Soaring Ratio

The big news is that the gold-silver ratio closed at 80. This is not only a new high for the move. It’s higher than it has been since 2008.

It is also exactly what Monetary Metals has been calling for. Last week, we said the gold fundamental price was $1,450 and the silver fundamental price was $14.90 (i.e. a fundamental value for the ratio over 97 last week). This week, the ratio moved up, and it’s now 1.3 points closer. In other words, silver got cheaper when measured in gold terms.

 

Scrooge_McDuck_dollarUncle McDuck has a speculator’s eyes …

Image credit: Walt Disney

 

We had a soggy dollars spotting this week (our term for an article that’s misleading or based on false assumptions). A gold mining executive declared that the people are losing faith in the central banks. The take-away was clear: the gold trade is on again! buy gold now, to make big profit$.

It should be bloody obvious that he just wants you to bid up the price of the product his company sells (i.e. gold). He wants to make money (i.e. dollars).

But that aside, our larger point is that articles like this (and there are plenty of them) are quite ironic. When there is a loss of faith, there will be a great paradigm shift. No longer will people think of gold going up, but of the dollar going down (and finally, collapsing). That is not occurring today.

These articles exist just to rationalize a trade. The dollar still enjoys the full faith of everyone—most especially the gold bugs who need a currency in which to measure the worth of their gold, and in which to take their profit$ when they sell.

 

Fundamental Developments

Read on for the only true picture of the gold and silver supply and demand fundamentals…

But first, here’s the graph of the metals’ prices.

 

chart-1-pricesGold and silver prices – click to enlarge.

 

We are interested in the changing equilibrium created when some market participants are accumulating hoards and others are dishoarding. Of course, what makes it exciting is that speculators can (temporarily) exaggerate or fight against the trend. The speculators are often acting on rumors, technical analysis, or partial data about flows into or out of one corner of the market. That kind of information can’t tell them whether the globe, on net, is hoarding or dishoarding.

One could point out that gold does not, on net, go into or out of anything. Yes, that is true. But it can come out of hoards and into carry trades. That is what we study. The gold basis tells us about this dynamic.

Conventional techniques for analyzing supply and demand are inapplicable to gold and silver, because the monetary metals have such high inventories. In normal commodities, inventories divided by annual production (stocks to flows) can be measured in months. The world just does not keep much inventory in wheat or oil.

With gold and silver, stocks to flows is measured in decades. Every ounce of those massive stockpiles is potential supply. Everyone on the planet is potential demand. At the right price, and under the right conditions. Looking at incremental changes in mine output or electronic manufacturing is not helpful to predict the future prices of the metals. For an introduction and guide to our concepts and theory, click here.

 

Next, this is a graph of the gold price measured in silver, otherwise known as the gold to silver ratio. The ratio was up to a new record weekly close.

 

chart-2-gold-silver ratioGold-silver ratio – click to enlarge.

 

For each metal, we will look at a graph of the basis and cobasis overlaid with the price of the dollar in terms of the respective metal. It will make it easier to provide brief commentary. The dollar will be represented in green, the basis in blue and cobasis in red.

 

Here is the gold graph.

 

chart-3-gold basis and co-basis and dollar priceGold basis and co-basis and the dollar price – click to enlarge.

 

The dollar went up a quarter of a milligram (i.e. the price of gold fell nine bucks). And the scarcity of gold (i.e. the cobasis, shown in red) fell a little.

That said, there’s still quite a bit of scarcity in the gold market. Although our fundamental price of gold is down 13 bucks, it’s still over $1,435. And that’s over $200 over the current market price.

Our prediction of a rising gold-to-silver ratio is not based on the common pattern of both metals going down — in dollar terms — with silver going down more.

As we noted in a prior report, it becomes easier to see in gold terms. The dollar and silver are both going down now — in gold terms.

Now let’s look at silver.

 

chart-4-silver basis and co-basis and dollar priceSilver basis and co-basis and the dollar price – click to enlarge.

 

Intraday Volatility in Silver Spot vs. Futures Prices

We finally switched from looking at the March silver contract to the May contract. First Notice Day for March is a week from Monday and the bases are becoming very volatile. That said, and unlike in the past, the silver basis for March is still positive. We coined the term temporary backwardation, because contracts for gold and silver—and silver much more than gold—tended to tip into backwardation as they approached expiry. Not in silver now, at this price.

Unlike the trivial price move in gold, the one in silver was more substantial — 40 cents. The silver co-basis (our scarcity indicator) barely budged. It’s still in the basement, rising from -1.55% to -1.51%. For reference, the gold co-basis is -0.32%.

We have been observing a pattern for several weeks. We wrote about this phenomenon a while back. I am talking about “icicles” on the price chart [ed note: or “shadows” in candlestick charting parlance]. They occur in the spot price, but not futures. Here is a picture of most of the trading day (times are Arizona time).

 

chart-5-silver futures and spot FridaySilver futures and spot prices during Friday’s trading

 

Notice the visual difference between the two. Spot has these dripping lines, where the price temporarily fell but then recovered before the close of the time period. These happen to be 15-minute candles, but the same thing occurs with other periods. If you watch it in real time, you see the price drop, then drop, then drop, then snap back. Repeatedly. This has been going on for weeks.

On the futures chart, the drooping lines are much less frequent, and appear more balanced with lines above (like what one would expect with normal market price fluctuations during any 15-minute block on any actively traded security).

What does it mean?

We think it shows in the price chart what we see in the basis. The silver basis is showing weak demand. For the May contract, the basis is 78 bps. This is the yield (quoted as an annualized percentage) that you can earn by carrying silver — buying metal and selling a future against it. It’s a spread, with no price risk, for a 3-month position. For reference, 3-month LIBOR is about 60 bps. The silver carry trade is attractive right now. Certainly, it’s much more attractive than carrying April gold, which yields 13 bps (annualized).

We think that what’s happening is that the price of silver metal is selling down, and every time the carry rises to a threshold, arbitrageurs are buying spot to sell futures and pocket that spread. If they wait for opportune moments, we’re sure they can make over 1%.

The marginal demand for silver is to go into carry trades, into the warehouse (we do not mean necessarily to be stored in a COMEX approved depository and this has nothing to do with those persistent rumors that the COMEX depositories are running out of metal, that they’ve sold the metal 100 times over, etc.) We are looking at marginal supply and marginal demand here.

The risk is that today’s marginal demand—namely the warehouse—can turn off abruptly. And it can become tomorrow’s supply. Silver in the futures market — silver paper, you will — has more robust demand than silver metal in the spot market.

Metal, of course, is often bought unleveraged by hoarders. Paper is often bought by speculators, who could be using 10:1 leverage. We realize that this is not the narrative that circulates in the silver bug community. Yet these icicles on the price chart offers another look, using a different data set than what Monetary Metals normally focuses on.

The fundamental price of silver fell a few pennies more than the market price this week. It’s about 80 cents below market.

The fundamental price of the ratio rose even more.

 

Charts by: Monetary Metals

 

Dr. Keith Weiner is the president of the Gold Standard Institute USA, and CEO of Monetary Metals. Keith is a leading authority in the areas of gold, money, and credit and has made important contributions to the development of trading techniques founded upon the analysis of bid-ask spreads. Keith is a sought after speaker and regularly writes on economics. He is an Objectivist, and has his PhD from the New Austrian School of Economics. He lives with his wife near Phoenix, Arizona.

 

 
 

Emigrate While You Can... Learn More

 
 

 
 

Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our so-called “semiannual” funding drive, which started sometime in the summer if memory serves, has seamlessly segued into the winter. In fact, the year is almost over! We assure you this is not merely evidence of our chutzpa; rather, it is indicative of the fact that ad income still needs to be supplemented in order to support upkeep of the site. Naturally, the traditional benefits that can be spontaneously triggered by donations to this site remain operative regardless of the season - ranging from a boost to general well-being/happiness (inter alia featuring improved sleep & appetite), children including you in their songs, up to the likely allotment of privileges in the afterlife, etc., etc., but the Christmas season is probably an especially propitious time to cross our palms with silver. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.

   

Bitcoin address: 1DRkVzUmkGaz9xAP81us86zzxh5VMEhNke

   
 

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • How to Stick It to Your Banker, the Federal Reserve, and the Whole Doggone Fiat Money System
      Bernanke Redux Somehow, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke found time from his busy hedge fund advisory duties last week to tell his ex-employer how to do its job.  Namely, he recommended to his former cohorts at the Fed how much they should reduce the Fed’s balance sheet by.  In other words, he told them how to go about cleaning up his mess.   Praise the Lord! The Hero is back to tell us what to do! Why, oh why have you ever left, oh greatest central planner of all...
  • India: Why its Attempt to Go Digital Will Fail
      India Reverts to its Irrational, Tribal Normal (Part XIII) Over the three years in which Narendra Modi has been in power, his support base has continued to increase. Indian institutions — including the courts and the media — now toe his line. The President, otherwise a ceremonial rubber-stamp post, but the last obstacle keeping Modi from implementing a police state, comes up for re-election by a vote of the legislative houses in July 2017.  No one should be surprised if a Hindu...
  • Moving Closer to the Precipice
      Money Supply and Credit Growth Continue to Falter The decline in the growth rate of the broad US money supply measure TMS-2 that started last November continues, but the momentum of the decline has slowed last month (TMS = “true money supply”).  The data were recently updated to the end of April, as of which the year-on-year growth rate of TMS-2 is clocking in at 6.05%, a slight decrease from the 6.12% growth rate recorded at the end of March. It remains the slowest y/y growth since...
  • What is the Buffet Indicator Saying About Gold?
      Chugging along in Nosebleed Territory Last Friday, both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite indexes closed at record highs in the US, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average only a whisker away from its peak set in March. What has often been called the “most hated bull market in history” thus far continues  to chug along in defiance of its detractors.   Can current stock market valuations tell us something about the future trend in gold prices? Yes, they actually...
  • The 21st Century Has Been a Big, Fat Flop
      Seeming Contradiction CACHI, ARGENTINA – Here at the Diary we have fun ridiculing the pretensions, absurdities, and hypocrisies of the ruling classes. But there is a serious side to it, too. Mockery makes us laugh. And laughing helps us wiggle free from the kudzu of fake news.   Is it real? Is it real? Is it real? Above you can see what the problem with reality is, or potentially is, in a 6-phase research undertaking that has landed its protagonist in a very disagreeable...
  • A Cloud Hangs Over the Oil Sector
      Endangered Recovery As we noted in a recent corporate debt update on occasion of the troubles Neiman-Marcus finds itself in (see “Cracks in Ponzi Finance Land”), problems are set to emerge among high-yield borrowers in the US retail sector this year. This happens just as similar problems among low-rated borrowers in the oil sector were mitigated by the rally in oil prices since early 2016. The recovery in the oil sector seems increasingly endangered though.   Too many oil...
  • Will Gold or Silver Pay the Higher Interest Rate?
      The Wrong Approach This question is no longer moot. As the world moves inexorably towards the use of metallic money, interest on gold and silver will return with it. This raises an important question. Which interest rate will be higher?   It’s instructive to explore a wrong, but popular, view. I call it the purchasing power paradigm. In this view, the value of money — its purchasing power —is 1/P (where P is the price level). Inflation is the rate of decline of...
  • Rising Oil Prices Don't Cause Inflation
      Correlation vs. Causation A very good visual correlation between the yearly percentage change in the consumer price index (CPI) and the yearly percentage change in the price of oil seems to provide support to the popular thinking that future changes in price inflation in the US are likely to be set by the yearly growth rate in the price of oil (see first chart below).   Gushing forth... a Union Oil Co. oil well sometime early in the 20th century   But is it valid to...
  • Warnings from Mount Vesuvius
      When Mount Vesuvius Blew   “Injustice, swift, erect, and unconfin’d, Sweeps the wide earth, and tramples o’er mankind” – Homer, The Iliad   Everything was just the way it was supposed to be in Pompeii on August 24, 79 A.D.  The gods had bestowed wealth and abundance upon the inhabitants of this Roman trading town.  Things were near perfect.   Frescoes in the so-called “Villa of the Mysteries” in Pompeii, presumed to depict scenes from a...
  • A Bumper Under that Silver Elevator – Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      The Problem with Mining If you can believe the screaming headline, one of the gurus behind one of the gold newsletters is going all-in to gold, buying a million dollars of mining shares. If (1) gold is set to explode to the upside, and (2) mining shares are geared to the gold price, then he stands to get seriously rich(er).   As this book attests to, some people have a very cynical view of mining...  We would say there is a time for everything. For instance, when gold went ...
  • Silver Elevator Keeps Going Down – Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Frexit Threat Macronized The dollar moved strongly, and is now over 25mg gold and 1.9g silver. This was a holiday-shortened week, due to the Early May bank holiday in the UK. The lateral entrant wakes up, preparing to march on, avenge the disinherited and let loose with fresh rounds of heavy philosophizing... we can't wait! [PT]   The big news as we write this, Macron beat Le Pen in the French election. We suppose this means markets can continue to do what they wanted...
  • The Knives Come Out for Trump
      A Minor Derailment GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – Yesterday, stocks fell. And volatility shot up.   When too many people have too many knives out at once, accidental cubism may result   Reports Bloomberg:   The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 370 points, Treasuries rallied the most since July and volatility spiked higher as the turmoil surrounding the Trump administration roiled financial markets around the globe. Major U.S. stock indexes...

Support Acting Man

Austrian Theory and Investment

Own physical gold and silver outside a bank

Archive

j9TJzzN

350x200

Realtime Charts

 

Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from www.kitco.com]

 

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

 
Buy Silver Now!
 
Buy Gold Now!
 

Oilprice.com