Author Archives: Keith Weiner

     

 

 

Suspect Predictions, Ill Wishes and Worthwhile Targets of Scorn

This price of gold fell three bucks, and the price of silver fell ten cents last week. Perhaps because of the ongoing $150 price drop so far since April, we saw some doozy email subjects and article headlines this week.

 

Panic on the inflation Titanic. [PT]

 

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Fundamental Developments

The price of gold dropped five bucks, and that of silver 40 cents last week. But let’s take a look at the supply and demand fundamentals of both metals. Also, we continue to follow the development in the gold-silver ratio.

 

One can buy a lot of silver for one’s gold these days. Silver has become extraordinarily cheap, but keep in mind that it was even cheaper vs. gold in the early 1990s (see the section on silver further below for the details). Nevertheless, it seems clear that the risk-reward probabilities are increasingly favoring silver.

 

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Fundamental Developments

Last week the price of gold fell three bucks, and that of silver fell a quarter of a buck. But let us take a look at the supply and demand fundamentals of both metals. Also, we have an interesting development in the gold-silver ratio, a topic we have not addressed in a while.

First, here is the chart of the prices of gold and silver.

 

Gold and silver priced in USD

 

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Fundamental Developments

While the price of gold was up $19 last week, the price of silver was unchanged. Of course, we are not going to bias our discussions of the fundamentals, based on bearish or bullish theory.

 

This week it turned out that the lighthouse is actually more solid than many people seem to think of late… [PT]

 

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Fundamental Developments –  The Gap Keeps Widening

Last week, the lighthouse went down 24 meters (gold went down $24), or 50 inches (if you prefer, silver went down 50 cents).

 

They done whacked our lighthouse! [PT]

Image credit: Skip Willits

 

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The Fundamental Price has Deteriorated, but…

Let us look at the only true picture of supply and demand in the gold and silver markets, i.e., the basis. After peaking at the end of April, our model of the fundamental price of gold came down to the level it reached last November. $1,300. Which is below the level it inhabited since Q2 2017.

We will look at an updated picture of the supply and demand picture. But first, here is the chart of the prices of gold and silver.

 

Gold and silver priced in USD

 

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FRN Muscle Flexing

Shh, don’t tell the dollar-paradigm folks that the dollar went up 0.2mg gold this week. Or if that hasn’t blown your mind, the dollar went up 0.01 grams of silver.

It’s less uncomfortable to say that gold went down $10, and silver fell $0.08. It doesn’t force anyone to confront their deeply-held beliefs about money. But it does have its own Medieval retrograde motion to explain.

 

Even the freaking leprechaun is now offering government scrip…  this really takes the cake. [PT]

 

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Aragorn’s Law or the Mysterious Absence of the Mad Rush

Last week the price of gold dropped $8, and that of silver 4 cents.  There is an interesting feature of our very marvel of a modern monetary system. We have written about this before. It sets up a conflict, between the perverse incentive it administers, and the desire to protect yourself in the long term.

 

Answer: usually when it is too late… [PT]

 

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Quantity Theory Revisited

The price of gold fell another ten bucks and that of silver another 28 cents last week. Perspective: if you are waiting for the right moment to buy, the market is offering you a better deal than it did last week (literally, the market price of gold is at a 7.2% discount to the fundamental price vs. 4.6% last week). If you wanted to sell, this wasn’t a good week to wait. Which is your intention, and why?

 

Gold vs. TMS excl. memorandum items (the latter add several 100 billion dollars to the recent total, but currency & deposit money represent the bulk of TMS-2 – we chose this version because it allowed us to make a longer-term chart). It is obvious that there is no 1:1, instantaneous correlation between the quantity of money and prices – in this case, the gold price – far from it. However, no-one is saying that anyway, as far as we are aware. The purchasing power of money depends on four factors: the supply of and the demand for money, and the supply of and demand for goods and services. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that prices are not independent of the money supply. With respect to the gold price, the chart above simply shows that there are leads and lags between the quantity of outstanding dollars and the gold price – these can certainly be lengthy, but that is what the periods when the two drift apart represent. The gold price (and all other nominal prices in the economy for that matter) would not have experienced such a large long term increase if the money supply had remained stable. Most of the time, changes in the money supply growth are not very useful for forecasting short term trends in the gold price, but the size of the money stock and the price of gold do correlate over the long term. Mises described the effect of inflation (inflation = an increase in the money supply) on prices as follows:

The course of a progressing inflation is this: At the beginning the inflow of additional money makes the prices of some commodities and services rise; other prices rise later. The price rise affects the various commodities and services, as has been shown, at different dates and to a different extent. This first stage of the inflationary process may last for many years. While it lasts, the prices of many goods and services are not yet adjusted to the altered money relation. There are still people in the country who have not yet become aware of the fact that they are confronted with a price revolution which will finally result in a considerable rise of all prices, although the extent of this rise will not be the same in the various commodities and services.” 

Elsewhere Mises remarks that economic productivity has often matched or even outpaced monetary inflation, and in those periods nominal price increases were occasionally suppressed altogether:

A sharp rise in commodity prices is not always an attending phenomenon of the boom. The increase of the quantity of fiduciary media certainly always has the potential effect of making prices rise. But it may happen that at the same time forces operating in the opposite direction are strong enough to keep the rise in prices within narrow limits or even to remove it entirely. […] As an actual historical event credit expansion was always embedded in an environment in which powerful factors were counteracting its tendency to raise prices. As a rule the resultant of the clash of opposite forces was a preponderance of those producing a rise in prices. But there were some exceptional instances too in which the upward movement of prices was only slight.” [emphasis added]

Gold is a monetary asset, i.e., the market-chosen money commodity. As such, it behaves like a currency and its long term correlation with USD money supply growth is actually quite pronounced. The supply of gold grows at a very slow pace, and as long as the market treats it like money, its price will tend to rise in the long term relative to currencies with a faster growing supply. In the short to medium term other macroeconomic factors are most of the time more important gold price drivers. It should be noted though that in today’s central bank-administered fiat money system, these other factors also tend to have a lead-lag relationship with money supply growth rates. After all, the latter are driven by central bank policy, which in turn is generally formulated in response to macroeconomic developments. [PT]

 

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Regulated to Death

The price of gold fell $13, and that of silver $0.23. Perspective: if you’re waiting for the right moment to buy, the market now offers you a better than it did last week. If you wanted to sell, this wasn’t a good week to wait. Which is your intention, and why?

 

We are rather late posting Keith’s supply & demand update this week, so we felt we might as well add an updated chart of the divergences we recently discussed. This week gold has dropped quite a bit further, but the bullish divergences between gold and gold equities have stubbornly persisted. Such market behavior is virtually always meaningful (at least we cannot remember the last time when it hasn’t been). [PT]

 

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Waving the White Flag

The price of gold rose two bucks last week, though the price of silver fell 10 cents. We have seen several analyses recently predicting big price drops, in one case by at least $500 in gold by the end of the year.

Is this what capitulation looks like? It’s said they don’t ring a bell at the top, but they don’t ring a bell at the bottom either.

 

The give-up moment arrives… [PT]

 

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Race to the Bottom

Last week the price of gold fell $17, and that of silver $0.30. Why? We can tell you about the fundamentals. We can show charts of the basis. But we can’t get into the heads of the sellers.

 

Other people’s fiat: in the global race to the bottom, it was recently the turn of emerging market currencies to tank. [PT]

 

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THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

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