Monday, 15 December 2014

Long Dollar and Weak Gold

MANY analysts relate the net long/short position in contracts betting on the US Dollar to be an influence on the gold price, says Julian Phillips at Gold Forecaster.
To a small extent this may be true, but not, in our opinion, to an extent that actually affects the gold price.
A short/long position on Comex for instance can be used in a multitude of major and minor transactions to hedge the original Dollar positions so as to remove the risk of an exchange rate change. This policy has nothing to do with the future exchange rate of the Dollar against any currency or against the move of gold against the Dollar.
A much smaller but considerably more active market is that involving speculators and traders who do view the potential for a change in the exchange rate of the Dollar against any currency. It is this market that influences day-to-day prices, but not in a way that commentators often think. Comex is a financial market where as much as 95% of all contracts are closed out before the contract matures. 
Turning to the real net long/short positions in the Dollar, this number includes all those where delivery will not take place as well as those that do. This muddies the water somewhat and reduces this figure to one defining expectations, not necessarily realities. 
The section of this market defined as the Commercial positions reflect those positions that are conducted by the more savvy professional investors. As the Dollar turned higher in recent weeks, these investors closed more and more short positions that would have cost them dearly as the Dollar rose against all currencies. The expectations were that the Dollar was set to rise and continue to rise, justifying long positions, not short, in the Dollar.
As you can see in the chart here the Dollar's future according to the Technical picture is for it to rise by another 20% against all currencies. But it must be said that this figure is a 'target' and often not a future reality. Even the Fed has made it clear it does not want to see a stronger Dollar, as this will damage its exports and increase imports, hurting the recovery in the US We believe they are already taking action to hold the Dollar back.
As deflationary expectations have risen worldwide, for the last six months, alongside a rising equity market, we have seen a switch from overseas investments to Dollar assets by the 'carry trade' (borrowing in Dollars to lend in other countries) as they closed their positions. The rising Dollar index has shown this. Gold has been made to fall back to its lows as a result until now. 
It's an expression of fear, not of hope when this happens, because of the rising expectation of deflation prompting a turning to 'safe' positions in the most liquid and strong currencies. Treasuries and cash are believed to be the safest of places when market falls are expected. 
It may be there will be a major sell-off in Treasuries when interest rates start to rise and bond prices respond by falling. Then cash in Dollars becomes the only currency haven in most investor's minds. 
It is a matter of history that US investors/traders/speculators take long positions in the US Dollar and may well either stay out of gold and the Euro, or short them both. This ignores gold's fundamentals which show Asia and the Middle East absorbing around 80% of the world's gold supplies annually and have considerably reduced western market liquidity in gold, a factor that may well leave Asia in control of future pricing.
It is a surprise that this physical dominance of the gold market by Asia has not already translated into Asia's control of the gold price. That time is coming fast as gold liquidity has reduced to critical levels in the developed world. It may be here already.
But until that happens developed world markets will exert this 'strong Dollar, weak gold' positioning. As the Dollar turned up, there was a global rush into US treasuries and into the US Dollar.
Until August, the largest of the largest traders of gold and silver futures continued to report very low net short positions, right near the lowest net short positions they have had in years. The expectations are therefore that the Dollar has peaked and will either consolidate around these levels (with the help of the Fed and Germany) or will fall.
But from August until now short positions in gold doubled until this last week when they were hastily reduced as the gold price leapt from $1141 to $1218 per ounce and after a consolidation from $1200 and the current rise to $1230. 
Following this traditional relationship, it is likely that developed world investors will go long of gold as the Dollar retreats. Why has this change happened now?
The dramatic fall in the oil price has also led to a vast quantity of US Dollars not being used now and will return back to the United States. This will have a heavy affect. If the fear persists and deflation becomes the new global reality, then the Dollar as a national currency, faced by an expanding Yuan, loses a great deal of its appeal and gold, the non-national currency, takes on a far greater sheen.
As it is still close to its low, since 2009, it becomes an even more attractive haven. It may be that we are seeing this turn right now.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Tanzania: Gold Biggest Contributor

FOREIGN EXCHANGE earnings from Gold Mining operations have overtaken those from tourism in Tanzania, according to the latest government data.

Rising Gold Prices have led to the value of gold exports quadrupling over the past six years to $2 billion. There are now however calls for Gold Mining firms to pay more tax to the Tanzanian government.
"Tanzanians look at the Gold Price and think the country should get more out of it," Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, managing director and chief analyst at consultancy  DaMina Advisors, tells the Financial Times.

In common with a number of African governments, Tanzania is looking at ways of extracting more money from its Gold Mining industry, with the 2010 Mining Act proposing to raise the tax on gold production royalties from 3% to 4%.

"Almost all African countries are changing their mining laws and making them tighter," says Spio-Garbah.
"It's nothing out of the ordinary."

The Tanzania Mining Report, published last week by Business Monitor International, predicts that Gold Mining in Tanzania could be poised for strong growth.

"Growth of Gold Mining, which has slowed down in recent years would recover and post strong growth in 2013," the report says.

"Much of this growth will be driven by African Barrick Gold, which has four projects in the country [but] poor infrastructure could be a significant obstacle on production growth and may see projects delayed."
BMI's report also says that higher taxes could see Gold Mining firms concentrate their efforts on other parts of Africa.

"Tax rises, combined with lack of adequate infrastructure and the absence of huge mineral deposits compared with many of its neighbours could push investors elsewhere on the continent," the report says.
"We have heard that before, haven't we?" responds Tundu Lussu, and environmental lawyer who has done extensive research on the Gold Mining industry.

"Investors in mining will be taxed like everybody else and if that makes the sector less attractive to them then they’d choose between staying and paying fairly or leave and stop the raping of our non-renewable resources."

Elsewhere in Africa, Congolese delegates at a Gold Mining conference being held in Cape Town this week were abducted and beaten, Bloomberg reports. At least five people were attacked by men protesting Congo's election results.

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Goldbug, 09 Feb '12

Dollar to Collapse

In the absence of a galvanizing narrative, America is marching towards the abyss...

THE NOTION that the very same economic forces currently plaguing Greece et al are somehow not relevant to America does not hold water. As goes the rest of the world, so goes the US, writes Chris Martenson.

When we back up far enough, it is clear that money and debt are there to reflect and be in service to the production of real things by real people, not the other way around. With too much debt relative to production, it is the debt that will suffer. The same is true of money. Neither are magical substances; they are merely markers for real things. When they get out of balance with reality, they lose value, and sometimes even their entire meaning.

The US is irretrievably down the rabbit hole of deficits and debt, and that, even if there were endless natural resources of increasing quality available at this point, servicing the debt loads and liabilities of the nation will require both austerity and a pretty serious fall in living standards for most people.

Of course, the age of cheap oil is over. And as Jim Puplava says, the oil price is the new Fed funds rate, meaning that it is now the price of oil that sets the pace of economic movement, not interest rates established by the Fed.

However, of all the challenges that catch my eye right now, the one most worrisome is the shredding of our national narrative to the point that it no longer makes any sense whatsoever. I'm a big believer that our actions are guided by the stories we tell ourselves. To progress as a society, having a grand vision that aligns and inspires is essential.

But when words emphasize one set of priorities and actions support another, any narrative falls apart. At a personal level, if someone touts their punctuality but chronically shows up hours late, the narrative that says "this person is reliable" begins to fall apart.

Likewise, if a company boasts about being green but its track record belies them as a major polluter, the "green" narrative fizzles.

And at the national level, if we say we are a nation of laws, but the Justice Department selectively prosecutes only the weak and relatively powerless while leaving the well-connected and moneyed entirely alone, then the narrative that says "we are a nation of blind justice and equal laws" falls apart.

I wish this was just some idle rumination, but I see more and more examples validating the importance of alignment of narrative and behavior. Because when there is a disconnect between words and actions, anxiety and fear take root.

Unfortunately, there is quite a lot to fear and be anxious about in the most recent State of the Union address and GOP response.

The recent State of the Union speech by Obama, and its Republican response, are both remarkable for what they say as well as what they don't say. The summary is this: The status quo will be preserved at all costs.
Here are a few examples of the sorts of disconnects between rhetoric and reality that are absolutely toxic to the morale of all who are paying the slightest bit of attention.
Let's never forget: Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that do the same. It's time to apply the same rules from top to bottom. No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts. An America built to last insists on responsibility from everybody.
We've all paid the price for lenders who sold mortgages to people who couldn't afford them, and buyers who knew they couldn't afford them. That's why we need smart regulations to prevent irresponsible behavior.
It's time to apply the same rules from top to bottom? Is Obama aware of what Erik Holder is up to over there in the Justice Department? The robo-signing scandal alone has thousands and thousands of open and shut cases of felony forgery that can and should be applied to as many individuals as were directly involved, from top to bottom in every organization that was engaged in the practice.

Here's the reality. Under Obama, criminal prosecution of financial fraud fell to multi-decade lows during what is and remains one of the most target-rich environments in living memory.

And I will not go back to the days when Wall Street was allowed to play by its own set of rules.
So if you are a big bank or financial institution, you're no longer allowed to make risky bets with your customers' deposits. You're required to write out a "living will" that details exactly how you'll pay the bills if you fail – because the rest of us are not bailing you out ever again.
Has Obama checked with the Federal Reserve to assure they are on board with the new 'no bail out' policy? Because last I checked, they were the ones mainly involved in bailing out the big banks and providing swap lines and free credit to anyone and everyone that needed help, US or foreign.

To be fair, Obama can make no statement or claim about what the Federal Reserve can or can't or will or won't do. It is not under executive nor even legislative control. If, or I should say when, the Federal Reserve bails out the next bank or country or whomever, it's "the rest of us" who will be paying the bill – in the form of eventual inflation.
[W]orking with our military leaders, I've proposed a new defense strategy that ensures we maintain the finest military in the world, while saving nearly half a trillion Dollars in our budget.
Let's review the proposals for military spending then. The language above is nearly impossible to decode. What is really being said is that proposed defense increases have been scaled back, and that this is what is being called savings.

In 2000, Defense spending was $312 billion Dollars. In 2012, the proposed budget calls for $703 billion, a 125% increase in 12 years.

What the plan he mentions really calls for is spending increases in 5 out of the next 6 years. The lone holdout is 2013, when the plan calls for cutting spending by a whopping $6 billion less than the amount already approved for 2012.

Somehow that all translates into rhetoric that implies cuts of "nearly half a trillion Dollars."
As Lily Tomlin used to say, "As cynical as I am, I find it hard to keep up."
GOP Response
"The routes back to an America of promise, and to a solvent America that can pay its bills and protect its vulnerable, start in the same place. The only way up for those suffering tonight, and the only way out of the dead end of debt into which we have driven, is a private economy that begins to grow and create jobs, real jobs, at a much faster rate than today."
This platitude-laden set of ideas is blissfully blind to the role of energy in the story, the amount of debt in the system, and the fact that both parties have contributed equally over the years to the predicament at hand.
How exactly is it that the private economy is supposed to flourish here, with the Federal government borrowing more than a trillion Dollars a year and oil at $100 per barrel? The simple truth is that the US government needs to begin borrowing at a rate lower than the previous year's economic growth. If GDP grows at 2%, then the total debt pile must not grow by anything more than 2%. That is the only way that the official debts can shrink relative to the economy.
GOP Response
"We will advance our positive suggestions with confidence, because we know that Americans are still a people born to liberty. There is nothing wrong with the state of our Union that the American people, addressed as free-born, mature citizens, cannot set right."
Last I checked, the original vote tally in the Senate on the National Defense Authorization Act, which empowered the armed forces to engage in civilian law enforcement activities and selectively suspended the habeas corpus and due process rights (as guaranteed by the 5th and 6th amendments to the Constitution), passed by a voice vote of 93 to 7 in the Senate.

It's kind of hard to swallow the idea that the GOP stands with Americans as "a people born to liberty" when their members are in perfect lock-step with the Democrats, chipping away at the most basic and cherished freedoms. There's no difference between the parties when both seem intent on limiting individual freedom and increasing the power of the government to reach into and examine our daily lives.

The above examples are not meant to pick on any one person or party or set of ideas, but to illuminate the profound gap that exists between what we are telling ourselves at the national level and the actions we are undertaking.

Again, it is the gap between what we tell ourselves and what we do that creates a sense of unease, anxiety, and oftentimes fear. When we hear words "X" but see actions "Y" over and over again, it is hard not to come to the conclusion that the words are meaningless; empty rhetoric designed with polls and focus groups in mind, but little else.

It is the blind obedience to the status quo that worries me the most, as it raises the likelihood that nothing of any substance will be done until forced by circumstances, at which point, like Greece, we will discover that the remaining menu of options ranges from bad to worse.

In neither Obama's address nor the GOP response do we hear anything about Peak Oil, a stock market that has gone nowhere in ten years, or the fact that with two wars winding down there ought to be massive savings from defense cuts that we can capture. There's lip service to the idea of using more natural gas to begin weaning us off our imported oil dependence, but no commensurate trillion-Dollar program offered to rapidly build out the infrastructure necessary to utilize that gas in a meaningful way.

A more honest set of messages would note that mistakes were made, opportunities squandered, and priorities misplaced. It would note that the US is on an unsustainable course with respect to spending, debts, and liabilities. There would be an explicit admission that having your central bank print trillions in "thin air" money in order to enable runaway deficit spending is a dangerous and foolish thing to entertain.

Most obviously missing is a national narrative that is coherent and comports with the facts. Both parties basically imply that if we elect a few more of their type, do a little of this and then tweak a little of that, then we will get our nation back on track.

There is no call to a shared sacrifice for something greater. There is nothing to rally around except a laundry list of disconnected programs; a little something for everyone. There is no overarching theme under which everything else can be hung, such as a space race, a civil rights movement, or a massive upgrading of our national infrastructure.

A good narrative is one that inspires people and is based in reality but also asks something larger of us that we can share in. What is our vision for this country? Where do we want to be in ten years? How about twenty? How will we get there, and what will be required? What should we stop doing, what should we start doing, and what should we continue doing?

None of these things are on display, and all are badly needed if we are going to make the most of the next twenty years.

Of all the facts that got skimmed over or avoided in the State of the Union extravaganza, the fiscal nightmare in DC was probably the most glaring. Yes, both parties have decided to talk about the deficit, but neither is giving the appropriate context.

For FY 2012, the federal government is projected to run a $1.1 trillion deficit. Let's compare that number to the projected revenues:

The $1.1 trillion deficit is 42% of total revenues and 73% of all income taxes. That is, in order to spend what the US currently spends without going further into debt (i.e., to have no deficit), income taxes must immediately increase by 73%(!).

This is the sort of territory that, were the US any other country, would have already landed its debt markets – and likely its currency, too – in very hot water.

Historically, countries that have run deficits 40% greater than revenue for more than two years have experienced profound financial and political crises. The US is now in its fourth year of inhabiting this rare territory.

How can it keep doing this when every other country that has tried has gotten into trouble? Simple. The Federal Reserve has enabled such egregious deficit spending by buying up mind-boggling amounts of government debt. This has both kept rates low and created a lot of additional buying demand for Treasuries.
Exactly how much US debt is the Fed buying? Under Operation Twist, the Fed has bought anywhere from 51% to 91% of all gross issuance of bonds dated six years or longer in maturity.

It is quite obvious that the Fed has been a major participant in the bond markets and a major reason why Treasurys are priced so high and offer so low a yield.

It seems that it is well past time to speak directly to the enormous fiscal deficits in a credible way, not merely bemoaning them being too high. And we're also overdue for an adult national conversation that it's unwise and unsustainable for a country to lean on its central bank to print up the difference between receipts and outlays.

There is a clear relationship between high oil prices and recessions, confirming the idea that the price of oil has the same impact on the economy as higher interest rates (perhaps even more so nowadays). Both are a source of friction. With higher interest rates, less lending and less consuming happens. With a higher price of oil, more money gets spent on energy, much of it sent to foreign producers of oil, and thus less money is available for other consumption.

Both higher oil prices and higher interest rates cause people to think a bit more before pulling the trigger on either ordinary spending or a big capital project.

Note that all of the six prior recessions were preceded by a spike in oil prices. In the case of the double-dip 1980s twin recessions, oil remained elevated after the first recession was (allegedly) over. Don't be fooled by the logarithmic nature of the chart below – note that the typical decline in oil prices between the recession-inducing peak (blue lines) and the recovery-enabling trough (green lines) was a substantial 30%-50%:

Also note in the most recent data that oil prices happen to be at roughly the same level that triggered the first recession in 2008 (the purple dotted line).

If we needed one simple chart to help us understand why trillions of Dollars of stimulus and handouts are not causing the economy to soar, this is the chart that explains the most. High oil prices and recessions are highly correlated, and it's not too much of a stretch to postulate that economic recoveries and high oil prices are inversely correlated.

Note also that the above chart is not inflation-adjusted. If it were, it would show that there have been exactly zero recoveries when oil prices are near or over $100 per barrel.

For those counting on an economic recovery here to lift all boats and assist the bailout efforts, the burden of history is upon them to explain why this time we should ignore the price of oil.

I say we cannot. Policy planners and citizens alike should be ready for disappointing market and economic activity in response to the usual bag of printing, borrowing and delaying tricks.

The State of the Union speech and GOP response neither accurately portray the true fiscal condition of the US, nor present a compelling narrative that speaks either to the realities of today or a future we might like to head towards.

The US is simply on a fiscally ruinous path, and neither party seems up to the task of laying out the story in a way that is mature, clear, and direct.

No recovery has ever been possible from oil prices this high, nor with debt levels this extreme, and it is quite improbable to think that both conditions could be overcome with anything less than a completely clear-eyed view of the true nature of the predicament faced.

Decades ago, Ludwig Von Mises captured everything discussed here elegantly:
There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion.
The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.
Our current dire fiscal condition, our leaders' dysfunctional unwillingness to address the flawed behavior that caused it, plus many other recent events both in the US and in Europe, point to the idea that a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion is just not on the menu.

That leaves us with some final and total catastrophe of the involved currency system(s) as the inevitable outcome.

At this point, time to prepare is your greatest asset. But as we can see from the precarious global economic situation described above, time is running out. Use what remains wisely.
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Chris Martenson, 09 Feb '12

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Commodities Volatile while some banks mask write-downs

The Gold Price fell to $1643 per ounce by Tuesday lunchtime in London – still 1.1% up for the week so far – while stocks and commodities suffered another battering as Greek debt fears once again rattled the markets.

Copper fell 1.9%%, while WTI crude oil lost over 2%, dropping to $76 a barrel.

Fiat Currency of Gold Coins?
The Silver Price dropped to $30.21 – 0.8% up on last Friday's close.

"Gold continues to benefit from the current pessimism regarding the global economy [and] the realisation that the Eurozone debt issue is far from being resolved," says today's note from Standard Bank's commodity analysts.

"We expect physical [gold] demand to be quite decent in the coming days," adds Edel Tully, precious metals strategist at UBS.

"After the recent washout, gold positioning is far from extended, and this is quite a bullish signal for price strength ahead."

Stock markets meantime fell Tuesday for the fifth session running, with the FTSE100 here in London dropping through 5000 – a level it first crossed on the way up in August 1997.

The finance ministers of France and Belgium today pledged to "step in" if necessary and bail out the part-nationalized Dexia banking group.

Dexia received a bailout worth around €6 billion in 2008. Its share price fell to a low of €0.81 Tuesday morning – 44% below where it closed last week – after ratings agency Moody's placed Dexia on review for downgrade, citing "concerns about the group's sizeable reliance on short-term funding and the consequent liquidity gaps".

Last week Fitch, another ratings agency, referred to Dexia's "structural weakness" and warned that the bank faces growing difficulties in getting access to funding.

Several European banks have now "marked to market" the Greek government bonds they own, making writedowns of 50% or more. But others – including French banks BNP Paribas and Societe Generale and the Franco-Belgian Dexia Group – have so far only recorded the 21% loss agreed at a Eurozone summit in July.

"It's no coincidence that the banks with some of the biggest holdings of Greek debt took the smallest writedowns," says Peter Hahn, professor of finance at Cass Business School in London and a former managing director at Citigroup.

"You've got banks, which are supposedly comparable, putting different values on their assets. That destroys the credibility of the banking system, and is one of the reasons why the shares are being hit so badly."

"The market is increasingly worried about the potential of the Greek crisis and the calamity that could be created if there was a messy default," says Jane Foley, senior currency strategist at Rabobank in London.

"We could be in for a shakeout even larger than the Lehman shock," adds Hideki Amikura, Tokyo-based foreign exchange manager at Nomura Trust Bank.

"While last week saw precious metals largely following equities on a downward slope, gold and silver's moderate gains this week are a positive sign that they are returning to favor on haven demand," reckons one bullion dealer here in London.

"Investors will be reassured that last week's rout [of gold] was driven more by a flight to cash to meet margin calls and mitigate losses on equities than by a fundamental shift in perceptions of gold's value."

Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs the Eurogroup of single currency finance ministers, confirmed Tuesday morning that he has cancelled a meeting of Eurozone ministers scheduled for October 13 to discuss whether or not Greece should receive the next installment of its bailout funding, worth over €8 billion.

The cancellation follows Greece's announcement on Sunday that it expects to miss its deficit-cutting targets for 2011.

Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos said today that the government has enough money to last until mid-November if the next installment is delayed. He has previously said it would run out of money by the middle of October.

Dollar and Sterling Gold Prices remain broadly where they closed on Friday 23 September, while the Euro Gold Price is up 1.7% over the same period. In the so-called commodity currencies, the Gold Price has risen 2% against the Canadian Dollar in that time and 3.4% against the Australian Dollar – recovering most of the losses in that currency incurred towards the end of last month.

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Ben Traynor, 04 Oct '11
Editor of Gold News, the analysis and investment research site from world-leading gold ownership service BullionVault, Ben Traynor was formerly editor of the Fleet Street Letter, the UK's longest-running investment letter. A Cambridge economics graduate, he is a professional writer and editor with a specialist interest in monetary economics.

Trouble Coming Soon

Ready Access to real bullion is the only defence
WE HAVE OBSERVED world financial markets – including the gold market – for more than 40 years, watching the Gold Price move from $42 per ounce through what we are seeing today, writes Julian Phillips of GoldForecaster.

More importantly we've seen why the Gold Price has moved over these decades and fully understand the monetary history and role of gold. The events of the last three years have interrupted the currency experiment that used paper notes not redeemable either in gold or in anything else except more paper notes.

Right now we're watching the most recent experiment. The Euro, which is only one decade old, suffers the consequences of sub-par financial management, and it's taking Europe to the brink of failure. It's touch-and-go as to whether the Eurozone or the Euro will survive the present crises.

The Eurozone bailout package almost doubled in size to cope with Greece, Ireland and Portugal, to over €400 billion. The markets smiled at first, but then sank back into trepidation as the Italian government had to pay the highest interest ever for funds at a recent auction. When markets keep on being disappointed it signals something far more than just a temporary correction. As markets just dip slightly it's becoming clear that they're in a sort of denial, waiting for something to trigger what we're expecting at any time.

How is this driving gold, which is sitting now around $1,600 after having fallen from a peak of over $1,900? Look at the funds that hold physical gold. They've fallen by less than 2%, which is hardly significant.

Look at the demand from Asia. It's coming in at the lower levels as it has done in past falls; this fall, however, is far more significant. Look back when speculators and banks drove gold from $300 to $390, then farther back to $326 in 2005 – short-term traders can (under the right market conditions) drive prices a long way. In the more recent, 2008 case, Investor Meltdown created conditions where covering margins triggered 'stop loss' protections and the search for liquidity allowed for the precipitous falls.

It was just like a threatened body drawing its limited blood supply to its center, boosting its concentrated central defenses but starving its peripheries, which are now in danger of dying off, endangering the entire body. But gold is at the center and only got a shock.

But was that a change in trend? Have gold and silver market conditions changed, fundamentally?

We're now at the point where solutions and reformation must take place in the monetary world, far faster than governments are capable of and require a degree of consensus that looks unlikely to be achieved. So, what next?

The last couple of weeks have seen nearly all global markets falling, in concert. Yes, they're trying to recover, but this is dependent on some good news coming forward before December. It may be that failure to resolve the Eurozone debt crisis precipitates a far more dramatic set of market events as many important nations' economies confirm deflationary conditions and recessions.

The markets are telling us that bad news is on the way. Far more than just a downturn is being indicated by market behavior. Major structural changes will be forced on the developed world. It's losing wealth to the emerging world and oil producers. The recovery prospects are more than dim. There's far too much debt for the developed world to repay, so more debt will cripple it. Inflation to cheapen money is an alternative (and one the Fed prefers to deflation) but accompanied by a liquidity crisis and banking seizure, will more than likely lead to a degree of inflation that is uncontrollable.

We are on the brink of structures failing, spiraling the financial world into such a bleak scene comparable with the 1930s and the Second World War are valid.

The markets have not yet discounted that picture. And gold and silver prices pulled back solely in the search for liquidity, not because the safe-haven qualities of gold and silver evaporated. With the US Dollar the only standing safe haven in the currency world and one not too far away from its own meltdown, gold and silver have yet to really show their historic qualities. We're very close to a major financial accident that will cause far deeper problems for the developed world.

Many investors have seen the writing on the wall and have seen it since 2008. Now, the writing's more alarming than in 2008. The 2008 scene was when there was more economic strength than there is now. Now, the warnings come on the back of a developed world economy that is failing to grow, failing to resolve debt crisis, and failing to lead its way back to economic health. Disaster doesn't give that much warning. When it comes, a tranquil scene suddenly panics, while irreparable damage is done.

Whether this forecast is correct or not, we can all see that we have to be prudent and take precautionary measures to safeguard our wealth. If we don't, then we'll lose it. We're at the point when we need to be ready for the worst and situate ourselves out of harm's way. If the storm doesn't come, we can always come out of shelter and carry on. But if it does, when we come out of shelter we'll be able to do much more. Are you ready?

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Julian D.W. Phillips, 04 Oct '11
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