... is a mini-journal about most interesting developments in the alternative investing arena. It ...
• gives you our unique multi-cultural and multi-geographic take on the events and scenarios we are experiencing in today's global economic, political and investment scene.
• keeps you up-to-date with news and other postings relating to the alternative investing content.
• lets you know whenever any new web pages appear on Inflation-Proof Investor, telling you about a new find or interesting aspect.
We read a vast quantity of material every day, mostly on the markets, economy, and of course the precious metals. Of all the material we read perhaps three or four of them will be "bloged" to those that care to see what we read and to those that follow these markets closely do not want to miss. If interested, please click on that orange button on the left bottom of the page to subscribe to our RSS feed.
|For even more in depth discussions join our Inflation-Proof Investor LinkedIn community.||
China ended years of speculation about its official gold holdings by revealing an almost 60 percent jump in its reserves since 2009.
The country's central bank said its gold reserves were 1,658 tonnes (53.31 million fine troy ounces) as of the end of June. In April 2009, reserves were 1,054 tonnes.
The purchases show how China is seeking to diversify its reserves away from the US dollar at a time when the price of gold has fallen to near its lowest price since 2010.
But that task has been complicated by the rapid growth in China's foreign exchange reserves, which are the world's largest at over $3 trillion.
There is a tendency that things in the universe repeat. One of the very controversial and disturbing phenomenons are cycles, especially war cycles.
Marc Faber, author of the notorious "Gloom, Boom and Doom Report, expects the gold price to rise by 30% in response to the slump in economic growth.
Marc Faber says the gold price has had its greatest loss and the price will regain strength. When this whappes it will be substantial, says Faber during a meeting of Societe Generale in London, where he explicitly mentioned the figure of 30%.
The gold price rose today 0.9% to $ 1,242 per troy ounce, 31.1 grams. Faber expects that gold, which is the traditional refuge for investors, will rise so quickly because the public is losing faith in central bankers.
Therefore he goes long in gold, silver and platinum. Gold has, since its peak in September 2011, declined 35% from its 1900 US dollars high. This year, however, the precious metal trades 4% higher.
Precious metals are in relation to inflated real estate, stocks, bonds and even art relatively cheap to invest in, according to Faber.
A couple of weeks ago, a long time subscriber correctly pointed out that I seemed to be speculating more than usual in my conclusion that JPMorgan was the big buyer of Silver Eagles and had accumulated as many as 300 million oz of silver, including Eagles and bullion. The subscriber noted that I usually relied on hard core facts that could be documented and not on speculation. As it turns out, I believe there are sufficient number of hard facts behind my speculation, but I had failed to point them out. So let me present the facts, as I see them, that point to JPMorgan having amassed the largest physical silver position in history.
First, let me set out what I am suggesting concerning JPMorgan and silver. I’m not suggesting I knew all the facts as they were developing, but I came to see them only afterward with the benefit of hindsight. The facts show that JPMorgan took over Bear Stearns and its concentrated short position in COMEX silver (and gold) in March 2008 when silver was close to $21, the highest level to that point in 28 years. The price of silver fell from that level in an irregular pattern until late 2010, while JPMorgan both decreased (bought back) much of its concentrated short position on sharp price declines and increased its short COMEX silver short position on rallies, as I publicly chronicled all along. At times, JPMorgan’s COMEX net short position exceeded 40,000 contracts or the equivalent of 200 million oz. Such a large concentrated position necessarily controlled the price of silver and was, in fact, manipulative on its face.
Navigating the opaque world of mainstream media, it can be easy to get lost in the fray. With that in mind, RT offers part one of its roadmap to the major MSM players to help viewers see the final destination that each has in store for the public.
http://www.leibish.com/red-diamond-prices-on-the-rise-article-1027Historically, Christie’s auction house mastered the art of selling red diamonds, and with it, getting top dollar to its sellers while keeping buyers happy with their newly made acquisition. The first recorded red diamond sold at auction was back in 1987.
Since then, 18 more red diamonds have sold at auction. Nineteen diamonds of one color in 28 years is not that much, and cannot be properly analyzed as to the value, but it definitely demonstrates rarity. The Argyle mine has recorded only 16 Fancy Red diamonds on its tender list since 1990, and 27 Fancy Purplish Red diamonds during the same amount of time. Compare this amount to the hundreds of millions of colorless diamonds on the market during the same time.
(Commentary by Ellen Brown) For years, homeowners have been battling Wall Street in an attempt to recover some portion of their massive losses from the housing Ponzi scheme. But progress has been slow, as they have been outgunned and out-spent by the banking titans.
In June, however, the banks may have met their match, as some equally powerful titans strode onto the stage. Investors led by BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, and PIMCO, the world’s largest bond-fund manager, have sued some of the world’s largest banks for breach of fiduciary duty as trustees of their investment funds. The investors are seeking damages for losses surpassing $250 billion. That is the equivalent of one million homeowners with $250,000 in damages suing at one time.
The defendants are the so-called trust banks that oversee payments and enforce terms on more than $2 trillion in residential mortgage securities. They include units of Deutsche Bank AG, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, HSBC Holdings PLC, and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. Six nearly identical complaints charge the trust banks with breach of their duty to force lenders and sponsors of the mortgage-backed securities to repurchase defective loans.
Why the investors are only now suing is complicated, but it involves a recent court decision on the statute of limitations. Why the trust banks failed to sue the lenders evidently involves the cozy relationship between lenders and trustees. The trustees also securitized loans in pools where they were not trustees. If they had started filing suit demanding repurchases, they might wind up suedon other deals in retaliation. Better to ignore the repurchase provisions of the pooling and servicing agreements and let the investors take the losses—better, at least, until they sued.
Commentary by Lars Schall
Well, if you take the US Supreme Court and representatives of the Federal Reserve System at their own words, the case is pretty clear: the member banks of the Federal Reserve System are private corporations / banks.
Related to a book that I’m writing in German, I was asking myself whether the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks are privately owned.
The US Supreme Court, I found out, said this on January 3, 1928 in the case “United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation v. Western Union Telegraph Co.“:
Instrumentalities like the national banks or the federal reserve banks, in which there are private interests, are not departments of the government. They are private corporations in which the government has an interest. Compare Bank of the United States v. Planters’ Bank, 9 Wheat. 904, 907, 6 L. Ed. 244.
The fifth episode of the world's first ever crowdfunded financial news show - Get REAL with Jan Skoyles - features a debate between Jim Rickards (author of Currency Wars and The Death of Money) and James Turk (founder of GoldMoney.com)
A very health discussion on safety of your money in the first place. Rick has been driving the same point home for years, but looks that no one is listening ...
In this commentary, Claudio Grass, managing director of Global Gold in Switzerland, sound money and monetary history specialist, discusses his view on the ongoing trend based on history with Casey Research (source).
After 2008, the central banks tried to counter deflation by printing huge amounts of money. But the velocity of money, which is the credit in the system, is 30% down compared to 2008. It means that all the newly created “money” has not gone in the real economy. Most of the money has gone in the stock market, real estate market and government bonds. This could go on for a while. The outcomes, however, are limited. Deflation is one of them, but central banks will do whatever they can to avoid that. On the other hand, we can see hyperinflation, or a deflationary collapse, which both have the same outcome at the end of the day.
Your mutual funds may have changed categories last week without you knowing it.
Normally, that’s a big reason for concern, a sign that something is afoot and that management has been following a new path.
Existing home sales for the first two months of 2014 were down nearly 25% on an annualized basis. The new home sales decline is getting steeper. Pending home sales appear to be collapsing.
As per John Williams on Shadowstats.com:
Based on this morning's (March 20th) reporting, existing-home sales were declining at an annualized quarterly pace of 24.4%, based on two months of reporting for first-quarter 2014. That follows an annualized quarterly pace of decline of 25.6% in fourth-quarter 2013.
The Dow Jones Home Construction Index (DJUSHB) is down 12.3% since closing Feb. 27 at 536. In that same time period, the S&P 500 was basically flat. A negative divergence from the broad market of this degree is typically a strong warning sign that something is wrong with the underlying fundamentals for the divergent market sector. With that in mind, the housing data released in the last week suggests that the housing market may entering a severe decline.
By Paul Mylchreest of Monument Securities
A critical juncture
Over the course of the last century, the US Congress has been blamed for much that has gone wrong in international relations. The unwillingness of Congressional leaders in 1919 to support US participation in the League of Nations doomed from the outset that quixotic attempt to put global relations on a rational basis. Renewed world war was the eventual outcome. Then in 1930, Congressional passage of the Tariff Act, widely known as Smoot-Hawley, marked the break-out of beggar-thy-neighbour trade practices that no less an authority on that period than Mr Bernanke has maintained contributed to the length and depth of the global depression. It is no matter that some historians argue that Smoot-Hawley merely built on the Fordney-McCumber Tariff Act of 1922; that had been Congress’s doing as well. More recently, the US Congress has resisted presidential demands for ‘fast-track’ authority to tie up international trade deals. The lack of faith of the USA’s counterparties in Washington’s ability to ratify trade agreements was an important factor in the collapse of the Doha Round, which has put a brake on the development of the World Trade Organisation. Now, the US Congress is acting in a way which could have consequences at least as serious as those that followed these past examples of obduracy.
Silver expert David Morgan is warning of coming financial changesthat may be forced on the U.S. during the next G-20 meeting. Morgan says,“The impetus here is the U.S. has had too much financial power backed bythe military for far too long and they (G-20) are going to implement changeone way or the other. There are so many dollars sitting out there doingnothing that could change like a flock of birds. They are all flying inone direction, and then for no reason we could understand, they go theother direction instantly. We could have an instant change where nationstates say I need to get out of dollars. If that were to take place youcould see http://usawatchdog.com/dollar-value-could-suffer-instant-change-david-morgan/a huge change virtually overnight.”
The Inteligencia Financiera Global blog (Global Financial Intelligence Blog) is honored to present an exclusive interview with economy world expert Jim Rickards. Jim is the author of the bestseller “Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis” and the forthcoming, “The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System”.
He is a portfolio manager at West Shore Group and a partner in Tangent Capital Partners, a merchant bank based in New York. He is an advisor on capital markets to the U.S. intelligence community and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
By Dave Kranzler: As I have detailed in several previous articles, the housing market data since the middle of last summer has been trending lower on a monthly sequential basis, signaling that the housing mini-bubble which has inflated over the last two years is about to pop.
In the past week, more empirical evidence has surfaced which I believe further confirms my bearish view on the housing market. In fact, I would argue that the factors which inflated this round two of the housing market bubble are becoming non-factors, which will cause another "popping" of the housing bubble.
The biggest factor in driving home sales and prices higher over the last two years has been the big institutional investor. This homebuyer segment engaged in a strategy of buying up huge portfolios of distressed homes and converting them into rental properties.
Chris Powell: “That King World News story really spread around the world. I traced it to a Russian-language Ukrainian newspaper. It was certainly a very believable story based on past U.S. actions. But you did that particular interview with William Kaye out of Hong Kong, who I happened to know has some excellent Ukrainian sources himself. This made the story even more powerful....
In short, the cybercurrency darling Bitcoin had a MAJOR setback. We’ll cover some of the important details today — plus, we’ll take a look at a safer place to stock your money than the latest currency du jour.
According to CNN Money, “The Bitcoin trading website Mt. Gox was taken offline late Monday, putting at risk millions of dollars put there by investors who gambled on the digital currency.”
As of this morning, Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan where it was headquartered. All together it’s estimated the exchange lost half a billion dollars worth of the digital currency.
Brent Cook worked alongside Rick Rule from the late 90’s to the early 2000’s at Sprott Global Resource Investments Ltd. A respected geologist and speaker, he is now the author of Exploration Insights.
“The major miners were being slammed with a falling gold price at the beginning of 2013,” he told me earlier this year. “They wanted to mitigate the damage to their share price. ‘What can we do to attract investors?’ they asked.
“Their best idea was to lower expectations as much as possible. They felt that if they lowered expectations related to production, costs and profits, then at year end they could beat, or at least meet those expectations.”
How did that work out?
“Well, to a large extent, they managed to meet or beat the lowered guidance for 2013, and the analysts were able to brag about the new numbers.
“Sort of, that is. They know very well that this game can’t go on, because even with lowered expectations we are seeing additional write downs and decreased mine reserves. They are saying that these cuts are for the better anyway. This time they are ‘serious’ about bottom line earnings – yeah right!”
Since then, many major mining companies have published dismal returns for fourth quarter of 2013, and cut their reserves because many of their unmined reserves were uneconomic at their revised gold price estimates.
The London gold fix, the benchmark used by miners, jewelers and central banks to value the metal, may have been manipulated for a decade by the banks setting it, researchers say.
Unusual trading patterns around 3 p.m. in London, when the so-called afternoon fix is set on a private conference call between five of the biggest gold dealers, are a sign of collusive behavior and should be investigated, New York University’s Stern School of Business Professor Rosa Abrantes-Metz and Albert Metz, a managing director at Moody’s Investors Service, wrote in a draft research paper.