies to banks, which spent the past ten years losing market share to companies that regulators ignored.
    In a fresh working paper, Greg Buchak and Gregor Matvos of the University of Chicago, Tomasz Piskorski of Columbia Business School and Stanford’s Amit Seru calculated that between 2007 and 2015, so-called shadow banks have increased their share of the U.S. Federal Housing Administration mortgage market sevenfold to 75 percent. That’s the market where the less creditworthy borrowers get their loans. In the U.S. mortgage market as a whole, shadow banks held a 38 percent share in 2015, compared with 14 percent in 2007.
    In other markets, financial organizations that are not subject to bank regulation have flourished, too. According to the Financial Stability Board, the august body that makes recommendations to the global financial system from Basel, Switzerland, “other financial intermediaries” — the category that includes non-bank lenders but not insurance companies and pension funds — increased their assets to $80 trillion, or 23 percent of total financial assets, in 2014. Their average growth reached 5.6 percent in 2011 through 2014, while the global banking system’s assets stopped growing during that time.

    This post was published at bloomberg

  • The Market Has Its Head Buried Deep In The Sand

    Several ‘black swans’ are looming which could inflict a financial nuclear accident on the U. S. markets and financial system. I say ‘black swans’ in quotes because a limited audience is aware of these issues – potentially catastrophic problems that are curiously ignored by the mainstream financial media and financial markets.
    The most immediate problem is the Treasury debt ceiling. The Treasury is now projected to run out of cash by mid-summer. Of course, in the spurious manner in which the markets evaluate the next trade, July may as well be a decade away. My best guess is that the ‘market’ assumes that, after drawn out staging of DC’s version of Kabuki Theatre, Congress will raise the debt ceiling, probably up to $22 trillion. Then the Fed will extend its highly secretive ‘swap’ operations to foreign ‘ally’ Central Banks (hint: Belgium and Switzerland) in order to fund the onslaught of Treasury issuance that will ensue. Problem solved…or is it?
    (Note: Plan B would be another one of Trump’s bewildering Executive Orders removing the debt ceiling. Plan B is another form of ‘fiat’ currency issuance)
    The second ‘black swan’ seen by some but invisible to most is the ongoing collapse the shopping mall business model, erroneously blamed on the combative growth of online retailing. But when I look at the actual numbers, that argument smells foul.

    This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on March 29, 2017.

  • The Dollar Dump Begins: ‘China, Japan, Belgium, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia Have All Become Big Sellers’

    As global financial markets teeter on the edge of collapse, a report published this morning suggests that the run up in the U. S. dollar may be over. As of today, some 80% of post-Trump election gains have been wiped out and as noted in the special video report from Future Money Trends below, it appears that things are only going to get worse.

    This post was published at shtfplan on March 27th, 2017.

  • Swiss gold exports to India top the table in February — Lawrie Williams

    Switzerland is very much a conduit for gold flows from West to East, largely because of it being the location for four of the world’s largest independent gold refineries. (Swiss refineries are reported by http://www.bullionstar.com to account for 65-70% of world refined gold output). These refineries specialise in re-refining 0.995 London good delivery gold bars in 350-430 troy ounce sizes, and refining gold scrap, and producing the higher purity and much smaller gold bars and wafers in demand in the East, as well as producing high purity gold coins for some nations. Upwards of 1,600 tonnes a year of gold passes through these Swiss refineries, which is around half global gold production. Indeed in 2013, when Chinese demand was booming and there were big liquidations out of the gold ETFs, it is reported that Swiss gold exports exceeded 2,500 tonnes (equivalent to nearly 80% of global new mined gold output that year).
    So the importance of the Swiss gold import and export figures cannot be emphasised enough in terms of global gold flows and where they are coming from and going to. In the latest month’s figures almost 85% of the Swiss gold exports were headed for Asia.
    The West to East gold flows continue unabated.

    This post was published at Sharps Pixley