Tag Archives: Gold

Macro Changes

By Biiwii

As posted at NFTRH

The following is the opening segment of this week’s edition of Notes From the Rabbit Hole, NFTRH 381…

A picture is worth 4-plus years and thousands of words, and the picture below has a lot to say. I’ll say some words as well, since I have kept them bottled up for years in an effort to make sure we operate with discipline as opposed to gold bug style emotion.

The bear market and subsequent inflation-fueled credit bubble early last decade was when I first started paying close attention to macro markets (as opposed to stock trading, which I had done for a few years prior) and how they operate. Having seen well paid professionals lose half of my IRA in 2002, I took over all of our finances and never looked back. But I needed to understand how markets worked and that has been a challenging and rewarding endeavor, not to mention an ongoing learning experience.

I use talky charts like the one below because I need to be talked to, or coached. But I need this coaching to be 100% honest and accurate, not the ranting of some biased lunatic who would have me buy in to his world view. The chart below honestly shows exactly what gold did vs. the S&P 500 during the 2007-2009 US crisis, the Euro crisis and subsequently, the aftermath of unprecedented policy interference in financial markets.

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Explaining Gold’s Relative Expensiveness

By Steve Saville

[biiwii comment: the chart below illustrates perfectly why we call the gold-silver ratio a “metallic credit spread” (hat tip Bob Hoye).  This chart is gold-commodities, but it’s the same dynamic…]

In the blog post “Some gold bulls need a dose of realism“, I noted that relative to the Goldman Sachs Spot Commodity Index (GNX) the gold price was at an all-time high and about 30% above its 2011 peak. I then wrote: “Rather than imagining a grand price suppression scheme involving unlimited quantities of “paper gold” to explain why gold isn’t more expensive, how about trying to explain why gold is now more expensive relative to other commodities than it has ever been.

A rational explanation of gold’s relative expensiveness begins with the premise that major trends in the gold/commodity ratio are invariably associated — in an inverse manner — with major trends in economic confidence. Since credit spreads are one of the best indicators of economic confidence, with generally-widening credit spreads signifying declining confidence and generally-narrowing credit spreads signifying rising confidence, it would be logical if there were a positive correlation between the gold/commodity ratio and credit spreads. As evidenced by the following chart, that’s exactly what there is.

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Gold Stock Sector: Rubber, Meet Road

By Biiwii

As posted at NFTRH.com

Gold stocks’ technical rubber meets the fundamental road

You may have noticed that I have written relatively little publicly about the gold sector over the last few years (we have covered it consistently in NFTRH to keep subscribers aware of the bear’s status, and protected against it). Is that strange for a writer who was probably known first and foremost as a ‘gold guy’? Not at all! It’s just that it is not desirable to get bogged down obsessing on a sector in a bear market when there are other fish to fry on the global macro landscape. But the process of finding and confirming a bottom in the gold sector is now front and center as more of the fundamentals that actually matter come into place. To those fundamentals, we need to marry the technicals.

We have consistently worked a theme that sees a comparison to the 1999-2001 bottoming phase in the gold sector. That was a time when stock markets topped out, an economic counter cycle took hold and gold began out performing most other items. Within this, we have also been considering the possibility of a final washout within the sector, whereby prices decline despite continually improving fundamentals. This condition was in play in Q4 2008, which was the last great buying opportunity.

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Resurgent Interest in Gold

By Tom McClellan

GLD Assets Show Resurgent Interest in Gold

GLD Assets
February 04, 2016

In spite of dollar strength, gold prices have rallied up from the low we saw back in mid-December.  It took a while, but this rally has finally started to bring more interest from retail gold investors.

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Hulbert Does Harvey & Erb, Who Did the CPI Adjusted Gold Price

By Biiwii

Much more than CPI inflation needs to be considered with respect to the gold price

Yes folks, it’s the return of the two egg heads (Campbell Harvey and Claude Erb) who first put the scare into gold bugs back in 2013 with the research paper The Golden Dilemma (PDF), which found that as adjusted for CPI, gold was very over valued.  Enter Mark Hulbert with the updated warning for inflation-centric gold bugs.  Gold has no business being this expensive.

market hulbert, gold price vs. CPI

I have never understood who would want to be one of these “gold traders” (other than the miners with a need to hedge and bullion banks with a need to hedge and manipulate, ha ha ha).  Why would you be a trader in an element that is a measure or barometer of other items and conditions?  It don’t get it.  I guess slick traders speculate with insurance policies, so why not gold too?  Everything’s a play after all, in the casino.

To answer Hulbert’s points, beginning with the above…

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Sign of Silver Turn?

By Monetary Metals

The interplay between gold and silver & their fundamentals

The price of the dollar was down 50mg gold, to 27.8mg, or if you prefer 0.04g silver to 2.18g. Why do we measure the volatile dollar in terms of gold and silver? There’s nothing else to measure it, certainly not the dollar-derivatives called euro, pound, franc, yen, and yuan.

In the common tongue, gold was up $20 and silver rose 25 cents.

More importantly, we want to know what happened to the fundamentals. Read on for the only proper fundamental analysis of the gold and silver markets… [biiwii edit: well Keith, let’s not get carried away; let’s just stick with “sound source of information…” as touted here]

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

The Prices of Gold and Silver
letter jan 31 prices, gold and silver

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GLD’s Bullion Inventory and the Gold Price

By Steve Saville

What do changes in GLD’s bullion inventory tell us about the future gold price?

Physical gold ‘flowing’ into GLD and the other gold ETFs does not cause the gold price to rise and physical gold flowing out of gold ETFs does not cause the gold price to fall. The cause and effect actually works the other way around, with the price change being the cause and the flow of gold into or out of the ETFs being the effect. I’ve covered the reasons before (for example, HERE and HERE), but cause and effect are regularly still being mixed up in gold-related articles so I’m revisiting the topic.

The Net Asset Value (NAV) of a gold ETF such as GLD naturally moves up and down by the same percentage amount as the gold price, so a change in the gold price will not necessarily require any change in the size of GLD’s bullion inventory. It’s only when GLD’s market price deviates from its own NAV that a change in bullion inventory occurs. For example, assume that the gold price gains 10%. In this case, GLD’s NAV will gain 10% and there will be no increase or decrease in GLD’s inventory as long as GLD’s market price also rises by 10%. However, if GLD’s market price rises by 11% then gold will be added to the ETF’s inventory to bring its market price and NAV back into line, and if GLD’s market price rises by only 9% then gold will be removed from the ETF’s inventory to bring its market price and NAV back into line.

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US Stock Market and the Gold Sector

By Biiwii

As posted at NFTRH.com

To review our stance, which is years along now, the gold sector is not going anywhere until it becomes widely accepted that developed stock markets, including and especially those in the US, are in bear cycles. We have also drawn analogies to the Q4 2008 event that took place in what felt like a nanosecond compared to today’s long, drawn out process. For this reason, a better ‘comp’ has been the 1999 to 2001 time frame. That was a process as well.

Regardless, gold boosters viewing inflation as the reason to buy the sector are still out there pitching, but even they have retooled their pitches for a deflationary world. It is now and always has been a global economic contraction environment (assuming it eventually coerces policy makers into inflationary actions) that would be the primary driver of the next gold bull market. Say, whatever happened to all the stories about China demand, a China/India love trade, supply/demand capers on the COMEX and ‘US jobs to spur inflation driving big, smart institutional money into gold’ anyway?

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Some Gold Bulls Need a Dose of Realism

By Steve Saville

Selling of “paper gold” does not force the gold price downward

There’s a lot right with John Hathaway’s recent article titled “An ‘Acute Shortage’ in Gold Can Boost Prices“. There’s also a lot wrong with it, beginning with the title. There is not now, there has never been and there never will be a shortage of gold*, the reason being that gold is not ‘consumed’ like other commodities. However, my main bone of contention isn’t with the fatally-flawed argument that a gold shortage is looming.

The main problem I have with Hathaway’s article is that it repeats the nonsensical story that the gold price has been forced downward over the past few years to an artificially-low price by the relentless selling of “paper gold”. Like many gold bulls, Hathaway apparently hasn’t noticed that a major commodity bear market has unfolded and that the gold price has held up incredibly well. So well, in fact, that relative to the Goldman Sachs Spot Commodity Index (GNX) the gold price is at an all-time high and about 30% higher than it was at its 2011 peak.

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