Some say that the gold bull market has suffered severe damage, which will affect its long-term prospects. If we were to accept these statements then it would appear that the gold ‘bull’ market is over. But are these statements acceptable and do they reflect the true picture underlying the gold [and silver] markets?
To get the proper perspective let’s stand back and look at the ‘BIG’ picture.
Is the Worst Over?
Not according to the I.M.F. An assessment by the International Monetary Fund says potential losses as a result of the credit crisis could exceed US$1 trillion. The assessment includes warnings that further losses and write-downs on prime mortgages, commercial real estate, leveraged loans, and consumer finance were likely. The IMF’s Global Financial Stability report put credit market losses at USD945bn, as of mid-March, with more losses expected for months to come.
The report also stressed the fact that the credit crisis was impacting the full spectrum of the financial market in one way or another, with losses distributed between banks, insurance companies, pension funds, hedge funds, and other investors. We note that credit card finance alongside car finance has been included in assets acceptable to the Fed as collateral, which tells us it is not over by a long shot.
U.S. Trade Deficit
February recorded a Trade deficit of $62.3 billion against a January deficit of $59.0. This still looks like a $720 billion deficit to us and with oil prices now at over $120 a barrel and Chinese imports still cheaper than local products and flooding in, the prospects are for a worse annual Trade deficit than ever before. And there is no real sign that this deficit is dropping. (more…)
On 19th May 2014, the European Central Bank and 20 other European central banks announced the signing of the fourth Central Bank Gold Agreement. This agreement, which applies as of 27 September 2014, will last for five years and the signatories have stated that they currently do not have any plans to sell significant amounts of gold.
Collectively, at the end of 2013, central banks held around 30,500 tonnes of gold, which is approximately one-fifth of all the gold ever mined. Moreover, these holdings are highly concentrated in the advanced economies of Western Europe and North America, a statement that their gold reserves remained an important reserve asset, a statement made in each of the four agreements since then.
After 29 years of implied threats that gold was moving away from being an important reserve asset and the potential sales of central bank gold the gold price had fallen to $275 down from $850 in 1985. But the sales that were seen were so small that with hindsight they were seen as only token gestures. Today the developed world’s central banks continue to hold around 80% or more of the gold they held in 1970. (more…)
By the beginning of the 1960s, the U.S. $35 = 1 oz. gold price was becoming more and more difficult to sustain. Gold demand was rising and U.S. Gold reserves were falling, both as a result of the ever increasing trade deficits which the U.S. continued to run with the rest of the world.
Shortly after President Kennedy was Inaugurated in January 1961, and to combat this situation, newly-appointed Undersecretary of the Treasury Robert Roosa suggested that the U.S. and Europe should pool their Gold resources to prevent the private market price for Gold from exceeding the mandated rate of U.S.$ 35 per ounce. Acting on this suggestion, the Central Banks of the U.S., Britain, West Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg set up the “London Gold Pool” in early 1961. One wonders why they were so cooperative with the U.S. Granted the gold that left these nations ahead of the war was still in the U.S. and slowly but surely they felt it necessary to get it back. What happened in occupied Europe was that U.S. dollars became more abundant there and a market in ‘Eurodollars’ sprang up derived in part from U.S. soldiers still in Europe. But the volumes grew more and more as the U.S. established a perpetual Trade deficit feeding the rest of the world with them.