The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), located in Basal, Switzerland, is often referred to as the central bankers’ bank. Related to this issue of central bank hoarding of gold is the fact that on March 29 the BIS will permit central banks to count the physical gold it holds (marked to market) as a reserve asset just the same as it allows cash and sovereign debt instruments to be counted.
There has been a long-term view that China and other nations dishoarding dollars in favor of gold have been quite happy about western banks trashing the gold price through the synthetic paper markets. But one has to wonder if that might not change, once physical gold is marked to market for the sake of enlarging bank balance sheets.
This also raises the question with regard to how much gold the U.S. actually holds as opposed to what it claims to hold. James Sinclair has always argued that the only way the world can overcome the debt that is strangling the global economy is to remonetize gold on the balance sheets of central banks at a price in many thousands of dollars higher. This would mean a major change in the global monetary system away from the dollar, as China has been pushing for the last decade or so.
If banks own and possess gold bullion, they can use that asset as equity and thus this will enable them to print more money. It may be no coincidence that as March 29th has been approaching banks around the world have been buying huge amounts of physical gold and taking delivery. For the first time in 50 years, central banks bought over 640 tonnes of gold bars last year, almost twice as much as in 2017 and the highest level raised since 1971, when President Nixon closed the gold window and forced the world onto a floating rate currency system.
But as Chris Powell of GATA noted, that in itself is not news. The move toward making gold equal to cash and bonds was anticipated several years ago. However, what is news is the realization by a major Italian Newspaper, II Sole/24 Ore, that “synthetic gold,” or “paper gold,” has been used to suppress the price of gold, thus enabling countries and their central banks to continue to buy gold and build up their reserves at lower and lower prices as massive amounts of artificially-created “synthetic gold” triggers layer upon layer of artificially lower priced gold as unaware private investors panic out of their positions.
This worthwhile commentary from Jay, which I’ve read in its entirety, was posted on the Zero Hedge website in abridged form at 11:29 a.m. EDT on Sunday morning — and the first reader that dropped it in my in-box was Judy Sturgis. Another link to it is here
I write about bubbles and interest rates a lot. Recently a Fed bigwig wrote an article that stated the Fed cannot normalize policy EVER without blowing up all of the bubbles in the financial system. Keeping interest rates this low fosters speculation and will push the financial bubbles even further into never-never land. When this all comes to an end, it will be horrific. What better way to prepare for the inevitable than to own gold and silver? The bubbles are real. The debasement of currency and bonds are real. None of this is imagined. The Fed understands this and the danger in keeping rates low, but they finally are getting around to admitting that they have no choice.
A Fed Insider Comes Clean on the Everything Bubble
The Fed just realized two things:
1) It cannot normalize policy EVER without blowing up the Everything Bubble/ financial system.
2) The Fed is well behind the curve when it comes to dealing with the next downturn.
Regarding #1, we’ve had some developments in the last month.
Recently, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan published an article on one of the Fed’s websites outlining the risks to the corporate bond market.
U.S. nonfinancial corporate debt as a percentage of GDP is now higher than the prior peak reached at the end of 2008…Nonfinancial corporate bonds outstanding in the U.S. grew from approximately $2.2 trillion in 2008 to approximately $5.7 trillion at year-end 2018…
Source: The Dallas Fed
Kaplan is here admitting that the US corporate space is now MORE leveraged to the real economy than it was in 2008. He notes, that as a result of this, the US economy is MUCH more sensitive to interest rates.
An elevated level of corporate debt, along with the high level of U.S. government debt, is likely to mean that the U.S. economy is much more interest rate sensitive than it has been historically.
Source: The Dallas Fed
Even more astonishing Kaplan stated that THIS was the reason why the Fed has decided to stop hiking interest rates!
In January I suggested this was the primary reason why the Fed made such an abrupt U-turn regarding monetary policy. It’s truly extraordinary that a Fed President is confirming this in public.
Remember, the primary mandate of the Fed is to maintain financial stability. This inherently means downplaying risks/ potential threats to the financial system/economy. So as much as you or I would like the Fed to be bluntly honest, the fact is that the Fed has to sugarcoat things to avoid panics.
With that in mind, the above admission by Fed President Kaplan is BEYOND extraordinary. Here we have the head of a regional Federal Bank admitting on record that the financial system, specifically the corporate bond market, is now MORE leveraged than it was in 2008 as direct result of Fed policy.
Even more astonishing for a Fed official, Kaplan is admitting that the US economy is now much more sensitive to interest rates. Put another way, the entire US economy/ financial system has become one gigantic bubble that requires extreme monetary policy (extraordinarily low interest rates) to NOT blow up.
This is literally the definition of the Everything Bubble.
If you aren’t actively taking steps to prepare for this, you need to start NOW.
On that note, we are putting together an Executive Summary outlining all of these issues as well as what’s coming down the pike when the Everything Bubble bursts.
It will be available exclusively to our clients. If you’d like to have a copy delivered to your inbox when it’s completed, you can join the wait-list here.
If you believe that there must be an endgame to all of this debt, money creation, and bubble-inducing madness, then I suggest that you also consider the following inevitable result on the precious metals market. Let me start by giving you an example. We have a client whose net worth is more than $350,000,000. He has already purchased $10,000,000 worth of gold. At the first sign of a credit collapse, interest rates rising rapidly out of control or of the dollar falling fast (having lost its Petro Dollar or Reserve Currency status), he is prepared to purchase an additional $50,000,000 worth of gold. If we had to go into the marketplace today and place an order of that size I don’t think we could fill it – at least not immediately. That would be just one order from one client.
When it becomes clear that the time to own gold and silver is actually upon us, one of two things will happen. The metals may not be available at all, you will have to pay a great deal more, and wait to take delivery.
We have already experienced several periods when gold or silver were not available from the primary distributors (Mints, Refiners, etc.). They were sold out and backordered. This happened when the prices dropped too low and while the demand rose. But when there is a stampede to buy gold and silver that is not precipitated by low prices, but rather by rapidly rising prices fostered by greed and fear of a collapse in the currency or credit markets, the demand will be much, much greater. You better have a very strong relationship with your dealer and hope that they can put you near the top of what will be a very long list of orders. This is not a scare tactic, it is a fact. It is exactly how the market will work. It will freeze up and supply will vanish, prices will rise. What is an ounce of gold or silver in scarce supply worth when people are desperate to unload their dollars to purchase it? Ask the people in Venezuela.
Are confident that you know how this must end up? The facts are adding up pointing to a very unhappy ending that is moving closer by the day. You should remind yourself that when you think it is convenient to take your position in gold and silver they may not be available for purchase, or if they are, you will have to wait a long time to take delivery paying a huge premium for the privilege of getting some precious metals at all.
I ask myself, why are we doing so much business in the last six months with gold and silver still so very much out of favor by the main stream? Because many of our clients are aware of what I just wrote (above). They understand that being early is the only safe option and they can see the handwriting on the wall. The stock market, the bond market and the dollar are ALL under pressure.
I will end this with a few comments from our friend Jim Sinclair – still “Mr. Gold” in our mind….
WHEN WILL THE PARTY END?
The manipulators of paper gold can temporarily do anything. The operative word there in being temporarily.
The equation is gold versus run away insane debt levels, plus now we see QE in its true GLOBAL form as to INFINITY.
YOU NEED TO MAKE YOUR DECISION AND NOT OVER-INTELLECTUALIZE IT.
Do you really believe that fiat paper will maintain, and therefore store the value of what you have? Sorry, it simply will not.
As such GOLD is your savings account.
End of story!