Lawrence Williams: Hong Kong-China gold exports weak again, but does it matter?

Reported Hong Kong net exports of gold to mainland China were again at an extremely low level in August at a mere 21.1 tonnes.  In previous years the Hong Kong figures have been taken by global gold analysts as something of a proxy for total Chinese gold imports, even though gold was known to have entered the Chinese mainland by other routes, but this had been assumed to be in relatively insignificant quantities.  This year, though, China has eased the path to passage of gold through other ports of entry – notably Shanghai and Beijing – for which no data is forthcoming and given that this easing coincides with the apparent downturn in the Hong Kong figures, it could well be the case that imports via these alternative routes have been replacing gold which had previously come in via Hong Kong.
On the face of things, if one takes the Hong Kong figures for net gold exports to China alone (see table below), Chinese demand appears to have fallen by a massive 33% this year from 725 tonnes to 485 tonnes.  But this is belied by figures for withdrawals from the Shanghai Gold Exchange which are only down by around half this percentage, and which have been particularly strong in the past few weeks.  This has also coincided with price premiums over the London gold price again appearing in Shanghai.

This post was published at Mineweb

8 Stunning Images That Show How Much Natural Resources Are Mined Each Year

The market for precious metals is not as big as you might think.
One year's worth of mined platinum is only the size of a car. But it's worth about $8 billion.
Visual Capitalist took one year's production of eight commodities, lumped each of them into a three-dimensional cubes, and put them next to landmarks around the world.
They also calculated the value of each cube.

This post was published at Business Insider

Six banks in U.K. talks over forex manipulation fines

Six banks have entered settlement discussions with the U.K.'s main markets regulator over the alleged manipulation of foreign exchange in what could amount to record fines.
Each of the banks — Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland, and UBS — are facing fines in the hundreds of millions of pounds from the Financial Conduct Authority, according to people familiar with the situation.
The settlement talks, which typically last eight weeks, are only with the FCA and do not include the United States or any other domestic regulator.

This post was published at GATA

Doug Noland: What We Know

Heightened global market instability has began to be transmitted to U.S. securities markets.
There’s much that we simply don’t know. There is as well a lot we know with an important degree of confidence.
Some months back I highlighted an exceptional Bank of America Merrill Lynch research report, “Pig in the Python – the EM Carry Trade Unwind” (Ajay Singh Kapur, Ritesh Samadhiya and Umesha de Silva). Especially in light of recent market developments, it’s a good time to revisit this thesis and highlight some of their data.
From “Pig in the Python,” February 2014: “Since 3Q2008, the US Federal Reserve QE has unleashed a massive $2 TN debt-driven carry trade into emerging markets, disproportionately increasing their forex reserves (by $2.7 TN from end-3Q 2008), their monetary bases (by $3.2 TN), their credit and monetary aggregates (M2 up by $14.9 TN), consequently boosting economic growth and asset prices (mainly property and bonds). As the Fed continues to taper its heterodox policy, we believe these large carry trades are likely to diminish, or be unwound.”

This post was published at Prudent Bear

‘Bond King’ Bill Gross quits Pimco for Janus

Bill Gross, the bond market's most renowned investor, quit Pimco for distant rival Janus Capital Group Inc on Friday, the day before he was expected to be fired from the huge investment firm he co-founded more than 40 years ago.
Gross, 70, had been clashing with the firm's executive committee and had threatened to resign multiple times, a source familiar with the situation said. The committee had planned to accept his latest resignation from the post of chief investment officer on Saturday.
The surprise development, which rattled the U.S. bond market, came the day before Pimco and its parent, German insurer Allianz SE, planned to dismiss Gross, the source said.
Gross will manage the Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund beginning on Monday, Janus said in a statement. The fund, started in May, has just $13 million in assets.

This post was published at Yahoo

Tapes showing meek oversight of Goldman are about to rock Wall Street

Wall Street is about to be rocked by secretly recorded audio tapes that purport to show a too-cozy relationship between the New York Federal Reserve Bank and the financial institutions it is supposed to regulate.
The 45 hours of tapes, made by Carmen Segarra, a former NY Fed worker, capture former co-workers, whose job was to keep banks like Goldman Sachs in line, instead deferring to the banks, being unwilling to take action and being extremely passive, according to public radio’s ‘This American Life,’ andProPublica which obtained the tapes and is scheduled to air a program about the matter Friday night.
Segarra, ironically, was hired by the NY Fed in October 2011 to help toughen up their oversight. She was fired in 2013 after, she claims in a lawsuit, she tried to get Goldman to toe the line on regulations…

This post was published at New York Post on September 26, 2014.