18 August 2015 — Tuesday


The gold price traded flat until 9 a.m. Hong Kong time on their Monday morning—and then rallied unsteadily right up until a few minutes after the London open.  At that point the usual not-for-profit sellers showed up—and the price chopped lower until a few minutes after 1 p.m. in London, which was about fifteen minutes before the COMEX opened.  The rally that began at that time got dealt with about 8:40 a.m. EDT—and by the London close, 11 a.m. EDT, the price was back in the box—and it didn’t do a lot after that.

The low and high ticks were recorded by the CME Group as $1,112.90 and $1,122.20 in the December contract, which was a ten dollar price range.

Gold finished the Monday session in New York at $1,117.40 spot, up $3.70 from Friday’s close.  Net volume was pretty light at a bit over 86,000 contracts.

Here’s the 5-minute tick chart courtesy of Brad Robertson—and I’m including it so you can see that price capping at the London open—and twenty minutes after the COMEX open—didn’t involve a lot of volume.  Even more impressive was the fact that the rallies that proceeded them were on volumes approaching fumes and vapours, which is typical of a market on the verge of going “no ask”.   Midnight EDT is the vertical gray line, add two hours for EDT—and the ‘click to enlarge’ feature is a must.

The silver price pattern was just a mini version of what happened in gold, complete with the price capping at the London and COMEX opens.  The metal traded well within a 20 cent range, so I’ll spare you the high and low ticks.  Net volume was a hair under 23,000 contracts—and that’s very light.

The tiny rally in platinum and palladium both got sold off at the 9 a.m. Zurich open at the same moment that gold and silver got hit in London.  The low in platinum came shortly after 9 a.m. in COMEX trading—and the subsequent rally got capped/ran out of gas just before it was about to touch the $1,000 per ounce price mark at the COMEX close.  The price got sold down a couple of bucks from there—and it was closed at $997 spot, up seven dollars from Friday.

It was mostly the same for palladium, except the sell-off was even more severe—and it’s low of the day came at the London p.m. gold fix.  It recovered 5 bucks from there, but finished down 4 dollars on the day at $613 spot.

The dollar index closed late on Friday afternoon in New York at 96.58—and chopped higher in a very wide range—from 96.51 as a low—and 96.94 as a high, closing at 96.82.

Here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar chart so you can keep up with the medium-term changes.

The gold stocks gapped up a bit over two percent at the open—and the HUI was up over 4 percent at the London fix.  They chopped quietly lower from there, but starting about forty-five minutes before the closing bell, they rallied smartly, finishing the day up 4.14 percent—and just off their high tick.

The silver equities followed a similar trading pattern, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 3.50 percent.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that one gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Wednesday.  This is the third day in a row where there have been no gold deliveries posted at the COMEX-approved depositories—and Ted had something to say about this in his Saturday column—and I stole it for today’s quote further down.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Monday trading session showed that gold open interested in August dropped by another 360 contracts.  If this keeps up, there won’t be much left for delivery by the end of the month.  We’ll see.  August o.i. in silver remained unchanged at 16 contracts once again.

There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday—and as of 6:47 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either.

There was a sales report from the U.S. Mint on Monday.  They sold 4,000 troy ounces of gold eagles—zero one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—and a hefty 852,500 silver eagles.

It was a nothing day in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on Friday, as only 1 lonely kilobar was shipped out of the Manfra, Tordella & Brookes, Inc. depository.  I shall dispense with the link to this lack of action.

As is most often the case, it was a different story in silver, as nothing was reported received, but a very decent 882,484 troy ounces were shipped out the door for parts unknown.  The biggest withdrawal was from the CNT Depository with 739,107 troy ounces—and the link to that activity is here.

Over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Friday, they reported that 8,943 kilobars were received—and 294 were shipped out.  All the action was at the Brink’s, Inc. depository once again.  the link to this activity, in troy ounces, is here.

I have a very decent number of stories for you today—and I hope you find a few in here that you like.


Empire State Manufacturing Activity Plunges in August


Manufacturing activity in New York state plunged to its weakest level in August since 2009 due to steep drops in new orders and shipments, although optimism on future business improved, a New York Federal Reserve survey showed on Monday.

The New York Fed’s Empire State general business conditions index tumbled from 3.86 in July to -14.92 in August, its lowest since April 2009.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the index to rise to 5.00 this month. A reading above zero indicates expansion.

The survey of manufacturing plants in the state is one of the earliest monthly guideposts to U.S. factory conditions.

This Reuters article from yesterday was picked up on the foxbusiness.com Internet site—and today’s first story is courtesy of reader M.A.

American Malls in Meltdown – The Economic Recovery is a Complete and Utter Fraud

The government issued their monthly retail sales this past week and four of the biggest department store chains in the country announced their quarterly results. The year over year retail sales increase of 2.4% is pitifully low in an economy that is supposedly in its sixth year of economic growth with a reported unemployment rate of only 5.3%. If all of these jobs have been created, why aren’t retail sales booming?

The year to date numbers are even worse than the year over year numbers. With consumer spending accounting for 70% of our GDP and real inflation running north of 5%, it’s pretty clear most Americans are experiencing a recession, despite the propaganda data circulated by the government and Fed. The only people not experiencing a recession are corporate executives enriching themselves through stock buybacks, Wall Street bankers using free Fed Bucks while rigging the the markets in their favor, politicians and government bureaucrats reaping their bribes from billionaire oligarchs, and the media toadies who dispense the Deep State approved propaganda to keep the ignorant masses dazed, confused, and endlessly distracted by Cecil the Lion, Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, Ferguson, and blood coming out of whatever.

You won’t hear CNBC, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal or any corporate mainstream media outlet reference the fact retail sales growth is at the exact same levels as when recession hit in 2008 and 2001. Their job is to regurgitate the message of economic recovery and confidence in the future, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

This very long commentary from The Burning Platform website appeared on the Zero Hedge Internet site just before midnight EDT on Sunday evening—and I thank reader M.A. for his second contribution in a row.

States raising taxes, fees and debt to pay for road repairs

While Congress remains stalled on a long-term plan for funding highways, state lawmakers and governors aren’t waiting around.

Nearly one-third of the states have approved measures this year that could collectively raise billions of dollars through higher fuel taxes, vehicle fees and bonds to repair old bridges and roads and relieve traffic congestion, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

The surge of activity means at least half of the states — from coast to coast, in both Republican and Democratic areas — now have passed transportation funding measures since 2013.

And the movement may not be done yet.

This AP story, filed from Jefferson City, Missouri yesterday afternoon, was picked up by the yahoo.com Internet site—and I thank reader Jerome Cherry for finding it for us.

Oil falls near six-year low as U.S., OPEC keep pumping amid glut

Oil fell about 1 percent on Monday, with U.S. crude settling within range of a new 6-1/2-year low, after No. 3 oil consumer Japan said its economy contracted in the second quarter and China’s slowdown continued to weigh on sentiment.

A stronger dollar, after a report that U.S. industrial output grew at the fastest pace in eight months, also made greenback-denominated commodities, including crude, less affordable for holders of the euro and other currencies. [USD/]

U.S. light crude settled down 63 cents, or 1.5 percent, at $41.87 a barrel. Monday’s intraday low of $41.64 came within striking distance of Friday’s low of $41.35, the weakest front-month price since March 2009. Trading in expiring options for U.S. crude dominated the action.

Brent, the global crude benchmark, settled down 45 cents, or nearly 1 percent, at $48.74 a barrel. It earlier hit a session low of $48.35, about $3 above its six-year low of $45.19 set in January.

This news item, along with an embedded 5:36 minute video clip, put in an appearance on the bnn.ca website at 7:09 a.m. EDT on Monday morning—and I thank Brad Robertson for sending it our way.

Bad Moon rising: Americans bracing for September shocker

Across the vast expanse of the internet, everyone from professional economists to armchair theorists are sounding the alarm that next month may hold some ugly surprises for the global economy.

Despite exorbitant executive salaries, record earnings on Wall Street and a surging dollar, an increasing number of forecasters are warning the feel-good data is severely skewered – a bit like a new coat of paint that used-car dealerships use to conceal the fact that a car’s engine is shot. Indeed, many experts are giving the rickety US-made jalopy just months before the big collapse begins.

In a recent conversation between senior analyst Larry Edelson and Mike Burnick, the Research Director for Weiss Research, Edelson made a stunning prediction, even providing an exact date for what he predicts will be a “rollercoaster ride through hell.”

“On October 7, 2015, the first economic super cycle since 1929 will trigger a global financial crisis of epic proportions. It will bring Europe, Japan and the United States to their knees, sending nearly one billion human beings on a roller-coaster ride through hell for the next five years. A ride like no generation has ever seen. I am 100 percent confident it will hit within the next few months.”

And there are dozens of other such apocalyptic predictions on the health of the global economy that it leaves one feeling dizzy and desperate – something like watching an approaching tidal wave in the full knowledge there is no hope of outrunning it.

Some of the the lunatic fringe is in the main stream media in a big way in this Op-Edge piece that showed up on the Russia Today website at 11:09 a.m. Moscow time on their Sunday morning.  But, having said that, there are lots of other more level-headed high-profile fund managers saying the same thing in one form or another.  As I said in my Saturday column for the umpteenth time over the years “But know this for sure—and that is that the world’s current economic, financial and monetary system is a goner—and what replaces that—and how soon, is all that matters now.”  I thank Roy Stephens for sending it.

Doomsday clock for global market crash strikes one minute to midnight as central banks lose control

When the banking crisis crippled global markets seven years ago, central bankers stepped in as lenders of last resort. Profligate private-sector loans were moved on to the public-sector balance sheet and vast money-printing gave the global economy room to heal.

Time is now rapidly running out. From China to Brazil, the central banks have lost control and at the same time the global economy is grinding to a halt. It is only a matter of time before stock markets collapse under the weight of their lofty expectations and record valuations.

The FTSE 100 has now erased its gains for the year, but there are signs things could get a whole lot worse.

Following on from the Russia Today story posted above, is this article that appeared on The Telegraph‘s website at 3:06 p.m. Monday afternoon BST.  Along with the news item itself, is an embedded 1:47 minute video clip.  I thank “Roger in La La Land” for bringing it to our attention.  He sent it to me just before midnight Denver time on Sunday evening, but now it’s datelined with the date and time shown.

Brazilian president under fire as tens of thousands protest in 200 cities

Tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets in cities across the country on Sunday, to protest against President Dilma Rousseff.

Angered by a massive, unfolding corruption scandal, an economy mired in recession and harsh austerity measures, many of the protesters called for the president’s impeachment.

In São Paulo, an anti-government event drew around 135,000, according to Datafolha, a polling institute. Though significant, the numbers were down on a similar event in the city in March this year, which attracted 210,000.

In Brasília, police numbered the crowd at around 25,000. Demonstrations took place in more than 200 cities, including Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Salvador.

This is all about the Petrobras oil scandal, a story that I posted in this column within the last ten days or so.  This one showed up on theguardian.com Internet site at 9:50 p.m. BST on Sunday evening—and it’s the first offering of the day from Patricia Caulfield.

Tsipras likely to call confidence vote after party revolt

The Greek government appears likely to call a confidence vote, following a rebellion among lawmakers from the ruling Syriza party over the country’s new bailout deal, senior ministers said on Monday.

Energy Minister Panos Skourletis described such a parliamentary vote as “self-evident” following Friday’s rebellion when almost a third of Syriza deputies abstained or voted against the agreement.

With Syriza’s left wing showing little sign of returning to the party fold, Skourletis also raised the possibility of early elections should Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras lose a confidence motion. Tsipras had to rely on opposition support to get the bailout deal through parliament, and another minister argued that elections would be a way of achieving political stability.

Greece’s political turmoil has raised uncertainty over how the government will implement the bailout deal, which demands profound economic reform and tough austerity policies, without a workable majority.

This Reuters article, filed from Athens, appeared on their website at 9:31 a.m. EDT on Monday morning—and it’s the second contribution in a row from Patricia Caulfield.

Europe has taken charge of Greece like a television’s 3-day nanny

On Channel 4’s The Three Day Nanny, modern-day Mary Poppins Kathryn Mewes arrives in a household of tantrum-prone tots and has just 72 hours to transform them with tough love and discipline into model family members. Judging by Greece’s latest bailout deal, its lenders, led by the German government, are adopting much the same approach.

It was already clear in the wake of eurozone leaders’ marathon all-night talks last month that the governing leftist party Syriza was being punished for its temerity in challenging the eurozone orthodoxy of austerity.

But when the 29-page memorandum of understanding prime minister Alexis Tsipras signed with his creditors emerged on Wednesday, the full scale of the discipline to which Greece has been forced to submit became clear. It’s a full-blown, three-year, big bang modernisation with a hefty price tag attached – not just in austerity measures, but in surrendered sovereignty.

This commentary was posted on The Guardian‘s website at 09:00 a.m. on Sunday morning BST—and I thank Roy Stephens for sending it our way.

Greek government on its ‘last legs’ while Angela Merkel faces growing rebellion in Berlin

Greek MPs are poised to hold a vote of confidence in the government of Alexis Tsipras after Leftist party rebels deserted the prime minister over the punishing terms of a third international bail-out agreement.

Syriza’s energy minister Panos Skourletis said it was now “self evident” that parliamentarians would decide on whether or not to continue supporting the government after a “deep wound” had been inflicted on the ruling coalition.

But the terms of the deal, which roll back a number of key pledges from the anti-austerity government, have split the ruling party. Mr Tsipras failed to get the backing of at least 120 of his own MPs, a constitutional threshold that could oblige him to trigger a vote in his leadership.

In a detailed evisceration of the austerity measures, former rebel finance minister Yanis Varoufakis denounced the agreement as encapsulating “the Greek government’s humiliating capitulation“.

“Greek sovereignty is being forfeited wholesale” he said. “Not since the Soviet Union has wishful thinking, unsupported by anything tangible, posed as policymaking.”

This news item appeared up on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site at 5:00 p.m. BST yesterday afternoon, which was noon EDT in New York.  It’s the second offering in a row from Roy Stephens.

Yanis Varoufakis: bailout deal allows Greek oligarchs to maintain grip

Greece’s former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has accused European leaders of allowing oligarchs to maintain their stranglehold on Greek society while punishing ordinary people in a line-by-line critique of the country’s €86bn (£61bn) bailout deal.

Varoufakis said the Greek parliament had pushed through an agreement with international creditors that would allow oligarchs, who dominate sections of the economy, to generate huge profits and continue to avoid paying taxes.

The outspoken economist published an annotated version of the deal memorandum on his website on Monday, arguing throughout the 62-page document that most of the measures imposed on Greece would make the country’s dire economic situation worse.

This last Greece-related story put in an appearance on theguardian.com Internet site at 4:19 p.m. BST yesterday afternoon, which was 11:19 a.m. EDT.  I thank Patricia Caulfield for this one.

OSCE says east Ukraine shelled by Grad rocket launchers “from a westerly direction”

International observers monitoring the ceasefire in Ukraine reported on Monday that Grad rocket launchers had been used in recent days to shell settlements in the country’s east.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s special monitoring mission (SMM) to Ukraine observed damage caused by shelling and conducted several crater analyses in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, SMM monitors said in their latest report.

Analyses of eight fresh craters in the Krasnoarmeyskoye settlement, subjected to shelling on August 14, indicated that “they were all caused by Grad multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS, 122mm) originating from a westerly direction”, monitors said.

Similar conclusions were reached after visiting the settlement of Telmanovo on August 16. “The SMM analysed 16 craters and concluded that they were caused by MLRS (122mm BM-21 Grad) fired from a west-south-westerly direction,” the report said. “The SMM observed that some houses were heavily damaged and a transformer providing electricity to the village was destroyed.”

This news item, filed from Vienna, showed up on the tass.ru Internet site at 9:56 p.m. Moscow time on their Sunday evening, which was 2:56 p.m. in Washington—EDT plus 7 hours.

Civilians, soldiers die in east Ukraine fighting as Putin visits Crimea

Fighting flared between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed rebels in separate parts of eastern Ukraine overnight, killing at least two Ukrainian soldiers and several civilians, Kiev’s military and separatist sources said on Monday.

The clashes, near the port of Mariupol in the southeast and at rebel-held Horlivka, further frayed an increasingly tenuous ceasefire as Ukraine prepared to mark its Independence Day next week.

Kiev accused the separatists of shelling civilians on the outskirts of Mariupol. In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blamed Kiev for the violence, giving no detail but saying he suspected Ukraine was preparing a new offensive.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko meanwhile accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of trying to whip up tensions in eastern Ukraine by visiting Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine last year.

The Kremlin said the aim of Putin’s three-day trip was to hold meetings on ways to develop the Black Sea peninsula and promote tourism there.

This Reuters article arrived in my in-box at 8:23 a.m. EDT yesterday morning, but has obviously been updated or rewritten, as it’s now datelined 1:34 p.m. EDT.  I thank Patricia Caulfield for sending it.

Iran still closed to U.S. influence after nuclear deal: Khamenei

Iran will remain closed to U.S. influence and continue to oppose U.S. policies in the Middle East after its nuclear deal with big powers, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday, noting either country can still block the accord.

“We blocked this path and will definitely block it in the future. We won’t allow American political, economic or cultural influence in Iran.”

Tehran agreed to verifiable limits on its atomic energy program to create confidence that it will not be put to developing nuclear weapons, in exchange for lifting international sanctions crippling its oil-based economy.

“They thought this deal – and it is not clear if it will be passed in Iran or in America – will open up Iran to their influence,” Khamenei was quoted on his website as saying at a meeting with members of the Islamic Radio and Television Union.

This Reuters article, filed from Dubai, appeared on their website at 10:31 a.m. EDT yesterday morning—and it’s another contribution from Patricia Caulfield.

‘Deal or war’: Is doomed dollar really behind Obama’s Iran warning?

U.S. President Barack Obama has given an extraordinary ultimatum to the Republican-controlled Congress, arguing that they must not block the nuclear accord with Iran. It’s either “deal or war,” he says.

In a televised nationwide address on August 5, Obama said: “Congressional rejection of this deal leaves any U.S. administration that is absolutely committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon with one option: another war in the Middle East. I say this not to be provocative. I am stating a fact.”

In his drastic prediction of war, one might assume that Obama is referring to Israel launching a preemptive military strike on Iran with the backing of U.S. Republicans. Or that he is insinuating that Iran will walk from self-imposed restraints on its nuclear program to build a bomb, thus triggering a war.

But what could really be behind Obama’s dire warning of “deal or war” is another scenario – the collapse of the U.S. dollar, and with that the implosion of the U.S. economy.

That scenario was hinted at this week by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Speaking in New York on August 11, Kerry made the candid admission that failure to seal the nuclear deal could result in the US dollar losing its status as the top international reserve currency.

This very interesting op-edge piece was posted on the Russia Today Internet site late Saturday morning Moscow time—and it’s worth reading.  It’s another contribution from Patricia C.

Not Welcome Anymore? Chinese Military Giving U.S. Troops the Boot in Djibouti

The Chinese military is about to give its American counterpart the boot in the tiny country of Djibouti – the strategically critical entrance from the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea located in the Horn of Africa.

The United States is about to lose one of its military installations in the Republic of Djibouti, America’s largest permanent military base in Africa and the home to more than 4,000 U.S. personnel.

The government of the tiny country has seemingly had a change of heart and now wants to host a Chinese military contingent of about 10,000 instead.

“The announcement, made the day after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Djibouti last May, is deeply worrying for Pax Americana, for it comes on top of a major package of economic investments by China that has Djiboutian President Guelleh openly talking about the importance of his new friends from Asia,” Eritrea-based journalist Thomas Mountain pointed out.

We’ll see how this turns out, because as the last paragraph states—“So don’t be surprised if we wake up one morning and find that in the name of “democracy” there has been a military coup in Djibouti,” Mountain noted with a touch of bitter irony.”  The U.S. will send in the jackals, just like they did in Iran in 1953—Panama, Chile—the list is endless.  John Perkins wrote all about this in his classic book “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man“. This commentary showed up on the sputniknews.com Internet site at 9:35 p.m. Moscow time on their Monday evening, which was 2:35 p.m. EDT in Washington.  I thank Roy Stephens for sharing it with us.

Photos of the massive explosion at the Tianjin port in China

This very long, but absolute must see photo essay appeared on the chinadigitaltimes.net website on Monday.  If you don’t want to read everything the reporter wrote, just ‘click to enlarge‘ on the first photo—and then run through through the pictures that way.

One of the nut-ball lunatic fringe crowd suggested last week that this explosion was nuclear—and his mea culpa that followed was pathetic.  Remember what I said about believing everything you read on the Internet, especially when it’s free.  ‘Little Boy’—the low-yield nuclear weapon dropped on Hiroshima seventy years ago this month—was only 15 kilotons, and you can read about the damage it did linked here.  I thank “Jack in Land o’ Lakes, Florida” for sending it my way early Sunday afternoon MDT.

World shipping slump deepens as China retreats

World shipping has fallen into a deep slump over the late summer, dashing hopes of a quick recovery from the global trade recession earlier this year and heightening fears that the six-year economic expansion may be on its last legs.

Freight rates for container shipping from Asia to Europe fell by over 20pc in the second week of August, even though trade volumes should be picking up at this time of the year. The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) for routes to north European ports crashed by 23pc in five trading days.

The storm in the shipping industry comes as the New York state manufacturing index for July plummeted to a recessionary low of minus 14.9, the lowest since the Great Recession and one of the steepest one-month drops ever recorded.

Except for his bulls hit ‘whistling past the graveyard’ comment in the final paragraph, this piece by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is worth your while.  It appeared on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site at 7:37 p.m. yesterday evening London time, which was 2:37 p.m. in New York—EDT plus 5 hours.

Dr. Marc Faber: Two Interviews

The first one, which lasts 4:07 minutes, is headlined “Faber: Yuan devaluation is completely meaningless“.  It was conducted last Thursday—and posted on the CNBC website at noon EDT on Friday.  The link to that one is here.

The second, which runs for 2:42 minutes, is from the same time period—and it’s headlined “China is a headwind for multinationals: Faber“.  It’s linked here.

Both appeared to have been excerpts from a much longer interview, but this is all that the CNBC website provides.  I thank Ken Hurt for sending both of them.

Markets await next Abe-Kuroda meeting

Speculation is rife that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda will confer sometime soon. And that has market players growing anxious.

Since Abe took office in December 2012, he and the BOJ chief have held six so-called “Abe-Kuro meetings” at the prime minister’s official residence. They have taken place unannounced, and their hush-hush nature has had market players guessing.

During the meetings, the two men have reportedly exchanged assessments on the Japanese economy and discussed related matters. Many of the meetings have come just before or after a Group of Seven summit or a meeting of the Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs.

The past two Abe-Kuro meetings were held on March 23 and June 2. Given that a two-day G-20 meeting will begin Sept. 4 in Turkey, there is market speculation that Abe and Kuroda will likely meet later this month.

This news item, filed from Tokyo, put in an appearance on the Nikkei Asian Review website at 7:00 p.m. JST on their Monday evening—and I thank Richard Saler for bringing this news item to our attention.  It’s worth reading.

Where Do I Store My Wealth? – Jeff Thomas

International diversification of wealth (no matter how large or small) can save your economic freedom. Although most of our readers thoroughly understand this concept, one of the most oft-heard concerns is that, by off-shoring assets, one may not be able to get to them as easily as they now can. Here’s the response to that, and some practical advice on what you can do to protect yourself.

Let’s say you presently regard yourself as being economically diversified. You own stocks and bonds, you have some cash, you have a retirement fund and you have a bit of gold stuffed away at home. On the surface, it would seem that you’re covered.

Trouble is, you have all your wealth in one jurisdiction, and should that jurisdiction find itself in an economic crisis, all that “diversification” will be seriously at risk.

This worthwhile commentary was posted on the International Man website yesterday.

Druckenmiller Buys Gold ETF, Boosts Facebook, Dumps Biotech

Billionaire Stan Druckenmiller’s family office bought gold and added to his holdings of Facebook Inc. in the second quarter.

The former chief strategist for George Soros bought shares of SPDR Gold Trust, an exchange-traded product backed by gold, worth $323.6 million at the end of June, according to a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Druckenmiller, who shut his hedge fund firm Duquesne Capital Management in 2010, now manages his own fortune, estimated at $4.4 billion. His fund had one of the best track records in money management, gaining an average of 30 percent per year from its inception in 1986.

This gold related Bloomberg story, was posted on their Internet site late Friday morning Denver time—and I found it in Ted Butler’s weekly commentary on Saturday.  The Zero Hedge spin on this story, which is headlined “Billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller Loads Up on Gold, Makes it His Largest Position For First Time Ever“—and it’s definitely worth your time.  It showed up on their Internet site late Sunday afternoon EDT—and I thank David Caron for finding it for us.

Please join GATA in New Orleans in October — you really can’t lose

With China’s devaluation, Greece’s bankruptcy, the European Union’s dissolution, the crash of commodity prices and world trade, and ever-more-obvious central bank interventions against gold, the world financial system may be approaching a turning point — just as the annual New Orleans Investment Conference convenes, from Wednesday through Saturday, October 28-31. If, as some observers suspect, the monetary metals are turning around and about to start exacting their revenge on market-rigging central banks and their investment bank agents, New Orleans will be the place to be.

Once again GATA Chairman Bill Murphy and your secretary/treasurer will be speaking in New Orleans. We’ll be joined by many renowned market analysts and critical thinkers, including the columnists Mark Steyn and Charles Krauthammer; fund manager, best-selling author, geopolitical strategist, and gold market analyst Jim Rickards; newsletter editor Marc Faber; contrarian and provocateur Doug Casey; and Adrian Day, Frank Holmes, Marin Katusa, Brent Cook, Mary Anne and Pamela Aden, Mark Skousen, Eric Coffin, Ian McAvity, and many others.

But of course New Orleans itself is always one of the stars of the show. The conference again will be held at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside hotel, on the Riverwalk along the Mississippi, across the street from Harrah’s casino, adjacent to the city’s trolley line, and a short walk from the French Quarter, beautiful Jackson Square, and many wonderful restaurants and museums.

New Orleans is not a free conference, but GATA supporters really can’t lose on it.

This commentary by GATA secretary/treasurer Chris Powell was posted on the gata.org Internet site on Sunday afternoon EDT—and it’s worth a few minutes of your time.

Away From Dollar: Russia, China to Create Entirely Different Gold Market

While key Western banks are artificially restraining gold prices to breathe life into the diluted and devalued dollar system, Russia, China and other emerging economies are involved in “the genial move” to establish an entirely different gold market, F. William Engdahl underscores.

Key central banks, particularly the Federal Reserve and Bank of England, and Western market players have long been accused of clandestine gold price manipulating aimed at preserving the dollar’s role “as world reserve currency primus,” American-German economic researcher and historian F. William Engdahl writes.

“The COMEX gold futures market in New York and the Over-the-Counter (OTC) trades cleared through the London Bullion Market Association do set prices which are followed most widely in the world. They are also markets dominated by a handful of huge players, the six London Bullion Market Association gold clearing banks — the corrupt JP MorganChase bank; the scandal-ridden UBS bank of Zurich; The Bank of Nova Scotia — ScotiaMocatta, the world’s oldest bullion bank which began as banker to the British East India Company, the group that ran the China Opium Wars; the scandal-ridden Deutsche Bank; the scandal-ridden Barclays Bank of London; HSBC of London, the house bank of the Mexican drug cartels; and the scandal and fraud-ridden Societe Generale of Paris,” Engdahl narrated.

I saw the Engdhal piece on which this sputniknews.com story is based, last week.  But there was so much stuff in it that was patently wrong, that I didn’t post it.  However, the reporter in this story cherry-picked the best bits—and now it’s worth reading.  It showed up on their website 6:41 p.m. Moscow time on their Sunday evening—and I thank U.K. reader Tariq Khan for bringing it to my attention—and now to yours.

Chinese gold demand still running extremely high for Summer months — Lawrence Williams

Contrary to some of the expressed media-disseminated information Chinese physical gold demand, as indicated by gold withdrawals from the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE), remains at a very high level indeed for the time of year.  The latest figure for withdrawals for the week ended August 7 was 56 tonnes, bringing the total for the year to date to a massive 1,520 tonnes.  This is a full 135 tonnes higher than the previous record for Chinese gold demand at the same time of year – back in 2013.

A particular feature of this year’s SGE withdrawal figures has been the continuing strength of demand so expressed through the Summer months when demand normally falls away.  This year weekly demand over the period has been mostly above the 50 tonne mark – indeed it was well over 70 tonnes just three weeks ago – and this is at a time of year when 30 tonnes plus normally represents a strong demand week on the SGE!

This commentary by Lawrie is based on the SGE gold withdrawal chart that Nick Laird passed around on Friday evening—and which appeared in my Saturday column.  Lawrie wrote it up on Saturday morning BST—and here it is.  It’s worth reading.

Is Asian gold demand really low – or at an all-time high? — Lawrence Williams

‘There are three kinds of lies.  Lies, damn lies and statistics’ to quote Mark Twain supposedly himself quoting Benjamin Disraeli!  Is gold demand down as the statistics in the latest Gold Demand Trends report from the World Gold Council (WGC) would seem to suggest – or is it actually at an all-time high as some other equally persuasive statistics would have us believe?

A couple of days ago I received the following emails from precious metals charts guru, Nick Laird of www.sharelynx.com, perhaps the closest follower of gold statistics anywhere in the world and one of those who firmly believes from the figures he receives that Asian gold demand is running extremely high.  Indeed running at record levels.

Nick commented thus.

“I got an email from John Hathaway today saying “why is the WGC saying low demand when my charts are showing otherwise?”  Gold demand has never been higher than the last 9 months – ever.”

“Seems to me that the WGC are not doing their job.!!!  Why are they not promoting gold but rather hiding how strong demand is???  One must ponder this question?”

I got the same charts and e-mail from Nick on Friday evening that Lawrie got, but wasn’t sure whether I should use the John Hathaway quote, even though I know John quite well.  So I practiced some self-censorship—and spiked it.  I’m glad Lawrie didn’t, because now I can post it without guilt!  Thanks Lawrie!  This must read commentary appeared on his website yesterday—and it’s something that was posted on the Sharps Pixley website.


I was out with the camera and 400mm lens on Sunday once again.  I should have taken the 1.4x teleconverter with me like I normally do, but this time I left it at home—much to my regret with the three photos posted here.  I’m not overly proud of them because of the distances involved.  The first was from well over 200 meters away, the second from a bit over 100—and the last one, something under 100.  I had to crop the hell out of them—and it shows. The only reason I kept them was because of the subject material—and the ‘click to enlarge‘ feature barely helps here.

The first shows a fully fledged black-crowned night heron ‘chick’ from this year’s brood trying to snare lunch.  I didn’t even notice the red-necked grebe in the shot until later.

This heron shot was from about half the distance of the last one—and about fifteen minutes later.  The grebe is now gone—and the geese and ducks had shown up in its stead.  I tried to move closer after this photo, but it flew away at that juncture.  I have lots of photos from prior years that I’ve already posted in this column.

This is the same red-neck grebe, complete with minnow that it has just caught while on one of its numerous dives for food.  About 99.999 percent of any grebe’s life [loons as well] is spent on the water, under the water, or in the air.  They only touch ‘land’ to sit on their eggs—and that land is usually in the reeds someplace, or close to the water’s edge on an island somewhere.


A quick word about the ongoing COMEX August gold delivery month and developments in COMEX gold warehouse data. There are still more than 2,100 contracts still open after two full weeks of the delivery process, definitely on the high side. After two straight days with no deliveries and continued tightness in the nearby spread differentials, the August gold deliveries look “sticky” – or as if the buyers are holding out for delivery and the sellers are somewhat reluctant to make delivery.

In addition, around 140,000 oz of gold were removed from the JPMorgan COMEX warehouse this [past] week. Most often, it’s hard to match up COMEX deliveries and subsequent warehouse movement (the exception being the JPM silver deliveries followed by inflows into its own warehouse, as described above). But since JPMorgan did deliver 275,000 oz of gold earlier in the August process, it would appear this week’s outflow of 140,000 oz is related to that earlier delivery issuance.

The reason I mention this is because it would seem to conform to my suggestions that physical conditions in gold may be tight, in that those taking delivery (HSBC and Goldman Sachs in their proprietary trading accounts) needed to access or move the metal fairly quickly. I can’t imagine physical conditions in gold ever getting as tight as conditions have been—and are presently in silver, but everything is relative and it still looks like physical gold is tighter than I recall it being based upon the reasons just stated. Tighter is synonymous with bullish to my mind. — Silver analyst Ted Butler: 15 August 2015

It was obvious, once again, the “da boyz” are keeping the precious metals on a very short leash, as they turned up a the London open—and shortly after the COMEX open, to deal with the rallies that had developed.  The gold rally after the COMEX open was, as I said earlier, heading towards the moon in what had all the hallmarks of a “no ask” market once again.  But with volume very much on the lighter side, it wasn’t much of an effort for anyone with deep pockets and an agenda, to do what they saw fit with the prices of the precious metals—and that’s what they did.

Here are the 6-month charts for the ‘Big 6′ commodities once again.  WTIC did not make a new intraday low for this move down, but did close at a new low.

And as I write this paragraph, the London open is about ten minutes away.  Gold is up a bit—and silver has been under selling pressure right from the open in Far East trading.  As Ted mentioned in his weekly review “There should be no question that the sudden 40 cent spike down out of the blue on Friday morning was solely engineered to drive silver prices back below its 50-day moving average and head off further managed money buying“—and it appears they want to keep it there for the time being.  Platinum is chopping sideways—and palladium is down another 3 bucks.

Net HFT volume in gold is right around the 16,000 contract mark—and silver’s net volume is a bit under 4,000 contracts.  The dollar index rallied almost to the 97.00 mark, but has sold off a bit going into the London open—and is currently up only 6 basis points.

Today, at the close of COMEX trading, is the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report—and I’ll be the most surprised person in the world if the precious metals are allowed to go anywhere [except down] from a price perspective for the remainder of the Tuesday trading sesssion.

We’re still in the JPMorgan et al “summer doldrums” period, but as you’ve seen from the capped rallies during the last week or so—with yesterday’s price action being a case in point—there would be no doldrums at all if prices were allowed to trade freely.

And as I put today’s column up on the website at 5:25 a.m. EDT, I see that gold is still attempting to crawl higher.  Silver and platinum are barely off their lows—and palladium is down ten bucks.  Net gold volume is now pushing 26,000 contracts—and silver’s net volume is just over 7,000 contracts.  The dollar index is now down 4 basis points after it’s earlier assault on the 97.00 mark.

As I said above, I’m not expecting much to happen in the way of price movement to the upside for the remainder of the Tuesday session, although I’d love to proven spectacularly wrong.

I’m off to bed—and I’ll see you here tomorrow.


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