Category Archives: Precious Metals

The Historical Stock Bubble And Undervalued Gold And Silver

When the hedge fund algos inevitably turn the other way and unload stocks, a meaningful amount of the capital that leaves the stock market will likely rush into gold and silver.  The record hedge fund net short position on the Comex will add fuel to the move in gold/silver.

James Anderson of Silver Doctors/SD Bullion invited me to discuss the largest stock bubble in U.S. history and why gold is extremely undervalued relative to the U.S. dollar.  (Note:  at the 20:44 mark I reference China’s foreign reserves to be $1.2 trillion. This is the dollar amount of China’s reserves; China’s total foreign reserve is $3 trillion).

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Hedge Funds Record Net Short Paper Gold

The latest commitment of traders report (COT report) showed that the hedge funds on the Comex (the “managed money” account) is now net short 33.9k contract of paper gold.  This is a record net short position in paper gold for the managed money account on the Comex.  The previous all-time high was 27.2k contracts at the end of December 2015.

This explains a lot to me about the character of the price decline in gold since early April. Just like in the stock market, the large macro “quant” funds use computer algorithms to momentum trade Comex futures. It’s this factor that caused the price of gold to drop quickly once it went below its 50 dma on April 12th. The shift to a net short positioned reflects hedge fund computers unloading long positions and piling into the short side.

At some point this dynamic will go the other way and, at the very least, there will be a significant short-covering rally as the hedge fund positioning swings back the other way. This will really get interesting if the hedge fund algo move to cover  shorts on the Comex at the same time the stock market heads south again. This would  stimulate a hedge fund algo party that could finally send gold over $1400.

The Mining Stock Journal focuses on junior exploration mining stock ideas and, on a selective basis, larger-cap producing mining stocks. You can learn more about this newsletter here:  Mining Stock Journal information

Tuesday’s Paper Gold Raid And Fake Journalism

“Central banks stand ready to lease gold in increasing quantities should the price rise.” – Alan Greenspan, July 1998 testimony to Congress

At 8:39 a.m. EST 523,200 ozs of paper gold were unloaded onto the Comex in the space of less one minute:

Anyone who’s traded big positions on a trading desk knows that the best way to unload a position that is larger than the immediate liquidity of the market in which the security trades (yes, Comex contracts are “securities,” not actual physical gold) is to feed it out over time.

In that chart above, why wouldn’t the seller try to sell its position in a way that would enable it to get a price for the entire position that was in the vicinity of the market price at the time the sell-order was executed? After all, the market has clearly rebounded to the price level at the time massive sell-order bombed the trading systems, suggesting that the seller could have achieved much larger sell proceeds with a little bit of patience in its selling

This is all rhetorical, of course, because the all-too familiar “fishing line” 1-minute chart is the blatant footprint of market manipulation. Of course, Kitco’s “reporter” on the scene chose to attribute the sudden price plunge to a market “hamstrung by not much risk aversion in the world marketplace” Kitco.com.

It’s hard to believe an educated person wrote that commentary (“Gold Prices Sink To 4-Month Low On Scant Risk Aversion” by Jim Wycoff). Honestly, that headline makes me chuckle. Well then, Jim, the Dow is now up 153 points as I write this 5 hours later, which by your logic would imply there’s even less risk aversion than the “scant” risk aversion at 8:39 a.m.  How come, Jim,  the price of gold rebounded to the level where it was trading when fear of “scant” risk aversion triggered someone to unload 16 tons of paper gold in less than 60 seconds if indeed fear of scant risk aversion was the catalyst for sell order?

How Banks Create Money Out Of Thin Air

“The credit creation theory was something I intuitively grasped before from other alt-media sites, John nailed it down.” – Comment from someone who watched the podcast below

The “money supply” number as provided by official Federal Reserve statistics, it turns out, is not the true money supply. The fractional banking system allows banks to lend money on its reserve capital at a rate of 90 cents for every $1 of reserve capital. Technically, a loan is not considered “money creation” because of the legal provision that a loan has to be paid back. Because of this legal “glitch,” the creation of credit is not considered to be part of the money supply.

Yet, borrowed money behaves in the economy exactly like printed money until that point in time at which the borrow must pay back the loan. The spending power created by the creation of credit is identical to the spending power of printed money. The person or entity doing the spending does not know the difference.

This means that the amount of debt issued and outstanding by the U.S. Treasury should be added to the “official” money supply number (for example, M2) in order to calculate the true supply of money circulating in the system.  This especially true because the amount of debt issued by the U.S. Government increases in quantity on a daily basis – it’s never repaid (anything considered “repaid” has been repaid with new debt).

In this podcast, which is the latest segment of John Titus’ “Mafiacracy” series, Titus explains how and why it is that banks create money out of thin air. Once you understand the principles reviewed in this podcast, you’ll understand how the U.S. became a giant Ponzi Scheme:

Gold And Silver May Be Setting Up For A Big Move

Gold and silver are historically undervalued relative to the stock and bond markets. The junior mining stocks overall are at their most undervalued relative to the price of gold since 2001. Gold’s relative performance during the quarter, when the stock market had its best quarterly performance in many decades, is evidence of the underlying strength building in the precious metals sector.

Furthermore, the stock market is an accident waiting to happen. By several traditional financial metrics, the current stock market is at its most extreme valuation level in history. This will not end well for those who have not positioned their portfolio in advance of the economic and financial hurricane that is beginning to “move onshore.”

Bill Powers invited on to his Mining Stock Education podcast to discuss the precious metals sector and the economy:

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You can learn more about  Investment Research Dynamics newsletters by following these links (note: a miniumum subscription period beyond the 1st month is not required):  Short Seller’s Journal subscription information   –   Mining Stock Journal subscription information

The Divergence Between Stocks And Reality Is Insane

“They may try to run this poor thing straight up and over a cliff. Recall the 2000 top was in March but they briefly ran it back in Sep 00. Ditto in Oct 07. When warning signs are ignored, the endings are abrupt. Maintain safety nets, but don’t assume stupidity has limits.” – John Hussman

This is the nastiest bear market rally that I have seen in my over 34 years of experience as a  financial markets professional. It would be a mistake to make the assumption that there has  not been some official intervention to help the stock market recover from the December sell-off.

Rob Kientz of goldsilverpros.com – a relatively new website that focuses on gold and silver market news and research – and I had a conversation about the extreme negative divergence between the economy and the stock market. And, of course, we discussed gold, silver and mining stocks:

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If you are interested in ideas for taking advantage of the inevitable systemic reset that  will hit the U.S. financial and economic system, check out either of these newsletters:   Short Seller’s Journal  information and more about the Mining Stock Journal here:   Mining Stock Journal information.

Will Gold Continue Higher Despite Efforts To Keep It Capped?

“At the exact time that the one asset is supposed to defend against reckless Fed monetary policies should be going higher, it’s going the opposite way…and you’re telling me this isnt’ a  manipulated market?”

The current period reminds of 2008.  The price of gold was overtly manipulated lower ahead of the de facto collapse of the financial system. It’s highly probable the Central Banks are once again setting up the markets for another financial collapse, which is why it’s important for them to remove the dead canary from the coal mine before the worker bees see it.

Craig “Turd Ferguson” Hemke invited me to join him in a discussion about the large drop in the price of gold last week and why it points to official intervention in the gold market for the purpose of removing the warning signal a rising gold price transmits about the growing risk of financial and economic collapse.

You can click on the sound bar below or follow this link:  TF Metals Report to listen to our conversation.

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The Paper Raid On The Gold Price

Gold was smacked $22 from top to bottom overnight and this morning.  It was a classic paper derivative raid on the gold price, which was implemented after the large physical gold buyers in the eastern hemisphere had closed shop for the day.  This is what it looks like visually:

As you can see, as each key physical gold trading/delivery market closes, the price of gold is taken lower. The coup de grace occurs when the Comex gold pit opens. The Comex is a pure paper market, as very little physical gold is ever removed from the vaults and the paper derivative open interest far exceeds the amount gold that is reported to be held in the Comex vaults (note: the warehouse reports compiled by the banks that control the Comex are never independently audited).

Today technically is first notice day for April gold contracts despite March 29th as the official designation. Any account with a long position that does not intend to take delivery naturally sells its long position in April contracts. Any account not funded to accommodate a delivery is liquidated by 5 p.m. the day before first notice. This dynamic contributes to the ease with which a paper raid on the gold price can be successfully implemented.

In all probability the price of gold (June gold basis) will likely not stay below $1300 for long. China’s demand has been picking up and India’s importation of gold is running quite heavy for this time of the year. Soon India will be entering a seasonal festival period and gold imports will increase even more. Today’s price hit will likely stimulate more buying from India on Friday.

Recession Fears Fading? ROFLMAO

The news headlines explained the sudden jump in the S&P futures this morning by stating that “recession fears had faded.”  Just like that. Overnight.  I guess the fact that the housing starts report showed a 9% sequential drop in housing starts last month and and a year-over-year 10% plunge means that the housing market is no longer considered part of the economy.

That report was followed by a highly negative March consumer confidence report which included that largest drop in the “present situation” index since 2008.  What’s stunning about this report is that consumer confidence usually is highly correlated with the directional movement of the S&P 500. Obviously this would have suggested that consumer confidence should be soaring.

I explained to my Short Seller Journal subscribers that, once it became obvious the Fed would eventually have to start cutting rates and resuming QE, the stock market might sell-off. I think that’s what we saw on Friday. The “tell-tale” is the inversion in the Treasury yield curve. It’s now inverted out to 7 years when measured between the 1-yr and 7-yr rate. On Friday early the spread between the 3-month T-Bill and the 10-yr Treasury yield inverted. This has occurred on six occasions over the last 50 years. Each time an “officially declared” recession followed lasting an average of 311 days.

The yield curve inversion is a very powerful signal that economy is in far worse shape than any Fed or Government official is willing to admit. the Treasury yield curve “discounts” economic growth expectations. An upward sloping yield curve is the sign that the bond market expects healthy economic growth and potential price inflation. An inverted curve is just the opposite. If you hear or read any analysis that “it’s different this time,” please ignore it. It’s not different.

The inverted yield curve is broadcasting a recession. For many households, this country has been in a recession since 2008. That’s why debt levels have soared as easy access to credit has enabled 80% of American households to maintain their standard of living. The yield curve is telling us that credit availability will tighten considerably and the recession will hit the rest of us. This is what Friday’s stock market was about, notwithstanding the overtly obvious intervention to keep the S&P 500 above the 2800 level on Monday and today.

Without a doubt, through the “magic” of “seasonal adjustments” imposed on monthly data we might get some statistically generated economic reports which will be construed by the propagandists as showing “green shoots.” Run, run as far away as possible from this analysis. The average household has debt bulging from every orifice. In fact, the entire U.S. economic system is bursting at the seams from an 8-year debt binge. It’s not a question of “if” the economy will collapse, it’s more a matter of “when.”

The U.S. Economy Is In Big Trouble

“You’ve really seen the limits of monetary and fiscal policy in its ability to extend out a long boom period.” – Josh Friedman, Co-Chairman of Canyon Partners (a “deep value,” credit-driven hedge fund)

The Fed’s abrupt policy reversal says it all. No more rate hikes (yes, one is “scheduled” for 2020 but that’s fake news) and the balance sheet run-off is being “tapered” but will stop in September. Do not be surprised if it ends sooner. Listening to Powell explain the decision or reading the statement released is a waste of time. The truth is reflected in the deed. The motive is an attempt to prevent the onset economic and financial chaos. It’s really as simple as that. See Occam’s Razor if you need an explanation.

As the market began to sell-off in March, the Fed’s FOMC foot soldiers began to discuss further easing of monetary policy and hinted at the possibility, if necessary, of introducing “radical” monetary policies. This references Bernanke’s speech ahead of the roll-out QE1. Before QE1 was implemented, Bernanke said that it was meant to be a temporary solution to an extreme crisis. Eight-and-a-half years and $4.5 trillion later, the Fed is going to end its balance sheet reduction program after little more than a 10% reversal of QE and it’s hinting at re-starting QE. Make no mistake, the 60 Minutes propaganda hit-job was a thinly veiled effort to prop up the stock market and instill confidence in the Fed’s policies.

Economic data is showing further negative divergence from the rally in the stock market. The Census Bureau finally released January new home sales, which showed a 6.9% drop from December. Remember, the data behind the report is seasonally adjusted and converted to an annualized rate. This theoretically removes the seasonal effects of lower home sales in December and January. The Census Bureau (questionably) revised December’s sales up to 652k SAAR from 621k SAAR. But January’s SAAR was still 2.3% below the original number reported. New home sales are tanking despite the fact that median sales price was 3.7% below January 2018 and inventory soared 18%.

LGI Homes reported that in January it deliveries declined year-over-year (and sequentially) and Toll Brothers reported a shocking 24% in new orders. None of the homebuilders are willing to give forward guidance.  LGI’s average sale price is well below $200k, so “affordability” and “supply” are not the problem (it’s the economy, stupid).

The upward revision to December’s new home sales report is questionable because it does not fit the mortgage purchase application data as reported in December. New homes sales are recorded when a contract is signed. 90% of all new construction homes are purchased with a mortgage. If purchase applications are dropping, it is 99% certain that new home sales are dropping. With the November number revised down 599k, and mortgage purchase applications falling almost every week in December, it’s 99% likely that new home sales at best were flat from November to December. In other words, the original Census Bureau guesstimate was probably closer to the truth.

The chart to the right shows the year-over-year change in the number of new homes (yr/yr change in the number of units as estimated by the Census Bureau) sold for each month. I added the downward sloping trend channel to help illustrate the general decline in new home sales. As you can see, the trend began declining in early 2015.

Recall that it was in January 2015 that Fannie Mae and Feddie Mac began reducing the qualification requirements for Government-backed “conforming” mortgages, starting with reducing the down payment requirement from 5% to 3%. For the next three years, the Government continued to lower this bar to expand the pool of potential homebuyers and reduce the monthly payment burden. This was on top of the Fed artificially taking interest rates down to all-time lows. In other words, the powers that be connected to the housing market and the policy-makers at the Fed and the Government knew that the housing market was growing weak and have gone to great lengths in an attempt to defer a housing market disaster. Short of making 0% down payments a standard feature of Government-guaranteed mortgage programs, I’m not sure what else can be done help put homebuyers into homes they can’t afford.

I do expect, at the very least, that we might see a “statistical” bounce in the numbers to show up over the couple of existing and new home sale reports (starting with February’s numbers). Both the NAR and the Government will likely “stretch” seasonal adjustments imposed on the data to squeeze out reports which show gains plus it looks like purchase mortgage applications may have bounced a bit in February and March, though the data was “choppy” (i.e. positive one week and negative the next).

E-commerce sales for Q4 reported last week showed a 2% annualized growth rate, down from 2.6% in Q3. Q3 was revised lower from the 3.1% originally reported. This partially explains why South Korea’s exports were down 19.1% last month, German industrial production was down 3.3%, China auto sales tanked 15% and Japan’s tool orders plummeted 29.3%. The global economy is at its weakest since the financial crisis.

It would be a mistake to believe that the U.S. is not contributing to this. The Empire State manufacturing survey index fell to 3.7 in March from 8.8 in February. Wall Street’s finest were looking for an index reading of 10. New orders are their weakest since May 2017. Like the Philly Fed survey index, this index has been in general downtrend since mid-2017. The downward slope of the trendline steepened starting around June 2018. Industrial production for February was said to have nudged up 0.1% from January. But this was attributable to a weather-related boost for utilities. The manufacturing index fell 0.4%. Wall Street was thinking both indices would rise 0.4%. Oops.

The economy is over-leveraged with debt at every level to an extreme and the Fed knows it. Economic activity is beginning  to head off of a cliff. The Fed knows that too. The Fed has access to much more in-depth, thorough and accurate data than is made available to the public. While it’s not obvious from its public posture, the Fed knows the system is in trouble. The Fed’s abrupt policy reversal is an act of admission. I would say the odds that the Fed starts printing money again before the end of 2019 is better than 50/50 now. The “smartest” money is moving quickly into cash. Corporate insiders are unloading shares at a record pace. It’s better to look stupid now than to be one a bagholder later.