"[T]he Fed) is no longer a central bank...the notion that there is a capital market that is pricing things is absurd. These manipulations are pricing them. How does this differ from central planning? How is this free-market capitalism? I don’t see this (the difference) at all. And people aren’t really getting upset about it.” -- Former Undersecretary of the U.S. Treasury, Paul Craig Roberts, 12/21/13
Let's get right to gold...
Perhaps the Germans are expressing frustration over the fact that the U.S. cannot return (in fewer than 8 years) Germany's custodial gold as requested.
"Germany's top financial regulator said possible manipulation of currency rates and prices for precious metals is worse than the Libor-rigging scandal. The allegations about the currency and precious metals markets are “particularly serious, because such reference values are based -- unlike Libor and Euribor -- typically on transactions in liquid markets and not on estimates of the banks,” Elke Koenig, the president of Bafin, said in a speech in Frankfurt today."
There is nothing subtle in China National Gold Group's Sun Zhaoxue comments: China: Gold price decline premeditated -- U.S. has started a currency war
"This series of examples shows that the fall of the gold price is premeditated...The US owes Germany so much gold but instead of repaying immediately, sets a 2020 deadline to return the gold. From this example and process as well as some typical factors, this is a downright currency war to maintain US Dollar hegemony by defeating all other currencies. I shall stop here."
“Two years ago gold bugs ran wild as the price of gold rose nearly six times. But since cresting two years ago it has steadily declined, almost by half, putting the gold bugs in flight. The most recent advisory from a leading Wall Street firm suggests that the price will continue to drift downward, and may ultimately settle 40% below current levels...The fear that dominated two years ago has largely vanished, replaced by a recovery that has turned the gold speculators’ dreams into a nightmare.'
[T}hese quotes are from 1976, when the spot price of gold fell from $200 to $100 an ounce. Thereafter, gold rose from $100 to $850."
In July 2001 Richard Maybury issued a heightened security threat alert to readers of his U.S. and World Early Warning Report (I've been a subscriber for 15 years and highly recommend the publication). In fact Maybury penned the following five years earlier in October 1996: "The most important person in your financial life is a man the U.S. press rarely says anything about. He is Osama Bin Laden...Bin Laden is not bluffing."
From the January 2014 issue of EWR:
"Now there is a new tough guy on the block, and this time he may be the real deal. Emir al-Shishani (AKA Tarkhan Batirashvili) hates both Moscow and Washington. A guerilla commander, he is fighting to throw them out of Muslim lands, and is establishing a new Muslim state in Syria...In my opinion, al-Shishani has a real chance of being the new Saladin* "
Maybury reports that al-Shishani, an experienced Chechen combatant is attracting Muslim soldiers across the Mideast and that in al-Shishani, the U.S. may be facing a true military genius.
As cautioned here at the time it was announced, nothing about the Iran nuclear agreement should have been taken at face value:
The perverse reality behind this New York Times headline -- 'Banks Say No to Marijuana Money, Legal or Not' is that the sole reason the banks are rejecting the cash is because it is legal. Uncomfortable with the appearance of overtly accepting deposits from fragmented legal medical marijuana retailers, the banks are nevertheless delighted to launder narcotics revenue for the large drug cartels. As has often been stated here, with the exception of central banks, drug cartels are the single largest source of liquidity to the banking system. Preposterous you say, how could this possibly be occurring under the watchful eye of federal regulators? -- TIME: U.S. Govt. protected Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel for over a decade
It is a pathetic state of affairs indeed that the stalwart investigative journalistic organization on American politics is based in the U.K. The Guardian, which broke the Edward Snowden story exposes what mainstream U.S. media eschews, to wit: I worked on the US drone program. The public should know what really goes on
"Whenever I read comments by politicians defending the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Predator and Reaper program – aka drones – I wish I could ask them a few questions. I'd start with: "How many women and children have you seen incinerated by a Hellfire missile?" And: "How many men have you seen crawl across a field, trying to make it to the nearest compound for help while bleeding out from severed legs?" Or even more pointedly: "How many soldiers have you seen die on the side of a road in Afghanistan because our ever-so-accurate UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] were unable to detect an IED [improvised explosive device] that awaited their convoy?"
Lone wolf?...The central untruth of Martin Scorcese's new film, 'The Wolf of Wall Street' is its backhanded legitimization of the more "respectable" large Wall Street' firms, where the same criminal behavior occurs but with the presence of considerably less law enforcement. Where the boiler rooms promote largely worthless entities, Wall Street firms run "pump and dump" operations on the securities of legitimate companies from the perch of their research departments with their make-believe "Chinese Walls." There is as well of course, the massive front running, derivative fraud, market manipulations, rate fixing and ubiquitous malfeasance one reads about on a daily basis (Propublica: Guide to the Bank Scandals). Aside from the criminal prosecution exemptions extended to individuals at the large banks, the primary difference between the small-time bucket shop operators and the large Wall Street firms is the nature and size of their prey. Where the small firms, such as the now defunct Stratton Oakmont depicted in the film target retail accounts, the big banks target institutions such as municipalities: 'The Incredible Story Of The Jefferson County Bankruptcy -- One Of The Greatest Financial Ripoffs Of All Time'
Always, follow the money...The global warming cult is 90% religion and 10% science. As MIT professor Richard Lindzen sees it, earth worshipers are herded into their spiritual frenzy by global warming "researches," whose addiction to money is far more alarming than the world's fossil fuel dependence. What Catastrophe? MIT’s Richard Lindzen, the unalarmed climate scientist
"Almost all funding for climate research comes from the government, which, he says, makes scientists essentially vassals of the state. And generating fear, Lindzen contends, is now the best way to ensure that policymakers keep the spigot open...driving the apocalyptic rhetoric heard from many climate scientists and their media allies."
Some final words on gold...
Never in history have the risks of owning gold and gold stocks been lower, and the upside greater. The reasons why the prices of gold and silver are going to explode have been reviewed here for the past several years and nothing has changed. The financial infrastructure has only become more unstable and the fractional reserve gold system closer to collapse.
Floor traders live by their wits in the belly of the market. Do yourself a favor and listen carefully to this analysis from a Chicago floor trader. His description of what is occurring on the Comex in New York is pithy and clarifies the essence of the inevitable collision of paper supply and physical demand.
"[Y]ou’ve got to go against the grain. You have to be a buyer when people are non-believers...It’s like buying gold stocks in 2000 which I did to a very large extent. The HUI index was at 35 and it went to over 600. It went up 1700% in eight years....And you got to stick to your beliefs, that’s the other thing. I mean yes, I’ve taken some big down hits this year. But when I think of where we could go from here, and I’ve done it before, I’ve done it so many times I can’t even tell you…I might have been bullish and [everyone] thought we were in a bear market and it turns out to be a bull market. I’m going back over 40 to 50 years now. So that’s a lot of time. If you believe you’re right and the data says hold your ground, you hold your ground. Normally there’s a pretty big payday at the end."
If you were steadfast and had the guts to buy beaten up gold mining shares during the end-of-year tax selling you're already sitting on some significant profits. A number of the small exploration companies are up 30-50% in just the past few weeks . Even so they continue to be given away. By virtually any measure, there has never been a time when the stocks of precious metal companies were this cheap relative to gold and silver prices.
In a world of false interest rates and runaway liquidity the pricing of all financial assets becomes aberrant, resulting in a valuation mentality epitomized by Simon Hobbs -- a man who in Oscar Wilde's words would be described as one who 'knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.'
My very best,
*The Muslim military hero who defeated Europe's Christian Crusaders. Saladin's triumphs culminated in the Battle of Hattin in 1187, placing Jerusalem and other Crusader held cities under Islamic control.