Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Avocado Toast

By Keith Weiner

For about ten bucks a month, Netflix will give you all the movies you can watch, plus tons of TV show series and other programs, such as one-off science documentaries. They don’t offer all movies, merely more than you can watch. Oh, and there are no commercials.

They don’t just give you old BBC reruns, which you know they can get for a pittance. Netflix is spending money (well Federal Reserve Notes) producing its own original content.

Did we mention that there are no commercials? How is this even possible? According to CNBC, Netflix is spending $8 billion to produce 700 shows. Assuming all of its reported 118 million subscribers pay $10, their production budget eats up more than half a year of their total subscription fee revenue.

CNBC reports that Netflix is exploring the idea of putting ads in its shows. Unfortunately, a quarter of its subscribers say they would leave if that happens. The economics of free vs the economics of losing 25% of your customers in one wrong move. It’s the tiger or the tiger.

Continue reading Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Avocado Toast

Why the Fed Denied the Narrow Bank

By Keith Weiner

It’s not every day that a clear example showing the horrors of central planning comes along—the doublethink, the distortions, and the perverse incentives. It’s not every year that such an example occurs for monetary central planning. One came to the national attention this week.

A company called TNB applied for a Master Account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Their application was denied. They have sued.

First, let’s consider TNB. It’s an acronym for The Narrow Bank. A so called narrow bank is a bank that does not engage in most of the activities of a regular bank. It simply takes in deposits and puts them in an account at the Fed. The Fed pays 1.95%, and a narrow bank would have low costs, so it could pass most of this to its depositors. This is pretty attractive, and without the real estate and commercial lending risks—not to mention derivatives exposure—it’s less risky than a regular bank. According to Bloomberg’s Matt Levine, saving accounts for large depositors average only 0.08% interest.
Continue reading Why the Fed Denied the Narrow Bank

The Bullish CoT Setups in Gold and Silver

By NFTRH

You may know me as the guy using weird planetary alignments while assigning proper fundamentals to the gold sector, and recently even doing the same with a somewhat subjective and philosophical view of gold as an important counterweight or insurance component to a sensible portfolio. Or you may know me as the guy who confuses you with too many market indicators or annoys you with too many exposés of the more promotional and/or manipulative entities out there.

Or you may not know me at all.

If that is the case, let me introduce myself. My name is Gary and today I have a very simple post for your consideration. We will look at the now compelling views of the Commitments of Traders (CoT) data for gold and silver. While the prices of the metals are and have been technically bearish and the fundamentals are and have been poor, sentiment (CoT is ultimately a sentiment thing, after all) setups like those shown below should not be ignored. We are talking historic in silver and merely compelling in gold.

Continue reading The Bullish CoT Setups in Gold and Silver

Gold and Silver Shorts Highest Ever!

By Anthony B. Sanders

Non-commercial shorts for gold and silver have hit the highest levels … ever!

goldsilvershortsrec

Actually, Silver shorts hit an all-time high and gold shorts are down slightly since yesterday.

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Illicit Arbitrage Cut by Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Report 3 Sep 2018

By Keith Weiner

This week, we are back to our ongoing series on capital destruction. Let’s consider the simple transaction of issuing a bond. Party X sells a bond to Party Y. We will first offer something entirely uncontroversial. If the interest rate rises after Y buys the bond, then Y takes a loss. Or if the interest rate falls, then Y makes a capital gain. This is simply saying that the bond price moves inverse to the interest rate.

However, it is highly controversial for some reason, to note that X is on the other side of the trade. If Y takes a loss then it is X’s gain. If Y makes a gain, then it is X’s loss. Party X is short the bond, and Party Y is long. When the price of an asset moves up, shorts lose and longs win. When it moves down, shorts win and longs lose.

Continue reading Illicit Arbitrage Cut by Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Report 3 Sep 2018

Another Gold Bearish Factor, Report

By Keith Weiner

Last week, we said that the consensus is that gold must go down (as measured in terms of the unstable dollar) and then will rocket higher. We suggested that if everyone expects an outcome in the market, the outcome is likely not to turn out that way. We also said that this time, there is likely less leverage employed to buy gold and that gold is less leveraged as well. And this, combined with a contrarian perspective on the consensus view, means that this time gold won’t go down before going up.

Dan Oliver of Myrmikan Capital emailed Keith to say that people in the third world use gold as collateral on their loans. When they can’t repay, the gold collateral is sold by the creditors. This time around, there is likely to be a larger crisis in the so-called emerging markets and their currencies, and hence this selling of gold will be a bigger factor. With greater selling pressure on gold, we’re back to the bearish case.

Million Ton Rock, Meet Million Ton Force

The bottom line is that we have several forces pushing gold up, and several pushing it down. On the up side (not upside, sorry we couldn’t resist) these include creditors rightly fearing dreadful losses when debtors default, speculators wrongly thinking that an increase in the quantity of dollars causes gold to go up, and even the possible path to remonetizing gold if we are successful in help Nevada to issue a gold bond. On the downside, we have speculators who front-run the consensus that gold must go down first in a crisis, and we have forced selling by leveraged gold holders in the first and third worlds.

Continue reading Another Gold Bearish Factor, Report

Multi-Market Status: Precious Metals, Commodities, US & Global Stocks

By NFTRH

A general review of the current status across different asset markets. This is not comprehensive, forward-looking analysis as per NFTRH, but it is an up to the minute summary (as of Friday afternoon).

Precious Metals

Gold, silver and Gold Stock indexes/ETFs made what I had thought were bear flags yesterday, but today painted them as short-term ‘W’ bottom patterns, in silver and the miners anyway.

This chart of gold (courtesy of Barchart.com) shows a flag breakdown, whipsaw and new closing high for the short-term move. As we’ve noted for weeks now, the Commitments of Traders (CoT) is in a contrary bullish alignment with large Specs all but wrung out of the market (they were fleeced again; don’t believe hype about their increased shorting being some sort of conspiracy). All in all, not bad for the relic. The bounce lives on.

Continue reading Multi-Market Status: Precious Metals, Commodities, US & Global Stocks

In Next Crisis, Gold Won’t Drop Like 2008, Report

By Keith Weiner

Last week, we discussed the tension between forces pushing the dollar up and down (measured in gold—you cannot measure the dollar in terms of its derivatives such as euro, pound, yen, and yuan). And we gave short shrift to the forces pushing the dollar down. We said only that to own a dollar is to be a creditor. And if the debtors seem in imminent danger of default, then creditors should want to escape this risk. The dollar is not redeemable so there is no way to be paid in full for the debt represented by the dollars. The only way to opt out of credit risk entirely is to trade one’s credit paper for gold. That is to buy gold. We said that Federal Reserve insolvency is not imminent.

And then we went on to the case for a rising dollar. It was good timing, as the dollar went up from 25.7 milligrams of gold to 26.5 by Thursday (that’s a drop from $1,210 to $1,175 for those of you who insist on measuring steel meter sticks with rubber bands, lighthouses from the decks of ships that are slowly sinking in stormy seas, and gold in dollars).

Traders’ Consensus

This week, Keith sat at a table with a hedge fund trader. The trader does not think of gold as money, is not into gold other than as a trade along with all other asset classes, and probably would not describe himself even as a libertarian or Austrian. He is, however, very smart and very good at what he does.

Continue reading In Next Crisis, Gold Won’t Drop Like 2008, Report

Monetary Consequence of Tariffs, Report

By Keith Weiner

Last week in Monetary Paradigm Reset, we talked about the challenge of explaining a new paradigm. We said:

“The hard part of accepting this paradigm shift, was that people had to rethink their entire view of cosmology, theology, and philosophy. In the best case, people take time to grapple with these challenges to their idea of man’s place in the universe. Some never accept the new idea.”

We were talking about the fact that money is the unit of account, and the assertion that irredeemable paper currencies are money.

Monetary Relativity

This week, Turkey provides an opportunity to discuss this in a way most people can relate to. Their currency, the lira, has been falling for years, but the rate of its plunge accelerated dramatically this week. It closed last week at 19.6 cents, but on Friday it was 15.5. This may not seem like a lot, but those 3.1 pennies are about 21 percent. In a week!

Continue reading Monetary Consequence of Tariffs, Report

Gold’s Kill Zone

By Notes From the Rabbit Hole

There is nothing bullish happening on the gold and silver charts. Nothing bullish on the miner Index/ETF charts. Nothing bullish on the HUI/Gold ratio. In other words, when it comes to a segment as volatile and sentiment-dependent as the precious metals, we are in the kill zone.

That can be read a couple of different ways. First, the inflationist gold bugs are getting exterminated as the US dollar first rose and since has stubbornly refused to take a pullback.

But the time to buy the gold sector is pretty reliably when the bugs are dead or at least hiding deep in the woodwork; so deep that you’d not even know they are still there. Just as you should have caution when gold bugs are trumpeting loudly, you should be brave when they are in full retreat… or worse, dead.

Continue reading Gold’s Kill Zone

Monetary Paradigm Reset, Report 5 August 2018

By Keith Weiner

Explaining a new paradigm can be both simple and impossible at the same time. For example, Copernicus taught that the other planets and Sun do not revolve around the Earth. He said that all the planets revolve around the Sun, including Earth. It isn’t hard to say, and it isn’t especially hard to grasp.

Indeed, one of its virtues was making the universe simpler. In the old geocentric model, there is the phenomenon of so called retrograde motion—the planets appear to stop moving forward in their orbits, and move backwards temporarily. It’s difficult to describe mathematically, and worse, no one could explain the cause.

The hard part of accepting this paradigm shift, was that people had to rethink their entire view of cosmology, theology, and philosophy. In the best case, people take time to grapple with these challenges to their idea of man’s place in the universe. Some never accept the new idea.

Continue reading Monetary Paradigm Reset, Report 5 August 2018

Gold & Silver: Stuck In Oz; Stock Market: I’ll Get You My Pretty!

By Notes From the Rabbit Hole

The downward plunge never ends when you think it will. There’s always a lower level. That way gold bug spirits get crushed before those left standing can become “joyous”.

Some thoughts from NFTRH 510:

Both gold and silver look like they could be in little daily chart bear flags. Oh no! More bearishness on the way! I am getting bullisher by the week.

Again, that is how it is with the precious metals. Sure, if you go too quickly you get some cuts, scrapes and if too eager, even amputations of fingers by falling knives. But this generally is the type of environment where you stand up and take notice. The gold obsessives – i.e. gold newsletter writers, gold stock experts, “gold analysts” (ha ha ha) and others who want their herds to remain enthralled as if there is no other sector in the markets – are in damage control mode.

Because gold and silver are technically bearish, the gold stock ETFs are on the verge of breakdowns and the world is still risk ‘on’ right now, the amalgam known as the gold “community” may find a need to give the troops the straight scoop, which is that it’s bearish out there. With every fiber of its being the “community” wants not to be saying that, but they have to in order to maintain credibility.

This is when you buy the sector. Period. Now, what does “buy” mean? Well I personally screwed up trades in NEM and AEM. So I am by no means saying that [it] is easy. You have to manage risk while at the same time keeping an eye on the ball, which is a general buying opportunity for anything from a potential strong bounce to a bull phase.

As to that second thing, a turn in the risk ‘on’ world to bearish and/or risk ‘off’ would be the right context. What is happening now is that the inflationists are getting dismissed and the people who buy liquidations within disinflationary backdrops are at the ready. While I am bullish on all counts but the macro fundamentals – which continue to be mixed to bearish – I’d continue to respect the possibility of a final flush before the rally gets going.

Continue reading Gold & Silver: Stuck In Oz; Stock Market: I’ll Get You My Pretty!